I’ve been biting my fingernails ever since I can remember. Two? Three? I was probably barely out of diapers when I started the nasty habit. I don’t even remember a time when I didn’t bite.
I don’t really know why I started, apparently it’s a form of self soothing. It’s also a sign of very low self esteem. Perhaps it was a learned habit? My mother bit her nails when my sister and I were babies and didn’t quit until I was probably five. She eventually grew fabulously long and beautiful nails but by then I was a chewer. My sister was a thumb sucker instead, a habit she managed to break early. She would have been teased terribly had she continued, but for some reason kids didn’t tease me for my ugly nails. If they did ever say nasty things about them, I didn’t hear it.
Sadly I continued nail biting all through school, and for another twenty years after that. Sometimes my fingers would hurt and even bleed, but I kept biting, worse and worse. Somewhere along the line I started sticking the bits of nail between my teeth, damaging them as well.
I had ugly, ravaged stump fingers for my wedding photos. I learned how to hide them for the most part, curling my nubs away out of sight. It always caused me so much embarrassment when anybody noticed them. What a filthy, dirty, disgusting habit! I know ALL the reasons why I shouldn’t, and I don’t understand WHY I still do it. It’s automatic, I bite on autopilot. Stressed, bored, mad, anxious… Driving, watching tv, scrolling on my smartphone, reading… I’ve been reading lately reasons for nail biting such as OCD or anxiety. I have not been diagnosed with either although I probably have a few of the signs. Then again, who doesn’t in this day and age?
Are you ready to see them!? Brace yourselves. Note that this photo is after 10 days of not biting.
I don’t blame people for gasping. I’ve never really done anything halfway and biting is (was) no exception. I am not kidding when I say extreme. This is ten long days of leaving them alone. 10 days of growth and healing time, and while other photos I have found on the Internet show nice enough looking nails by then, I still have a long way to go.
But I will get there.
I used a bit of a crutch to get through the start, some cheap, fake glue on nails from the pharmacy hastily applied the night before my daughter’s graduation. Those came off last night and some clear nail polish went on.
So, to get right to the point,
I will no longer bite my nails.
I quit smoking over 16 years ago by telling everyone I knew that I was going to be a non-smoker so that I would honour it. What better way to spread the word this time than broadcasting it all over the Internet?! ( I’ll just pretend people actually read this blog 😉 )
Are you a nail biter too? Join with me and we will kick this terrible habit together. If I can do it, biting for almost 40 long years, you can too.
I’ll update with photos as I
Tomorrow I am going to buy a bottle of hardener to use, either OPI nail envy or a Sally Hansen product, whichever I find first or is more affordable. After a month or so I will probably treat myself to a manicure. Stay tuned and cheer me on?! I could sure use some encouragement.
Still not biting! I have caught myself with my fingers in my mouth and my teeth under the nail edge a few times but I haven’t torn off any nail. I put Sally Hansen’s maximum growth polish on them every few days. They have little white edges now and will have for a while until my nail bed repairs itself. My cuticles are still thick and gnarly but a manicure will take care of that down the road when Im not so embarrassed to have someone look closely at my nails.