Blogger Backgrounds

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


It started when I was a baby and I would suck my thumb.

When I was 4, my mom decided it was time for me to stop that habit. She told me "big girls don't suck their thumbs." We agreed that when I turned 5, I would be a "big girl", and it would be time to stop.

I turned 5 and quit sucking my thumb.

(Although after my parents split up the next year, I would sometimes ask permission to do it again when I was extra sad.)

But I still couldn't keep my hands away from my face.

I started biting my nails instead.

I bit them all the time. I would even bite them so short that they would bleed. People asked me all the time if they hurt. Most of the time they didn't because I was just used to them being like that. I was also a bad influence on my best friend - she started biting her nails because I bit mine. Sorry B!

Somewhere around junior high I think, I really started actively trying to quit. It took YEARS before my nails looked nice more often than they looked bad. Somewhere along the line, the biting mostly turned to picking. I would pick at them and fiddle with them until I'd torn them short again.

And then I realized the condition of my nails was a direct reflection of my stress level.

When my stress level was fairly small, my nails would be long and pretty. But once the stress started piling on, I would pick and pick and pick at them until there was nothing left.

(My nails were mostly always short during my first marriage. They got much better after we split up.)

Then I got pregnant with Pirate Baby. Pregnancy hormones are AMAZING!!! My nails were longer and thicker than I could ever imagine! When he was born, I was so stressed during the time he was in the hospital that I destroyed them again. But it didn't take long for them to grow back out. I've now gone more than 3 months with them always looking pretty. I actually even have to cut them back sometimes! (I don't think that's happened more than a couple times in the past!) I think this is the longest I've gone with them constantly looking nice. I used to have a problem with them peeling once they'd been long for a while - hasn't happened in over a year. Life is just pretty darn good these days. I have an incredible husband, two great kids, a nice house and a quiet life. Those balance out the other hard things of Pirate Surfer's health issue and my dad's death.

I feel pretty blessed, and my nails are a good reflection of that.


B. said...

I'm glad your nails are looking so good (and therefore your stress level is so low).

In order to not chew on mine, I've gotten into the habit of clipping and filing them so short that there is NOTHING sticking out to chew on.

The down side to that is that when I am stressed now, I chew on the finger itself, around the nail (which inevitably results in bloody fingers and lots of band-aids.)

MTGrace said...

Yup. Been there. Hey, it's a step up.