Nine months ago, I wrote about my progress on quitting chapstick (post). Not long after that I started to stop thinking about it to the point that I never wrote about again. So, I thought I’d wrap it up for you!
1. Cold Turkey
This is the only way to quit; but there are things that helped me through it and it wasn’t as bad as the horror stories I read online.
First, I started the battle in December. I searched the internet obsessively for an easy cure. I tried Burt’s Bees and Aquaphor. I tried only using it before bed and other forms of moderation, but none of that worked.
2. No Chapstick
In order to actually go turkey, I had to put the chapstick out of arms reach. I found that I would grab it mindlessly as a habit, especially when I was just waking up for the day. However, I didn’t throw all my chapstick away, becuase I wanted my mind to be at ease. I got rid off all the excess and only kept one at home and one at work in a drawer. It wasn’t within reach, but it wasn’t gone either, so there was no reason to panic. Granted, this only works if you have the will not to go grab it!
During the first week or so of my cold turkey run, I would soak a sturdy napkin or paper towel in water and use it on my lips to help give me relief. I’d put drops of water on my lips to let them soak in while I was lounging around the couch. Occasionally, I’d also use ice to moisten my lips.
Above all else, I drank more water. I have a water bottle at home and at work. I wasn’t used to drinking much, so I set a timer for every 30 minutes and when it went off, I’d send a few minutes sipping water.
Now any time that my lips feel even remotely dry, I drink more water.
4. Coconut Oil
I was really weary of this one because I didn’t want to substitute chapstick with a replacement addiction. However, coconut oil was a godsend (so to speak)! During the earlier days, when I got to a point that I was suffering and my will was fading, I’d dab on some coconut oil for instant relief. The best part is, it doesn’t coat your lips, so after a few seconds it’s completely soaked in. If this was going to be an addiction, I’d have to apply it non-stop, which made it unfeasible.
Still, I was using it very sparingly. I would only use it right before bed, after eating something I shouldn’t have (spicy food), when I was really sick, and when my will power was at it’s end. If you go this route, don’t let yourself be comfortable with using it as a crutch, so that you are only using it when you absolutely need to.
5. Greasy vs Spicy Food
While some greasy foods helped create moments of temporary relief, the spicy foods made it worse. Avoid spicy foods during the first month of the process. I used to be vigilant about wiping my mouth free of food oils, but I’ve stopped doing that. Sure, I wipe my mouth clean after finishing my meal, but while I’m eating I let all the oils soak in!
6. Nine Months (It wasn’t all that bad!)
- Days 1-3 sucked…
- Day 4 was better…
- Day 15 was good!
- Day 25 was safe and going strong!
- Day 60 was great!
- Month 7 was home free!
January 2014 is when I went cold turkey. From this time, it took an estimated nine months to be completely cured of my chapstick addition. However, it wasn’t nine months of hell. The first three days were awful, but on Day 4 things got better, and on Day 15 things were going really well. These were the hardest days to deal with. I was writing down the days on a white board, so I could see my progress. As the days went on, I felt more and more reassured.
Day 25, almost a month in, I was feeling pretty good. I wasn’t thinking about it all the time, there were days when my lips felt normal, and I knew I was going to kick it. The reason why I wasn’t cured yet was because my lips were still weird and I started to think it might be okay to use chapstick again. I told myself I could moderate it now that it wasn’t a problem. Then I immediately put my foot down. If I’m wanting to use the chapstick, then I’m not cured yet. I stayed strong.
Day 60 (two months) was great. I would go weeks without any problems. I wasn’t cured yet because I’d taper off the water, my lips would get dry, and think about chapstick. I’d start my water intake again and things would get back to being hydrated and good. I stopped recording the days not long after.
By the time the 7th month rolled around, I was home free! Good habits were set in place. Bad days were further and further apart until I didn’t think about it anymore and I stopped writing about it too.
6. After Care
Now that’s been 18 months (a year and six months), I still refuse to use chapstick or lip balm of any kind. Treat it like a drug and just say no! When my lips feel even remotely dry, I drink more water. I occasionally use coconut oil if I need relief, which is usually when I’m sick.
I hope that my victory story helps you kick the addiction!