I don’t remember exactly when I started to bite my nails, but I do remember when I acknowledged it as a problem. I was a girl, probably around 9 years old when my dad caught me and said: Don’t do that, you’re smarter than that.
When my dad told me that, I felt ashamed of myself.
Since then I’ve been very sneaky about my nail biting, I hide it from people I know will give a hard time if they see me.
My compulsion comes and goes, and I’ve actually been able to “quit” for years, but it always comes back.
Biting my nails makes me feel embarrassed, weak, and it can cause me actual pain. I’ve bitten my fingers so much to the point of making them bleed, and sometimes not even that will stop me.
I wish I knew how to stop it for good, that I had a solution that really works forever. But the only thing I can say is that to me it works as some sort of addiction, and I need to always be careful with it so I don’t relapse.
One of the things I’ll try to do now is stop making up reasons to do it, “my nail chipped, I need to fix it”, “this part doesn’t feel smooth, I’ll just do it this one time”. I need to understand that this is just my brain, inventing fake reasons to do something unhealthy.
I’m trying really hard to leave the embarrassment and shame on the side, and focusing on calming down, and asking myself if I’m feeling ok when the biting starts.
Usually my nail biting speaks about anxiety or stress that I’m feeling during a particular time. If there’s no stress, no anxiety, I’m much less likely to bite them.
Now, it’s nail polish season for me again.