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I just had an interview today. It was nerve-racking as hell, and I kept on biting my lip in an ungraceful manner. I told myself to stop each time, but I just ended up doing it automatically again. Twenty minutes was longer than I’d expected and the guy in the suit asked questions repeatedly, so I ended up blabbering nonsense. I hadn’t felt this nervous for a while now, and I wasn’t expecting it either.
It wasn’t an extremely prestigious company nor was it my job of first choice, but something about the place just made me slightly shaky. It’s like when you walk through an alleyway at night – however safe it is in the day, you just can’t help feeling uneasy. Most awkward interview of my life. It was probably the dark lighting.
Something’s really bothering me, but I don’t know what it is. Despite my apparently terrible performance in the interview, it was the only job I was able to get. I can’t think why, but at least my financial worries were over, since I’d been unemployed for a while now.
I took the big decision after getting the position to propose to my girlfriend. Buying the flowers, the engagement ring, a new suit, the usual, I told her to meet me at the restaurant for a usual date, hoping to surprise her. I went to the restaurant half an hour early.
As any married man would admit, a proposal is a daunting thing. There’s the fear of embarrassment, with a possible side dish of rejection. But it was strange because, I didn’t just feel the usual butterflies in my stomach, I felt I was actually legit afraid. Like before the interview. I didn’t know why. I just kept on chewing at my lip and biting my nails. The only thing that stopped me was when I felt a sharp pain on the bottom of my lip; I touched it and looked at my finger. There was a red smear there, which prompted me to stop biting it immediately.
An hour later, my girlfriend called me saying her dog had been hit by a car and she had to cancel the date.
I seem to be biting my lip a lot now. Even when I’m not really nervous. It’s annoying because I know I could stop doing it, but it’s become a habit, so I just have to. It seems like my unconscious mind is unsatisfied until my tongue tastes blood.
It’s a really stupid thing, I know, but it’s starting to hurt now.
My lips kind of healed overnight, but this morning I found myself chewing on the inside of my mouth as I was surfing the net. Not only that, I was beginning to bite the skin just above my lips. Habitually, I would just chew off small layers of skin until I tasted blood.
I searched up ‘how to stop biting my mouth’ on Google, and most of them suggested I put my tongue between my lips or wore retainers or chewed gum. I tried some of them but I’m not sure they were effective.
The lip biting problem hadn’t actually bothered me that much until I ate a fruit salad today, and the tiny exposed bits of flesh stung terribly, especially when I ate the oranges. I told myself it was utterly ridiculous and I should just have enough self-control to stop doing it. I’m sure I’ll just forget about it in a few days.
I’m chewing off more skin than can be replaced overnight now, and it’s becoming a problem. I googled 'cures for addiction' and I nearly laughed my socks off after I imagined myself in a lip-biting rehab! But on a serious note, I’m going to the doctor tomorrow because it’s actually causing me physical pain.
The doc realised the problem was serious as he could see lesions on the inside of my mouth. He prescribed me this transparent liquid which he told me to brush over my lips. I did, and when I tried to bite it again, I felt nauseous. The taste was so immensely bitter that if I so much as licked my lip, I’d want to vomit.
I think it’s pretty effective treatment!
Birthday celebration party today, and all my new colleagues attended. Finally got a chance to propose to my girlfriend, and she said YES! God, what a great feeling. Despite a bit of anxiety, my teeth barely touched my lip, because when they did touch, the bitter taste reminded me not to do it.
Sadly, her dog died of his injuries, but there’ll be lots of time for buying a new pet once we move in together.
Unfortunately, I just discovered that I can’t put whatever the doc gave me on the inside of my mouth. I began chewing my cheeks again in the morning, and this time, IT’S REALLY BOTHERING ME. The feeling…the urge won’t go away. I was glad to have pretty much stopped biting my lips, but now I can’t stop pulling bits of skin off the inside of my mouth and I’m disappointed with myself, because I thought I'd finally stop doing it.
Guess I’ll just have to wait it out.
Bad news. I caught myself unconsciously chewing a bit of my lip again. It seemed my brain just ignored the taste and continued to do it until it bled, because I became nervous whilst walking home alone in the dark. Goddammit, idiotic excuses. I’ll just stuff my face with food and see if it works at keeping my teeth busy for a while, otherwise I’ll have to ask the doc to restrain my lower jaw from the rest of my head.
My head aches. I’ve got nothing to do right now, so why don’t I text my mates? Or how about a quick ‘I love you’ to my girlfriend, and discuss honeymoon matters? That seems like a good idea. Okay, I’ll do that.
I’m getting that feeling again. I lick my lips and the bitterness of the chemicals overwhelms me for a second…just a second. But it’s nothing compared to the urge to do it returning. So I give in, and I allow myself a quick nibble. Unsurprisingly, I want to do it again, so I do. And again, and again. Is this how people get addicted to drugs and cigarettes? I think I understand now.
It really hurts, but I can’t stop chewing it. The urge is everywhere; the insides of my top and bottom lip, the skin of my lips, around my lips, on the sides of my cheeks, I even want to bit my tongue this time. Every time I chew at one of the small lesions and pull off the skin, a few bits of skin stick out around the wound and I feel like I have to bite them off. It’s like trying to pick off bits of fungus which keep on growing. I pull a finger across the inside of my top lip, and my fingertip is covered with blood. I really need to stop now, or I’ll get an infection. And immediately after I think that, I start biting my tongue more vigorously.
A text comes.
‘babe I love you too’
I begin typing. ‘honey-‘
A drop of blood falls onto my phone screen. I shudder, and wipe it away quickly, but another takes its place. The smell and taste of metal is everywhere. I wipe my mouth with my sleeve, and to my horror, I see a pencil-sized smear of blood upon my arm. NOW. I’ll stop biting my mouth NOW.
It doesn't work. God, it’s so painful. I can’t get rid of the bumpy texture on the inside of my mouth, which is what makes me keep biting it.
You’ve heard of people wish for things like money, wealth, happiness, all that shit. But I bet you’ve never heard of anyone wish for a completely smooth mouth. Right now, I’d give all I have for it.
It hurts so much I’m starting to cry. In fact, I feel tears coming. Blood is everywhere and I’m trying to wipe it away. I’m desperately putting things between my teeth now, but it doesn’t work. It’s like I can’t stop overdosing on my own skin.
ARGH! Holy hell – I’ve chewed all the way through my left cheek. I swear my top lip is gone and my bottom lip is half the thickness. I’m terrified, which makes me do it even more. Why can’t I stop doing this? I don’t know why, GOD IT HURTS MAKE IT STOP!
I can’t see my reflection but I know the bottom half of my face is in an unimaginable state, and my whole face is now swollen, my jaw is starting to go numb. My hands and feet are shaking uncontrollably from the pain. Gathering up enough energy to lift my arms, I begin to type.
‘honey CALL A AMBULNCE NOW PLEASSSE’
She replies quickly.
‘omg why what happened r u hurt ??’
‘BBLOOD EVRYWHERE JUST DO IT’
Written by Rinskuro13