I Know It's Bad For Me But I Can't Help Myself

When it comes to attempting to function as a basic human being, it can be difficult to escape the grasp of bad habits. I'd like to think one day I can pride myself in being a decent human who takes care of herself and improves every day. Though I can't quite see that happening so soon.

With my nature of being super self-critical and all round self-deprecating, I found my mind wondering as I was reading this really terrible book and a thought snaked its way in; why do I continue to do the things I do when I know they're no good? Often, these bad things end up being difficult or almost impossible to break. The way I see it, "habit" and "addiction" are close relatives. And I am wired for addiction.

Growing up in the environment I did, I was exposed to bad habits at a very young age. In Thailand, censorship and protecting the innocence of a child isn't much of a priority. I don't mean for that to be taken the wrong way, either. I'd like to present a few brief examples to support my statement:
  • you could give an 8-year-old money to buy you alcohol or a pack of cigarettes at the shop and no one bats an eye 
  • drinking is a social activity and people would be drunk from very early in the morning. I remember seeing men sat around benches outside being rowdy and slurring their words all the time 
  • kids could watch whatever they want. When I came to the UK and found out Resident Evil (I was obsessed with it) was "age-restricted" and that kids my age couldn't be allowed to watch certain films it was, to say the least, quite a culture shock. There was no "think of the children!" mindset. 
I recall telling people that if our teacher came back to class during nap time and we were playing around or not sleeping we would get hit, they were so shocked; "Oh my god, they're hitting babies!" In my head, it just seemed normal (and I thought these people who were so appalled by it were just soft aha!)

As always, I am getting off track. To summarise: when you're exposed to that kind of environment it's easy to pick up bad habits. I was super into the gambling scene at one point. I was seven. I used real money. Adults would actively encourage me to join in (and I would lose the little pocket money I had from it). I don't want to brush over it as if it's not a big deal either, even at the tender age I knew - and everybody else around me knew - that it was a problem. I was never sucked into the world of "real" gambling thankfully, but I did find myself being a little too into online games like Texas Holdem and 8 Ball Pool.

At 15 I picked up the habit of smoking cigarettes because the boy I liked smoked, and it was easy to get my hands on them since my parents smoked in the bathroom and left their pack in there. I stopped when I was 16 so that one didn't manifest itself into a full adult habit - just a baby sized one that I was able to squish.

It's a sin that I spent so long explaining all this just to prove I was wired for addiction. I had unintentionally set up the tone of this post to be rather sombre when, in fact, this post is very lighthearted. I'm not here to understand the psychological mechanism which governs the business of habits, I'm here again to humble myself by sharing my flaws in hopes that others know we are all at different levels of a fuck up. It's a good bonding exercise.

1. Picking the dry dead skin off of my lips
Are you guys cringing already? How about if I tell you that I have chapped lips all year round and I pick it all the time - sometimes until it bleeds and gets sore. I know, so pleasant. I do wear lip balm and try to stay hydrated but honestly, the only time I did not have dry lips was when I was in Thailand.

2. Peeling my nails 
After a nice hot shower, my nails get really soft and I like to just peel it off (not the nail bed please don't shudder). Sometimes, when I'm bored or anxious, I'll just peel it off when it's dry. Sometimes I peel too far and I'm just like okay I fucked off can you reverse time to 2 seconds ago when I didn't realise how good I had it?

3. Being unable to hold eye contact
It's such an intimidating gesture to me and I know it helps in projecting confidence but I am just so terrible at it! This is probably why my charisma level is akin to a wet rag.

4: Not washing my jeans as often as it needs it
My justification for this is that I do not want the colours to fade. So, in order to tackle this problem, if I do happen to get a stain I'll get a sponge and scrub away just at that particular area.

5. Substituting coffee for a meal
When I make myself a cup before I eat, my appetite drops dramatically. I have been trying to improve this by only having coffee after I've eaten, though!

6. Reading in crap lighting for hours
When you get immersed in a really good book, it can be hard to do anything else but finish that chapter or get to the bottom of that twist! This means, when the sun has gone down and the only light source I have is coming from the moon, I stay there and insist on reading rather than get up and turn on the lights. I also somehow manage to stay in the same position for hours without budging, which subsequently means my back and neck aches for the next few days.

7. Using filler words
This habit of using words such as "like", "actually", "literally", "um", "just", and "seems" makes me come off as someone who isn't sure or believe the things she is saying. I know I lose a sense of integrity when I do this and it makes the recipient of this conversation less likely to be convinced by the words coming out of my mouth. I do this a lot still in many of my posts but I hope I'll improve.

8. Obsessively checking my phone
There's no need for me to browse my social media as I'm walking to work and yet that's exactly what I do. I don't get out of bed in the morning or go to sleep without giving my phone a last glance over (by glance I mean continuous browsing for at least 10 minutes). There's never ever anything new on it, I just find myself looking at the same thing on my newsfeed or twitter, I need to stop being to attached!

9. Not being involved with my health & fitness
I'm lucky in the sense that I'm naturally on the thinner side despite how much I lounge around and eat junk. This also may be contributed to the fact that I barely ever have real full meals. People seem to have this misconception that I must work out because I have "abs" when in reality they're just there naturally because I'm skinny.

Despite what my physical appearance looks like, I know I am incredibly unfit and cannot climb a few flights of stairs without my thighs cramping and lungs burning. I do walk everywhere I go which can be accounted for something, but I might take up jogging once I'm more settled in (I know you can tell I am making excuses and yes, yes I am).

10. Fidgeting
I'm that annoying person that is always clicking their retractable pen or bouncing their leg at the desk. It's always been a subconscious habit of mine and I don't realise how annoying it can be until someone else is doing it around me.


And there you have it! Another list for me to mull over and try to work on in order to better myself as a human being. I hope you enjoyed!

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