Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

The mind can be a dark, desolate place.

When I was in the thick of my anorexia, the last thing that I wanted to hear from anyone was, “You’re so beautiful.” I didn’t want to hear, “You were fearfully and wonderfully made.” Or, “You’re a masterpiece in the making.” “You’re a work of art.” “You’re beautiful.”

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Gag me. It would literally make me want to throw things. Shut the hell up. No. I’m. Not. Hearing those things would actually fill me with rage and I would get physically angry.

Don’t tell me I’m beautiful. Can’t you see how hideous I truly am on the inside? Don’t you see how much I am suffering right now? I don’t want to you tell me I’m beautiful. I don’t want you to lie to me. Don’t try and *cheer me up.* I’m a f#ck up. I’m not worth it. I’m not worth your breath. I’m not worth saving. 

Sometimes we just want to hurt.

Sometimes we just want to feel the brokenness in its entirety.

Sometimes we think hurting is what we deserve.

Sometimes we think pain is what we’re worth.

We hit rock bottom.

Just when we thought that we had gotten as down and as low as we could possibly get, the bottom drops out and we fall even farther. That rock bottom.

Rock bottom is a dangerous place. Because it’s like quick sand: it can engulf you if you let it.

At rock bottom, I’ll tell you what, there was nothing that provoked more venom in my soul than when someone, trying to comfort me, would say “You’re beautiful.”

Don’t f#cking tell me that.

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I was at rock bottom. I didn’t want to hear that. I was broken. I was in a dark place. And hearing my loved one try to reach me and support me by telling my that “I was beautiful,” just made me recoil. It made me curl into myself even more – pushing them farther away.

I wanted them to see me for who I really was — or rather, who I thought I was. Who ED was telling me I was. — I wanted them to tell me that I was worthless. I wanted them to tell me that I was causing them pain and sadness. I wanted them to tell me that I was a horrible person and that I was a burden to everyone in my life.

I wanted them to confirm the Lies that ED was filling my head with. I was drowning in ED’s constant harassing, making me believe I was worthless, a burden, not good enough. That’s the thing about rock bottom: the longer you stay there, the more you believe the Lies that ED is feeding you. So, the last thing I wanted was for someone to tell me that I was beautiful, or “wonderfully made.” No. Just let me be the piece of s#!t I truly am. Leave me alone with ED. I’m in hell and I deserve to stay there.

The darkness is real. Anorexia is not about weight loss or trying to look “hot” for shorts season. No. It’s a battle for control of your mind between the darkness and the light: between ED and the Truth.

Two things.

First, I want to validate your feelings. If you’re reading this, and you’re having or have had similar feelings, you can probably relate to the darkness. And if you’re feeling these things, I want you to hear me when I say: I know that your feelings are real. I know it’s not a cry for attention. I know you’re not being a “drama queen.” No. I want you to know that your feelings, whatever they are, are real. They are real to you, and I’m not telling you to “Snap out of it.” I’m not going to tell you to just “Cheer up, Buttercup!” No, because these feelings are not just “in your head.” They are real and they are all consuming. And your feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness seem insurmountable. They feel overwhelming: that you will never be able to overcome this. You feel that you’ll never be able to get out of the pit of hell in which you find yourself. You feel trapped and alone. That there’s no way out.

You don’t have to stay there.

That’s the second thing. That’s what I want you to hear.

You don’t have to stay at rock bottom.

Rock bottom is not “it for you.” It’s not your destiny. Rock bottom is not where you “deserve” to be.

There’s an incredibly cheesy quote that goes, “When you hit rock bottom, look up.” And I cringe to even put that on here, but it is absolutely, 100%, right on the money.

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When you’re at rock bottom — I mean, true rock bottom — you literally have nothing left. Positively nothing. I had destroyed my friendships, betrayed my loved ones, lost my boyfriend, had to drop out of college, gave up an acting career and a sports career, my hair had fallen out, my body was barely sustaining life, I had lost every passion in life, was distant from God, annihilating my body with starvation and excessive exercise. I was emotionless: numb. Empty. I had nothing left.

So I looked up.

And I hesitate to say that I looked up, because the truth is that I didn’t actually do anything — it was God working in me: I just allowed Him to work on my heart.

But, in an effort to continue the exasperatingly cheesy metaphor, I will suffice it to say that “I looked up.”

I made the decision to let Him work on my heart. I made the decision to accept His love and His forgiveness. I made the decision that rock bottom was not “it for me.” And you can too.

You don’t have to stay at rock bottom. You can get out. And you don’t have to do it alone.

Jesus will help you get out of rock bottom. Philippians 4:13 says:

I can do all things with Christ, who gives me strength.

You don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to find a way out of rock bottom by yourself. Because I know, it seems impossible. How do I even start? Where do I go? Jesus will help you. Just let Him come into your heart and love you. For when you allow Him to love you, things begin to change.

Desperation. Despair. Agony. Misery. Torment. Hopelessness. Anxiety. Distress. Jesus has seen it all. He’s been through it all. And He’s not afraid of it. He’s not afraid of you.

This has become my motto, and I want to share it. I just ask Jesus, in the very moment of struggle, to be strong for me.

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It’s not an overnight process. It’s not going to be — BOOM — I CAN SEE! But, slowly and steadily He will work on your heart. He will help you learn to love yourself. He’ll help you to do the next right thing. He’ll help begin to ease the anxieties around food and body image. He’ll begin to raise you up from rock bottom and restore your mind, body, and spirit.

And if you let Him, He will help you to know your true value and your true dignity. Until one day, He will tell you, “You’re beautiful,” and you’ll believe it.

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beautybeyondbones

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

27 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful

  1. I have a different sort of sentiment on this when it comes to those sorts of feelings, etc. That is, yeah I am dirt, not deserving of anything myself, however God’s heart is not to leave me in misery. He chose me to be His daughter, so even though I don’t deserve any of it, His heart it to provide all things, for me to know His heart. I don’t deserve any of it, but because of that I can be even more thankful for what I am given; In contrast though Satan tries to make me just feel guilty that God gives me anything, or that I shouldn’t accept it, but that is evil, not accepting God’s heart. Only God is true an all men liars, so in that sense, truly knowing God’s heart and accepting it, in that way we become “beautiful”, through Jesus we are perfect, not of ourselves, but through Him. In that sense, we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, in that sense, He rejoices through us, not through anything we are in a humanistic way, but only through the blood of Jesus have we been made righteous and clean, holy to go forward boldly unto God.

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    1. So much truth here. You’re right our beauty and worth comes through being a daughter of God. He is the source of all our goodness. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! I could definitely learn a lot from you! ☺️

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  2. I have a real digestive issue going on both below and above, and I emailed my twin sister, and what I got back was This reply: It’s All In Your Head, You Have The Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa…….a few decades ago it was: You’re Eating Too Much, you have Glutton Disorder, now I have Anorexia Disorder, because I am having problems consuming foods, especially solids right now, But Hey I’M GONNA BE OK, EVERYTHING WILL BE JUST FINE, she says, BUT I HAVE ANOREXIA DISORDER, which isn’t true, not at all……I’m Neither Anorexic Nor A Glutton, although we can All swing that way I suppose, but I have Never gone around starving myself on purpose, and I cannot believe my sister emailed me That! a few months ago The Trees Outside Were Talking To Me (maybe they were, in their own little way) And she said I was Schizophrenic or whatever…..my goodness! (just an example of how mean she can be to me)

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    1. I’m sorry that you’ve had to go through that. Words can definitely hurt, especially when they’re spoken by ones who are close to us. Sending lots of love, hugs and prayers your way. Digestive issues are no fun at all. Just keep nourishing yourself, friend, in every sense of the word. xx

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  3. “Sometimes we just want to hurt. Sometimes we just want to feel the brokenness in its entirety.
    Sometimes we think hurting is what we deserve. Sometimes we think pain is what we’re worth. We hit rock bottom. Just when we thought that we had gotten as down and as low as we could possibly get, the bottom drops out and we fall even farther. That rock bottom.Rock bottom is a dangerous place. Because it’s like quick sand: it can engulf you if you let it.”

    Amen!

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  4. It’s time for a real talk – with you. I’ve been reading your posts for a while and I can see that writing is a strong passion of yours. I question my own ability as a writer after reading your stories and insights. After reading help beautiful you write, I don’t think that I write good. This is not in any way or mark on you but there’s something you should know. For the first 10 years of my life people thought I was illiterate. At age 14 I was reading books at a college level. Also there’s something I’ve hidden from you we have something in common.

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      1. I had not always the best upbringing. In fact, I had an eating disorder for seven years. I never felt hungry. I didn’t have the right enzymes in my stomach to be hungry for food. At age 16, I was 50 pounds. Than someone got me on protein shakes 4 times a day also I got into working out. It’s very hard to recover from it but with God all things are possible with God.

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  5. When I officially started living for God in July of 2014 I started writing sermons if you wish I would like to see the sirens to encourage you in your walk of faith. PS I read the post of dear future husband, and after reading something like that I can’t seem to come up with the right words for a similar post addressing the opposite sex. Let post in itself was very brave.

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  6. The world is a crazy place.

    I can boldly say, I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God, without looking round to see if anyone agrees with me.

    I can also call out the beauty in someone else because I am a restorer of broken places and a repairer of the breach now.

    You are fearfully and wonderfully made by God too, because He made you and you are beautiful inside and outside too.

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  7. Hi Beebs, I’m dying to be the 22nd thought On Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful in honor of the 22nd amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Anyway, I won’t tell you you’re beautiful because obviously that would be the wrong message to send, but I would like to say, I think “beauty will last when spiraled down.” (Miss Murder by AFI. December Underground album released 6/6/06) AFI said it, It must be true. As for me, I’m a monster. I’m a he/she/it and all its worst qualities, SHIT, for short. Anyway, in honor of the 22nd amendment of the Constitution, I just needed to nab this 22nd though spot on your blog. I hope you don’t mind my being so presumptuous.

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  8. This resonated with me, as I struggled with anorexia for close to 4 years. Praise God that He has healed me and allowed me to see the truth. People need to hear truth. So glad you’re a warrior for Christ!

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  9. […]   When did you move to New York City? I moved to NYC, gosh, probably around 2010. I moved to pursue acting. Best decision of my life.   Was it a culture shock living in the Big Apple? You know, it was and it wasn’t. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to carve my own path and so it was really a time for me to grow up and find out who I really am.    Do you have a favorite spot in NYC where you go to just sit and relax? Oh gosh YES. I love where I live. I don’t leave “The Village” if I don’t have to. In fact, I hardly go above 14th street unless absolutely necessary!    You are an actress, what is your acting style? Shakespearian? Method? Classical? Method. Method. Method.   Hypothetically, is there a particular film director you would like to work with? Oh gosh, what a question. I would love to work with Harold Cronk, who directed “God’s Not Dead.” I absolutely loved the film, “Bella” and would love to work with Alejandro Monteverde. Oh oh oh, and Fireproof’s Alex Kendrick. That was a fun exercise 🙂   You talk pretty openly about struggling with anorexia on your blog. Is it hard opening up to tell your story?  I do. You know, it was and it wasn’t. As you know, my blog is anonymous. Which has really been helpful when opening up. Because it is scary. But I’m not attaching my name to it, so I almost feel like it’s cheating. Because to be honest, I don’t bring that part of my history into my present life or present relationships. I’ve only told a handful of my friends in NYC about my past, and even they don’t know the blog title. They know I have a blog, but not what it is. And that’s also true for my friends that went through this period of my life with me. My family are the only people who know the blog title. And it took a longggg time for me to share the address with them. At the end of the day, I want to help people. Yes, I went through this horrible disease. But I am not my past. And I’m willing to share because God can use it to help even one person. So I am willing to open up, even if it’s painful, in order to bring Him glory. I’m just not sure I’m ready – yet – to bring that into my present life. And also, coming “out” with who I am does not just involve me, but my family, too. And I want to protect their privacy as well. My father and sibling are both in the medical field, and so it could implement their careers. There’s just a lot to consider.    Something else you speak pretty openly about your faith in Jesus. What part did your faith play in your recovery? Oh yes, yes, yes. My faith WAS my recovery. I mean, it’s that simple. Without Jesus, recovery wouldn’t have been possible. I did not want recovery. And I was so depleted, I was not capable of sound thinking. At 78 pounds, your brain’s fat pads deteriorate, so you’re literally in a brain fog all. the. time. So I couldn’t recognize the danger of my physical condition. And even if I did, I didn’t care. I didn’t want to get well. It took Jesus, breaking through that iron fortress I had built around myself to come and comfort me and whisper to me my worth, and that I’m forgiven, and loved and worthy of recovery. I’ve written a lot about it, but this one is one of my favorites: Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful […]

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