The Nervous Nail Biter
Hi, I'm Liza and I am a nail biter.
I have bitten my nails for as long as I can remember. I'm not entirely sure what started it – although my Mumma is convinced it was this time she left me in a creche and I thought she had abandoned me – but I've always been an anxious person so part of me thinks it was inevitable that I would have found a coping technique.
I don't particularly like that I bite my nails, but I've tried everything to give up: that horrible nail polish, being bribed, sheer will power. It would last for a few weeks, maybe a few months if I was doing really well, and then the nibbling would begin again.
Why am I telling you this?
For a long time I have been ashamed of my nails. I would love more than anything for this to be an advice piece on how I magically gave up, but it's not. Instead I'm telling you that it's okay to make peace with it, I have. I haven't given up giving up, perhaps one day I too will kick the habit, but I'm not going to berate myself anymore.
Last year I started wearing false nails full time, and it makes me feel a lot better about my hands. But I want to tell you, if you bite your nails too, that it's okay. You've chosen a coping technique, we all have them, and if you can't quite give it up then don't beat yourself up about it. Maybe you will one day, maybe you won't. As coping techniques go it's certainly not the worst one. And you know what, it might even be a little bit good for you: all those germs going into your mouth actually turn out to be immune boosting!
As for my false nails, since I can't quite afford to get them done professionally just now I rely on a wonderful brand called Kiss . It's about £8 for one hundred blank ones, which I paint myself, and a full set usually lasts me a week. It's an affordable way for me to feel a little better, but I'm trying to be okay about when I don't wear them too.
So, nervous nail biter, panic not. Phil Collins and Eva Mendes are nail biters, and they're pretty wonderful people aren't they? Which brings me to this little poem that I discovered and love:
Some people manicure their nails,
Some people trim them neatly,
Some people keep them filed down,
I bite 'em off completely
Yes, it's a nasty habit, but
Before you start to scold,
Remember, I have never ever
Scratched a single soul.