I've had trichotillomania for as long as I can remember, since sometime early in elementary school. I pulled out my eyelashes, and to this day, I can't help it. I would always get teased and picked on for it, and we all know how mean kids can be, so I know others can relate. I made friends, surprisingly, but comments were always made. This kept on into high school, until later in my freshman year. I discovered that it took people longer to notice my lack of lashes if I wore a lot of black eyeliner. People began accepting me easier, and boys finally wanted to date me around the beginning of my sophomore year. Granted, some people look closely enough to notice, and they comment, and there are others who - and I'm sure they notice - say nothing. I find it extremely hard to discuss, but finally, here's what happened: after having several boyfriends and all of them mentioning wanting to see me without makeup, I decided to open up to the guy I am with now. We've been together for almost 5 months, and I got the guts to hang out with him and show him what I look like without my raccoon eyes. He insisted that I was beautiful, and, even without my makeup, the most beautiful woman he knew. After my initial doubt and worries, I felt so relieved, and I love being able to reveal myself to him. Feeling accepted is a wonderful thing. Now I just need to let everyone else see me, and raise awareness and talk about this problem.