Friday, May 25, 2012

Bad Habits/Addictions

Hi, my name is Ellen and I'm a lip biter.  There - I've said it.  Now everyone knows.  I don't have to hide anymore. 
I bite the inside of my lips - often moving to the inside cheek area.  I've been doing this all my life with periods (sometimes years) of remission. 
Why do I bite?  It's not a nervous habit.  I wish I knew.  I'm blaming my tongue.  My tongue is the culprit.  It roams around in there until it feels a rough patch and decides my teeth should get busy and clear that spot.  And the biting begins.
This habit gets so bad sometimes that I then have rather serious pain in my TMJ - tempero-mandibular joint.  That's where the jaws join right under your ears.  I haven't let it get to that point in a long time.
To help me when I'm in "super-bite mode" I've had a mouth guard made by my dentist.  Not the big, ungainly thing that boxers wear - mine is very thin and practically invisible.  I can do everything while wearing it except eat. 
I don't have the bite guard in right now and I'm biting.
That sentence that I just typed is a perfect example of how this habit of mine is more of an addiction.
I quit gnawing every day about 100 times.  I hate that it has such control over my life.  I know it causes wrinkles in my upper lip and who needs more of those?  I know it distorts my face and nobody wants to look at that.  I actually think my self control is weaker when it comes to my lips than it is with regard to chocolate chip cookies.  Now you know how serious it is.
I thought I had it licked (no pun intended) in Florida.  I went two or three weeks with nary a nibble and then one day I caught myself goin' for it - failure.
In a small way (extremely small) I sympathize with smokers.  I understand nail biters - my cousins in crime.
Ok, I've talked myself into it - I'll go brush my teeth and put in the mouth guard.  I hate that I have to rely on it; like a crutch, but I do.
Good thing I never took up crack, eh?


  1. I'm right there with you - maybe it's inherited! Yes, let's blame an ancestor - maybe Gramma B? Or Great Aunt Ivy?

  2. I have a vague memory of Aunt Ivy being a biter. At least that's my story (excuse)and I'm stickin' to it.

  3. Hi. My name is Bliss and I live with a lip chewer (I really do and I have given up trying to get him to stop).

    I have never noticed this about you. Maybe it is not done as often as you think? I used to pick the skin on my lips when I was a kid--no idea why. It is weird the nervous habits we develop.