Re: Thoughts and my cure - chill the **** out.
I am so happy to hear your story. It sounds like your head is definitely in the right place. A word of caution though, I didn't start seeing real progress with my lips until I completely stopped putting stuff on them. In fact, the constant moisture method was pretty much what I was doing all those years I dealt with this condition. I've probably spent a small fortune on aquaphor over the last 6-10 years and I honestly used to swear by the stuff. Still though, looking back I think that in applying it I was peeling my lips in the process. Short term it made my lips look better but long term it had the same effect as wiping my lips with my sleeve.
I'm hesitant to call what I'm doing now the "leave it alone method" because since I believe that this is a self-induced compulsion, leaving them alone doesn't really do the task justice. You can't just leave an OCD tick alone and hope it goes away. It takes hard work, a disciplined and methodical reprogramming of one's subconscious habits. In fact, it's almost the opposite of "leaving it alone". Each day I concentrate on not licking my lips, on not messing with them, or leaving water on them to soothe them. It was hard work at first but once I chilled out about my lips it got infinitely easier. Now that I don't have to carry around aquaphor anymore I feel physically lighter, like the weird feeling you get sometimes when you're so accustomed to having your phone in your pocket and then decide to leave home without it. It's great.
So based on my results, I would recommend trying to see if you can get by with nothing on your lips. I don't what to tell you what to do, and if constant moisture is working for you then by all means keep at it, but it does feel awesome not be a slave to those products anymore. I'd say I probably saw improvement within the first week or two.
Another thing that I should mention is that my father is a psychiatrist. I've come to my conclusions about this condition after consulting with him extensively. For lack of a better word, this "disease" is a real mind****. Having a trained medical professional to talk to about this has been incredibly beneficial for me and if it's an option for you I think you should consider it. In fact, when I finally consulted him about it my dad said he's seen (and treated) similar stuff in the past. I don't know why this hasn't been suggested to people before, but if E.C is affecting your quality of life as strongly as the consensus of the posts makes it seem, then I highly recommend people start seeing psychologists (As my dad would be the first to admit, psychiatrists might be a little quick to write RXs. Psychologists can't prescribe, only refer).
I've also gotten more into transcendental and mindfulness meditation, at my dads recommendation. A common misconception is that it takes hard work to see results from stuff like this, but modern research suggests otherwise. I try to practice 5 minutes in the morning when I wake up and 5 minutes at night. Hate to throw a wikipedia article out there but this is a great one for whoever is interested.