A Real Nail Biter

So, I haven’t really wanted to admit this in writing (although a few people already know it), but I have a dirty little secret:

I’ve started biting my nails again.

I know what you’re thinking: Geez, Justine! What are you, twelve again?

I know. I know. It had been years since I’d nibbled. But sometime during my last semester of college I started up again.

It began innocently enough. A nipped cuticle here, a peck at a thumbnail there. But that’s how it begins. Soon I was gnawing my fingertips ragged, and now I’m lucky if there is any white at the end of my nail at all.

You don’t have to tell me how bad this is. I know. Germs. Unsightly hands. Embarrassment. There are a myriad of reasons NOT to snack on your fingers. So why do I do it? Simple:


I carry my stress in my shoulders and in the bitten-down nubs of my fingernails. Under extreme duress, I can turn a set of perfectly healthy nails into 10 mauled victims in minutes flat. It doesn’t matter if it’s a scary movie, an intense car ride, or the concern that I will never get a job ever — my fingers bear the brunt.

But I’m trying to quit. Really. But sometimes I forget. So if you see me nibbling, kindly point it out to me. (And if you could do anything about the tension in my shoulders, that would be great, too!)

On the upside, I think I may have found another (healthier) means of dealing with my stress. Remember how I joined a gym? I went tonight! And loved it! I miss being in shape. And working up a good sweat feels better than chowing on my fingers any day. Thus the most recent life lesson:

Life lesson #153: Endorphins make everything better.

And since I’m paying for it, I think that makes me about a billion times more likely to stick with it. Win-win!