Thursday, February 19, 2009

22 years of nail-biting down the drain...

There is a recurring theme among many nail polish fanatics:

Many of us are recovering and/or former nail biters.

For as long as I can remember, I was a nail biter. I remember seeing my sister's fantastic nails (and enviable long nail beds) and being green with envy. I was cursed with stumps and constantly gnawed at them.

This will probably be one of the few nail pictures I will not mark. It is so disgusting that I have no idea why anyone would want to take it. This picture was from my freshman year of college (please disregard the underage alcoholic beverage; this was the best picture I could find of the stumps). If this picture looks painful, it's because it was. I would bite as close to the quick as possible, sometimes breaking skin and drawing blood.

However, to circumvent this, I moved on to acrylics. I loved loved loved loved LOVED acrylics...I had them on almost non-stop from January 2004 to December 2006. However, whenever the acrylics came off, I was back to my painful chewing routine.

(Yes, they are porn-star-pink-and-whites. Don't hate.)

Around Christmastime 2006, I had a long streak of bad luck. During the midst of this, I lost my job and in turn gave up my beloved acrylics. My best guy friend gave me reassurance during this tough time: "Since all these bad things have happened to you so far, something really good has got to happen." On the last week of January 2007, I was on my way to England to study abroad for 5 months.

During this time, I finally learned to let my nails grow out. I was really tempted to go to the local nail salon for a full set but balked at the price. I soon learned to take care of my own nails. Strangely enough, despite my dependency on acrylics, I had the good sense to pack a manicure kit with my luggage. My first exposure to Zoya was while studying abroad thanks to my Canadian friend Krackie.

I don't know the name of this Zoya polish. All I remember was that it was a basic blue-tinged red creme.

As with all bad habits, there is always a chance of relapse. My only relapse was during a toga party. My nails were the longest they had ever been, but that night they were unpolished. I remember biting them off while I was talking to a very attractive friend of a friend during the party and being very nervous.

Note the right pinky nail.

I haven't bit my nails since May 2007. I don't get the urges anymore; even in times of extreme anxiety. Knowing how far I have come, I can't bear to bite again.

...Now if they would only grow faster!!!

FingerPaints Black Gumdrop


Unknown said...

I don't have a blog (so far), but I'm quite a NP fan... and I'm a former nail biter, too!
I gnawed on my nails for 20 years, and I stopped 20 years ago - thanks to nail polish (acrylics were unheard of, then).
You did a very good job! ;)


Flavia said...

Hi, I used to bite my nails too! I was able to stop a few times during my adolescence (I used to paint my nails black and draw on them with glitter gel pens) but then one nail would inevitably break, and I'd start biting all over again.
For my 18th birthday I got acrylics, but took them out soon after, because they didn't suit me.
Now I can say I will never bite another nail again, because not long ago I discovered *real* nail polish (I'm Italian, we don't have the great brands you have), and fell in love with it.
I'm so jealous of girls with beautiful, untouched nail beds, though. :(

Lucy said...

I bit my nails also but not very long. I was visiting at a friends house after church one Sunday. I was about 10 or 11. I guess I was chewing on my nails when my friends Grandfather came over to me. He said "take a long at these nails, do you want your nails to look like this". His nails were bitten halfway down and the skin was all red and scabby! I never saw anyones nails bitten that far down. They were really disguisting. I stopped biting my nails that day. I'm sure I had a few more times that I bit one nail off but never as much as I did. They were really gross nails. They must have been painful.

Brooke said...

I was never a nail biter. I used to have really long nails as a child. Like unusually long nails for my age. i remember one time I got into a fight with one of my sisters and my punishment was that my parents cut my nails. I was devistated!

I am loving that Black Gumdrop color. I need it :)

contests and such said...

Good for you!
I was never a nail-biter, only when one broke and I didn't have a file or clippers at hand.
My problem is my cuticle and the skin around my nails. I always bite or pick on those. I can't break myself of it!
Any suggestions?

The Asian Girl said...

eleonora--Thank you! I guess old habits CAN be broken after 20 years :)

Flavia--Wow, I remember those glitter gel pens, I was a huge fan! I wonder if they will work now with a top coat *ponders*

Lucy--Your granddad was right; they ARE very painful...I hurt looking at my old pictures. Maybe if someone had shown me that at an earlier age...but I was notorious for being stubborn :)

Brooke--that's awful! I remember my baby sister was forced to cut her nails on a regular basis, but that was due to her severe eczema. I was really impressed by Black's not identical to Chanel Vendetta, but the main difference is the black base vs. Vendetta's true purple base. China Glaze Midnight Ride is pretty similar too.

Nessa--I have many friends with the same could try being OCD with CND Cuticle Eraser and/or cuticle oils such as CND Solar Oil or OPI Avoplex...I will sometimes try to use my teeth to get rid of a troublesome hangnail (with disastrous results) and that oil doesn't taste very good at all. My parents used to try to break my nail-biting habit with iodine tincture by applying it on the nail bed and surrounding cuticle but it never worked.

The Pretty Brown Girl said...

I bit my nails furiously my entire childhood. The summer between Jr.High and High School, I decided I didn't want to anymore because I didn't want to start HS w/stubby, chewed up fingers. So I stopped. Simply stopped. I didn't start biting again until I had my second baby @ age 25.

I recently stopped again and begain my nail polish challenge this year. It's fun to have this routine of my polish change every weekend. I love how healthy my nails are and I vow to never bite my nails again. It can be done, even if I fall off the wagon every 10yrs, as it seems. :)

Phyrra said...

I LOVE Black Gumdrop! It's such a pretty color and it's nice to see you wear it!

I used to bite my nails, and that's why I started painting them, so I'd stop biting them. I also started keeping nail clippers and a file in my purse, on my nightstand, in the living room, in the bathroom, etc, so that if I ripped a nail or it chipped, I wouldn't be tempted to bite. I just reach for the clippers, clip if necessary, or I file.

The Asian Girl said...

Pretty Brown Girl--Whenever my nails look great, I have no desire to bite them...regular upkeep is the way to go :)

Phyrra--I had a lot of self-control when my nail snapped off a couple weeks ago...I don't know how I stood having a broken nail for 2 days without gnawing at it; if just for cleaning up the ragged edge.

Template by Exotic Mommie Illustration by Dapina