Breakdown bad habits. Does my bad habit have a positive effect on my life in some way? I haven’t thought about it in that way before.

I own what I am (I own who I am). A nail ripper, occasionally biting for optimal success of nail removal. Well, you can see the photo, how successful have I been? It is a mostly subconscious act, generally occurring out of boredom or anxiety (or so I believe). I have struggled to understand its purpose in my life; I have struggled to understand why I do it. But that doesn’t stop me from doing.

I once had a theory that it served as a mild form of self mutilation. We all have dark days, and on my dark days my nail destruction is at its worst. My theory posited that I stripped away my nails to nothing so that I could feel the pain on my fingertips as the nail is separated from its superglue bond to my skin. Because sometimes we need to feel something in a sea of nothing and numbness.

Yet, maybe I do it to free my skin from the suffocating nail. My fingertips are personified as they plead with me for freedom from their captors. I have no problem coming to their rescue and slaying the beasts who maraude themselves as protective nails. The skin underneath itches to be free, and I say freedom to all the skin on our fingers! (I’m sure there is some logical [medical?] reason to keep them around…but really, I don’t see it. I have long since broken free from societal demands to be the unattainable “normal,” the stereotypical woman, the predictable.)

So, maybe my bad habit does have a positive effect on my life and outlook. Maybe I see it as one more way to be subversive. Maybe I see it as one more way to relieve stress and tension in my life. Maybe it serves a greater purpose to remind me that physical and emotional pain are connected, and I must remember to fight with kindness as my weapon. Maybe once I embrace my bad habit, I will be able to let it go and find better outlets for all of these other “maybes.”


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