An Addiction

April 17th, 2008 by

I am finally free from both lotion and chapstick.

The chapstick story starts a long while ago. Ever since middle school or so I can remember using chapstick every day. I would always carry a tube around with me and frequently reapplied it. This continued on through high school and college until the point where forgetting my chapstick was a horrible occasion. If I realized I wouldn't have chapstick for more than an hour or two I would have to borrow or buy a new one. (Thankfully I was usually with Joey who was a user too).

Finally, while working at Google, I was fed up. I decided that it was time to get rid of my addiction and of course starting searching the internet for advice. I ran into a bunch of articles about whether or not lib balm is actually addictive (it definitely is) but finally made it to one that described the process of withdrawal... Without that article I am sure I would have given up because it was hard. Because chapstick prevents your lips from exfoliating properly when you stop using it you have a lot of dead skin to get rid of. This results in a really gross set of lips for a while that are constantly shedding. Thankfully, vaseline was there to help. Vaseline is sorta like a midway drug. It is worse than not using anything, but a lot better than chapstick. Vaseline was able to slow down the exfoliation to the point where I didn't feel disgusted about going to work, and after a couple of months I was able to stop using it too and I am now lip product free.

That all happened a couple of years back. More recently, I also ran into lotion issues. About 2 weeks or so into our Switzerland trip I was completely out of the lotion I use back in CA and the weather was ridiculously cold and dry. I made several trips to the grocery store to buy Swiss lotion and unfortunately none of it was strong enough. My face started to look cracked and was hurting. It then dawned on me that this was exactly like what happened with my chapstick. I was addicted to lotion (and really strong lotion at that). I decided to take a long weekend, forgo the lotion altogether and see what happened. It was fortunate that I had learned what it would be like from the chapstick withdrawal because it turned out exactly the same... and this time I couldn't use vaseline. Thankfully, after much scrubbing and hiding from work I was finally presentable enough to talk to people in person. 1 month later and my face is still slowly getting better at coping without lotion. However, at this point, I can definitely declare myself free from the addiction.

So, if you have to use lotion and chapstick every day now you know that you have the ability to free yourself. To me, it was worth it, but of course everybody has their own addiction preferences.