Friday, June 15, 2007

Nasty Habits of a Habitual Worrier

I give my dog Toby a really hard time about his biting habits. Whenever he gets really excited, he has to bite something, anything, be it you or something you are carrying or our other dog's ears or legs. He just can't help himself. I always yell at him or grab his snout and tell him no because sometimes it really does hurt! And I hate that when I get home everyday the first thing that happens is I get attacked by my own dog!

However, I have made a saddening discovery that I am more like Toby than I care to admit. When I get nervous or anxious, by natural response is to bite! No joke! Not people, lol, but I do have my own quirks.

All my life I have been a nail biter. I used to get in trouble as a kid for doing it. When I am nervous or anxious about something, one of the bad habits I do is start biting my nails. Now my nails are so fragile anytime I actually grow them out any small amount they chip and break pretty quickly. One day I hope to have long beautiful nails, otherwise I might just have to go the manicured way and get the cool fake ones on. But for now, its boy hands for me.

Another bad habit I started because of feeling anxious was biting my lips. This may sound weird or gross, but I would chew on them and peel skin off not even really realizing it. Heres the gross truth about what happens if you do this. Eventually, you destroy a spit valve in your mouth. This causes a bubble called a mucocele to form on the inside of your mouth that will not go away unless it is surgically removed. Its a minor procedure that doesn't take very long at all but its annoying enough to make you go in and get it done. After all was said and done, it cost me around 300 bucks to have it done. So now when I get anxious and I bite on my lips, I feel the small scar inside and ask, do I really have all that money to spend on this right now? And then I stop.

I have been thinking about this post for awhile now and it wasn't until today that I made the connection with me and Toby. I guess I shouldn't give him such a hard time. :)


Anonymous said...

Aimee, Hello.. I found your blog from debassers blog on anxiety.. Let me introduce myself.. My name is Linda I am 43 years old and suffer from panic/anxiety.. I have had this crap for about 10 years.. I used to be totally normal.. I have IBS really bad.. So I hardly ever leave the house.. I have become agorophobic because of it.. When I leave the house I start freakin out that I am going to have a stomach attack and need the bathroom.. IT SUCKS!! I have two small kids that I can't do anything with.. I have a really supportive husband thank god.. What meds are you on?? I take xanax as needed.. I have tried some others but I also have a fear of meds.. They all make me sick.. I really loved your rose pictures.. I am in a really bad place tonight and those really made me feel better.. Sometimes I don't want to go on.. But I have to because of my kids.. I feel for you because I did not get this way until about 33 years old.. You are so young.. Hope you don't mind me venting to you.. Take Care.. Linda

Aimée said...

Hi Linda!

Thanks for the comment. I am so sorry that you are struggling with IBS. For a long time I wondered if that was what I had. I understand how your fear can cause you to not leave your home where you know you are safe and you have more control. I am ok with my daily routine but things can get pretty scary really easy if anything out of the norm arises. I take Zoloft daily and Clonazepam when I have heightened anxiety- and I love Clonazepam. If I take it too late it won't work fast enough and I end up throwing it up, but if I take it soon enough it can really help me to control my panic attacks.
I'm also glad you liked my rose pictures. I think that certain hobbies are really therapeutic for me as a way to express myself creatively such as this blog, gardening, playing the piano, and now photography. I only have a little digital camera but I have lots of fun trying to get cool pics with it and then sharing them with others. What kind of hobbies do you like to do?
That is so great that you have a support system of your hubby. Without that things would be so much harder! You can vent to me anytime you want! Its like our own little online support group :) Hang in there!

Unknown said...

Aimee dear, here is one of the things I have found in my tedious nutrition studies. Nail bitng is often thought to be "just the stress" when in fact stress and nail biting are both caused in large part by poor diet. Your nails are made up of minerals. A lot of the minerals you eat go to make them. Your nails are not brittle because you bite them, they are brittle because you lack minerals. Then, you crave minerals, so you bite your nails and receive back a tiny amount of minerals which is what you are really craving. It is a self perpetuating cycle. To stop, eat more minerals in your diet-eat the skins of your vegetables (ie don't peel your carrots, just wash them) eat eggs , especially the yolks, and real butter. Taking a spoonful of cod liver oil in the morning will help your body be able to use the minerals you eat. I don't suggest taking a multvitamin though, often the artificial vitamins and minerals in those are down right toxic. I know this works, because I have bitten my nails since I was a toddler, and thought I couldn't grow nails either. Now my nails and hair grow like crazy, and they are really strong. I still bite them sometimes, but it is generally when I am not eating well. You will be surprised at how much better you feel if you do this- I wonder if it would help your morning anxiety because everything is low in the morning. Getting control of something like your nail biting does wonders for your ego too. Good luck Aimes- sorry for the obnoxious advice, but I've been there, done that, bought the souvenirs. Love you so much--kRista

Anonymous said...

I am also a nail-biter. And a knuckle-cracker, and I wish I could stop both but I really don't know how.

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