Sunday, August 12, 2018

A post about me, anxiety, the endocrine system, and beauty standards

I still can't believe these are my actual nails 😍 And that means a lot to me, superficial as it sounds. Why?


Growing up with anxiety, I bit my nails for nearly seventeen years and was never able to find a way to curb it, despite being scolded for bad habits or having it explained to me what a gross thing I was doing.  I always had short, stubby nails that I felt made me look ugly, and all my barbie dolls had beautiful long painted fingernails.

Now that I'm older, my anxiety isn't better per se but I've been able to at least outgrow this one bad habit and gotten to enjoy growing out my nails and painting them, and feeling good about them. In the past seven years I've been in a constant battle against my autoimmune disease to keep my nails long and paint-able, and experimenting with nail shapes each time an inevitable break happens. Because with a thyroid condition, your hair and nails don't grow as thick or as strong and break wayyy easier (and in my experience, they also take longer to grow). 

I get that it seems vain, once when I had just started growing them out, when I was working at a grocery store I broke a nail and said "aw, I broke a nail!" and a customer made fun of me for it. I still remember that but I brush it off, he didn't know what it meant to me. But it's an important reminder that everyone is dealing with their own demons and while immediately making fun of someone to their face might be the easiest response for you, it's probably not the most helpful response for anybody involved.

I'm happy that I get to have another hobby and a way to express my art but it is true that it's vain to get too involved in the beauty that's only skin deep. I see it as a personal victory over anxious compulsions and proof that the person I am isn't constrained by what I think I can or can't do, because that can change.

Thanks for reading <3