... are okay! This simple three word sentence has taken me YEARS to understand and accept.

Well, I'm still working on accepting it, but getting closer and closer.

For years, I put on the smile and kept the way I really felt buried deep deep down. And in case it wasn't far enough, I piled food on top to make sure it was good and packed down. And to make sure the food was covered, I loaded up on layers and layers of fat to really make sure no one knew what was really going on on the inside.

There were times in high school where all I thought about was ending it all. I would look out on to the backyard or lay in bed and wonder if people would even miss me or show up to the funeral. But, I never wanted to burden anyone else with my thoughts or problems so I just let them sit in my brain and fester those negative thoughts. Which I think has to my ongoing journey of trying to nix the negative in my head.

For years I would tell myself that if I only lost weight all my problems would disappear. I can vividly see me - maybe in 8th or 9th grade - sitting in the car with my aunt telling her: "If I just got rid of like 50 lbs, everything would be better."

Well, news flash: losing weight does NOT make the problems/emotions/negative thoughts magically disappear. 


But, what losing weight has taught me is that it is okay to have feelings. It is okay to share the feelings. It is okay to release the feelings.

So now, when I am sad or mad or happy or frustrated or depressed I no longer feel like I have to bury those emotions under a plastered on fake smile.

I am allowed to be sad even when I feel it isn't justified. Does that make sense?

I know there are so many things I should be grateful for in my life and I don't want to seem unappreciative, but now I know it is okay to be sad even when I don't think I should be allowed to.

I AM allowed to feel any emotion at anytime. 

Through this blog, this tiny little space on the internet, I have given myself the freedom to release all of the emotional weight that bore down on my shoulders for years ... hence the title Weight Off My Shoulders. ;)

I have shared more on this blog than I ever thought I would. I thought I would bring those dark demons - eating disorder, cutting, etc - to my grave. But, once I wrote the inner thoughts down and hit publish (many times nervously) I felt a wave of relief come over me. I didn't have to bear these demons alone.

And you know what happened? I found others who were going through similar situations. I found confidants that I would never have otherwise. I found an outlet.

Now, I'm not saying everyone has to go around starting blogs - if that's not your thing - but I want to let you know that it is OKAY!

You are allowed to feel however you want.

If you feel more comfortable confiding in friends, do it.

If you want to see a therapist, do it.

If you like to use social media, do it.

But, just let it out.

Don't let the negative thoughts and feelings bury themselves into your brain and foster a harmful environment. I know from personal experience that it takes a looooong time to turn it around.

Just know ... you are NOT alone!

I am still a work in progress, but I know that I will not go back to the miserable/lonely person I was before.