How Did I Recover?

I’ve been sitting, staring at this blank page for about 2 hours now.

Granted, I’ve taken a few breaks to peruse Buzzfeed, watch a Korean makeup video, and get ready for bed, but let’s face it. I’ve got writer’s block.


Which royally stinks.

So I’m going to go back to my roots here tonight. Return to why I started this blog in the first place.

Sometimes, when I think back to when I was in the throes of anorexia, it catches my breath. Thinking about all the ways I was ruled by this menacing dictator in my head: ED. Days were calculated to the minute. Choices and moments were heightened, inducing high stakes anxiety attacks. I was in the most extreme vortex of panic, all the time. About food. Exercise. Movement. Calories. Body image. Fear. Stress. Routines. Schedules. Secrecy.

I was trapped. A prisoner in my own disordered mind.

And honestly, thinking back to how entrenched I was – truly, in every sense of that word — completely consumed, suffocated, — I honestly cannot believe that I escaped. Because during that time, I would have never thought that freedom from that state of strangulation was possible. The thought of being recovered, it was simply unimaginable. Overwhelming to consider. It seemed completely unattainable.

And I don’t think I’m alone in that. For a lot of girls trapped in an eating disorder, imagining a life free from ED is downright impossible. Just the thought of the next meal is enough to send you into a full-blown panic attack, so the thought of a recovered life where you eat without fear, have a healthy body, and accept who you are…it’s simply out of the realm of possibilities.

So how then, did I do it?

I think that’s the question I get asked the most. How did I break free? How did I embrace recovery when I was so sick.

And I know, the answer “It was God” is enough to give you eye strain from the severity of the eye roll it solicits.


But here’s the truth.

It only takes one baby step. One decision. One choice: I am going to begin the journey of recovery.

One moment of looking up and saying, “help.” Because that’s it – you don’t have to have all the steps figured out yet. You won’t. Guaranteed. You won’t know what you will need, how you will do it, what tools/strategies/methods/obstacles/detours you will need along the way, but that’s okay. You don’t have to.

Because that’s where God comes in.

That’s what I mean when I say, “It was God.”

All I had to do was make the decision to try. To begin. To start.

It’s like that scene in Aladdin (I know, I’m a sucker for classic Disney. Don’t give me none of this Pixar crap…)


Aladdin takes a step off of Jasmine’s balcony, and as he’s about to fall, the magic carpet swoops in and gives him footing.


God will give you what you need for the journey. He’ll give you everything necessary to succeed.

But I had to give Him my “yes.” I had to choose to begin.


Were there days that I slipped up? 100%. Heck, I had a period where I relapsed. Hard.

Where was God then? 

Well I’ll tell ya. God’s not the welfare system. I mean, He is...Grace is the biggest “government” handout we’ll ever be privileged enough to receive.

But – we have to actively work, too.

I had to make the conscious decision every day to stick to recovery. I always have. Always will.

But when I choose to make that decision, and ask for help, I get it. Every time.

So that how “I did it.” That’s how I broke free.

I said yes, He provided the way.

Now…back to those Korean make up videos…


*And a huge thank you and shoutout to Fr. Mike for being my inspiration for this piece 🙂


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279 responses to “How Did I Recover?”

  1. Awesome! Thank you for going back and remembering for all of us. . . What an inspiration. I don’t have ED; however, my plate is full, so to speak. I face my own demons . . . everyday. And your blog is such an encouragement! Thank you.

    • Thank you so much 🙂 I really appreciate your kind words! It’s true – we all are facing our own “stuff” but we’re all in this together! 🙂 so glad you stopped by! big hugs xo

  2. I admire you for recovering and coming back stronger from an ED. Like you said yourself it’s not an easy thing to do at all, but here you are blogging about it! I’ll let you get back to your Korean make-up videos now 😉 (wanna send some along to me?) Jk jk. The only makeup I own is an eyeliner pencil.

  3. Good post. Did you ever find out what caused you to take the step into ED? I know you say thoughts in your head but did you ever discover who planted those thoughts? It’s important because you learn who your adversaries are. Just like Paul teaching us how to spot Satan’s deceptions, we learn. Then we can point out to others how to spot a deceiver saving others from the pitfalls we missed. You are beautiful and you are a princess in God’s eyes and mine.

    • Thank you so much! Wow what a kind thing to say:) you know, it was really a combination of a lot of things. Mainly pride and striving for perfection. So now I definitely have learned to let those things go. With God anything is possible! Hugs and love xox

  4. I like your blog posts, and I like your videos. And I admirte your candor and your willingness to share yourself with us. In my opinion, all those little video clips you insert detract from your message. You, my dear, don’t need anything extra at all to embellish your beautiful testimony. I just scroll through all those things and read what you write. The rest is wasted on me. I don’t know, maybe your other readers love them, and I’m just the old misfit, but I’n in one of those tell-it-like-it-is zones tonight.

    In Jesus’ precious name Steven Sawyer

    On Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “I’ve been sitting, staring at this blank page > for about 2 hours now. Granted, I’ve taken a few breaks to peruse Buzzfeed, > watch a Korean makeup video, and get ready for bed, but let’s face it. I’ve > got writer’s block. Which royally stinks. So I’m goi” >

  5. Love you girl! Such courage and strength you give to others! You have been called for a purpose Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  6. So positive. God is good all of the time even when we feel we don’t deserve it. Thankfully He’s so loving and forgiving and never gives up on us when He knows we are truly ready to take those right steps whatever they may be. Keep up the positive work. BLESSINGS.

  7. I would never have guessed that you had writers block. Great post. Beautiful is what you are inside and out. When you say yes to God he does the rest.

  8. Awesome! Because you broke it down to the simplest answer, “Help me God!” That’s it… that’s all there is to it, the beginning anyway:) Then we apply what God has said and promised. Everything else just fits into place:) Bless His Holy Name and God bless you too!

  9. Great post! The other day via a Facebook generated link my life quote was ‘be kind to everyone you meet, for everyone is fighting some kind of battle.’ This so so rings true – have a great day xx

  10. I can relate so much. When I decided to get help, my therapist challenged me to only weigh myself once a day (unheard of for me who typically weighed myself 10+ times a day). Anyways, I wrote Philippians 4:13 on my mirror that night and didn’t weigh myself the entire weekend. The help of the Lord is crucial for recovery in my opinion as well. Xoxo

  11. “I was trapped. A prisoner in my own disordered mind.” Such a relevant quote for me as well when I look back on myself before I received the right treatment for my mental illness.

  12. I always get something out of your posts. Thank you for sharing. Things have been challenging for me lately. Both in good ways and not so good ways. Still, a clean life is very good, even when it ain’t so hot 🙂

  13. Usually when I want to leave a comment on someone’s post, I read the post over a couple of times to gather my thoughts.

    This one, however, required only one read-through. I knew exactly what I wanted to say in my comment. It isn’t much, but it is so much: You are blessed and God is good.

    May God bless you always. 🙂

  14. You are a beautiful young lady and an inspiration to all who read your posts. I am so happy that you decided to recover and asked God to help you figure out your path. I too gave up and asked God for help and got it … once I let Him help me.

  15. Once again, truly inspirational and makes me think of the struggles in my life that I had to overcome. Reading through this three times over, and thinking back on my own life, it actually brought me to tears a little bit because I began thinking about how, when I truly realized I needed God, I turned and I did not have to go find Him, He was just there, waiting for me to turn to Him, ask His forgiveness, and He embraced me. God doesn’t leave His children, He follows after them, subtly imploring them to turn to Him, but He waits for them to make that decision, but what’s truly amazing is that He WAITS. He was extremely patient with me just as He was extremely patient with you–just waiting for you to say that you can’t do anything on your own and you need God to pull you up.

    Caralyn, your scars don’t define where you’re going, only where you have been. Just think on how Christ bears the scars He received from his death–and those scars only tell us what Jesus has done for us. If I might quote another Disney reference:

    Stay beautiful in Christ, Caralyn! Always praying!


    • Thanks Tom:) I can always count on you for such powerful insight and thoughtful encouragement. I’m so glad it resonated with you and that you too know the merciful and saving hand of God. Amen : by his stripes we are healed. Can’t wait to check out the video. Big big hugs xox

    • Thank you Cheetahs. Yes. Faith! Looking forward to checking out that article. Thanks for passing it along. Living in Manhattan, I definitely see a lot of cases of the “yuppies.” Thanks for stopping by! big hugs to you friend xox

  16. I absolutely love your analogy of Aladdin and the magic carpet. That is perfect- just taking that first step and God does the rest when you cannot yourself. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts always, sweet girl. I admire you beyond words! <3

  17. Thanks for sharing. God helped me through depression and my experience of His help was as you described; I had to say yes, God, I need your help. But honestly, I had to be brought so low before I was willing to say that. But He was always there even when I turned away from Him bitterly.

  18. Great testimony of strength. Thank you for sharing your story. In things like shame and insecurity that keep people beaten down, you have found the right perspective and found your strength in overcoming your challenges with strength from God. I’m always encouraged and refreshed in my own spirit to hear stories like these.

  19. I hear you! While ED is decades behind me, I’ve discovered in the years since that my dependence upon God’s strength, mercy, grace and healing has continued in pretty much every aspect of my life. ED was just one battle in the war of mortality. That said, lest I sound morbidly depressing, life is not just a war zone; life offers love and joy and beauty as well. But I have learned this life is about struggles challenges and growth of which I simply am not in control and thus cannot conquer without God. I’ve come to recognize this is His design, His plan; a plan which brings about His purpose.

  20. Excellent post. In reality how you found freedom is how we all find freedom. Whether it be an eating disorder, fear, worry, whatever. This is how I’m finding freedom from fear. Thanks for sharing.

  21. You are a warrior and an inspiration. Anorexia is one of the most difficult things to battle. As you are probably aware of, the success rates are not usually great. Your blog I hope will help to change that. Having been on both sides of the scale there is criticism no matter what size you are. Trying to be happy with yourself the way you are is a difficult achievement. Good luck and keep writing.

  22. When I was going through what seemed an insurmountable situation, I told God often that it was HIs to handle. Too big for me. It turned out better than my wildest dreams. I’m with you, sister.

  23. You are such an inspiration to those who are going through the same thing, and inspiration to us who need to know that we can indeed do the most difficult of things. Congratulations!

  24. Thank you Alex for liking my blog. You’re the first non-family member to like. I am spanking brand new to the blogging world and have a ton to learn, but like you said in this post…you just have to start! Thank you for sharing with us.

  25. What a hard question to answer! I’m surprised you only suffered two hours of writer’s block when trying to describe such a tremendous and personal struggle… Something like a journey through ED recovery defies the limitations of language. If I’d known what was in store for me when I first walked in to see a psychologist for help with my depression, how I would gradually reveal all of my secrets, and the total destruction of my life that would follow (which was necessary before the reconstruction could begin), I never would have taken that first step. In the Catechism, it says that God reveals himself to humans gradually, because if he revealed himself all at once we wouldn’t be able to bear the tremendous was and awesomeness of his power and glory. I am so glad that he also only shows us enough of the path ahead that we can *just* take the next step. If I knew everything that was coming, I think my head would explode! I really loved reading this post. What honest reflections on a topic that defies words, and a wonderful reminder to trust, to surrender, and to let the one who creates us do just that – keep creating us. Thank you!

  26. OH MY GOODNESS. I’ve only just discovered your blog today, and already I’m sitting here reading closing to all your posts. Your writing skills are very down to earth, conversational whilst also getting be plain truth across.

    This is helping me to see the logical side of my ED obsession, and already I am so thankful for every word and the quote you’ve contributed. You actually make me want to read MORE, rather than being triggered half way through an article. Thank you kindly, friend!

  27. In such like situations I’ve always found it best to in a sense sleep under my shield of positivity. Your fears are more than often worse in your waking hours, so its best to sleep under your shield and to be on the ready for these early morning and waking hour attacks.

    Stay strong in Jesus.

    Above all take the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all of the fiery darts of negativity.

  28. I’m so glad you said God, because when I mention God to others I get the eyes rolling. That’s Ok, because surrendering to God is the biggest step, think of what others are missing out on by not accepting God and His Son Jesus into their lives. God never goes back on His promises,with His Son Jesus on your side, you will triumph and Jesus will give you the strength for each step of the way. Kudos to you Caralyn.

  29. “God’s not the welfare program.” I love that. Yes, we do have to do our part. Thanks for sharing.

  30. I am so proud of you Caralyn, you are such a blessing to us all, comfort in trials and a huge encouragement to us all! sending you lots of love (& maybe some butternut squash ice cream) 😀 xx

  31. All HE does require of us is that we acknowledge the fact that we’re in need of help (and that’s the first step) – His help – and like the “Magic Carpet” you mentioned, He swoops in and saves the day. There’s this saying my priest – Fr Jude – is fond of: “God who created you without your consent, cannot save you without your consent.”

    Really good post

  32. I agree that chasing after perfection sets you up for failure, shame and guilt! Chasing after Christ not only frees us from the guilt, shame and feelings of failure, but He replaces all that JUNK with life and truth! Keep up the good work!!!! I love your blog and your new open photos of yourself as you reveal more truth about yourself and your relationship with Christ.

  33. I definitely get it! When I struggled with food, God is definitely the one who brought me out of it too. It’d be so nice to say, “Oh, hey, I took this magic pill and suddenly all my struggles were gone…” That’s what people want to hear sometimes. But there is no magic pill. It’s deciding to move forward with your eyes focused on the One who can walk through any storm with us. It’s a journey! But it’s definitely a journey worth taking. 🙂

  34. Thank you for all your support on my blog. It’s not going unnoticed. You are such a blessing and encouragement. A God sent. We have similar stories and you have a real gift for sharing the truth. Thank you so much.

  35. Was there ever a time in recovery that you had to completely refrain from working out? If so… How did you deal with it? Im battleing quite a few aspects in my recovery… Trying to really get the idea of what real meals look like. Right now… They just look like a chaotic mess to me. Any advice you could give would be amazing!

    • Hi there! Yes there was. For an entire year-11 months I was actually on bed rest for my ulcerative colitis. And that was really the test for me because I had been clinging to outrageous workouts. And I had to go cold turkey and it absolutely changed everything for me. I learned to trust my body. And I now no longer am enslaved to exercise. I want to encourage you to try it:) know that I am cheering for you and believe in you:) big hugs to you beautiful xox.

  36. I honestly love reading your blogs, you are an amazing writer and a true inspiration. I don’t know how hard your struggle has been but I do have a husband in his own recovery (for Drug addiction) and me, sort of in a recovery of my own. Keeping sharing your story, you have such a strong message to carry. Thank you xx

  37. I am happy for you for your progress, your freedom. Your trust in God. Who can do things on their own without God’s help? Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
    I like your Aladdin illustration. I watched Aladdin many times. I also like the song “I don’t know about tomorrow…but I know who holds my hand. Take care. You are an inspiration to a lot of people.

    • Thank you so much:) yes-God is good! And it is through Him that we can do anything! Woo woo! 🙂 haha feeling a little spunky this morning hehe Hope you’re having a great morning! Big hugs xox

  38. I don’t know if it’s actually a biblical quote, but I remember hearing something about trusting god but keep your hand on the plow. Excellent work!

  39. This post really pinpointed my health and weight journey – even though mine was on the opposite end of yours – overeating and obesity. God has been my strength and I’m giving it all to Him everyday. I love to see how God works in and through our lives. God Bless!

  40. Grace & hard work. Yes. I recall reading an 18th century sermon some years ago (what I do for fun at night…), in which the Episcopal Bishop of Charleston, SC, Robert Smith, preached on the topic of whether we are saved by Grace or Works. His answer was, “Yes, both”. Grace was not a free-pass to continue sinning. Doing good could bring someone to understand grace. Enjoy the gift.

  41. What you say is so true for anything you want to change. You just need to start walking away from it and God fills in the gaps, the potholes along the road. Looking at it from a mathematical point of view, a few steps might not be a huge change. However, as you keep walking, the gap between where you are now and where you would have been, has noticeably changed. I am not a maths person and I have dreadful spatial awareness but for some reason, that picture has always spoken to me.
    xx Rowena

  42. Hi I read this post and found you a brave person, I know when someone is brave and we don’t have to do big things, sometimes the tiny things we try to do ourselves to recover from an illness or condition it always requires strength and it is indeed a long dark path to foloow; I might be wrong but when I look into your photo I see dark sad eyes, somehow empty and with sorrow… at leat you are brave to post a photo of yourself 🙂 . You know, as for writer’s block, oh dear I have for a couple of years now, can’t manage to finish to write my two novels nor write my poetry 🙁 . Just keep fighting, you’re not alone here and as far as I can see you have a lot of support from readers which is great. Wish you all the best

    • Thank you so much Chez. I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond! You’re right. And thank you for your reflection on my photo! I hope I don’t give off an empty sorrowful vibe, because I am definitely full of hope and joy and gratitude for the healing I’ve received! Haha but I can see how that may have come across. It was more of a stylized photo haha I was having fun with my new camera lol glad you stopped by!Hugs and love xox

      • BBB sometimes what we think we feel is not what our soul shows, some days I think I am happy but my eyes are still sad and full of sorrow… and when I said that it wasn’t in a negative way, you look great really just the look is sad.. have a lovely weekend xx

  43. I missed reading your post for a week and was really missing it. I say every post of yours is an inspiration. I am too begging give me that strength to fight a battle. I firmly believe that he has held my hands, its just that the time probably has not come to lift me out of it. I know I have to really work hard.
    I like the quotes above….they mean so much to me and talks of my situation. Thank you love, stay blessed.

  44. Saw you liked one of my poems and instantly followed your blog -very uplifting and glad you’re on amazing journey !!! Your blog is a light and glad I can follow along with a similar journey to my healing process !! Thank you !!

  45. I saw you like one of my post and instantly followed your blog! Your blog is a light and just by reading a few, it has given me hope to continue my journey in healing and I know your journey has been an amazing one and still going. Again thank you for both sharing your light and appreciating mine -xoxo

  46. I really love this. I have lived with bulimia for a very long time and have been in recovery for several years. Daily it is a struggle to not allow myself to fall back into old habits, and trust me it would be easy to do so, but I take each day as it comes and don’t condemn myself in the times that I have relapsed. Thank you for sharing your story x

    • Thank you so much:) I really appreciate you sharing your story. I’m so glad you’re living in the freedom of recovery. You’re right-it’s a difficult journey but One day at a time:) big hugs xox

  47. always impressed and moved by your work. your real gift that inspires is your creativity and delivery, so each piece really reaches out. I wonder about the road that leads someone to such a terrible place, as you were in, in the first place. How does someone come to slip into such a situation? x

  48. You know, I started out here on WP.for totally different reasons, and am not sure how I came across your blog. Doesn’t matter. My daughter is an amazing, smart person. She has a very limited diet, but she plays a team sport and I think her diet is holding her back. I think reading some of your posts drove home the point that it is maybe more than a “food pallet”. She pushes herself so hard from the minute she wakes up while school is in session. She literally is going for 15-16 hours straight between school, sports and homework…about double what many working adults do in a week. I know she is very hard on herself, and I am going to start making it a point that her hard work is appreciated, but it’s ok to make a few mistakes. For that matter, she probably learned as much from me about how not to live…made my share of mistakes. Only difference for me today is that I’m not AS MUCH of an idiot today, and don’t dwell on my mistakes for as long now. Anyway I digress…it was sitting here in the quiet morning reading your post that made me think about my daughter. All that to say you have a new follower.

    • Hey again friend. Wow thank you for this thoughtful response. Gosh, I can definitely relate to that. There were days during high school that I would have to be at school by 6:05 am for various student athlete leadership committees and what not -it was unceasing. And today it’s even more so. The pressures kids face today are unrelenting -and add to that the fact that it’s all broadcast online!! My heart goes out to your daughter. Know that she is in my prayers. I think that’s really wise. Creating an environment where it’s okay to not be *the best* or where messing up is a “step in the growth process” rather than “failure” — that is so vitally important. And thinking about my past-my parents never placed those “perfection” expectations on me-i placed them on myself. If I could tell my high school self one thing it would be, “get B’s and drink a dang beer.” (Not that I condone underage drinking, but for me that went along with the “perfectionism.”) anyway this is long now haha but it sounds like you are an amazing parent and that you have an incredible daughter. Your heart for your daughter is shining so brightly -it is truly beautiful:) feel free to reach out anytime on my email too! xox

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