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Two days ago, while searching for sources for my own thesis in my school library, I accidentally stumbled across the thesis of a woman written six years ago about Trich. It wasn't a perfect fit for me, since I pick at my skin primarily, and only pull hair as sort of a random secondary behavior, but it seemed like fate. It was especially a revelation to read that people with these types of disorder are actually physiologically different in their brain makeup than people who don't have this type of problem. That is crucial for me. I've been doing this to my skin since I was thirteen--so, over half of my life, and while I've managed to kick bad relationships, cigarettes, nail biting, and a host of other "bad habits", I can never seem to shake this one. Reframing it so I don't think of it as a habit really helps me feel less weak and frustrated and confused. If I'm so strong, why does this still master me? I'm sorry, I'm usually a lot more coherent when I write, but I'm just kind of getting this down as it pours out of me. I've never met anyone else who does this habitually, and I'm not what you'd call a joiner, so I've been reluctant to get involved in forums, etc. But I've never found anything that works, so it makes sense to me to talk to experts--that is, other people going through something similar. My particular brand of picking is widespread--mostly my upper arms and face, though honestly, no place is safe from my roving fingers. It's been getting worse lately, creeping down onto my forearms, back over my shoulder blades, down my chest and stomach and legs. Actually, it started with my legs, all those years ago...and my mom caught me at it a couple of times and told me to stop, which I somehow translated into attacking my arms instead. Over the years I've learned my body, I know what my arms will look like in twenty minutes, an hour, later today, next week, depending on the extent to which I pick right now. I rarely pick so deeply that I cause infection, but often it's a challenge to find flesh that isn't picked over already--it's like a carpet of beestings. And then scabs. My arms are so scarred, I call it alligator skin. I can't stop, and it's hard to share. Sometimes I find myself blurting it out matter-of-factly to people, "I have this condition..." but usually I never, ever mention it. I wear long or quarter-length sleeves, and while summer used to be my favorite season, now winter is, because it provides more opportunities to cover up this issue. I'm not sure what my goal is, writing here, but like I said, I've never met anyone in person who has any idea what is going on with me, so I'm here to meet people like me. Plus, while I've had therapists who want to help, and offer their best guess, specialists are expensive, so I've never really talked to anyone experienced in treating this issue. Anyway, this entry has gone on far long enough. Thanks for reading.