Hang Nail

I usually keep my nails very nice.  If possible, I have professional manicures done, in gel, because it can withstand anything and often lasts for several weeks.

It makes me feel as though I am put together somehow.  Even if the rest of me looks and feels likes dog poo, the nails are an outward sign that I am OK., I have myself under control.

In the last few months we have been in money saving mode so I have been doing my own manicures.  I have gotten better at them.  I went on YouTube like everyone else and watched a how to video.

But lately I have been swimming in a rehab pool and learning a great deal from the simplicity that is the warm, welcoming water.  This has been life changing for me.  I do all I can to never miss an appointment and work- out session.  I feel as though these work outs are holding me together just now.

The consequences of this new obsession are more flexibility and sore muscles, as as well as ruined nails and the occasional hang nail.

Hang nails, I believe ,are a symbol of something else entirely.  The physical hangnails I can take care of with money.  I just have to go back to the nail salon.  I finally caved in and did that.

So wonderful!  I look down at my hands and there is order.  No hangnails.  Just beautiful regularity and a perfect 10.  Don’t ask me why this is so important to me: I have no idea.

Okay, I lied.  I do have an idea.

Hangnails are a physical manifestation of my inner imbalance.  Inside of me there are many hangnails just now and I desperately want to chew them off or cut at them with sharp scissors. Unfortunately, I can’t reach them.

This is why I obsess on my outside.

I look at myself in the mirror and I see all of the hangnails.  I can fix the ones on my hands but I cannot fix the lines near my eyes or the way my arms look at 49.  I cannot seem to lose weight and my tummy is too round.  I can go on and on berating myself for hours.

I am not nice to myself.  I am angry with my body.  It has betrayed me.  I don’t feel like it even belongs to me anymore.  The endless aching muscles and shooting pain and fatigue are definitely not mine.  They landed like space aliens on me several years ago and have taken up residence.  I am ready to do anything to be rid of them. Each one is a damned hang nail unto itself, irritated and irritating.

No one outside this screwed up body of mine can understand what I see in the mirror or what I feel like on the inside.  Nor, can I do that for them.

But, we have to be gentle with one another, don’t we?

We should always assume that the nail biters are biting for a reason.  And the ones with the perfectly manicured nails might be giving us a clue to the chaos that lies just beneath the surface.

We all have irritated pieces of ourselves that we cannot reconcile to the whole of us.

It is in my nature to fight these things with anger.  Perhaps it is in another person’s nature to fight these things with aggressiveness. I don’t know.

I just know we all have hangnails: within and without.

I need help with mine.

Please remind me that I cannot tear them all out because they are a part of me.  I will try to do the same for you.

Maybe, together, we can learn to love all of our jagged, hanging, bits of self: Even the ones we don’t like.


2 Replies to “Hang Nail”

  1. I think this probably one of the most profound things I have read in a long time. Such incredible insight. Answers many things I have often wondered about. Love you immensly (I know that’s probably not a legitimate word, but I like it and mean it 😉

Comments are closed.