I’m gonna drop you like a bad habit! I’ve heard that expression most of my life but after really thinking about it, I find it very perplexing. Mostly because I find “habits” very hard to drop! The expression makes it sound like it would be something very easy to do. Don’t you think that’s how it sounds? But, for me anyway, it’s not how it is.
Over the years I’ve had many bad habits. Some I’ve been able to “drop” or overcome and some I’m still stuck with. When I was a teenager I “picked up” or developed the bad habit of smoking. I did it because all the other kids were doing it and I was being a follower because I thought it would make me cool like I thought they were. At first my best friend Sam and I started out sneaking my dad’s Belair cigarettes and we’d take them up to the quarry and smoke them. We’d only do it once in a while but as we got older it became more frequent.
Then at school they started allowing kids to smoke in the designated areas at school as long as we had “permission” from our parents. Well, of course my mom would never have given permission so I forged her name to a permission slip. Then every morning, at lunch and sometimes after school we’d all congregate in the designated smoking areas because I wanted to fit in with the “cool” kids. The problem was I did end up getting “hooked”. I ended up smoking for probably ten years and had gotten to the point that I was smoking 2 packs a day. I smoked menthols, Salem Ultralight 100’s. I had tried to quit several times and always ended up starting back. Usually when I drank. The two just seemed to go together. If you had a drink in one hand, you HAD to have a cigarette in the other!
When I met my husband he had never even dated a girl who smoked. If he found out a girl smoked he simply wouldn’t go out with her. Must have been true love because he married me despite the fact that I smoked. The first thing every morning I’d light a cigarette and the last thing every night. Thinking back now, as a life long NON smoker? I don’t know how he could stand to kiss me!
When I found out I was pregnant with my first child Hubby told me I had to quit. I knew it was the right thing to do. Hubby said he had prepared himself for two months of hell but surprisingly, I guess maybe because I WAS pregnant, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Of course I had to literally make myself sick by chain smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in order to quit but I never picked them back up after that. In fact I’ve never had a cigarette since then, save the puff I had from one back in April when we took my brother fishing for what would be his last time and he asked all of us there to have a cigarette with him “for old time’s sake”. I had ONE puff and wanted to scrape my tongue off afterwards. But I didn’t feel like I could tell him no. And that’s a whole nother story.
Now the habit I wish I could drop is chewing my cuticles. I don’t chew my fingernails. I bite my cuticles. Sometimes even to the point of making them bleed. It’s nasty and disgusting and I can’t seem to stop. If it was something I could put down and walk away from I might be able to but they are attached to my body so it’s kind of hard to do. It’s like a vicious cycle. I quit and then I get a hangnail so I bite it off and then it causes like a piece of dry skin so I bite that off and before I know it almost all my cuticles are sore and/or bleeding. And if I can stop myself from nibbling on them, then I end up picking them off with my fingernails…. Maybe someday I’ll be able to stop. For now… I seem to be a prisoner to my cuticles!
This post was brought to you courtesy of Sprite’s Keeper and The Spin Cycle.