My nails have been mostly painted black since September. Occasionally I’d go for postbox red, sometimes classic French and over Christmas I painted a gold accent nail. But 90% of the time, my nails are plain black, which aids my niece’s theory that I am in fact a witch. Time for change!
I am not a girly girl at all but in honour of the arrival of Spring I’ve gone for pink. In the photo above it looks quite pale but close-up it’s a shocking shade of bubblegum. Yet three strangers stopped me yesterday to comment on my nails, including the model-like salesgirl in Topshop, so I must be doing something right.
There’s something very calming about doing my nails. It’s nice to take half an hour out of my day to concentrate on one tiny thing instead of worrying about the vagaries of life. Being a perfectionist means that the task of doing my nails can be extremely satisfying and makes me feel like I’ve achieved something, which is an important device in the battle against clinical depression.
My tremors make it super-hard to do my nails – I can’t paint them freehand anymore because it’s a total mess, and I get frustrated and upset with myself. So I buy loads of full covers off t’internet for dirt cheap and do them that way.
I find that doing my nails is definitely an effective tool to alleviate the symptoms of mild anxiety and stress. It also distracts me from intrusive thoughts. And, of course, my hands look pretty!
Ring finger: Vintage, Mother of Pearl on silver – bought from a car-boot sale in Falmouth, Cornwall.
It’s small and simple and in no way unique but I love it because I was with my dad and my brother when I bought it (not that either of them remember!). I haven’t taken this ring off since I bought it in 2008 and I often wonder about who it belonged to before. I asked the woman at the stall about its history because its clearly well-worn but unfortunately she couldn’t tell me anything. Still, it’s fun to imagine the ring’s past owners and to wonder who will wear the ring after I let it go.
Middle finger: Silver Claddagh – another ring from Cornwall.
This ring was given to me by a very wise, very old Irish lady in 2005, when I was 13. It’s a very simplified version of the traditional Claddagh, but all the components are there: the crown and the heart held by hands. Again, I love the simplicity of the design.
I have not spent a day without wearing it since the woman gave it to me. At school I wasn’t allowed to do phys ed because I refused to take this ring off. I only ever take it off when my relationship status changes: if I’m single, the tip of the heart points outward, toward the fingertip (as it is now), but when I was in my long relationships the tip of the heart pointed inward, toward my self. I love following traditions and this is a big symbol of my Celtic heritage.
One of my friends once said, “If someone finds your body rotting in a ditch, you’ll be able to be identified by your ring! Any clued-up killer would pull out your teeth and cut off your tattoos, but if they leave your ring, we’ll be able to tell it was you!” Yeah, great. We’re not friends anymore funnily enough.
Also I punched someone in the face once and my ring left the print of the heart on their face which confirmed my status as a force to be reckoned with. Enough said.
Index finger: Amethyst column in sterling silver – I don’t wear this all the time but, when I do, it makes me feel strong and powerful. When I’m afraid or when I know that I might need to defend myself, I feel safe with this ring on my finger as it can cause that extra bit of damage.
I bought it in 2012 when I first completed 30 days without alcohol – the amethyst has long been associated with sobriety, and the strength and healing that comes with abstinence. As predicted I went back to drinking and drugs shortly after. I feel like a fraud when I wear it if I’m not sober, it felt wrong to see the reflection of the ring against my glass of wine. But I have done 37 days sober (!) and so I feel good to wear it again.
Ring finger: Moonstone on sterling silver – I adore this ring, it is so unique in terms of the design and the stone (the moonstone looks different colours at different angles and in different lights). I have a strong fascination and connection
It also makes me think of my little niece and nephew. My niece thinks I’m a witch, and she calls this my Magic Witches Ring. I told her it was moonstone, and she took this to mean that it is made out of the moon (she’s so sweet). My baby nephew has just started talking and he points at different sections of this ring and says, “Little triangle… Circle… Big triangle… MOON!”
Taken from crystal-cure: The moonstone can “bring good emotions to the wearer, while protecting those of a sensitive nature […] Moonstone is a very personal stone. It is a reflection of the person who owns it. It does not add or detract, only shows how it is. This is why the moonstone is said to perceive that which “is.””
My mental illnesses often give me a very distorted sense of reality – sometimes I lose touch with reality altogether. I wear this ring every day with hope that it can help me to realise what “is.” It also reminds me to just simply be.
Middle finger: This ring has no stories behind it, no special memories or powers. It’s just a decorative midi ring that I picked up in a charity shop which I wear to draw attention to my nails and to make a bit of a change from the norm. I think I paid 20p for it, and I’m sure that if I wore it for long enough it would turn my skin green! For me it’s always really important to mix things up with jewellery because I wear very plain black outfits most days – sparkly rings and huge earrings are the things that make my outfits different and more exciting.
Index finger: White opal and Mother of Pearl on sterling silver. Again, no real story behind this one – I just liked its structure and the complimentary stones. I also bought it because its quite “big” but still manages to look so delicate. I have other big rings that are like shields but always find them too heavy-looking on my tiny hands (plus, those huge rings tend to be pretty impractical anyway). But this one is lovely – I mainly wear it on special occasions.
Now, all I can think about is how weird hands are… Fingers are strange things… and imagine if we didn’t have palms, if our fingers came out of our wrists… I should probably go and take my meds and lie down hahaha