Abstinence Assignment: My Personal Experience

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For this assignment, I decided to try to abstain from biting my finger nails. I’ve been biting my finger nails for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I had no idea why I was biting them I just did. But now that I’m growing up, I have come to realize the reasons why. Normally when I bite my nails it is because am nervous, anxious, scared or upset about an event that is happening in my life. However, I started noticing that now I subconsciously bite them because I am bored.

Before this assignment, was biting my nails everyday though couldn’t tell you how many times in one day. Unfortunately, biting my nails is becoming a bigger problem for me. I want to have my nails long so I can paint them and have them look nice for once. This assignment has made me realize how disgusting it is to bite finger nails in public; always having your fingers in your mouth is unattractive. In addition, I have also come to realize that I just subconsciously bite my nails, even if I’m not bored! Psychologically, I’d say it has become a habit that my mind just cannot seem to break away from right now.

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My plan to abstain from biting my nails is pretty simple, or so it sounds. First, I was going to paint my ails so that they look nice. Secondly, I was going to try this new no bite polish. It is supposed to taste gross so that it prevents me from biting. Then, I am just going to try and stay busy. As long as I stay busy, my mind is off the idea of biting. Healthier choices I could make are reading a good book, cleaning my room since that always needs to be done, going to the gym to stay fit, or just overall keeping busy and distracting myself as much as can by doing whatever pops up in my head.

Since I started this assignment, over the past two weeks only abstained from biting my nails for about four days total. Thank god I’m not being rated based on whether I abstained from it or not. My parents would constantly tell me to stop biting or theft have to yell at me to stop because just telling me wouldn’t prevent me from doing it. During this span of four days, I was always busy or there was something about that day that just kept me from even thinking about biting my nails. Well now obviously, I relapsed ten days.

I didn’t realize how hard it actually was to quit. Most of the time is was just subconscious behavior. I also realized that for me to not bite my nails, I just had to stop thinking about it and do something else to take my mind off it. Even so, I could be owning absolutely nothing, and would end up biting my nails. I guess once I start biting, it’s hard to quit. The few times I relapsed, it was because I was anxious about something I was watching on Nettling, fighting with my boyfriend at the time, when he was upset with me or mad at me I’d end up biting my nails.

I also relapsed when we broke up which because of the devastation of our break up it caused me to bite my nails. Frankly, there are a lot of reasons that I relapsed. But those events stood out to me the most. Whenever I’m anxious or mad or upset that’s when the biting triggers. Honestly, I wasn’t so forceful about implementing y plan. I’d paint my nails with the no bite polish but that didn’t last long because my mouth got used to it. However, I did keep myself busy a lot, but that’s probably because I work about 40 hours a week and then I’d come home and nap.

Overall, I learned that trying to quit something you do every day is harder than expected. If trying to abstain from biting my nails was tough, I can’t even imagine what it is like for substance abusers to quit. In addition, I learned that when that thing you crave the most is in such close range to you, it makes it ten times harder to prevent yourself from using whatever it is you crave. It helps a lot to have a constant support system though. If you don’t have people who try their very best to help you, you’re going to continue abusing said substance just because you can.

I realized you need not only that support system but a whole lot of will power to want to quit. Guess that means I need more will power, but that’s beside the point. My point is if you don’t have will power as well, then you’re not going to try to stop abusing. This assignment has opened my eyes now to how hard it is to actually quit something you crave. When my father would tell me about how he was an alcoholic… Although you never stop being an alcoholic, I never really understood why or the damage it does to be addicted to a substance or why he did what he did back then.

My uncle on my mother’s side, her brother, he is today an alcoholic and until a few years ago, I would have never known because he acts like a normal guy to me. He is still the same uncle I’ve known my whole life. But now that I’m older, I understand what my mom talks about with my cousins about his problems. Although one acts normal and like everyone else, doesn’t mean that there might nothing wrong with them, it just means that they’re good at hiding it.

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Abstinence Assignment: My Personal Experience. (2018, May 03). Retrieved from


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