I’m a 21 y/o individual. Recently, I developed a lie bump on my tongue, my assumption is that it resulted in splitting of the papillae, hair-like projections underneath my taste buds. The lie bump emerged not too long after I bit into a BBQ rib that was very acidic/hot/spicy.
It bothered me for about two days. I remembered back to when I was younger, since I’d developed them before, as a child. I remembered taking nail clippers and feeling ultimate bliss when I would attempt to remove an irritating group of red and white lie bumps. It would be soothing and oddly satisfying for me to do. For awhile, i’d find myself tearing each one off in the mirror and aside from the blood and soreness after each pull, I felt satisfaction.
Today, I pull, pick, and pluck trying to find the perfect one to take away, and eventually I realize my tongue is torn apart and bloody. For about two hours last night, I was picking my tongue’s lie bumps or tastebuds off. Today it varied between about thirty minutes to almost two hours of tweezing non-stop.
It’s disgusting, strange, and weird. But... I can’t help it.I enjoy it, it’s a pleasurable pain that somehow propels me internally; it makes me feel productive, like I’m doing myself a huge favor but pulling out anything resembling a bump, be it a taste bud or lie bump. I also feel like I’m somoehow doing myself a favor by crossing my pain threshold for the “greater good” of picking off each perceived bump; it doesn’t matter if it’s a lie bump anymore, I like to take off anything that looks like it doesn’t belong there to me even if they are taste buds, I don’t like how they look. My ideal tongue would be completely flat with no bumps.
However, what’s problematic is that once I keep pulling, I never realize that it’s harming me until the spots I picked have lowered and the surrounding area begins to rise into another area that is “bump-looking” and I feel the need to pull each of them too. So it’s this ongoing cycle and a pattern of compulsivity that can begin to feel daunting; it makes me feel like I’m never finished, even when my tongue is clearly bloody, sore, and irritated.
I listened to a TedTalk that talks about the way humans and animals aren’t very different, and that there’s almost this sort of natural and innate insanity to mammals for excessive grooming, anxiety, and compulsive behaviors.