A Photoless Past

Ahh, Facebook. You wolf in sheep’s clothing, you. A veritable Taylor Swift, if you will.

200-4

JK JK

I love me some T. Swizzle.

But it’s true. I have a love/hate relationship with The Book.

Why?

One word:

Photos.

200-6

You see, when I was deep in the throes of my anorexia, Facebook was just a fetus. As in, only my older brothers had profiles, because you had to have an “.edu” email address to sign up. Not that it really mattered at the time…AOL instant messaging was eating up too much time to care about Facebook. *scoffs*

200-7.gif

But it’s true.

The photo section of my Facebook profile is hard for me to scroll through.

Because there is a large chunk of time where photos are just not there.

Now, to be clear, all of my albums when I was visibly sick are set to the privacy status of “me only.” But still, when I pull up that page, (which I extremely rarely do) – those “hard-to-look-at” photos are there, accosting me in the face.

That’s actually one of the really sad parts about having such a traumatic event in your past: revisiting photos of those times is really painful. So I never do. And in essence, I’ve practically erased that time from my documented history. Aside from Facebook, I’ve thrown away pictures, photo ornaments, yearbooks, home videos – anything that documented me in my skeletal state has since been erased from history.

Perhaps you can relate. Maybe not with an eating disorder, but perhaps with a different trial or hard time in your life. *Poof* Made it disappear. Erased all evidence.

And actually, it was in listening to a podcast this afternoon from This American Life that made me think of this. I was listening to the episode entitled, “Tell Me I’m Fat” and one of the segments was the interview of this woman who had lost close to 200 pounds. And she talked about this very thing: erasing the history of when she was heavy. Throwing away all the photos because of the shame and embarrassment and pain associated with those photos.

And I found that she and I had gone through the same response to our pasts.

We both had been “wearing” our struggle on our bodies, just in different ways. We were visibly different people “back then.” And seeing photos of yourself as a visibly different person, the reminder is just a punch in the gut – no pun intended.

But there’s something that happens when you just erase a big chunk of your history. I mean, from the ages of about 17-20, I don’t have a single picture. It’s like it didn’t happen.

And that does something to your brain. To your spirit. It sends a message.

A message of shame. Of resentment. Embarrassment. Anger. Guilt. Loss.

And I’m going to be honest, much like I had to do for the year I spent on bedrest for Ulcerative Colitis, I had to mourn the loss of those years I missed out on due to anorexia.

I had to mourn the loss of my senior year of high school. Graduation. Senior summer. Freshman year of college.

I had to come to terms with the fact that I can never get those times back.

There will always be that “dark age” in my photo history where there are no pictures to show.

But you know what? That’s not how the story has to end.

In a way, it just serves as a reminder not to take anything -or any time – for granted. I have some making up to do, and it’s safe to say, I’m doing just that.

And maybe, just maybe, the reason there are no photos to show for that time, was because it was during that time that God was at work. Working a miracle. Saving my life. Healing me. Transforming me. Much like a butterfly, I was in a chrysalis, undergoing a transformation: body, mind, and spirit.


Fr. Mike Schmitz (the great 🙂 ) once said, “Jesus does His best work in caves.” Obviously, referring to the cave where He rose from the dead, but it’s true: that was in a tomb with a boulder rolled over the entrance. It was dark.

A dark period.

And well, you know what happened

Does this mean that I want to blast pictures of a gaunt and lifeless me all over the inter webs and plaster it to my forehead? Heeeeeeeeck to the no.

200-2

But I need to realize that that dark period is nothing to be ashamed of. Not that I should be proud of it, but just to understand that my sickly body was a walking wound. A wound that healed. Or rather, received healingAnd any evidence that may be lurking in the deep recesses of private Facebook photo albums can just serve as a reminder to the power of His saving hand in my life. A reminder of how far I’ve come. A reminder to celebrate the new life I have been given and the new creation I’ve become.


I may not have any picture evidence to show for that time, but I am a living, walking, in-the-flesh piece of evidence that darkness is never permanent. Evidence that there is life in abundance when you live in the Light.


 

 

 

 

Published by

beautybeyondbones

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

230 thoughts on “A Photoless Past

  1. Wow !! What an awesome post – straight from your heart full of wisdom
    and insight but also uplifting & encouraging !! Thank you for sharing this –
    by the way LOVED the pictures !! I look forward to reading more of your posts.
    God bless you always

    1. Thanks! You’re so kind to say that:) so glad you enjoyed it and my pictures! They’re a bit of a labor of love to make so I really appreciate the feedback! Hugs and love xox

  2. I have done this too, erased every trace of anorexia from the public eye. There are only a few pictures left from the worst of mine, and I don’t have access to them, thankfully. <3

  3. Awesome post! The victory in your life is amazing. And you can only realize what a victory it was by remembering where you were when it all began. There is no shame in that. You can now help others because of where you came from. What a blessing you are to so many who have the same, or similar, problems.

  4. I hope you don’t completely erase what few pictures you have left – I understand you to say that you still have some on private pages in FB? Even if you bury them for a while, don’t throw them away. You’re still so young; in the years ahead – and I wish you many of them! – I believe your feelings about who you were at that time will soften. I hope you will get to a place where you can remember the you that you were at that time – and see the reminders – with pity and compassion rather than disgust and regret. You’re a beautiful woman … and one day I hope you will understand that the beauty was always there, even when you hid it behind the bones.

    1. Thank you for this 🙂 Yeah, I do still have some in private albums, but I do not seek them out to look at. You’re right, I think there will be a time when I will -not want, per se – but when I will want to share that time with my future husband perhaps. Yeah, i won’t burn them all. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to read and respond! sending big hugs xox

  5. “Jesus does his best work in caves.” I am sure the wise Fr meant more than the tomb when he said that, yet it is possibly the best quote crossing my path since sunrise on January 1, 2000. Jesus was Blessed Beyond Recognition (my own invention, read John 20:14-15), but so were many of us. Looking back upon my life, I do not even recognise myself, yet I get judged on who I was well before I became reborn three decades ago. People circulate memes of a Jesus smeared with blood. His own dark age. Nobody sees the One who had emerged to steal Satan’s thunder. Do people see the new BBB, do they see BBR? I guess most don’t. Only we cavemen recognise work done in a cave. Like the repentant Adam & Eve who emerged from their cave. (Most Bibles omit this excellent history, sadly.)

    1. Hey there Pete, I love that — we cavemen. Amen to that! yeah, Fr. Mike is a terrific speaker too. I highly highly 100% recommend his podcasts. They are the highlight of my week! thanks for the thoughtful reflection! I always look forward to your words! hugs xox

      1. I am no cattle lick but liberated from being born among deformed protesters. In days, weeks, months,years in my own cave, I learned the value of just shutting up to listen. So a few monks and nuns were really on the right track when doing the same. (Joshua was a Catholic. He was the son of Nun. 😁😁😁😁😁)

  6. I understand what you mean – I don’t have a lot of photos from 2006-2010 on my Facebook page, because almost all of them were with or involved my abusive ex. It was a relief to take them down when I escaped from him, but it also made me realize that he was a huge, overbearing factor in my life at that time. As such, I only have a handful of photos that chronicle my senior year of high and three out of four years of college. However, I’ve now filled my albums with happiness – I met the man I would marry a few months a few months after my escape!

    Thank you for your posts – They are always inspiring. I look forward to each one.

    <3 LB <3

  7. Incredibly well said and i can imagine that was a difficult place to come to. I loom back on the years i spent being hateful, angry, and suicidal and im tempted to think it was a waste. In all honesty, i wish i would have done things differently…but…its allowed the Lord to move in my heart. *sigh* perspective.

  8. What an inspiration you are. I have photo albums of my friend and I when we were both 18 (she died of Anorexia/Asthma attack when she was 19). It’s hard to look back but I’m glad I have the photos because I look at the beauty behind the soul of my friend and she’ll never really leave me). Hope you can one day come to accept and celebrate all of you, all the years, everything that you’ve gone through has made you the brave inspiring woman you are today. Hugs. xo

    1. Hi Miriam, thank you for sharing this. Oh my gosh, that is so tragic. I am so sorry that you lost your friend. That hurts my heart. Yeah, having a physical reminder of her beautiful soul I’m sure holds a special place for you. You have a loving spirit and that definitely shines through. Sending the biggest hugs to you, friend. xox

      1. Thank you, it was a long time ago but she still lives in my heart every day and I still keep in touch with her mother, who’s a beautiful woman. It all shapes us doesn’t it, the pain, the hurts, the memories but we focus on the good … big hugs back to you. Keep smiling. xo

      2. It really does. Time may go by, but those memories, her spirit, the way she made you feel- those things stay with you. And yes-always the good. ❤️❤️❤️

  9. I am touched by every new chapter in your resurrection story. There is no shame that your body was on the cross of ED, but the glory is in leaving it behind. Thank you.

  10. I think everybody out there in cyber world should know, most people have a period of time where we wish to never gaze upon those moments ever again. I not only have rid myself of photos but certain music or smells associated with such events still nauseate me to this day. Certain song comes on and I nearly break the dash board trying to turn it off 😂 NOT ALONE !! Lol!

    1. Oh gosh, I feel you there! Isn’t it crazy how a smell or a location or a sound can just bring you right back to a place in your past! thanks for reading! hugs and love xox

  11. Not to so with the post but I heard a song today and you popped into my head for some reason. Maybe it’s because she talks about NYC but Home by Rachael Sage. Check it out.

  12. Thanks for sharing. I can relate. I have binge eating disorder, and I avoided having my picture taken as much as possible when I was overweight. When I lost the weight, I deleted all of the pictures of me on Facebook that documented what I looked like when I was fat. I regret that. Those pictures could have provided visual evidence of how far I’ve come with both my physical and mental health since then. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Heidi, thank you for sharing this. Yeah I definitely know what you mean. You can look back and remember how far you’ve come. Remember too that -you, yourself- are also evidence of that victory ❤️ big hugs to you friend! Xoxo

  13. On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those scars cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.
    Chris Cleave, Little Bee

    YOU HAVE SURVIVED

  14. Your reminded me of a box I have in the storage shed, not filled with photos (since I am not a photo person) but filled with notebooks of poetry from a strangely powerful and dark time in my life. During my time as a heavy drinker and drug abuser. It is like a forbidden box. I see it, have started to open it, but a dark, painful feeling comes from it and I walk away from it.

    There is some very good poetry in there. From a time when I truly spent time on my poetry as an art. But it will probably never be seen in my lifetime. I guess I keep it for after my death, for others to view when I’m gone. So many times I was about to walk it to the dumpster, but couldn’t do it. There is a strange force within that box. I can’t look inside but I can’t discard it.

    You are so wonderful for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Today is what matters and I’m happy that you have recovered and are living a good life. You are truly a blessing to us all.

    1. Hey Matthew, thank you for sharing this. You’re right, there’s a strong force in those reminders of the past. You’re right, today is what matters. We are new. We are alive. We are free. hugs to you friend xox

  15. What an awesome post! Love the quote that ‘God does his best work in caves.’ All of our struggles are working a purpose – even if we can’t see at the time 🙂

  16. I’ll keep on saying this, BBB: There was nothing wrong with what you went through. The Lord told Cain “Sin crouches at your door. It wants you, but you can master it.” He failed, and God did not destroy him, but sent him away to continue the struggle. You succeeded – you accepted the love that was tendered by Christ, and with him conquered the sin that preyed upon you. I hope that some day you can look at those pictures and say “Wow, that was a great victory that I worked with Christ.” Because, although your humility causes you to downplay your contribution, Jesus cannot heal unless the person caught in the throes of sin chooses to participate, and commits every fiber of their being to the struggle. It is that surrender of self – the saying “use me to heal the world of sin” – that is our choice, and the harder the choice is, the more grace accrues to us.

    Understand, I am not encouraging you to pride. I am encouraging you to set aside your shame and self-judgment. There is nothing wrong with what is seen in your past. It is merely evidence that you were beset by a great power, a power that has been overcome!

      1. I should elaborate: the last part of our surrender to Christ is to learn to see ourselves with his eyes. When we do that, so do we see others. What we see is this fragile, courageous scaffolding upon which God drapes angels that facilitate and celebrate and yearn for return to the place of our origin. It is to see beauty in the things that sin has draped in ugliness. It is the ultimate source of joy and meaning in my life. It is something that I long fervently for all people to share, and I feel you standing right on the edge, just a few short steps away. It is simply to look back into your past and tell that beleaguered daughter of God “I love you. We are strong enough. Come to us!”

      2. That is so true. And definitely the hardest part-seeing how He sees. One day at a one, He can and will transform our hearts. I love your wisdom. Grateful for you.

  17. Your writing style is amazing and so is your story!! It takes courage to reach deep within and share what you just did. Very inspiring 😊

  18. I haven’t really thought about this in a very loooong time. From K through 8th grade, I was the kid everyone else picked on. I was the different one, somehow. That was when The Adams Family first aired on TV. Because of the resemblance, my nickname became Pugsly. Kingsly, Fats, and I don’t care to recall how many more each took a turn. That was all in parochial school.

    Public high school was my chance to leave t0 all behind. I split myself in two; the me before high school and the me from then on. I literally saw myself as two people; a divorce from self, if you will. Won’t the shrinks who this read this have a field day!

    I haven’t been quite that nuts in decades. I eventually let it go. Still, I don’t think I have ANY pictures of myself from before high school, unless Julie squirreled some away after my parents died. If they ever pop up, it’ll be like looking at a particularly gruesome accident; don’t wanna see it, can’t look away. I can do without the reminder, having moved on.

    But if you accept that we are the total of all our experiences, then I guess that history has made its contribution.

    This entry also reminded me of a poem that I read in college; Delight in Disorder. Here’s a link: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/delight-in-disorder/ I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi there friend! Thank you so much for sharing this. Kids can be so mean. Yeah, sometimes we just have to close the door to places and memories that are more detrimental than helpful to think about. But you’re right-all these things have shaped us into who we are today. And I must say, I think you turned out pretty darn good ☺️ looking forward to reading that poem. Thanks for passing it along. Big hugs to you Jeff. Xx

  19. This is magnificent, thank you so much. I really needed this, not in relation to an eating disorder (though that has been in my past); however in relation to a significant relationship. Your sharing in this post helped me to give compassion to myself. What a blessing, thank you. xo Hugs my friend.
    Loving,
    Debbie

  20. That was hard. Congratulations. You lived. I, too, had a past that almost killed me, but it didn’t? Why me? I think maybe some of us are needed to teach others they don’t have to be swallowed by their past. Some don’t have the courage, self confidence or enough will to live to make it through. Some find it easier to be victims. Being able to talk about it instead of letting shame keep you silent means you will help others – you are making the cause to help others and that effect will bring fortune into your life – and I’m not talking about money. For every action there is a reaction, no matter if it is a good or a bad cause. Since you choose Christianity it is the meaning of the phrase “You reap what you sow”. I am a Nichiren Buddhist. We call it the Law of Cause and effect. Other people say, “What goes around comes around.” When you understand there are consequences for everything you think,do or say it can make you want to do more good and help more people because you can actually see the good you do. Because I am a Buddhist I don’t believe in an external being who changes my life, of who has za plan for me. I change my life. I create my plan. Buddhahood or that God-like nature is inside, not outside. But my belief doesn’t have to be yours. Whatever you call it, it changed your life, and now you can help change others. Good “luck” with your life. I use italics because there is no such thing as luck. Luck would be an effect without a cause. If you have good luck you earned it. Be well.

    1. Hi Sonny:) thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. I’m so glad that you’ve also found freedom from your past and have had the courage to emerge with strength. You have such a beautiful heart and I can feel it through the computer:) so glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  21. I have years that I feel like I’ve lost (for different reasons), and I feel like I’m still working on exactly how to make up for lost time. (The lack of pictures aren’t as much of a reminder with me, because I generally don’t take a lot of pictures of myself, period.) Thanks for sharing. Keep fighting.

    1. Thanks for sharing this Pi. Yeah, I think we all have times we feel we need to make up for. I guess that’s just a reminder to be in the moment and cherish the time we have with loved ones and not take anything for granted. Sending big hugs xox

  22. I suffer through anorexia, sometimes it feels like it goes away and other times it consumes my everyday. I’ve noticed that it has nothing to do with how I look, it’s more about control. I’m down 28 pounds since January and people compliment me on my weight-loss. If they only really knew why I lost weight. It makes me very uncomfortable and ashamed but really it’s a disorder and it’s real and it’s happening and I should give it the acknowledgement it deserves. Thank you for your post I really relate.

    1. Hi friend, thank you for sharing this. I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. I know how painful it is to suffer through this disease and how alone one can feel. I want to commend you for acknowledging it. That is the first step to recovery and freedom. Because you deserve to be free from ED’s grip. You deserve that freedom. You are worth it. I want to just encourage you to fight back against ED and his devious lies. You deserve a life of abundance. Feel free to email me. Sending big hugs to you my friend. Xox

      1. I love your posts! They are so real. 🙂 You are Beautiful and don’t you forget it!
        I struggle with conditional love from others at times…..my aim to keep remembering God loves me unconditionally! To think about it soak in it and live in it……..and…..in the light. as you do also.

  23. It is the same when you age. I do not take selfies. I don’t like the way I look and thenI wonder is this how it has alwayz been and it’s ugliness is rearing itsef up again? I did not have facebook so tbere arent pictures of me. I think Ed is ways lurking. We just stick to our strength and as Dory says ” just keep on swimming”

  24. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (isaiah 1:18) The Lord is all about healing and making broken things whole, complete, restored. And you, Beauty, are a continuing restoration of the True You. Christ loves “broken things”…for His hand makes them Whole again. You may have stripped away the pains of the past, but He only exposes the more Beautiful You.

      1. I think you’re such an inspiration! And it’s a topic that’s not discussed very much. I know you don’t need the exposure. But you really deserve the recognition! ❤️❤️

  25. First and impost importantly you are beautiful! Secondly, and just as important, you are intelligent, talented, and an amazing and inspiring writer!

    This took courage to write, and I can relate with the anxiety and depression I deal with still. There was a dark time, where oh my goodness, can we please ctrl+alt+del that portion of my life?! I get it.

    But I wouldn’t even if I could, because that’s gotten me to where I am today! This post inspires me to go further, so thank you! You’re are a wonderful lady, and a blessing to all those around you!

    1. Oh my gosh thank you friend 🙂 you are so sweet. Haha ctrl alt delete that’s funny! But so true! You’re right-it’s shaped is into who we are today. Thanks for your kind encouragement. Big big hugs to you xox

  26. I known exactly what you mean! And I suppose that is why I find your posts so inspirational. You are young in years yet have a spiritual maturity beyond your years. The visual proof may be gone but there is strong evidence through your words of the character that was once hidden but now is shining so bright! Keep up the great work.

  27. You’re so lovely. It takes darkness and light to see true beauty. We are all broken but being healed…unlovable but deeply loved. Sending you…the you from your whole life…a big hug.

    1. Hi Anna! Thank you so much. Amen to that-we are so loved. It’s taken me a long long time to realize that. And gosh, that means so much that you would hug the *whole life* me. That just got me choked up a little bit:) you are a blessing. Hugs and love right back to you xox

  28. Great post and how Facebook is prompting us with memories at the moment can really catch our hearts sometimes. I had a thought from one the other day and it went something like this.. ‘Oh sod off, I am not remembering that…’ Your post made me pause, for without those moments and times, we would not be who we are now…you are an inspiration. <3

    1. Thanks for this Jane. Hah – I love that thought – Yeah, we should have a “sod off” button on those Facebook memories prompts. (btw, i don’t really know what sod off truly means, so if it is something super offensive, i apologize! haha) sending big hugs ! xox

  29. Another inspiring and heartwarming post you got here Vit B3! (Can I call you that?! Haha, I mean it stands for beautybeyondbones and like a vitamin, your writing gives a healthy dose of wisdom and inspiration!) Your pictures are all awesome BTW esp. the one featuring one of my fave verses 2 Cor. 5:17. And keep up the humorous vibe! 🙂

    1. hahahah VitB3!!! Holy cow i love that so much!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 seriously though, thank you! And I’m really glad you enjoy the photos! They’re a bit of a labor of love to make, so I appreciate the feedback! Have a great weekend Kyle! hugs xox

  30. Wow. I’m really impressed that you can go back and look through the pictures from those years when you battled anorexia. I’m impressed that you keep those photos saved on your FB profile at all, even if you’re the only one with access. I never had a ton of pictures on Facebook to begin with, but what I did during recovery was un-friend just about everyone I wouldn’t disclose my ED to, and place my profile on the tightest security settings. All of my photos are in albums, and I won’t even look at them in order to go through and throw out all the old pictures. It’s too painful.

    You’re right, though. I don’t want to throw those pictures out. Many of the memories and events that they document are happy ones! Even when I was sick with my ED, I still enjoyed positive experiences and relationships that I want to remember. It’s part of my past, part of who I was, part of who I am today. When I broke up with a fairly serious (at the time) boyfriend several years ago, I pretty much erased all evidence of him from my life. Every gift he ever gave me, every memento, every picture of us. I don’t want to do that with my ED, because I can’t erase myself from myself. I’m still not ready to go back and flip through the photo albums, but maybe one day I will be.

    Sending so much love!!! Xoxoxoxo

    1. Hey Lulu! Thank you for this thoughtful refection. Wow you have so much wisdom and perspective. I am so appreciative of you sharing it. “I can’t erase myself from myself.” That sentence stopped me in my tracks. That is SO TRUE. Self forgiveness, self acceptance, self gentleness, self love — those things are really important. Not erasing your personal history is an expression of those things. thanks for making me think this morning! big hugs to you my friend xox

      1. Big hugs back! I’m going to try to take in your very generous compliment without negating it. And yes, self-forgiveness, acceptance, gentleness, love. Yes to all of it! Why do we treat ourselves more harshly than God treats us? It’s not as if we know something he doesn’t. You are constantly reminding me of that. 😊 Hope you have a beautiful weekend, my friend!

  31. Once again you have written another eye opener for me. I am currently going through the shameful, please no pictures of me phase now. I need to stop being so hard on myself. Weight loss takes time, I cannot do this alone, and I need to stop beating myself up over not taking care of myself as I was taking care of my mother while she was on her death bed. It is what it is, and that was a very hard time for me. So now I just need to move forward! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Kristina, thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so sorry that you lost your mother. My heart goes out to you and I’m sending you the biggest hug through the computer right now. You’re right, having patience with ourselves is one of the hardest things to do, but just think of the gift you gave your mother. What a beautiful thing. Sending you lots of love my friend. xox

  32. My Dear Beauty…..little do you know the impact you have had on this most difficult season of my own loss. Our situations are very different but pain is pain and loss is loss….and and I always find encouragement in your writing. When I was blogging through the 40 days of Lent you somehow found me and nearly every day “liked” the post….a seemingly small thing to do, but I found solidarity and strength as a result….(oh the power of the “Like” button!)
    It is lovely and inspiring to watch your transformation over time as God continues to heal and free you. It gives me hope! Bless you bunches. ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Thank you Shellie. Wow, thank you for saying that. I am so glad that my posts have resonated with you. I’m so sorry that you’re going through a difficult season. Know that I am praying for you 🙂 sending the biggest hugs. xox

  33. We have this portion of our past that was so difficult but now,looking back, it was just a hurdle to jump over and we did it. 🙆 Thanks for sharing your experience. Almost everyone can relate to this. BTW, you look gorgeous! Keep smiling! ❤

  34. Dark periods end. A wounded time is nothing to be ashamed of. Soooo good to hear. It helps me be courageous to talk about my own crazy dark times last year. Thank you for the reminder! By the looks of the comments and the follows, you are touching a lot of hearts! Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for this Steph. You’re so right-they do end. And then we get to live in the light! Thanks for your kind words! Big hugs to you friend! Have a lovely weekend Xox

  35. The wonderful thing about getting to know you here is learning many sides about you. The problem with FB is that many there don’t WANT to know when something went wrong. You get the ones who post asking for prayers or for sympathy, but overall most prefer the “Happy Go Lucky” statuses and posts. You get blamed of being a downer or having too much drama if you post much on the darker side on FB. You think you might get support, but many ears close. I’m glad to follow you there and you can certainly friend me, but I’m glad to know what I’ve learned about you HERE, and not just the fluff on the surface. You are all around amazing and inspiring xoxoxo Much Love!!

    1. Hey friend:) gosh you are such a bright light in my day! Yeah you’re right about that with Facebook. And now it’s all either political, weddings or food videos! Haha I know, I’m so glad our paths crossed here first. Sending big big hugs to you friend xox

      1. xoxo I sooooo stay off the political yadda. Once in a while, I’ll say something, but I don’t get into all the posts and signs and etc.. over candidates and all. The thing I don’t quite care for, is how people will post things wanting others to like them, but don’t come around and like things YOU post. More xoxoxo

      2. Yeah that’s very true. Whenever it’s election season I always find myself thinking, “can’t we all just get along?!” Haha but seriously though…Hugs and love xox

      3. This is something I had sent you at FB after the poem I shared and all that I said before regarding NYC. I wasn’t sure if you had a chance to see it. So I’m re-sharing it here. xoxoxo

        Don’t get me wrong, I like the bigger brighter sides of NYC too. What I don’t like is this “erasing the character” of so many neighborhoods of different ethnic and racial populations. They make up the colors and character of NYC as much as “Midtown Manhattan”, and every Starbucks.
        I’m glad the days of The Bronx Burning are over. I’m glad Brooklyn has raised itself, and even parts of Queens too. but clean doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t have to) mean tossing the people and their identities out.

  36. LOVE! This so reminded me of Exodus 33:22!! When we’re in the dark and don’t see Him, I truly think that’s when He’s closest. He’s just placed us carefully in that cleft in the rock while His glory passes by. And once we’re out of that place, we can see His back and the work He’d been doing in our lives. The Dark is hard…but His glory is beautiful! No matter what the pictures look like! <3

  37. Hello. There are times when it’s too hard to look back on our lives. We can’t deal with it. Thank God that you found courage. No matter what the problem was. Take care now..

  38. Thank you for sharing. I have always appreciated the transparency revealed in your posts. Once again, your poster art is the perfect complement that extracts the essence of your message in such a captivating way. You let your life speak, indeed.

    As always, thanks for the likes posted on Dr. J’s Apothecary Shoppe.

  39. Well said. I have to ingest FB in moderation and, at times, I go so far as to deactivate. I’m bothered to see the “best”. . . . “always the best” . . . “my life is perfect”. . . facade that so many. I’d much rather see struggles because we all have them. If you only read FB, you’d think no one has problems. This is why I follow Blogs like your. It’s real and sometimes so honest that it makes me realize . . . “Pheeewww, I’m not the only one.” Keep up the great work. Your work here is important!

    1. Hey Bruce! Wow thank you for such a thoughtful response. I so agree about fb. It’s everyone’s highlight reel. I have to constantly remind myself of that when I go on there. Because you’re right: life is real. Raw. Messy. With struggles. Which allows God to come in and do His “work in the cave.” Anywho, so glad you stopped by. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Xx

  40. I love they way you designed your site. How do you make such cool photos with inscriptions on them? I’d really like to add that personal touch to my blog, I’m very inspired by you. Thank you for that goft

    1. Thank you so much:) yeah I love making those photo art pictures! I have a program on my phone that allows me to over lay with text. Thanks for your kind words! Hugs and love xox

  41. And what’s more you end up looking very astonishingly beautiful! And still, for others expecting miracles from the LORD, if it has to do with Jehovah God then fret not. Be rest assured that HE can and will do all that’s necessary to make it happen. Creationism came into being a la ex nihilo! Why do you think He also created a Sabbath as the last? And who is the Lord of Sabbath? Cool down. It’s all well! Amen!! A beautiful post as usual.

  42. Great post 🙂 That quote from that father coincided perfectly with this post. We may not know it at the time, but sometimes a dark period benefits us in that we learn about how to mature as a human being. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  43. Regarding your entry there, about photographs and life and time ..etc…. just a few words from me, if that’s okay?

    It’s simply a fact that God always gives back to us that which was taken away from us, or that which we have lost, when it comes to times or experiences or just some things that are important for us to ‘keep’ somewhere, for ourselves.

    I believe that no matter what photographs look like, that it is important for us, as human beings to have that documentation of ourselves for our own memory, even during those times which you might call dark times or wounded times, whether it is about weight or about how someone or something in this world has made a seemingly-permanent mark on us. <—– but that's just my opinion.. on that.

    For sure, I like what you wrote there when you wrote that "darkness is never permanent" . My brother wasn't aware of this very clear and evident fact, that darkness is never permanent. When one feels or believes or thinks that darkness is permanent, that is when one is feeling hopeless and that is not healthy for human beings, at all. My brother killed himself because he thought that darkness was permanent, and therefore felt no hope was left for him.

    It is my sincere wish and hope and, perhaps better than that, it is my prayer, that anyone who is mistakenly thinking that darkness is permanent, rethink that, and know, and remember that there is always hope, no matter what. And thus, there is nothing on this planet that is so dark or harmful or painful that we can not get past that and over that.

    On the topic of Facebook, uhghg… I don't like facebook at all, for various reasons, mostly because their privacy policy is too convoluted, complicated, twisted and technically fixed so that almost everything somehow winds up public–even things marked private of for friends only.

    ….just an opinion here, on the same topic….

    Only God, and God's light, and love, loyalty, and strength is permanent. All that is necessary is that one believe, truly believe.

    1. Hey friend. Thank you for this beautiful perspective. So very powerful. You’re right-God is always working and wants to give His children the best for them. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  44. In Switchfoot’s new EP entitled, “The Wound is Where the Light Shines Through” I am reminded how the wounds of our past become the place where God’s redemptive light shines through. Your struggle has actually become the “platform” to encourage and bring healing to others. Though it feels like “lost” years, they have become the place where a testimony of God’s redeeming grace now shines through! I “lost” seven years to a crazy destructive lifestyle in my teens and early twenties that actually became the catalyst to my finding God. I have grieved for the lost years but sit in amazement how God has used my poor choices and pain to help many others in pain because of their choices and past. 2 Corinthinans 1:3-4, ” Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Past pain and hurt is where the light shines through :0)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this tom. What a powerful testimony. You’re so right-His light radiates through our wounds when we let others see them. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  45. Beautiful, honest, powerful and encouraging. Your words always lift me and help me cling on to hope in Him. Thanks my lovely xxxx ps – sent you couple of messages about supporting you as a Patreon, not sure you received them? xx

    1. I’m sorry I’m looking everywhere for the messages…can you remind me where you sent them? Was it email, FB, Twitter or WP or IG? Lol it is so hard to keep all the communications straight😬🙈🙈🙈🙈

      1. Ha don’t worry I completely understand. And you’ve tonnes of people to keep up with too! My first message was on your Facebook page, then on a WP but I can’t remember which one!
        Is this a private message on WP between us now? I get so confused with all the social media sometimes 🙂 xxx

  46. Just after I related my experience in another thread about parts of / people in my life that I have to keep a safe distance from, one of them came a bit too close again and annoyed me for that evening. Yes.. sometimes you just have to close the door.

    Others open everywhere! 🙂

    1. I’m sorry that that you had to deal with an unpleasant situation! you’re right, sometimes you’ve just gotta shake the dust off. thanks again for stopping by! hugs xox

  47. I’ve felt the same about my past work experience. Taking a lot of those “down” or on private. Part of me wishes I didn’t go down that road. But I know God uses all things ♡
    Great post and great writing!

  48. Hey I’m so happy you took the time to like my post because I found your blog. It’s amazing. I can so relate to this post because i have a huge chunk of years that the only evidence is the horrific memories. However I long to find pictures out there somewhere, it helps me to remember the few good times in those dark days but also reminds me where I came from and where i never want to be. But honestly I have enough of them in only me folders as well. Thank you for sharing your vulnerable thoughts and feelings and being an inspiration to others. BTW you did great on your photos!!!

    1. Thank you so much:) that’s so kind of you to say. You’re right-those memories and photos only serve to remind us of our growth. Little reminders to be grateful. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  49. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience. You are very brave. It is sad that for some of us we feel that we need to do things to ourselves that not only affect us physically but emotionally as well. I am thankful that you’ve been able to move past this and that you can look forward to a brighter future. I suffered for a few years with bulimia. It was also during a really rough time in my life, but then I became addicted to it after coming out of the rough time. Sometimes I still struggle with my looks but I will never go back to that way of life. Your words about not being able to look at photos from that time is something that I can relate to in a way. Sometimes I have trouble looking at the photos of who I once was because I don’t look like that anymore. This post means alot, so thank you again for sharing.

Join the Conversation!