Out of Habit

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!

Side of the cuticle on my ring finger - yup - got it good!

Index finger

Another view

This post was brought to you courtesy of Sprite’s Keeper and The Spin Cycle.

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About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
This entry was posted in Just Stupid Stuff We've Done, Spin Cycle and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Out of Habit

  1. terrepruitt says:

    I thought I’ve heard of people putting something bitter on their fingers to keep them out of their mouths. Have you heard of that?

    I’m thinking that it really is a HABIT. You probably don’t even realize you are doing it. So imagine, you sitting there watching TV or on the phone and you put your finger up to your mouth and ewwww! Something icky. Maybe something like the oil they sell for your cuticles (why not moisturize them at the same time?). Then after a few times of not thinking about it and getting that nasty taste, I think the idea is you start to think about it. And once you really start to think about it it becomes a habit NOT to do it. Does that make sense?

    Good that you don’t smoke any longer. Yay you!

  2. Angelia Sims says:

    Life-long cuticle biter here, I raise my mangled tips to you. It’s the worst habit, and painful. The only way I have been able to stop is with regular manicures and super lotion in my purse. But seems to always come back when I don’t do those things. A doctor once told me it was an OCD disorder. At least that made sense, my aunt was very OCD. Maybe it runs in the family? My daughter picks her lip til it bleeds. Uggg. It’s just as bad as the cuticle thing.

    Congrats on no smoking!

  3. suzicate says:

    You’re a good sister…don’t know if I could have smoked one, even for him.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Well, you know, when he looked at me with those big blue eyes and handed the pack to me and said “If you WANT to” I couldnt’ say no because I knew that meant he wanted me to. All it took was ONE puff to realize I really did NOT miss it!

  4. I am a nail biter,but my cuticles have taken a hit too. John is worse than me. 🙂
    I used to smoke myself, when I found out I was pregnant with Sprite, I quit immediately and never looked back. Then, when she was born, I was asked if I wanted one, and all I could think was, only one will bring me right back to where I was. And knowing how people smelled, I did NOT want my daughter smelling smoke on me.
    Good decisions made to quit! As for the cuticle biting, someone recommended moisturizer to make the skin softer and less likely to break when you start to nibble. I have yet to try it though.
    You’re linked!

  5. VandyJ says:

    I’ve never been much of a nail biter, or cuticle biter/picker but I twist my hair, bad enough that my hairdresser knows because the hair is shorter on the left side than the right. I do it when I’m bored, nervous, tired, really all the time and I don’t even realize I’m doing it sometime, until I have a knot I can’t untie. I’m trying to not, but I think it’s something I’ve done since birth–Bruiser has the same habit.
    Truly, shaving my head would be the only way to stop and I’m not sure that would help when it grew back.

    • pegbur7 says:

      My ex sister in law used to do that all the time. And a friends daughter does it so badly that she pulls big chunks of hair out. She actually has bald spots from twisting her hair!

  6. Ron says:

    For some reason I’ve never heard of the expression…

    “I’m going to drop you like a bad habit.”

    Where have I been? Under water????

    Anyway, I like the expression.

    I’ve never been a cutcle picker or nail biter, but I do smoke. Not a lot, but I do enjoy me a few cigs at night. It’s odd, because I can smoke for a period of time and then suddenly stop for months, and suddenly start smoking again.

    Strange, isn’t it?

    Have a faaaaaaaaaabulous Monday, dear friend!

    X

  7. katie says:

    Good for you quitting smoking. When my MIL stopped smoking she started chewing tooth picks. I told her she would die of Dutch elm tree disease.

  8. Spot says:

    I’m a cuticle biter, but not as bad as all that. I’m also a hair twister. And I chew on the ends of pens and pencils.

    I don’t smoke though. Or drink heavily. And I’ve never heard of anyone dying from either consuming too much cuticle or a cuticle infection so I say we’re doing okay!

    ♥Spot

  9. Camille says:

    Wow, I’m impressed that you stopped smoking after so long!

    I bet you could break your cuticle habit, too. You can try doing what I did and set a goal not to chew them for thirty days, and your reward afterward could be a manicure or something!

  10. Michele says:

    Isn’t it strange how you can quit a habit like smoking when you are doing it for someone else but if it only affects you it is so much harder?

  11. Pseudo says:

    i quit smoking when I found out I was pregnant too. I thought I’d go back after, but had no desire. I wonder if it has anything to do with the hormones shifting.

    • pegbur7 says:

      I know i made myself sick by chain smoking an entire pack when I found out I was pregnant so that I wouldn’t WANT another cigarette. It worked. I was so sick I didn’t want to even LOOK at another cigarette.

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