The Full story of my addiction:

As a kid I was a big time nail-biter. You know those children, the ones with tiny tiny little stubby nails because their fingers are always in their mouths? Yep, that was me. I continued biting my nails for most of my life, through elementary school and even high school. It never really mattered to me that my nails were short and stubby and ugly, what did I really need them for?

When I got to college things changed. I got sick of the ragged edges of my nails catching on soft fabrics, and sick of hiding this bad habit from friends. I started cutting my nails with clippers (well, most of the time...). I still kept my nails short but it was more convenient to have smooth tips. Eventually I stopped biting my nails, and slowly realized that biting my nails was one of the ways I dealt with stress. Instead of biting my nails I began attacking every rough patch or uneven surface on my cuticles. I'd pick and pull until my cuticles bled. Not only do bloody cuticles look far worse than nail stubs, they also hurt. I don't remember any time when at least one of my fingers wasn't in pain.

With a new bad habit to break (and a far more disgusting one if you ask me) I began to do some research online. Most advice said to get a manicure. The logic to getting a manicure seemed to range everything from "If you spend 25$ on a manicure you won't want to ruin it" to "nail polish tastes bad so if you start biting your cuticles you will stop when you taste the polish". For quite a while I resisted this advice, convinced that it couldn't possibly help me. I'm not a girly-girl and getting a "mani" was not on my to do list.

One day though, life changed. I began painting my nails more frequently (mostly out of boredom) and taking care of my hands. I picked up a cuticle trimmer and started to cut back my cuticles (I've long since moved to using cuticle remover, but not back then). This greatly reduced the rough patches on my fingers leaving nothing to bite or pull at.

It has been about a year now and my fingers are healed completely. I still have to be careful not to damage my cuticles, but it's less of a problem now. With a bad habit ingrained into my daily life for so long it is easy to cause damage before I realize I'm doing it.

So how did this develop into a nail polish addiction? Quite easily actually. I still pick at my fingers when I'm stressed and nervous.. but instead of hurting myself I just pick and peel at the polish on my fingers. Polishing my nails every other day isn't just because it's fun. :)

The Sally Hansen Cuticle trimmer that saved my hands. :)

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