Breaking Bad…

By October 15, 2012Mind & Body

One year ago, I would never have shown you my fingernails, much less put a picture of them on my website.  I must confess, my lifelong habit of nail-biting had reached its peak when I started purposely hiding my hands at social gathers because I was so ashamed of how they looked.  Crazy, right?  I knew it was time to break bad.

I created a long-term plan that included what I believed to be the key ingredients to habit breaking:

  1. I developed a relationship with a manicurist and made regular appointments.  This may sound luxurious, but I knew that she would play a vital role in helping me break bad.  (Thank you Dalia).
  2. I wore gloves at times when I was most vulnerable to partake in my bad habit, like when I while watching TV and driving. I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face that first night hanging out with bright green gloves on. I’m happy to report that I no longer have to wear them, but I keep them at my side just in case.
  3. I learned to take better care of my hands (TLC) and applied moisturizer every day.  Turns out that nurturing the hands actually feels quite good too.
  4. I started slowly with clear to very light color polish to avoid any attention to my hands while they were in transition.  I wasn’t sure if my hands would heal from the years of abuse. Color wasn’t in the long-term plan – nails were.
  5. On my one-year anniversary, Dalia–my sweet and supportive manicurist–inspired me to try color.  Big step! We started with a light shade of shimmery brown.  As my hands began to heal, the ridges slowly faded and it gave me more confidence to try a fancy dark brown

What I’ve learned along the way…

~ I love how our bodies can heal after years of mistreatment.  Through mindfulness and care, the body will heal.

~ Habits good and bad, are a reflection of our life performance.  If you look a little deeper, you’ll find the heart of the reason why it is a habit.  In this case it was stress and mindlessness.

~ If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve started this process a very long time ago.  This inspires me to break more unhealthy habits (excessive caffeine).

~ Starting new habits or changing bad ones take time.  And it is the journey that teaches us the most about ourselves.

~ My nails will never be perfect, but the remnants of my habit inspire me to be more mindful and live with less stress every day.

~ Most people are supportive and kind when you open yourself up and share your vulnerability. Having a base of social support is the most important ingredient to breaking bad.

One Comment

  • FlopEJoe says:

    Congratulations on your milestone and I know your plight very well. I’ll probably never have normal fingertips or nails but at least I don’t feel the need to hide them anymore. Have a wonderful bite free new year!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.