I have something to admit…. I’m a nail-biter. I’ve got a stack of nail files in my bathroom cabinet that never get used.
My nails will no sooner start growing… then I watch a scary movie, or sit through a boring talk, and all that’s left of them is a jagged mess.
I was reminded about my poor nails this week at work, when I got chatting with a lovely colleague while making a cup of tea. Looking down, I couldn’t help but notice her lovely long, shiny pink nails wrapped around her tea cup.
Before I could stop myself, I found myself commenting on her beautiful nails – and asking what it took to keep them looking so stunning.
She enlightened me on the world of acrylic nails… and then told me something that suprised me.
Apparently – underneath the shiny exterior of her perfectly shaped pink nails – her real nails were thin and brittle. Years of applying acrylics had left them in a shocking condition. So bad in fact that she now had no choice but to continue forking out money each month for the acrylics.
You may be wondering what nails have to do with bipolar. Well, hang in there – I promise I have a point.
My nail revelation taught me something. You see, there’s times in life when we as mums can be like shiny pink acrylic nails.
We present with a happy face at school pick-up or work… looking, for all the world, like we are perfect mums with perfect lives. But underneath this ‘perfect’ exterior, we can be hiding our true selves: our pain, our brittleness, our troubles.
My challenge – to myself and to you – is to acknowledge that life isn’t always shiny and perfect. To know that life is much more like my poor nails… irregularly shaped, jagged and prone to being decimated during periods of stress.
It’s when we can show our true selves to each other, that we realise that noone has a perfect life. Nobody has everything together all of the time. Nobody’s life is without its own troubles.
We all have things that we struggle with – whether that be a mental illness like bipolar – or something else. We should feel free to be honest about what we are going through.
Who knows what’s going on beneath the shiny exterior of those around you?