318. I’ve Got a Bad Habit

Generally on my blog, and in my life overall, I tend to focus on the good.  I focus on building good healthy habits.  I focus on the positives when things start to get me down.  What can I say? I’m an undying optimist.  Today, though, we’re talking bad.

Despite all the good healthy habits I’ve built over the last three years of my life, I still have many a bad habit.  I’m awful at cleaning up after myself.  I can be really terrible about saying “Thank you.”  I don’t take compliments well.  I leave my wet towel on the bed.  I’m sure there are a ton of other tiny habits and idiosyncrasies that you could consider bad habits of mine.  For the most part I think my bad habits probably bother other people a lot more than they bother me, but there is one bad habit of mine that actually makes me crazy.

I am a nail biter.

I’ve been a nail biter my entire life.  It never really bothered me as a child or teen.  Really, it never bothered me much at all until recently.  Growing up people always told me what a terrible, disgusting habit it was.  In grade school we did a science experiment that involved putting touching out finger tips to a petri dish and the watching the bacteria from our fingers grow in the dish.  I shouldn’t have been disgusted, but I was perfectly content to continue biting my nails.

And bite my nails I did.  And I didn’t just bite them, I destroyed them.  I would bite them to the nubs and the point where they would bleed and hurt.  You’d think that would deter me, but it didn’t.  Sure, there were attempts to quit, but they never took.  I tried manicures, fake nails, that nasty tasting stuff you put on your nails to deter you.  Then after my friend’s wedding in October 2007, I managed to quit biting my nails – for the most part.

I’d still bite and pick at my nails when they got “too long,” (I really dislike having long nails.  If I can’t feel my nails pressing into my palms when I make a fist, they are too long for me.) but I didn’t bite them to the point where they were destroyed all the time.  I’d also chew and pick nail polish off in lieu of biting, but I didn’t actually bite my nails.  And for the most part, they usually looked really nice.

Lately that’s all changed.  I’ve been biting my nails and picking at my cuticles worse than I have in years.  And truth be told, it’s starting to really bug me, but I just can’t seem to stop myself.


So now my goal is to stop again.  I’m not really sure how since there wasn’t any real strategy the last time I quit biting; I just sort of stopped.  I guess step one is to start by paying more attention because more than anything, my nail biting seems to be a mindless habit.  So help me out friends: any former nail biters out there that have tips for me on quitting?

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