Whats a strange or bad habit you still do from your childhood?

I am a wolf-biter; and for those of you that don't know what wolf-biters/biting is, here's TL;DR a wiki-link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dermatophagia

Now for braver readers, the strange (and potentially disgusting habit) in my peculiarity:

I've been wolf-biting since as early as I can remember; before I ever suffered from (and was later diagnosed in my later teens with) anxiety. I considered it a pacifying ritual when I was maybe three or four, where I would lick the tip of my forefinger and press it repeatedly into one of my knuckles. The skin on my finger and on top of whatever knuckle I chose to perform this 'ritual', would harden and callous over; essentially the skin would be tougher here, and I'd lose a bit of sensitivity. If any of you are familiar with writer's corns (one of which I also have), skin to that effect.

When I grew out of the knuckle ritual, I started to bite and consume my fingernails. This was an incredibly painful process as a five-year-old, with no other reason than because I could; sometimes the nail would be torn too far back, and it'd bleed, and that particular finger would be immobilised for a few days until the pain subsided; while the nails themselves, the ones that I didn't play with, I'd chew on and bite into smaller and smaller pieces until they could be swallowed (not a very comfortable process either). I did that until I hit primary school, when nails became too difficult to go about biting, and the skin around particular nails (thumb and forefinger) had calloused over--

--And thus I became a wolf-biter. There's a bit of an art to it that I've perfected in my spare time (and by spare time, I mean rather unconsciously -- wolf-biting is not something that I commit to, it is usually something I do between moments, to whittle away time; it's only recently I noticed that I wolf-bite more when I'm anxious, when my nerves are shot from worrying or over-thinking certain situations). The callouses that would develop on my forefingers and thumbs would harden, and then, when left for too long, would painlessly blister, whereupon I would then pick at them and remove these hardened pads. Peeling off this skin is sometimes painful in areas that aren't ready to get pulled up, and so splotches of skin can become quite inflamed for a while; and where the skin meets the nail, this is where problems and sores start, and sometimes layers of previous pad-pullings will intersect and make the situation worse, which is when I actually start to physically bite.

When I was a child, I'd eat some of this skin (for those of you that are curious, it doesn't taste of anything; if you've been chopping garlic, maybe garlic) and throw the rest away. I developed three warts because of this, and would wolf-bite those for a reason that the above wikipedia article relates under OCD; the desire to remove unwanted areas of skin is, for me, trying to 'perfect' or 'smooth' areas which have become coarse or visibly unpleasant to look at. It's a vicious circle, because by removing the calloused pads of my fingers, I in fact encourage them to re-callous, and this has been the case for over a decade.

The wolf-biting has moved to different areas of my body, like the pads of my big-toes, and sometimes the heels of my feet, where other callouses are prone to develop simply because I do a lot of walking; but I've mostly stopped picking (as opposed to biting) these areas, because if I remove too much skin, or too much unready skin, it becomes painful to walk.

Because I am more conscious of wolf-biting now in my somewhat middle-age, I have taken to biting the inside of my mouth; a slightly more discreet and significantly less painful, form of wolf-biting. The skin on the inside of my mouth heals much faster than my fingertips or the heels of my feet, and so the whole vicious cycle is completed much more quickly; the only time it can be a little painful is when I drink something hot, or eat something with vinegar or alcohol in it.

By no means, this is not a habit that I am especially proud of. It just happens. It's a coping mechanism to get me through the day sometimes, whether I'm bored or anxious. I'm lucky I live in a part of the world which isn't so prone to infection, otherwise it would be more of a problem.

/r/AskReddit Thread