I’m Addicted To ChapStick


You know the well is running dry when you’re doing posts about ChapStick but according to a friend of mine, ChapStick is one of the most commonly listed items amongst the top five things that women say they can’t live without in their online dating profiles, so I know I’m not alone in this. And I also know I’m probably not alone when I clarify that by “ChapStick” I’m not referring to that particular brand necessarily, but anything from Blistex to Burt’s Bees to YouDaBalm to whatever, so long as the product that I’m using to coat my lips, provides that waxy, sometimes menthol-y, sometimes fruity, but always soothing layer of relief, anywhere from thirty to forty times a day.

No joke. I’ve never bothered to count the actual amount of applications I dispense over a twenty-four hour period, but I’d say three dozen would be a modest estimate. It’s pretty ridiculous.

I’m not quite sure when my addiction to ChapStick developed exactly. I’ve always used it, all growing up that is, but I do remember a time when I could live without it. A time when using ChapStick was specifically reserved for when I had chapped lips. However, somewhere along the line, I’m guessing about ten years ago, my lip balm usage took on a life of its own and now I find myself constantly at the mercy of my Smacker supply, leading to regular bouts of stress for me and occasionally interfering in the lives of others.

Let me give you an example. A number of years ago I went on a hike with my family. We were about twenty minutes into it (the average amount of time it takes before I start to itch) when I discovered that I had left my ChapStick in the car. Not wanting to panic right away, I told myself that the trail we were on couldn’t take much longer than another thirty minutes to wrap around. Seeing as I could still feel the sheen from the last application on me, I knew that while I’d be cutting it close, I wasn’t in any kind of dry-lipped danger zone so long as I immediately stopped smacking them together. I would now have to ration what little I had left, but I’d most likely avoid a catastrophe.

I couldn’t have been further off.

Another thirty minutes and I was informed that we had only reached the midway point in our journey. This was going to be a problem. I could feel the stinging setting in. Discomfort so daunting that I had to pick up the pace for all of us lest my respite never be received. I think it was about 92 degrees that day we decided to take a leisurely stroll around the lake and here I am dragging my family though the woods at the speed of sound before finally screaming at my father to “give me the keys!” and running off ahead of them just to douse my mouth in petroleum. From that point on “Do you have your chapstick?” would become a prerequisite question before trips to the train station, the airport or the grocery store, whenever I was with my parents.

And it’s weird because as debilitated as I am without it, I forget my Chapstick on a fairly regular basis, making for one hell of a collection. If I go anywhere, to dinner, the movies, the bar, and I don’t have it, I have to stop and get a new one. Even if I’m carrying a lip gloss with me! Lip gloss is for inside. Any girl with long hair knows you don’t wear gloss outside, especially on windy days, if you don’t want your strands stuck to your face and covered in goo. So even when I have alternatives, I pack a balm for good measure.

When I’m inside though, forget it. Here are all of the places that you can find ChapSticks stashed around my apartment:

The Nightstand


Too many times I’ve made the mistake of thinking my lips were properly lubricated (bare with me, how else was I gonna say that?) before bed and then found myself debating whether or not I could make it through the night before finally throwing off the covers and reaching across my room to my dresser drawer for one. Not anymore. Better to keep it within arms reach and stave off the nightmares. 

The Vanity Drawer


This is my ChapStick’s home base. Like my own personal CVS. When one on the outside is on its last leg, this is where I come for reinforcements.

The End Table Next To My Couch In The Living Room


Where I’ve practically built a petroleum shrine.

In The Couch


In a pinch, never forget to check the cushions.

The Kitchen Drawer


With other survival tools like the flashlight and delivery menus.

My Hand


One time Jeff and I were watching TV and he went to grab the remote from my hand but what he found instead was my death grip on this double sided stick that he had actually bought me as a present. What can I say? You can never be too prepared. In fact I have a ChapStick on either side of me on my bed as I’m writing this.

So you can see how out of control my situation is. I’ve searched all over the internet for viable ways to put an end to my dependency but there is surprisingly little information on the subject. Most sites just cover the condition of being addicted but don’t offer any solutions. The ones that do, say that it’s a psychological problem and not a physiological one. My ass! I’ve gotten to the point where a lack of manufactured moisturizer leaves me cracked and flaking in thirty minutes flat which has made going cold turkey nearly impossible. The only psychological issue is the near mental break I’m in danger of, given I’m stuck without any reserves.

In fact I’m not sure I’ve met anyone who’s overcome their lip balm affliction. I’ve met people who’ve kicked cigarettes, alcohol, hard drugs, reality TV, but do recovering ChapStick abusers exist?

If they’re out there, I’d like to know.

OK, I feel Blistex Mango Medicated coming on.

  • http://hemborgwife.wordpress.com/ Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

    My husband claims I have now made him addicted to chapstick, he says before he met me he never used it and all my chapstick love rubbed off on him and now he to is addicted. I say bullcrap it is just before he did not know how dry his lips were and how wonderfully awesome Burts Bees was.
    I also have strategic places around the house for my chapstick and in my nightstand I have a ziploc filled with ones I bought when I was home in California to be dispensed throughout the year or when I am feeling down!

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      Awww, nostalgic chapsticks. Those are the best! I have one that I bought in Florida last time I was visiting my best friend and it tastes like coconuts. In fact, it’s too tasty. I have to reapply like every ten minutes when I use that one.

      • http://hemborgwife.wordpress.com/ Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife

        Haha sometimes to flavored ones are bad though like if you put it on and then you take a sip of water and it tastes all funky

  • Awesomely Over-Zealous

    LOL! Mango time that’s too funny – I have a fixation with my vicks vaporub at night I have to grab it and I’m the same with lotion. If I wash my hands I HAVE to lotion my hands or I will have a panic attack. I have tons of mini lotions – I don’t like to feel any ounce of dryness because it makes me feel weird and itchy. It’s just not pleasant. What’s your favorite chapstick?

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      I don’t have a favorite. It would be like asking a crack addict what their favorite type of rock is. It doesn’t matter to me so long as I’m getting my fix. There are ones that I don’t like. Burt’s makes this honey one that’s gross. Sometimes I’m even happy with a giant jar of Vasoline. Anything that gets the job done.

      • Awesomely Over-Zealous

        LoL – touche – too funny. I love Vaseline it’s simple and basic.

  • Lloyd Man

    I am never more than an arm’s reach from some form of lip balm. Never.

  • Food Booze & Baggage

    Oh, man just reading this forced me to go in my purse and find some to apply. Also, I totally listed lip balm on some questionnaire for online dating (I think 10 things if deserted on an island).
    In all seriousness I actually found by avoiding ones with petroleum in them, it has cut back on how often I feel I need to re-apply.

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      I thought they all had petroleum! I’m going to make a note of that and look for ones that don’t now. Thanks!

  • Michelle

    The more and more I read your blog, the more and more I realize how similiar you and I are. First your hate for Yoga (although now I understand it’s your best friend), our extreme obsession with being punctual, the fact that Kale is overrated, that one should not post a picture of their baby despite how cute they are, every other minute on facebook because nobody gives a shit and NOW THIS! I too am obsessed with chapstick. Must be the Rheel genes…we’re screwed.

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      You’ll be happy to know I gave up yoga. I found a kickboxing class that was more my speed. I don’t know why but I had a feeling when I was writing this, that it was something you were going to comment on also being addicted to. I think I need to do a post on punctuality though. If you want to see me get real militant that is.

  • Amber

    Can we start a Chapstickers Anonymous? I used to feel like I had to apply ChapStick every 20 minutes. Then a friend told me (good line for a CA commercial?) that both ChapStick brand and Blistex (my ChapStick main stays) had alcohol in them which meant although they were initially soothing, they actually dried out your lips so you have to use it more and therefore buy more! I looked on the ingredients and turns out it’s true. So in a way maybe CA is just like AA. Haha but I switched to one from a local convenience store made from beeswax and I apply it way less! It’s still an essential – I have one in my bathroom, by my bed and in every bag I use – but I probably use it more like 5 times a day rather than 50. So I guess you could say my alcohol consumption is healthier these days. CAs unite!

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze
      • Amber

        This… exists??? I can’t stop laughing. It’s sad that this is actually a real addiction for some people. But some parts of this website are so funny:
        “1. We admitted we were powerless over lip balm — that our lives had become unmanageable.”
        “8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

        I wonder if I’ve ever unknowingly harmed someone with my chapstick use…

  • Erin

    Just yesterday I was thinking (as I was applying my Burt’s Bees Replenishing balm) about this time at a wedding. Two women I had just met and I were hanging out (our s.o.s were in the wedding). One of the women reached into her purse, grabbed her ChapStick and was ready to apply it when the other grabbed the tube and tossed it in the garbage. She withdrew from a stash in her purse a natural, homemade lip balm and insisted that she NEVER use ChapStick again (and went on to tell a story about all the chemicals that are in ChapStick, etc.). A couple of hours later the ChapStick-banished woman was pleaing with wedding guests to spot her some ChapStick. She was a bona fide ChapStick addict, and the natural lip balm just didn’t cut it.

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      That just made me laugh out loud. I was half hoping it would end with the lady face down in a garbage can, digging through vodka bottles and half eaten wedding cake to get to her forsaken friend. And while I appreciate the intentions of the lady who threw it in the trash, unless she was giving the first woman her all natural lip balm, she was really doing her a disservice because she what was she going to use in an hour when she needed another layer? I suppose exactly what she did do, which was beg everyone else in the room to show some mercy and spare a stick. Too funny.

  • http://www.wanderlyn.com/ Eternally WanderLyn

    Well, they do say that the first step is admitting you have a problem. See, you’re already on your way to a better ChapStick-addiction free you!

  • Mary

    So once…don’t tell my parents….I got in trouble with the law. While in the custody of said asshole cops (I swear I’m a good girl and this was a one time, never to be repeated instance) I asked the lady officer, assuming she would be sympathetic, if I could have my ChapStick. Her answer? “No, you could be addicted to it.” SERIOUSLY???? I had never heard a more idiotic thing uttered in my life, and mind you, I’m stuck next to a guy begging for prescription pills he clearly needed to let go of. I ended up telling Pill Head McGee off as my nerves were shattered from lack of ChapStick. But, for my heroics did they give me ChapStick? No, they did let me drink from a water fountain though. I really don’t know if there is a moral of the story other than be prepared. But mostly I think I’m just trying to say, I TOTALLY understand.

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      That is crazy! I can’t believe they confiscated it! I got in trouble one time too and I had to spend the night in the holding cell and you better believe I held onto that stick like it was a shank. And much like your pill fiend neighbor, I was stuck next to a woman getting dope sick all night. They did offer me water and milk but I declined because I didn’t want to have to go to the bathroom at any point. It was in the middle of the room with about forty women piled on top of one another. If I didn’t have my chapstick, I don’t know what I would have done. More power to you.

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  • Rachel!

    I too am a chapstick addict!!!! I have been in similar situations as your hiking one and I thought my lips were going to fall off! I try to have multiple chapsticks with me at all time to avoid that situation. Just the other day my friend was making fun of me because there were 7 different chapsticks/ lip balms on my night stand. And I agree that lipgloss is NO substitution for chapstick.
    I have been told that using chapstick too often does cause your lips to not create/retain their own moisture…which creates the never ending cycle of chapstick use!

    • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

      Rachel, just where the hell have you been? If I don’t hear this long haul trucker story at some point I’m not sure what kind of rampage I’m going to go on.

      • Rachel!

        hahahah! I know! I keep meaning to tell you the story and I keep putting it off..shall we say slacking off? Here is the story: We all have those times when we are having completely irrational emotional bursts of crying. I was on this birth control a few years that made me cry ALL OF THE TIME (and I am NOT a cryer). One day I found myself bored and sitting at home watching Maury Povitch (feel free to judge…but there aren’t a ton of options for mid day television and I worked evenings) and the show was on Long Haul Truckers and all that they go through for their work. I found myself sitting on the couch, sobbing saying “these poor truckers are on the road for soooo loooooooonnnngg!” Then I snapped out of it thinking, WTF, why am I crying about drive time of a long haul trucker??!! So now whenever I am having an emotional outburst for no reason – I call it a Long Haul Trucker moment!

        • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

          Hahahaha! That brought a tear to my eye. From laughing hysterically. God, I have had those moments. I usually blame it on a hangover but I find myself freaking out in the weirdest situations. i cried once when my brother was late picking me up from the train station. It was an extremely emotional week but I was like “You don’t love meeeee!!!!! Ahhhhhh!!!” Can’t be on all the time, you know?

          • Rachel!

            The worst part about when I am having those crying outbursts, I tend to realize there really isn’t a reason I should be crying like that, and I start to laugh…but I am still crying…so I look crazy. It happend this past Friday and my roommate (who is a guy) was like…”Did you just start crying…and laughing?!” So embarrassing!

          • Mcgyvra

            I love this tidbid from Rachel. First off, I just love inside joke references. Secondly, because we when we say it in the office no one knows what we’re talking about. “How was your weekend?” “Oh, it was pretty good except I was totally long haul truckering Saturday night….” Rachel is awesome!

          • http://www.therheeldaze.com/ RheelDaze

            I’m glad I’m finally in on it!

  • http://habitualhomebody.com/ Alycia

    thanks for stopping by my blog today. i was happy to share your post! i wanted to share my own lip gloss addiction story too. i have about 5 in my nightstand, 2 of which are completely empty but they are there ‘just in case’ i can’t find any of the others. i have 2 in my work cubicle, 1 in the car, there’s always at least 1 in my winter jacket from the winter before and then i get excited when i find it. and i also always panic if i don’t have one! it’s the worst feeling…actually idk whats worse. the panic of not having one or chapped lips! i hope all that lip gloss doesn’t give me cancer after all these years :/

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