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This addiction to biting my fingernails is more far-reaching than I first thought. It’s serious business, like consciously making an effort every few minutes to not bite my nails serious. The compulsion had become so automatic that I’ve already caught myself at least a dozen times over the weekend with a fingernail on my teeth, ready to bite, and without even noticing it was there. Every time, once I’d caught myself, I’d let slip an expletive, wipe my brow, and work to calm my heart rate.

Not today, Donny J. Not today.

My wife has been a help with some of the dos and don’ts associated with my quest. In my last post I talked about how I almost slipped on day one while stressing at the consignment sale. After that incident, I had a discussion with her about exactly what I should consider a case of “nail biting.”

“Well, what were you doing?” she asked. Her brow arced curiously. I think of that as her engaging the bullshit detector.

 “I had this little piece of a hangnail on my pinky,” I said, bringing my finger up to show her. “It was there when I started, I swear. I didn’t pull it up.”

“Oh, okay. That’s not nail biting then.” Her brows returned to their normal position. I passed the test.

“What about the skin around my fingers? The dead pieces that’s left from when I was biting my fingers. Does that count?”

She shot me a casual side eye and said, “That’s skin. You’re fine.”

“Phew,” I said, pretending to wipe my brow. “I didn’t want to have to give that turd Trump my money on the first day.”

She laughed. I then told her that I had come up with an idea for the letter I’d send with the dollar bill. Something along the lines of I hope he took that dollar and shoved it up his ass. Then I’d close it by calling him a certain name my grandpa reserved for my grandma after he had told her to shut up and that she was “the dumbest broad” he’d ever met.

A real champion, my pap.

I mentioned last week that I was trying to cut back on drinking, also. I am pleased to report that another weekend has passed without my hand being attached to a beer bottle. Before I decided to cut back, my Saturday nights consisted of drinking too much, playing Cards Against Humanity with some friends, and coming home sloshed. On Sunday I wouldn’t wake up until 10 am at the earliest, and even then I’d rationalize how that was too early, too. This Sunday, though, I was up at 8 am. I beat everybody else up, too, and made them  all breakfast.

Go meat! Go me!

But, Sunday didn’t go by without testing my resolve. My girls were in rare form. No naps. No silence. No lack of energy. By the end of the day, after all the questions and fights broken up and the tempter tantrums were over, I would normally slip off to the fridge to crack open a cold one. Beer, or booze in general, had become my go-to stress reliever. It was getting to the point that I’d drink at least one a day to “unwind.” I’m not an alcoholic, but given my willingness to use booze as a tool instead of the casual instrument of entertainment that it’s supposed to be, I could have become one in the near future. And seeing that my dad’s dad was one, it isn’t worth the chance. So I left the beer to chill for another day.

I’m hoping to stay sober until October 20th, which is my wife’s birthday. We’ll be at the beach then, and that’s usually the time and place when my drinking intensifies (I’m talking about day drinking; early afternoon drinking). I figured I could make one exception for that day and be back on the wagon no problem. Not only is it my wife’s birthday, though. It’s also when the Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do The Time Warp Again special airs on Fox. To make it though what I’m guessing with be a total and complete mess, I’ll have to be anything but sober.

Before I close, I’d like to mention that my post was shared on Twitter by the Hidden Brain podcast the Friday I posted it (it probably didn’t help that I had tagged them in my Twitter post promoting the blog). Their kindness made me super happy! It was like adding a flame to the fire building at my feet, compelling me to either keep dancing or feel the pain of the flame, and I’m not talking about the flames that would precede the nuclear holocaust that I helped to fund with my donation to Donald Trump’s campaign. They’re holding me accountable to not only myself but to the few of their followers who took the time to read my post. That just adds to my determination to see this though and to break the habit. Thanks again to Hidden Brain for not only sharing my tweet, but for sharing Max’s story.

Catch you soon!