Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Requisite Resolutions Post

Last  year I had two New Year's Resolutions: update the blog more regularly, on Tuesdays and Fridays, and start flossing every day.  I managed to keep one of those resolutions - I'll let you figure out which one.  This year I have exactly one resolution.  I need to stop biting my nails.  This doesn't seem like such a hard thing, except that I've spent the last 20 years of my life trying and failing at this.

How can I do this?  I have tried fake nails (turns out those are bite-able, too), the bad-tasting nail polish, wearing a rubber band to snap every time I bite, wearing rings to play with, snacking instead - so far, nothing has worked even slightly long-term.  So.  Here I am.  My second-to-last resort (last resort will be trying hypnotism, or maybe wearing latex gloves 24/7).  I am going cold turkey, and I am going to post a picture of my hands each week so everyone can see my progress.  That might not sound like such a big deal, but anyone who knows me well (and is also observant) knows that I always hide my hands - I keep them behind my back, put them in pockets, make a fist, or hold my hands so that my nails aren't showing.

As a doctor, you can't really hide your hands so much.  I'm going to be shaking hands, taking notes, prodding people, poking people, percussing people, comforting people ... there are plenty of things I'll feel self-conscious about, and wondering if people are judging me based on my nails doesn't need to be one of them.  Plus, the last thing I need is to be putting my fingers in my mouth or picking until I bleed in a hospital setting.  I think I'm supposed to be trying to MINIMIZE infection, not inoculate myself.

So this is it.  Starting two days ago, I am not going to bite or pick at my nails AT ALL, no matter HOW UNEVEN THEY MAY BE (the thought is already giving me anxiety).  When I want to bite them, I'm just not going to.  And as always, I will share too much information with the internet.  And perhaps the shame of my ugly fingers will keep me motivated, yay!

Also, I've decided it's pathetic if I can't.  As far as I know, there is no actual addictive substance in my nails or cuticles.  As a doctor, I am going to be asking people to quit smoking, cut down on drinking, stop eating fast food, start exercising, stop doing drugs like heroin - how can I possibly expect anyone to change their legitimately addictive habits if I can't even stop biting my nails?

Soooo.... Here goes.... My nails.  Day 0.

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