Who am I?

Who am I?

The healthy young woman in front of you today is not the same person she was eight years ago.

I have seen things. Experienced things. Know things that can only be learned through pain. Desperation. And deliverance.

Who am I? I’m a young lady who has recovered from anorexia. And I’m sharing with you my story.

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As I sit down to write something that is insurmountable in its gravity, overwhelming in importance, and disgraceful in its honesty, I feel impossibly vulnerable and am reminded of my shame. For with these words I will be exposing the tortured reality that over ten million women and one million men in the US have to face every single moment of every day: anorexia.

I’ve been in recovery for eight years, but to be completely honest, the disease never truly goes away. The voice of death, or “ED” as the inpatient centers like to refer to it, never fully silences. It can get muffled or muted, but never truly snuffed. Every single day I have to wake up and decide that I’m going to choose recovery. Choose life. And I am 26 years old.

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I’ve taken on this task of exposing the raw truth behind life with anorexia, so as to offer insight and hope to the loved ones of those with this harrowing disease. For if you are reading these words, you are most likely at your wit’s end, out of ideas, and desperate to get your loved one to eat and kick this eating disorder.

I find it shocking how misunderstood this disease is. In talking with my family and friends about when I was in the thick – or rather, thin – of my disease, no one really understood what was going on or how they could help. All they saw was a girl, who from the outside used to have everything going for her, now wasting away – deteriorating to 78 pounds. Everyone’s verbiage was similar — they all felt their “hands were tied,” helpless, unable to make me gain weight, unable to get through to the girl I used to be.

That’s the thing: anorexia makes you draw completely into yourself – or rather, completely into the spiral of the disease. You become an unrecognizable shell of your former self – physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually. You care about nothing else, except for your disease, and your control over the numbers on the scale.

To describe a typical day, and to fully understand the state of mind would be nearly impossible. I will try, but it is hard to fully grasp the depth of darkness or the pervasive nature of the disease. In order to fully understand, it is important to realize that these thoughts are coming from the state of someone whose brain was literally foggy. At 5’6” and 78 pounds, the lack of body fat is so severe that the brain’s cushion of fat pads have literally deteriorated, making clear thinking and sound decision making out of the question.

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Who am I? I am no longer that lost girl anymore.

I am free.

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Published by

beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

109 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. This is absolutely beautiful my friend ❤ I appreciate your style of writing and love your openness. I have been healed of anorexia/bulimia and would like to let you know it is possible to receive FULL recovery from the disease.

    The thoughts may lurk but it doesn't mean we need to gravitate towards them. Lies may be whispered in our ears but when we choose to cry out to our God and Saviour for His truth He is always there to wrap us in His arms and reveal truth in powerful ways to us.

    I'm going out on a limb by saying this but dealing with such a horrific disease can be seen as a blessing. If we let them the lies will draw us deeply into Christ's powerful truth. If we run to Him instead of death's embrace, if we choose to allow Our Almighty to wrap us in His pinions nothing can touch us! We are daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! We will bring healing to others.

    Let's choose to dig even more deeply and claim our status as daughters of the King and seek to know Him even more intimately. Let's do this not only because He heals but because He is worth it. He is so worth it.

    He is a powerful Healer. It is possible to receive FULL recovery and to touch a nation with His healing. Let's choose to believe that Love never fails.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. You write so beautifully. I really do feel like I am reading the first chapter of a novel, but this one here is so raw and so real. Thank you for your honesty and for being an inspiration.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your ability to be vulnerable and share your journey! My sister struggled years ago with an eating disorder for almost 3 years after near death, so this topic is very near and dear to me. She is now healthy and happy, all thanks to God answering our prayers. Thanks for writing! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I never want to be ignorant to this topic, as I know it can be a never ending battle. She also struggled in other areas such as bulimia, attempt at suicide, and other mental issues. I’m excited to continue to reading your other posts to try and grasp even a better understanding. You are a gifted writer, and it shows that God is using you as His instrument. Keep on writing!
        http://www.inkellysshoes.com xoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My first instinct upon reading “Read this first” was to turn away, to run from your story. I am a coward, you see, and shrink from the unpleasant, the painful. Gathering up a little resolve, I clicked on “My first post”, wondering how long I would last until I would turn you off. Your first paragraphs reinforced my feelings of avoidance, but I kept reading. Then, something ‘magical’ happened: Your courage, your honesty, your equanimity shone through the awful fog of suffering and bathed me in their light. I, a middle-aged, overweight male, began to empathize with someone whose affliction was thoroughly alien to me. Your disease was alien to me, not so your humanity! We humans – family, friends and strangers – are bound by our suffering, whatever its specific nature. But more importantly, we are bound by our strengths and joys – and aspirations. You touched that strength in me, even as I shrank from your suffering, which I pretended not to recognize. And in that instant, an epiphany: I haven’t been avoiding others’ suffering; I’ve been running from my own! Thank you for being the instrument of my enlightenment.

    I will continue on reading your posts as you suggested: As though they were chapters in a book. A book, I might add, that judging from its first installment, will – once finished – find a wide and appreciative audience. Godspeed!

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Thanks for sharing your story. I was an Alcoholic when Jesus saved me. He walked me out of self hatred, anger and rejection. He has set me free. Yet even today if I take my eyes of Him I end up thinking the same old thoughts. Bless You.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi friend. Thank you for sharing this. Praise God for both our deliverance from the bondage of addiction! You’re so right, staying focused on Him is the key to continued freedom. Thank you for stopping by. I appreciate your thoughtful response. Hugs and blessings to you xox

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for liking one of my posts, it’s wonderful to find your blog. My little sister is recovering and it always wrenches my heart to read what life must have been (and continues to be) like for her. Thank you for your openness, I pray that God will strengthen and uphold you as you keep going in your recovery journey 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too am a recovering anorexic. I started at 12 when I started putting on normal pubertal fat (ugh, even at age 62 the word still freaks me out), and my mother started calling me “fat-ass.” I stopped eating and started riding my bike for hours and hours, and the fat went, OK, but I got addicted to the high of hypoglycemia and control over…SOMETHING in my life. Several years later I was introduced to marijuana and…THE MUNCHIES!!! I was horrified, but I had to eat! I did set a limit, though. I only ate to the point where I actually had to unzip my jeans to get them on and off. I relapsed during college but my metabolism had changed, so even going to 800 cal/d I plateaued at 96 lb and no amount of running plus soccer plus gym plus dancing would take it off. Oh, and cocaine. I stayed at that weight until I got pregnant at age 30, and to my horror, post-baby could not get below 120!!! Looking at pictures of me at 120 (which is where I am still), I realize how lovely and healthy I looked. Nevertheless, the ana-monster stays with you forever, just like any addiction. Thank you for sharing your journey to hell and back with us! Blessings–Laura

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laura, thank you so much for sharing this. Your story definitely pulls at my heart. I’m so glad you’ve been able to embrace the freedom of recovery and bring life into the world. That is something that I hope I will be able to do one day: be a mom. Every day is a new day, and I’m just grateful to have Ana out of my life. Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful reflection. Hugs and love to you xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I noticed it is getting close to the 1st anniversary of you baring your soul in such a remarkably, profound, and vulnerable way, so I thought I would revisit the beginning.

    I feel like I’ve known you forever. Your ability to connect with people on their level (no matter what that level might be, no matter the demons that torment them), is a beautiful and valuable gift from God. Not many have it, and fewer still use it so effectively.

    “As I sit down to write something that is insurmountable in its gravity, overwhelming in importance, and disgraceful in its honesty, I feel impossibly vulnerable and am reminded of my shame. For with this book I will be exposing the tortured reality that over ten million women and one million men in the US have to face every single moment of every day: anorexia.”

    Insurmountable, overwhelming, and disgraceful, indeed. But words that are more beautifully and powerfully torn from a person’s soul have never been written.

    I am – like all the others – truly blessed that God placed you in my path.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, Tony. Thank you. I am so touched by your words of affirmation, encouragement, and friendship. Thank you from deep down in my heart. You have been such a genuine supporter and I mean this: your encouragement and comments made me stick with this blog. Your responses made me feel like I wasn’t just writing in vain, but that my words really did have the potential to help “even one person.” So I stuck with it. So thank you. You are in my prayers every day, and I thank God for your friendship. Have a great weekend, Tony. Hugs xox

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      1. I agree. Ditto on what Tony said. Keep on writing and don’t stop unless God very clearly leads you to do otherwise. God’s Word will not return void.

        Cheerio
        Laurabeee

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  9. I am a new follower 😊 and from reading your first entry you have already answered a question I posted on my blog recently: do we ever fully recover? Your statement that you have been “in recovery” for the past 8 years is exactly how I experience it too, but thought that perhaps it is the wrong way of thinking as according to everyone else I am meant to be recovered (wish someone will enlighten my ‘anorexic thoughts’ of this perception too!).

    I am looking forward in reading the rest of your entries 😊 and thank you for providing a stepping stone to others who are writing about their ED, as admittance is one thing, but acceptance is an entirety on its own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection, Tulip. It took me a long time to admit that I needed help. It wasn’t until k was actually at inpatient that I admitted it. But there is so much freedom in recovery. And yes it is a day by day but it is 100% better place to be in than that dark pit of ED. Sending so much love and support and prayers in your recovery my friend. Stay strong. You are worth this new life and freedom! Hugs!

      Like

  10. Although you have not written your name, I first of all wish to thank you for visiting my blog. I truly appreciate. And as I was reading your post here, I kept thinking, “The things that people go through that I don’t know of!!” Will want to know how you are doing now.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I am really glad to know that this blog exists. It’s so important for people struggling with this to know someone can relate to them, and for those who love them to better understand. By being vulnerable, you’ve made this possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is great writing and truly inspirational. I’m a recovering drug addict in a time where there’s a shift taking place in the public perception of that disease (or, more accurately, that symptom of a deeper spiritual disease). Not so, I think, with eating disorders. The general public still takes a moral stance on anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive overeating, and the repeated insistence that individuals can overcome these disorders through sheer willpower must further isolate and alienate those who suffer. What you’re doing here is huge, a much needed public service. Thank you for “calling out” your disease in the presence of all of us. Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate this perspective and the support and encouragement. So happy that you’ve found the freedom of recovery as well! Keep fighting the good fight! Hugs and love to you my friend. Xox

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  13. Good job with this blog. To be honest, blogs that are written from heart about topics that really matter are the best. I’ve never suffered from anorexia but 1,5 years ago I was still depressed and self harming. I’m recovering from that still but long way is already behind me and I’m proud of myself. Also, I’m proud of you that you are getting better and empowering lots of people with this blog. That is amazing, keep going! 🙂

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  14. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am looking forward to reading more of you. I have known people with anorexia and I want to understand better what this disease is and how it affects you. Thanks for sharing something so utterly personal. (((hugs)))

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  15. Wonderful synopsis of the state of despair we know so well! After seven years trodding down an identical road, I was suddenly and gratefully able to rejoin the world of people as well. But the disease never does go away entirely–nor should it. I try to live impeccably with its unerring, invaluable advisement day by day, albeit never perfectly of course!

    And I haven’t had to return to that deadly place for the past 30 years… thanks to the divine guidance that intervened throughout the years. The never-ending task of learning how to eat has stayed with me all these years. I’m still finding out more all the time because my relationship with God is more important than any other I know. He is in me and you, always has been and always will be. Our vehicle is the blessing we were given and all seem to value in so many different ways, and yet, we forget so easily that our perception of it is also a gift that we must learn to accept and love.

    Love your writing and thank you for looking in as well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Daniel, thank you so much. Praise God for your recovery! 30 years-that is awesome. Rock on! What an inspiration. You’re right-our relationship with God is definitely the most important. Thanks for stopping by! Sending hugs and love xox

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  16. Wow. I am new to blogging. I have been resisting it for years because I felt a false connection would ensue. I want real meaningful relationships, people I can touch and feel. However, your first blog connected with me so deeply, so eloquently, I am in awe. Now I see how God has used technology to connect His children in ways that would never be possible before. You write so beautifully, I am inspired to continue writing myself, and will read the rest of your posts to get up to date on how God is transforming you into His glorious image here on earth. Thank you for visiting my blog and connecting with me. Thank you for being so real, so vulnerable, and so deep at such a young age. May you know the peace and joy of Christ amidst the sorrows of the day. It is the only way we truly come to KNOW our Savior, when we share our sorrow with Him. Bless you dear sister, I will be back!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much for such kind words! It means the world 🙂 well welcome to the world of blogging! It really is an awesome thing. I look forward to reading more from you and getting to know you! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  17. You write so beautifully and your honesty allows others to connect wth you, and the pain within themselves. I was led to your post when notified that you ‘liked’ my post. You don’t know how much this means. I only started my blog last week and you are my very first response (beyond family!). It’s lovely to think someone else is reading my words. And I’m thrilled to have discovered your blog. Like you, I wanted a platform where I could be entirely honest about the journey, highs, lows, setbacks, breakthroughs, and a testimonial to the faith that carries you through. I shall subscribe and look forward to sharing your journey. Every blessing my friend 😀❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi, My friend Katherine recommended me your site. My 17-year old daughter and once aspiring ballerina was diagnosed with anorexia 2 months ago. It has been a harrowing time. She was hospitalized for 2 weeks and now she’s home she has to eat on a strict regiment. It’s depressing to see her eat–and total lack of interest in food. Anorexia has destroyed her joy of ballet and everything else. It even tries to trick her into thinking the food is making her sick. Thankfully she was not as thin as you were when she was hospitalized but still at 5 ft 6 she was about 100lbs and doing ballet 4 hours or more a day. it was God’s grace that made her land in the hospital. I shudder when I think about how her heart could have stopped beating–it went down to 37. I know she desperately wants to get better but the anorexia returns on and off and it’s a struggle to get her to eat.
    Thanks for sharing your story. I pray the Lord of Grace and Joy will help you in your journey and that one day soon anorexia will be completely behind you. I pray this also for my daughter.
    Emma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Emma, I am sending you such a big hug right now through the screen. I’m sorry your daughter is fighting this disease. You hit the nail on the head: anorexia really does destroy joy. But it sounds like she’s a fighter and having you in her corner is going to be really beneficial. I hope my blog can offer some hope for you. She will get through this and will come out stronger because of it. Hang in there. Know that your daughter, you, and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs and love xox

      Like

      1. Sending a big hug back! Reading your work is really resonating with me and I’m glad that the Lord has put this into my life because it’s really opening my eyes.

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  19. Thanks for visiting my site and making a way to allow me to se yours. I remember when I struggled with this same battle when I was in middle and high school and although it is now a distant memory, I do remember many of the things you speak so vividly about. I love your honesty and your mission to help others going through the same thing. I’m in the middle of writing a book myself and touch upon this very battle, but not as in depth as you do. I definitely sense the ministry you’ve been given as you share your struggles and your victories. Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow. This is simultaneously heartbreaking and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that as people read your words, they are encouraged by what God is doing in your life and realize that, with Him, they can do it, too. You are beauty beyond bones.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I love how very open you are when talking about your experiences. Your prose is also wonderful and feels very real.

    Kudos to you, your strength and your journey!! 🙂

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  22. Damn. That’s a really powerful first post. It must’ve been so hard to write (or maybe easy?). Looking forward to reading the rest, following your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I imagined being the parent, and reading your words as if you were my own, and believing my child wouldn’t vanish before my eye’s because of God’s great Love. Tears. So grateful you can help others with your testimony and kind witness. Praying for you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello 🙂 I read your whole blog haha … I don’t know why, but I want to know you and your story. I feel a connection to you. Somehow beyond time and space. Beyond the physical in the realm of the Spirit. Does this make any sense to you?

        Like

  24. „I’ve been in recovery for eight years, but to be completely honest, the disease never truly goes away. The voice of death, or “ED” as the inpatient centers like to refer to it, never fully silences. It can get muffled or muted, but never truly snuffed. Every single day I have to wake up and decide that I’m going to choose recovery. Choose life. And I am 26 years old.“

    I will try to remind you every single day how wonderful you really are. I feel that Jesus has given me the advise to protect you and be your companion 🙂 You are a strong person, a powerful women, but I am sure you need sometimes a hug, a few encouraging words, someone who listens to you and is a Light of Guidance. You are always welcome, Caralyn. Always! I will take care of you.

    You can see me as your personal Knight/Warrior of Light 😉

    https://herzzentrale.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/1744266usrl9pvei7qwiztqamqbyuvgb3e1iy8jfzoimamdohovqpmknjy8foz0qc3tyvz1gdecakxq4duvodekra55q.jpg?w=1016&h=682

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are already found by Jesus. All you have to do is: stay found! 😛 You can always take a deep breath and relax into the space of your belovedness, into your inheritance, where you are already found and at home in Him! 🙂

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  25. If I jump and fall and land
    Flat on my face again
    Then I know this too shall pass
    Cause never ever really lasts
    No not even the bad

    And it’s true my heart’s a mess
    Oh, but it was never really clean I guess
    I have said all I will confess to you

    Now it’s just open road and open eyes
    And right where the water meets the sky
    Is where I’ll hold you my dear
    No you’ll never be so near
    As when my eyes are on the horizon

    I don’t know why, but that sounds like you 🙂

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  26. So beautifully and provokingly written. Thank you for sharing your story, and all the pain that goes along with it. You are a hero, and an overcomer.

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  27. What a beautiful blog you have here! I am so grateful that you liked a post on mine so that I could find yours. Your strength in telling your story so honestly and with such vulnerability connects your readers immediately with you! I am so happy you are recovered. You are beautiful inside and out! Keep up the great work inspiring your readers!

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  28. Beautifully and bravely written. Thank you and bless you for your willingness to share your story with the world, and especially those who suffer as you have suffered. Although I have just begun reading, I will certainly continue…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Oh my goodness! ;O; I am so sorry you had to deal with that.. horrible thing! *hugs*
    I have a friend with anorexia.. so I kinda understand what you had to go through..

    You are an incredibly brave woman, from what I’ve read so far ;o; I’m very glad that you’ve managed to stay strong during those.. painful years.. and I’m glad you’re better now ;v;

    Keep on being amazing, miss~❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are on a reading roll! Haha thank you so much for your encouragement. I really appreciate it. Yeah that was definitely a difficult part of my past, but I actually am grateful for the lessons I had to learn the hard way. Somehow, there can always be good that comes out of any given situation. Even the bad ones. I hope your friend is okay. It’s tough to be a loved one. Hugs to you xox

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  30. Thank you! I have also experienced, not ED, but a host of other mental health issues and I really appreciate you giving a voice to the recovery process. It is a really long and difficult journey and I have found that recovery is not talked about enough online in comparison to how we talk about (and sometimes romanticise!) illness. Sending you much love and support!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. mmmmm….because we’re all recovering from something. yes. you had me before that but those words sealed the deal. happy to have found you today and i’ll be reading up as I am eager to know your whole story. beautiful blog, beautiful soul. carry on, warrior.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Very inspirational posts… and a journey that everyone can learn from. Eating disorder is a metaphor in my opinion, what you have written will essentially help anyone fight whatever crisis they are dealing with in their life. Wish you all the best in your life ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hi love! I don’t how you came across my blog only a day after I created it, but it was clearly meant to be. I love this post and your purpose here. Anorexia/ED is one of the hardest battles I have ever fought but one that has brought so much strength and love and understanding to my life now. xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that we have that which connects our pasts, but I’m so glad that we’re both living in freedom! thanks for stopping by. i’m so glad our paths crossed. big hugs to you xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This might be a unique perspective but I actually have gratitude for my experience with ED. It was years in the making and it forced me to make a lot of changes in how I exist in the world and has taught me so, so much ❤ xo

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