I did something today that I’ve never done before. I held hands with an Asian man for around an hour.

So most of you are probably wondering now, “What the heck is this crazy married lady doing telling the world she’s been holding hands with some other man?”

Well. It’s because of another first for me. I got my very first set of acrylic nails today at 29 years old.

Maybe that sounds silly to you. Who cares, Leah? Well- I’ve got a lot to say about the experience so hold onto your seat and read on.

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Fighting neurotic tendencies & using inspiration from Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis | www.MamaBearMartin.com

First of all, I feel like I have to address the big elephant in the room and say for the last year and 1/2 I’ve been biting my nails… No, not just biting my nails, but completely annihilating them on the daily.


I knowwwww.

Nope, not a habit I’ve had all my life. I just woke up one day about 18 months ago and suddenly I couldn’t keep my hands out of my mouth. Growing up, I actually had long, strong modelesque fingernails that any girl would be envious of.

Then I worked in a restaurant in my college years and learned to hate having long nails because of having to touch dirty plates all day. I actually caught staph from working there (Gag! Best post ever, MamaBear!), and it was actually a place I’d consider clean to eat. Soooo I’ve kept my nails cut very short these last 5 years until the infamous day came about 18 months ago when I unconsciously started biting my nails… then they went from being cut short to non-existent.


My fingers haven’t had the nail to protect the tips of them so they stay sore, swollen, or bleeding 99% of the time. Super fun! And no matter how short the nails would get, I keep on keepin’ on chewin’ those bad boys.

No. Limit. No tap out.

TMI, yet?

Girl, Wash Your Face, erm, or Girl, Go Get You Some Acrylic Nails!

I recently read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, and I genuinely feel like God called Rachel to write that book just. for. me. Parts of that book touched places in my heart and mind that I’ve never reached on my own. I’ll be talking about it more in several upcoming posts.

I read the entire book in like 12 hours, y’all. I underlined more than half the text, and I wrote notes all over the pages. I’m gonna read it again, and I’ve never re-read a book in my entire life. I want to absorb every little nugget of wisdom she has to share.

In her book, Rachel addresses topics like the weakness that we hide within ourselves for fear of judgement, and crutches we use to numb those painful places. I especially love how she says loud and clear that ANYTHING you use to escape from the world is a crutch.

ANYTHING, y’all! Socially acceptable methods or disgraceful methods. ALL. OF. THEM. Freaking knitting, painting nudes of cats, making ice cream sandwiches, drinking, smoking, prescription pills, whateva your flavor it’s still a crutch.

She asks her readers to stop hurting their bodies. Gah, if you know my life story then you know how that spoke to my soul! I could no longer deny that the extreme nail biting situation I’d gotten myself into was a way of punishing myself and feeding my neurotic tendencies.

So that brings us full circle to me holding hands with an Asian man for the first time while he files down what little is left of my fingernails. It was almost comical how little nail he had to work with, y’all.

The small section of my brain where crazy has cut out a hole and set up camp was so happy to see the long fingernails as they were being put on. Like- a piece of my mind couldn’t wait to just tear them off piece by piece like I would do with my own natural nails.

That’s when I really realized how long overdue getting a set of hard, plastic acrylic nails over my real nails to protect them and let them grow has been. I’m planning to wear these fake nails not until my natural nails grow out, but until I can unearth and work through whatever emotion got me here in the first place.

Yuck. I don’t want to unpack those emotions, but I also really don’t want to bite my nails either, or house some kind of sickness inside my being.

On the upside I have fabulous looking fake fingernails that make me empathize with our old Tomcat when I would put these on him (Funny side note: he would lie in the windowsill the next day, death staring me in the eye while he removed each cover one by one. He always won that war. The furniture was the big loser.), but I now have nails that can actually scratch places that itch and function to peel stickers off of paper. You know- general human tasks that require fingernails to be well done.

Let’s Get Real Real

I have to admit to myself and to my dear readers that in the last year I’ve gotten away from a big part of why I started this website in the first place- to share pieces of my heart with other mothers who I hope will feel uplifted, realize they are not alone, or be inspired to better themselves for their families.

If this article feels like it’s come out of left field then you’re right. I usually keep things fairly tight laced around here, but it’s not how I started and it’s not how I want to continue on.

Informational posts will definitely still be shared here. I have quite a few Keto posts I’m cooking up, but…

I want to be more open. I want to risk being real here… even if no one reads it. <3

What neurotic tendencies do you struggle with? How do you cope?

Let me know in the comments below.

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