Dealing with Discouragement

#HonestyHour

It’s been a rough week for me.

Why? One word: discouragement.

As many of you know, this week, my *former* Instagram account, @anorexiarevealed was falsely-reported as a “pro-Ana” account, and shut down by Instagram.

Yes, they can do that.

But it breaks my heart because, as you know, my #1 goal is to share hope, positivity and encouragement to #EDwarriors and girls (and boys) struggling with eating disorders. I’ve been through that darkness, and I want to be there for these strong souls. I was just absolutely devastated that my account, which had nearly 1000 followers, was just – *poof* – snatched away and shut down — all because of a FALSE ACCUSATION. I mean, I am 1,000% pro-RECOVERY! I poured my heart out into making my account meaningful by creating over 200 original pieces of “quote art” that have all since been lost. And what disappoints me even more than the fact that I lost all my original art, and all the followers, is that Instagram never even sent a reply email when I let them know that it was a false accusation.

And here’s what I think: Hurting people hurt people.

Some girl, who is in a dark place right now, wanted to thwart the positivity and encouragement and hope that I have been working so diligently to promote through my Instagram and my blog, so she lied to Instagram and reported me as a pro-Ana IG account.

And to be clear, I’m not disappointed that I “lost followers” as though it’s a popularity contest and I’m superficially sad that I don’t have good “numbers” anymore. What breaks my heart is that those followers were being exposed to the hope I’ve been trying to spread. Not that I think I’m going to save the world, or anything. But those were 1000 people that were getting a little soundbite about God’s love for them through my Instagram photos. So I’m not sad that I lost “notoriety” or lost “popularity” — I’m sad that those people that were being exposed to love are no longer receiving that message.

And all because a hurting person lied to Instagram that I was promoting eating disorders, and then they deleted my account without even checking to see if it was a factual accusation or not.

So I’ve literally had to start from square one again: Adopt a new name (@anorexiarevealed2), remake all my photo art, and start rebuilding a community from the ground up.

And to be completely honest, I was completely discouraged. Devastated. Defeated.

I had literally poured out my heart into spreading love and nurturing people through an outreach that got wrongly snatched away from me.

*Sigh*

So what do I do? Where do I go from here?

And I was praying about it and thinking about it. ‘And the more I did, I realized that this is a great example of a way for me to “practice what I preach.” Recovery is all about perseverance, endurance, fortitude and having the right attitude. Well, I need to take all those things and apply them to this situation. Just like any slip up or bump or obstacle in the road, I need to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep going.

So I did that. But I still felt unsettled.

Okay, my body was moving forward, but my mind was still back in the rubble.

This just proves that you should just abandon this. Your book is going to be stupid. You’ve already failed. What’s the use in trying again? In one week, you’ve only regained 60-odd followers…see? The work you’ve been doing really doesn’t matter. What you’ve been doing really doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Nobody cares. You’re useless. Give up. What you’re doing is worthless. You’re worthless.

Dark, I know. But welcome to my mind sometimes.

That’s where my mind was going. And it’s interesting to see how, just from that one setback, my mindset went to that dark, ED-like place. Where my Lie found a way to take this situation and apply itself and stir up feelings of doubt and worthlessness and being unloved.

That just shows me that I still have a long way to go to total mental healing.

So after I took that mental inventory, I knew that I needed to do something about it.

So I prayed about it. And here’s what I got.

The opposite of discouragement is trust.

IMG_9690

Yes, a really shitty thing happened to me this week. No, it was not part of my “plan” for how things were supposed to play out.

But here’s what I needed to do: trust God.

Through all of this — through my feelings of anger and disappointment, annoyance, self-doubt, and heartbreak — I needed to remember that God is in control.

I need to remember that God has a plan for me, and it is good.

Jer 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and  a future.

Maybe this was supposed to happen. Maybe it was allowed to happen because I am supposed to learn something from it. Maybe this is all part of His plan for me.

Why do bad things happen? Why did my eating disorder happen? Because I was supposed to learn something from it.

I was supposed to learn to fully depend on God.

So I think that’s the take away from all of this. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Hell, I don’t know if I’ll roll over in bed at 2am tonight to find my phone glowing and see that Instagram has deleted my account due to a false accusation. (Oh wait, that already happened).

But I do know that God has a plan for me.

And if it seems to be a setback or an obstacle in the moment, it just means that I’m going to learn something from it down the road.

And that’s a really hard thing to do. That’s a really hard mindset to have in the actual moment.

But it all boils down to one thing: Trust

I have to trust that God loves me. I have to trust that He is leading me and guiding me through everything. I have to trust that He is not going to let evil overcome me. I have to trust that things are going to work out for good.

An eating disorder is definitely an obstacle to overcome. That maybe the understatement of the century. Let me try again: An eating disorder will definitely throw your life into a tailspin. You’ll lose everything and have to start from square one, just like with my Instagram fiasco. But instead of wallowing in the fact that it happened, I need to rise up and move on. Move forward.

Trials are given to us because they shape us. The refine us like fire. And going through trials absolutely sucks. But the most important thing to remember is that God is in control. I’ve got to trust that God’s got me in the palm of His hand, and that even though things may fall apart all around me, nothing will overtake me. Because He is in control. And His plan for me is good.

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beautybeyondbones

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

10 thoughts on “Dealing with Discouragement

  1. What a spectacular example of trusting God through trials, and how wonderful it is that those coming along later (like old slow poke here) can read about the struggles you had, and yet know that God had a bigger and better plan. I mean, fast-forward to current posts and comments and it is obvious your reliance upon, and trust in, God has blessed you with many, many people who admire you and look to you for encouragement and strength. The seeds you are planting are growing, and that glorifies God in magnificent ways.

    I do love your ‘quote art’, by the way. I don’t think I’ve ever commented on that, but I find them incredibly uplifting, occasionally humorous, and always creative.

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    1. Thank you so much Tony. I appreciate that:) they quote art is fun to make and I think there’s something that can really grab you and speak to you in a way that only art can:) thanks as always for you kind words. I have been super humbled by the outpouring of support. God is so good. Blessings to you friend

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  2. I’m a guy. A father. Old. I’m not anorexic. I’m a Christian already. But guess what? This blog is a blessing for me. Why? I think it’s very much like a pole vaulter who watches the 440 relay squad on his track team win 1st place. And it just juices him up to make the best jump of his life. Or maybe he’s feeling like poo and doesn’t think he’ll make it over the bar today. He watches his teammates crush their event and is inspired to go for it. That’s what Christianity is about; uplifting each other, being an example, a cheerleader, an even the team hug when a team mate falters.

    So Beauty toughing it out and not surrendering is our motivation, our team hug when things go south. And her crediting God for it reminds us where we are all trying to point each other in the first place. Thanks, kiddo!

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  3. I’m there with you, and with Tony and Jeffrey. You will probabkly never know how many are following your posts not for problems with ED, or perhaps no addiction at all, but simply because your amazing wisdom in and in spite of past and present pain, helps and strengthens us.

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    1. Wow, Anthony, thank you so much for such kind and encouraging words. That means more than you will ever know. It is my deepest prayer to offer hope and encouragement to even one person. I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to read my words and pass along a little nudge of affirmation. Hugs and love to you xox

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  4. I agree with you, and I think God also uses the times that shut us down, to humble us. We can be bitter, or be humble. And the more humility we have on our heart, the stronger we are against tougher situations. As you say, He refines us. 🙂 He prepares us with trials so we are more refined in tribulations.

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