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Do you remember the girl in high school who was always smiling and making everyone laugh? The class clown, the most popular one around. She always came to school completely put together and seemed like she had everything. That was me, or at least the me that I wanted people to see. The reality was that I was dying inside. I was tired from spending all of my energy making everyone believe the show I put on for them each day.

“Do you remember the girl in high school who was always smiling and making everyone laugh? The class clown, the most popular one around. That was me, or at least the me I wanted people to see.”

Looking back, I now regret a lot of the things I did in my high school and college years. It took me a while to realize that I made fun of others for the things I feared within myself. I put others down for the sake of humor and to make myself feel better. I started harming myself in various ways when I was 13. I cut, I abused drugs, and I was bulimic. I also hurt others close to me: I lied, I cheated, and I stole from my parents and friends. I ended up in a cycle of abusive relationships that lasted until my early 20’s. It wasn’t until I was 22 that I got my shit together and saw a therapist. The hardest thing I had to do was forgive myself for everything I've done, this process took time and required me to be more honest with myself. I moved out of the suburbs and into the city to start fresh. I came out to my parents and started dating a loving, beautiful woman. I got a job as a stylist and focused on my career. I established a few real friendships. Now, I look back every day in awe of the lie that I used to feel compelled to live, because living honestly is so much easier than living in a lie, I am not sure what I was so afraid of.