When I started 'picking' at my skin four years ago, I did it because blemishes scared me and I wanted them gone. I was unaware I would soon be labelled as 'mentally ill.' When I didn't know anything was wrong with me, I told no one about it, and I was at my worst. Then one day I had to put on more make up than usual. Even on my arms. An ex-best-friend told everyone I knew about my very visible flaw. People avoided me, and I avoided people. Marijuana brought me temporary happiness. When the high wore off I I would crave food, after that I would lose control of my fingers as they examined every pore. I'm not sure when I realized I had an addiction to my skin, when I did I told my doctor and my mom. Since then I've seen countless doctors, a hypnotist, and dermatologists. After seeing all these people I learned the only one that could help me is myself. I put up signs, cut my nails off as a reminder, and opened up to other people in my life. I drew a picture of my 'illness' for art class. I didn't intend for anyone to see it but the teacher. She put it up on her wall in her office without my permission. She doesn't tell anyone who made it but I think it's pretty obvious. Only recently I started to make big changes, or bigger changes, for the better. I quit smoking weed. I started exercising and eating healthy. I stopped wearing make up when I went outside. The biggest change I've made is wearing t shirts despite the unappealing appearance of my arms. Because no one really cares. Some people see the fact that no one cares as a negative thing. Now I'm seeing it as a very positive thing. Not hiding behind make up and clothing was the hardest method I've tried to stop picking, but it has worked the best. This illness has crippled me for so long but now it's only made me wiser and stronger. I'm still healing, and I might relapse but even if I do I now know better than ever before that time heals all, and I'll always have more time.