I got snake bites in December – it had been something I wanted to do since I was young, so I did it. A happy byproduct was that my lip hurt so badly, I couldn’t bite my nails. I was able to grow them long enough to cover them with fakes, and today, I took the fakes off. I didn’t realize it had been literally 6 months until I posted a progress pic.
I have never gone this long without biting. My nails have never been this long. I’ve been biting my nails since I was a little girl. 6 months ago, I had no nails on my ring fingers because I had bitten them completely off. Every finger was swollen and inflamed. I could not stop myself. Pain, infection, barely being able to use my hands because the fingertips hurt so bad did not dissuade me.
I have considered this my first addiction. It’s also now considered a symptom of OCD. That gave me a lot of peace when I understood that. It’s how I felt. I couldn’t stop until I felt I was done. Any bit of nail, when I couldn’t leave my ring fingers alone, it was an obsession to get all of the nail bitten. I was in agony. My fingers were bleeding and throbbing and I couldn’t stop.
It made me feel so weak and powerless. This probably doesn’t even blip for most as any sort of accomplishment, yet for me… I can’t think of anything bigger. I feel like this opens doors to so many possibilities. I stopped a 31+ year old addiction/bad habit/compulsion. This has been so embarrassing, and I couldn’t stop.
I stopped when I stopped trying to stop. I looked at the situation and realized this is a life long habit here. I’m not going to break it by brute force, and I’m not going to hate myself into taking better care of me. So…I had to accept it. “What you resist persists” Jung.
I stopped trying to change it. I stopped trying to be or feel any way besides this is what I do. This is what I am doing. Then I got the snake bites and I stopped. It was that simple. It was not a plan, it wasn’t anything but Synchronicity. I finally did the one thing I suck at most: I asked for help. I’ve been asking for help. Call it prayer, meditation, talking to myself: I asked how I can stop hurting myself.
It seems as though the way one stops hurting themselves is to finally allow them to be themselves. The hateful version of me loves pain and suffering. The loving version of me loves growth, expansion, and understanding. I only met the loving version of me by — this is pretty revolutionary — loving me. I keep treating myself like I treat my kids. My friends. A complete and total stranger. That, I think, is when I really started making progress: why am I nicer to a stranger than myself? Then it became: why do I even remotely care what other people think of me? If they don’t accept me.. why is that my problem??
Ultimately, it wasn’t about physically stopping the biting. It was emotionally healing the war within. It was cultivating a genuine desire to not hurt myself anymore. It was understanding why I do want to hurt myself. It was celebrating all the things I did instead of didn’t. It was asking for help finally.