Putting my Foot Down

Ok. It’s time I step into the confessional.

My personal life has been…a struggle recently. I’ve been feeling out of control.

And I’m going to be honest…it’s because I have just been mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically exhausted.

I’ve been getting home after back to back to back 12-hour days just in such a piss-poor mood, that sitting down and writing something deep and meaningful seems a) incredibly disingenuous, and b) downright unfathomable.

And it’s befuddling. Because I love pouring myself into projects and working hard and hustling.

I thrive on hard work and dedication. It’s part of my make up.


But this time, it’s different.

My body is telling me – imploring me –screaming at me – that everything is not alright.

And I’m not just talking about the permanent stress-twitch I have developed in my right eye.

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Acting is a difficult profession because you’re the lowest man on the totem pole. The hours are long. The pay is practically nonexistent. And you end up having to work survival jobs that are grueling and unglamorous.

But I’m not complaining, because again…I know, I chose this “non-traditional line of work” as my mother continually reminds me.

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But after composing myself after a full-body-shaking sob sesh, I realized why this time was different. Why I’m so soul tired and broken this time around.

This time is different because I am allowing myself to be taken advantage of.

With a project that is pushing the line further and further and further: with non-reembursed time commitments, physical exertion, passive aggressive BS, and disorganized chaos on set.  And me just letting it happen. Taking it.

And after 5 weeks of this – 10+ hours a day, six days a week…I finally broke down.

And I realized that allowing this treatment is completely contradicting everything my recovery is about.

My recovery from anorexia has centered on the journey to accepting the truth that I have worth. Not because of what I do, who I know, what I look like…nothing. I have worth because Jesus says so. He said so when He embraced the Cross.

But allowing this treatment communicates – whether I realize it or not – that I actually don’t believe that. That, it’s okay that I just take it and put up with an inhumane unprofessional situation because, at the end of the day, I don’t matter. I probably deserve that.

And that is false.

am worth it. I am worth being compensated for my time. For having my time be respected and my intellectual property recognized.

Our actions, whether consciously or unconsciously, communicate messages to ourselves. What do we think we’re worth? Do I allow someone to walk all over me? Am I completely upending my life to meet the needs of someone who doesn’t even respect my time when I’m there?

I am worth respect. I am worth honesty. I am worth dignity.

So where to go from here?

When you’re reading this, a week has passed since I first drafted this post.

After writing this, I took a deep breath, dried my tears, collected myself and did something about it.

I stood up for myself.

I stood up for my worth.

I communicated that I cannot work under those conditions any longer. I need to be compensated and I need to be treated with respect.

And you know what? I feel really good about it.

Because my actions have finally backed up my beliefs. I stood up for myself and put my money where my mouth is.

And if I lose this project, then so be it. Because at the end of the day, my self-worth and self-dignity — everything I’ve worked so hard to solidify in my 8 years of recovery – those things are more valuable than this project. Those things are worth protecting.

So protect them I will.

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396 thoughts on “Putting my Foot Down

  1. Beloved Caralyn! Remember that Jesus is always with you and he is constantly transforming your life in a greater and greater masterpiece. His power, his freshness and his eternal life is already within you and he has a perfect plan for your future, because the vision of Christ sees only perfection and there is an abundance of blessings in store for you, designed uniquely for you with his personal authorised signature.
    „All things are possible to him who believes.“ the Lord has written dreams in your heart and with them the power to accomplish them, they are the trail and the breath of the Holy Spirit, that is working in you. Trust them. Every time I face a problem, I remind myself that every problem comes with a promise and a provision attached to it and every challenge is a training for reigning, so that we become trustworthy ambassadors of his kingdom and perfected into the image of his son: „So be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.“

    Good night/Laila tov לילה טוב ,
    Mark 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I think we all go through a period where we forget our worth especially when it’s for something that we think we truly want and need. However, the true test comes when you take a stand and let the chips fall where they fall. Once we respect and value who we are, then everyone will. We allow people to treat us badly when we treat ourselves badly. I’m happy that you put your foot down, because loving you is more important. Very insightful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Impressive. Raw. Honest. Straightforward, and most of all… on-point. When a sometimes cynic like me can “feel ya”, you have achieved what most writers only hope for. Keep up the great work and always believe in the power of YOU.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The ‘Tyranny’ of Positive Thinking – Sunlight in Winter

  5. My dear sister in Christ, I followed your blog today, because I notice you read just about everything I post: prose, poetry, and devotionals. I regret that I did not do it sooner. My own writing is so inconsistent, and at the heart of things, I don’t tend to follow blogs because the ones I DO follow, I have so little time to read. In the end, though, we do as we please, so ultimately, I guess I don’t feel like reading them. Yours is special, not just because of your recovery, but because of the epiphanies that you reveal, because of your courage, because of your vulnerability and openness. And so, please forgive my negligence where you have been faithful. I appreciate every reader, but of all those who follow my blog, you’ve been the most consistent. It hasn’t gone unnoticed, and I want you to know that. You are the daughter of the Most High King, and He will make a smooth the crooked places for you. I pray that for you, and thank you so much for supporting my writing. I’m glad that, for my part, we now to get to lift up each other.

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  6. Glad you were able to find yourself again and fix the issue. I tend to do the same thing myself at times because I know that I have my little family depending on me. I enjoy your blog and how real you allow yourself to be, keep it up.

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  7. Love the post, I’ve recently been going through a similar series of events and this morning – for once – I stood up for myself and got what I wanted and deserved (because I paid for it nonetheless) and I thought to myself I should really be fighting in my corner more often rather than letting everyone walk all over me at the expense of my own joy and energy. Anyway enough about me! Just wanted to say I can relate and thanks for posting and articulating it so beautifully.

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    • Thank you so much. So glad it resonated with you. Yes! You deserve joy and energy and I’m so proud of you for claiming those things and standing up for yourself. Believe me, I know how scary that can be! So glad you stopped by:) Hugs and love xox

      Like

  8. It is so easy to stand for others in need, but often very difficult to stand for ourselves. In a way many of us believe the lie that we deserve ill treatment or a punishment for our shortcomings we see in the mirror each morning, but God has given us new life, a new identity and an image after His own Son. I am a child of God and as I stand for myself in Christ, I stand to glorify God!

    Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
    Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving

    Abound in God, no shame in standing for what Christ died for.

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  9. So just a brief note for you regarding the entertainment industry: Actors are THE most exploited element in this industry. They will ALWAYS push you to accept more and more denigration, to the point you either sacrifice your morality, and play ball or disappear into the never ending cattle calls and auditions that never come. (and of course the “working for free to pay my dues” concept is little more than legalized slavery.) I’ve worked in the industry for some time (behind the camera) and unfortunately some of the worst people on the planet are actors (and producers) – Those that have sacrificed any and all that is holy and moral for that infamous “big break.” I’m not placing you in that category, I don’t know you of course, but I am telling you that the industry is CRAMMED FULL, both film, theater, and music, with vile wolves that will promise you anything in order to exploit you to the extreme. No more detail there but you get the idea. So that’s the danger… Hold tight to who you are in Him, give ZERO ground because once you do, it’s a long fall with no end in sight. Peace sister. You CAN do great work in entertainment but you MUST exorcise extreme discernment and recognize your soul is more important than anything we may achieve on Earth. Be safe.

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    • Hey David! Wow thank you so much for this response. It’s really great to hear from someone who knows the biz from “the other side.” So true. Just this past weekend I had to turn down two films – one where they insisted on nudity and I said heck to the NO! And another where, again, they wanted to only pay 50$/day. It’s a shame. Especially since they know they can perpetuate this atrocious treatment, because, there will always be someone willing to do it. But enough about that-I’ll step off my soap box now too haha thanks for affirming me and taking the time to read! And best of luck in all your creative endeavors! Sending hugs xox

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  10. Hi I am new to this blogging – but I wanted to say that your post resonates so much with me…and I especially love that you recognised your own weakness..and so so bravely STOOD UP..Remembering that when you act with Jesus..with His Love and Integrity covering you, man cannot permeate and drag you down. You seem like an inspiring young lady, I look forward to reading more. I am a Christian writer, activist, stand up comic, presenter and recently disabled wheelchair user,,,who giggle incessantly…STAY BLESSED AND ENJOY HIS PRESENCE….

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  11. Amen sister! It’s amazing how sneaky and surreptitious those habits and behaviors can be that stem from not believing we have worth. Bravo for recognizing them. That is a large part of the battle.

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  12. Hey, thanks for the like on my recent post! After reading this I can sympathize so hard with you. Self-love is so important and, yet, one of the hardest things to maintain. I know that, for me, I have to consciously make an effort each day to know my worth- and when life starts piling up, reminding myself that I’m worthy and that I’m loved usually takes the backburner. I hope that you’re able to find a happy medium in your life and that, most importantly, you always remember that you are enough- just the way you are. Xx

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  13. Hi BBB,

    I also dropped by because I noticed you’ve liked some of my posts, so I wanted to say hi. I empathize with you for what you were going through when you wrote this — the world can be a demanding place, and sometimes its pressures can be overwhelming. It’s great that you were able to act with integrity! When I read your statement, “I thrive on hard work and dedication. It’s part of my make up. But this time, it’s different. My body is telling me – imploring me –screaming at me – that everything is not alright.”, it inspired a thought that I wanted to share, if I may be so bold:

    His circumstances were certainly different than your situation, but God once told the apostle Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for MY strength is made perfect in WEAKNESS.” (2 Cor. 12:9) What was true for Paul is true for all, and I think anyone who is able to fully understand the meaning of that verse is greatly blessed, so I wanted to share it with you. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts as to the connection I feel this scripture has with your above experience!

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  14. Your struggle sounds all too familiar. It only takes one experience like this to tamper with security of self-worth. The truth is our worth goes “beyond bones”. This is truth for life as we reflect on Christ who died to reconcile us to our heavenly Father. He shrouds believers in a righteousness beyond any scale of measure in this life. The truth is, a hostile work environment may be a faith growth opportunity to strengthen relationship with God in Heaven by forcing us to depend on His unseen power in our life. Another truth is, a spiritual strain at work can and will develop when there is a situation of being “unequally yoked” with a work group that there is no common ground, such as: biblical values, professional goals, professional planning, etc. Each is an opportunity for learning more about ourselves, relationship, other people, and our faith; But NEVER easy and always lways requires more strength than we can will on our own.
    Thank you for bravely sharing your struggle.

    Like

  15. I appreciate the post. I feel burned out myself at times. I am hoping to add to the idea of worth. I think it’s important to know that Jesus did not die for us because he saw we were worth it. If it is because he saw something in us worth dying for, then what happens when we struggle or fail in that area? Are we no longer worthy? Jesus saw us for who we are, with all our weaknesses, failures, our rebellion, and insufficiencies and because of who he is (in spite of who we are) he died to ascribe to us value and worth. Your worth has nothing to do with you and everything to do with who God is. We are finite and fallible and if our worth had anything to do with us, we would find ourselves unworthy way too often. Because that worth is dependent upon God, who is unchanging, then we are always valuable by God’s declaration. Does that make sense?

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  16. This is great! We all struggle with standing up for ourselves sometimes. I struggle with this a lot. However, when you begin to understand that God has a purpose for you, that feeling starts to go away. I’m glad you realized this and are sharing it with others, so they can also be encouraged!

    You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!

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      • This acting world is full of this – because no one has enough money to complete thier projects. So they depend on those of us who are looking for help in obtaiing auditon work for their own reels – it can be quid pro quo – and we eat crow sometimes. But if we acsribe to the “Hollywood” agenda – you might be surpirsed at the real cost to your soul. Perhaps God protects His own from the dangers it poses. I put down that dream – out of choice – when I saw the lives of everyone used for nefarious reasons as they guilded the narcsisstic egos with undeserved gold.

        Like

  17. Caralyn, it took me awhile to write you a note about this post, because I have been contemplating it since it appeared in my inbox. Your words really struck a chord with me. They often do, but this time was a little different, because this time, it felt like there was a message here that was directly applicable to my life in the present moment, and not only because I also have a stress twitch in my right eye. For the last several months, I have felt overworked, overburdened, and entirely invalidated, which has left me edgy, exhausted, and angry. In April, I took on several new responsibilities and projects all at once. At the time, they seemed necessary for my career, my continued growth in my recovery, and my practical survival. (https://realadventuresofbecomingme.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/riding-the-rails/) Things are a bit more settled now. If I were to find myself in a similarly precarious situation, my resume is refreshed, my skills are honed, and I am more confident in myself and my abilities because of how I managed to tackle all of the additional responsibilities I’ve been juggling all summer. Yet, I am suffocating under the workload, and it no longer seems necessary. What’s more, it suddenly became clear to me last week just how much I have been letting certain other individuals take advantage of my work ethic. At first, I was pissed to discover the extent of the deception, but it finally helped me find the self-assuredness to put my own foot down. And it feels AMAZING! It feels like I might actually get my life back! I told my supervisor that I simply don’t have time to commit to one of the extra projects I have been working on since May, and she was completely understanding, and then I also requested that we re-evaluate the way our caseload is distributed to make it more equitable, which is also happening! It feels awesome to finally be standing up for myself! Before, I was so angry and inwardly-focused, that I knew I was not appreciating the blessing God was trying to give me. Now, I feel like I can be free and open to receive whatever he has in store for me next! Sorry that this comment is excessively long, but your story was so strong, it has stayed with me and really impacted me in a different way this time. I hope that everything is working out with your project, but if it isn’t, I am sure that God has something better in store for you next! Have a GREAT weekend! xoxo

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    • Hi Lulu, thank you for sharing this. I’m sorry that you can personally relate. I’m so glad that you put your foot down and stood up for yourself! That’s so awesome! Woo! I’m cheering for you:) hope you’re having a great week! Hugs xox

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  18. I belive you get more of that same, in other words you did the right thing and the universe will send you into situations where you are respected. First you have to make known what is not acceptable, the rest will fall into step. It takes courage to stand against all, buy you did it and and feel better for it. I congratulate you, Sincerely!

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  19. Very well said.You need to take care of you.Protect what’s important.I am encouraged by your recovery story.Every time I see your post I think how your writing can help othere especially young girls.

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  20. Hi, Beauty Beyond Bones … My Dear and Awesome Sister in Christ, I will be praying for you about this. Thanks so much for your honesty in sharing your struggle. So many of us Christians do not do this and we really should. I say God Bless You for it … In and Through Christ’s Love:-)

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  21. HI BBB, well I am glad you clicked “like” on one of my posts because it made me read another of yours!. I’m 71 so this is like your Dad talking here. I wish I could give you a hug. God loves you (me too)! No, really, more than you can ever imagine. I see what you have accomplished and I see your faith and you do have your priorities straight. Sometimes the lessons we have to learn aren’t easy and sometimes it takes us a while to reach the conclusion that we have known inside for quite some time. I could tell you of a number of stories where God has closed one door on me, only to open another. Or He has closed the door because He knows better than I, what I need. The profession you have chosen is not an easy one but in reality, no professions really are easy. But when your self worth gets demeaned and your spirit gets crushed is not good. I am not going to tell you what to do profession wise, but I can, from experience, give you some advice. There is a verse of Scripture that has worked for me and it reads as follows: Psalm 37:5 Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. What that really means is lay it on your heavenly Father, tell Him your hearts desire and then leave it to Him to bring it about. In other words, it’s not your problem anymore, God will deal with it. That’s where the trusting Him comes in. He knows what you need, daily, weekly, monthly. I know that can be frightening because there are bills to pay, all the basics. I have been there. He has never failed me once in all my 71 years and He won’t fail you. Lay it out to Him, then leave it there and He WILL work it out for you. You are much more than you currently know. I love your honesty and resolution to follow what you know is right. Trust me, I have made some pretty desperate prayers when I thought there was no way I could make it through, but I always have. Not because I am super smart, but because our God is a loving God and He knows exactly what is best for you. Keep us informed on how this all works out. You can never go wrong in trusting in our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is a precious lesson because it will show you in concrete terms, how much He cares and how much wiser He is. Blessings!

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    • Wow Bruce, thank you so much for this. I am seriously so touched by your words. You’re so so right- God’s got this. He will not fail me. He knows exactly what I need and when I need it. I just need to trust. Again, thank you. You’ve spoken exactly what i needed to hear this morning. Big big hugs xox

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  22. You are worthy of a geniunely good life. We all are. I am proud too hear that you stood up for your own life, that is such a valuable assest. Never let go of your self love.

    -H

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  23. Yes. You are number one. Always remember that. A friend of mine told me the same advice I am giving you. And it’s true. Always look out for your own best interests because no one else will do it for you, no matter what they tell you.

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  24. God bless. I did burn a bridge on a job purposely for the reason on that last meme. I knew I would be tempted to go back and they would finish me off like they did several of my co-workers and friends. I was just reading “Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately” by David Wilkerson, the pastor that wrote “The Cross and the Switchblade” that was made into a movie many years ago. It was his last book. I found it after talking to God and telling him that I just can’t do it anymore and I don’t get certain things about life in general. I found it a couple hours later at a garage sale. Very interesting reading.

    Like

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