Questionable Authenticity

Maybe it’s because I’m listening to some vintage John Mayer (Room for Squares — holla!), or the fact that I’ve spent the last 30 minutes wistfully looking through old pictures of my family, but here I am, back at the keyboard, taking on a subject that has been weighing on my heart all day today.

I’m not going to lie…I found myself lying awake at 2am last night, with this pit in my stomach. And no…it has nothing to do with the nerves of excitement I may feel about my date tomorrow.  Or the trepidation I feel about the fact that there is now Pumpkin Spice flavored toothpaste…

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It was because, recently, my authenticity has been questioned by a few people.

Not authenticity in my recovery. But the authenticity of my character. Who I am.

And I’m going to be really honest here…it hurt.

Please don’t read this as a cry for affirmation or attention or fishing for praise or anything like that. This is just me, being open and painfully honest with my friends.

Writing this blog, though I love it, is a bit frightening. Nerve wracking. Anxiety inducing sometimes. Bearing my soul to almost 18,000 people…that’s some scary crap.

But every time I go to hit publish, I just remember that I’m writing for an audience of One. And it is my deepest prayer that this blog may stumble into the hands of even one person who needs some hope.

But what hurt the most about these recent remarks of skepticism, is that the whole point of this blog – the purpose of this “podunk ministry” – has been founded on being transparent  — painfully transparent: Sharing my past and all the garbage that accompanies it, illustrating current prayers/fears/hopes/struggles/funny moments, and hopefully future lessons and growth. I’m literally holding nothing back…however irresponsible that may be.

But more than that…my recovery from anorexia has been about remembering who I was. 

My favorite way to sum up recovery is this: Allowing myself to become who I’d always been. 

Because the truth is, I lost who I was during my disease. The vibrant, loving, carefree girl with hopes and dreams and faith and spunk and sassiness and a thirst for life & love & God — she was trampled, suffocated by ED.

One of the exercises we did during family week at inpatient was an art project where we had to depict how the anorexia impacted you. Each person in my family had to make something, including me.

And I made a black box…a coffin. And inside the coffin I put rainbow confetti. My anorexia was the box and my previous self was the rainbow construction paper. It had put to death the girl who was once full of life.

And my recovery has been about finding that girl. Rediscovering the rainbow confetti of my soul. Of my spirit.

Remembering who I was – at my core…and then allowing myself to become that girl again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 When you were dead…God made you alive with Christ. 

That’s full recovery.

That’s what this journey is all about.

And that’s what I’ve been doing on this blog – remembering and liberating the authentic me. The genuine me that has so long been shut away.

And that’s why this blog is so near and dear to my heart. Because each one of you has been so accepting and loving towards the true me, as I’ve shakily stretched my wings for the first time.

So why am I saying this.

I guess I just want to express that…this is me. I mean every word I write on this blog, every reply, every eye-roll-inducing cheesy quip that I just can’t resist…this is who I am.

I hope that you sense the authenticity of me: Caralyn. Because I really do hold each person who reads this blog in my heart and in my prayers. And I am genuinely grateful for the friendships and little community we have here.


That’s all for tonight.

Sending massive hugs and love — and yes — I mean that 🙂

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

376 thoughts on “Questionable Authenticity

  1. I understand what you mean. But many time there is this element that keep pulling…here questioning authenticity. But I am sure these are again lessons. I guess there had been some reason, probably the Lord wanted you to open up about this or may be something else. I know it hurts….no matter what. Yet it makes one stronger than ever before. So you are more stronger now…….Stay blessed….Love from India.

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  2. You wrote above, QUOTE: “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.”
    OK.

    How about the voice of Jesus, The Way The Truth and The Life, speaking in complete consecutive sentences about which commandment is the Most Important one?
    No, it’s not “love”, so “love” is NOT the answer……

    Jesus was asked twice which Commandment is the greatest or most important one, (Matthew 22 and Mark 12)
    Both times Jesus answered quoting the same two commandments, from the Law of Moses.

    Jesus said that one of these two commandments is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [Mark 12:29-30, Deuteronomy 6:4-5]

    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” [Matthew 22:37-38, Deuteronomy 6:5]

    Poem – What is love?

    Two men came to Jesus
    With different motivations.
    They asked Him the same question
    Relevant to all the nations:

    Which is the Most Important?
    The answer was the same.
    Jesus did not manipulate
    He was not there to play a game.

    “Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
    as He quoted from The Law –
    to fulfill and not abolish
    was His purpose, full of awe.

    Jesus did not make all Scripture
    Into one new great commandment.
    He summarized The Law and Prophets
    “First and Greatest” and “The Second.”

    The Love of God is higher
    Than the love of any man.
    Receive from God, give back to God-
    Then to others, that’s His plan.

    The Love of God involves much more
    Than simply “love your fellow man.”
    Worship, trust, and pray to God,
    and obey Him – that’s His plan

    To worship and pray to neighbors,
    Whoever they may be,
    Or trust and obey our enemies
    Would be idolatry.

    The love of God is first and greatest,
    And the love of man is second.
    “All we need is love” are words
    of dead Beetles on the pavement.

    “The entire law is summed up in a single command”
    are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
    It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
    an “accuser of our brethren.”

    “Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
    in his chapter to the Corinthians.
    “I will show you the most excellent way”
    is the road to eternal perdition.

    Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
    Nowhere in view of the eye.
    Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
    “I, I, I, I.”

    Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
    Not the words of a Pharisee.
    The words of Jesus are very clear.
    Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”

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  3. Thank you for sharing your journey. I wish you all the very best in your recovery and finding your authentic self again. Although I have not had an ED, I have suffered depression and anxiety and it took me to a dark place where I lost my true self. Take care and all the best xx

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  4. Caralyn, I’ve never undergone the struggle you have nor do I know anyone who has. But I appreciate what you do, and how you share about your journey. I follow a number of blogs not too unlike yours, in part, because they give me reason to say ‘there but for … I’m not a religious person, so the rest of that line is lost on me — but I do but into the concept.
    I was in hospital last weekend because, after being awakened at 4:15 unable to breath, I got (surprise surprise!!) chest pains. THAT was the decider, so my life, as I’d intended to be, came to a crashing halt while I spent 28 or so undergoing every test they thought my (Medicare Advantage) insurance will pay for.
    But I wrangled a special something from them just before I checked out: A script for a med that, it/when I feel I’ve had enough alcohol for this lifetime, can help me through the inevitable reduction/elimination period — like I had to when I was the ‘guest’ there.
    I wish I could produce a ‘why, and how, to stop drinking’ blog, But I just don’t feel up to it – not least because, I guess, there’s only so much of ‘real life’ I can deal with, without knowing a vodka bottle is nearby and available.
    I started drinking in my early 20’s (earlier, actually, because the legal age was 18 in Kentucky, where I hail from), and in not so many words, I determined ‘this works!’, and I’ve lee[ making it do so for more of the past 50 years.(I’ll conclude my 74th year in January!)
    Oddly, perhaps, I don’t worry about the drink killing me because I was diagnosed nearly two years as having Stage 5 Chronic Disease. By carefully watching what I eat, I’ve held it at that level — the next level would mean dialysis. My father was on that routine for five years. Then he died the way back to his room from a supposedly-simply, routine procedure.
    Caralyn, I don’t know what drove you to the ‘disease’ you’ve struggled with. But I have full confidence that you, with such an unusual and beautiful name, will continue to overcome starving yourself-instincts as you have, throughout your life, overcome having people you are ‘miss-spelling; Your name!
    I like our name. I appreciate you sharing it with us.
    And I appreciate you, as a person,who is willing to, as the saying goes, ‘let it all hang out’. I am confident you are helping others.
    Doug Harris
    ps — After finding you on Patreon, I’m signing up, too. Blogging is hard work — especially with two of them, as I have. I’d really like to see little bits of cash pushing me to keep at it.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Doug. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through that and that you can personally relate to fighting for your life. Know that you are in my prayers. Truly. You are courageous and an inspiration and I’m honored that you would take a few minutes to read my blog. Sending massive hugs. Hang in there friend xox

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  5. I’ve always admired your courage on being so open about sharing your stories. I want to be more open about my views (esp. on God) and you’ve inspired me to do so without getting all self conscious about it. I bet when girls/boys with ED stumbles across this, it will massively help them. I hope these ‘authenticity questioners’ go mind their own businesses! Anyways, I can’t wait to read more posts.

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  6. If you want “Authenticity”, your model and example should be Jesus of the Gospels, recorded by the men who knew Him personally- The Apostles Matthew and John, (and Mark who knew Peter and other Apostles personally, and probably Jesus too.)

    Not the bad inauthentic example of
    BOSS PAUL THE PHARISEE
    [sing it to the tune of “Rapture” by Blondie]

    I’m Boss Paul, the Pharisee
    My hypocrisy’s plain for the world to see
    I travel the land and travel the sea
    to make a convert who is just like ME

    “All have sinned” – we know that’s true
    but it never means ME – it only means YOU
    My sins are all theoretical
    “I’m the worst of sinners”- but don’t ask where

    To be more like Jesus is what some strive
    except for me – I’ve already arrived
    I’m the perfect model since the road to Damascus
    What were Paul’s sins? Don’t ask us!

    I justify everything I do
    If I testify about myself it MUST be true
    I’m the only man in all history
    whose testimony doesn’t need two or three

    If I did something it MUST be right
    Don’t use the Scripture to shed any light
    Don’t do as I say, do as I do
    and then you can be a Pharisee too.

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  7. Know that you are up to something amazing for God’s kingdom when you are under attack. It is a great sign that Satan is threatened. Keep it up! I love your voice, which speaks so powerfully in your blog. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Daughter of Eve,
        Many times Satan’s attacks are very subtle, not so obvious.
        After Eve had been talking with Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), she spoke of “THE tree in the middle of the garden.”

        Was she thinking correctly, focusing on ONE “tree in the middle of the garden” that had forbidden fruit?

        Or were there really TWO trees in the middle of the garden? Which tree had the forbidden fruit? And which tree was the first one? The answers are in Genesis chapter 2.

        She who has ears to hear, let her hear !

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  8. Love this. I relate to this on so many levels. As I said before, I’m also recovering from anorexia and the best thing I did was move away. I moved from Illinois to Rhode Island and I’ve never learned so much about myself. I’m rediscovering myself and learning more and more everyday. It’s the best remedy! Xoxo hope your date was awesome!

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    1. Thanks Caitlin! So glad that you’ve also embraced the freedom and joy of recovery! Seriously that’s awesome and I’m cheering you on. Isn’t it amazing how much you learn when you make that move! So happy for you:) yes! I’m in the cab on the way home and it was an absolute blast! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What a beautifully raw post. I love reading your blog, because I love how you bring God and your faith into every single post. I’ve never met you in person, but I know you have a very real love for and relationship with Jesus. Thank you, for you honesty! Megan xx

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  10. Thanks for following me on my journey, I appreciate the support. I just wanted to tell you, I know this is super vulnerable but I have decided to go to CoDA meetings. I’m hoping they help:)

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  11. Please don’t ever forget, sweet girl, that most people doubt your character because they know their own. I was literally JUST mulling this over in my own head about 10 minutes ago – If someone doesn’t believe that you can love/forgive/overcome/whatever verb they’re doubting of you, it’s because they don’t believe it’s possible. Why? Because THEY CAN’T. We only see things from our own experiences and perspectives. We live in a society that is abhorrently self-centered, where it has become an afterthought to imagine that there is a heartfelt WHY behind everything that someone says or does. We live in a world where it’s much easier to flip someone the bird when they cut you off on the highway than it is to take a deep breath and put yourself in their shoes – Maybe they were in a hurry, maybe they really ARE just a careless asshole, maybe it was a little old lady with no depth perception…But if you TELL someone who doesn’t have a sweet spirit within themselves, they think you’re lying or pretending to be holier than thou. Doesn’t mean you didn’t truly do what you said you did…It means they have a heart issue that only One can fix, and that one isn’t you, so don’t let yourself take on that kind of pressure. Be you, unapologetically, always, because you are who HE made you, and that is perfect for the role you’re meant to play. Those who are supposed to hear you, will…Those who aren’t, wouldn’t hear anyone else either. XO

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    1. Wow Farrel, this is so beautiful and powerful. Thank you for this awesome perspective. You’re so right- He made me who I am and so I need to embrace that and love who that is because His fingerprints are all over me:) haha but seriously I feel so empowered after reading this. Thanks again. Big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I am having a very difficult time seeing the judgmental person’s side, at all…which I am usually good at (being objective). You are being very genuine & authentic. That is the enemy (we wrestle not against flesh & blood…).

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  13. There is a phrase that I learned in my therapy when someone says something hurtful and I don’t want it to “stick” to me.
    “Interesting point of view that he/she has that point of view.” Repeat as often as needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a sweet post, coming from your sweet heart. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. There are people out there who are negative about absolutely everything. I know it hurts when it becomes personal toward you, but take it for what it’s worth….nothing! Your worth isn’t based on them, thank heavens! You have your heart in the right place and it shows. Keep writing and keep looking up!

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  15. Hello,

    “You can’t make everyone happy, ” one of our presidents said. Be yourself and I always remember that time always works things out. Thanks for sharing,

    Gary

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  16. Sorry to hear that some are questioning your authenticity. That’s a difficult criticism to refute; you can’t prove beyond a doubt that you are being honest about what you see when you look within. I’ve been reading about your journey for a while now, and what you describe about yourself certainly rings true to me. We all know ourselves only in part, so that is all we can reveal. God is the one who continues to show us more and more about who we are, and you’ve been courageous about not shying away from what he has been teaching you. I hope the doubts of others won’t discourage you.

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  17. NAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! Forget the naysayers, they’re just jealous! Your beautiful, inner you, comes out as candid and genuine as you are. The world is full of hatred and evil. Remember that the world hated Jesus first and it hates you and me too. Let God validate you not the world! So shed those fears and trust in God and His Jon Jesus who heals the pain the others can’t reach ❤

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  18. Love this. Although I do not have an eating disorder, I did stumble in here and your words have touched me. I lied when you said you remind yourself just as you are pressing the publish button, you remember your audience of ONE. I am trying to remember this daily too, as I struggle at times, with worry over what people may think…particularly my family. Thank you! ❤️

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  19. Umm, well, I am not sure if it was wise to throw old girl under the bus but it was funny and that is one of the things I have come to love and quite frankly expect here. I would be disappointed if I didn’t get to laugh. That and your precious transparency is what makes this blog valuable. Keep telling your story your way. When ever someone questions another’s integrity, it’s probably because they are lacking some themselves. Don’t even trip. I know it’s easier said then done. I recently experienced this same exact thing in the form of a bad review of my book. And I got all sick to my stomach, thinking, “what the…” But then God showed up and so did 7, count them, 7 great reviews followed:) People know when you are for real. Haters will always be haters. God bless sister:)

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  20. I, Pastor Dan, being of sound mind and body, being an authority of feminine authenticity by virtue of my living in the Estrogen Palace that is my home, and by the power invested in me by our Lord Jesus Christ and the state of Massachusetts, I hereby certify these posts to be authentic, real, and true and representative of the actual personality and character of BBB aka Caralyn. My certification comes with a virtual hug and head ruffle. Now go out and get yourself a very large white chocolate mocha. You deserve it. =)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The suggestion that your posts and comments were inauthentic made me laugh too. I had to respond to that. If you laughed, then I succeeded in my self-imposed mission. Thank you for being so transparent in your posts. It is one of the things that makes them so great. Oh, and thank you for the hug. =)

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  21. Caralyn, I only see one soul here: pure and sacrosant, Caralyn.
    I can understand how you feel when people question your authenticity, but my dear, you are not here to please or prove to anyone. Those who believe in you will stay by you and the rest, well, they were never there.
    Don’t let them hurt you, Caralyn. I follow one stupid habit that has out me into trouble a lot of times, but I can’t seem to change it… that everyone is good until proven wrong.
    There is no reason or right for anyone to question your YOU. YOU are beautiful. See yourself as soul.

    And take care.

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    1. Wow, I am so incredibly touched by this. Thank you so much. I love that-everyone is good until proven wrong. Holy cow what a powerful statement. That is going up on my fridge right. Now. Haha thanks again for the encouragement! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Yup, you got your groove in this one. I got choked up when you described the black coffin with confetti in it. I really liked:

    “But every time I go to hit publish, I just remember that I’m writing for an audience of One”

    That’s all you need to remember. Kicking *&^ and taking names Caralyn!

    Like

  23. She who has ears to hear, let her hear….

    Parable of the House Painters

    A homeowner called his friend, who was a painting contractor. “Friend, I want to hire you and your team to paint my house and my garage. Paint the house first, and I’ll stay in the garage until you’re done. Then when the paint is dry, I’ll move back into the house, and you can paint the garage.”

    The painting contractor hired a new foreman named Paul, and gave him the homeowner’s instructions. (Paul insisted that all the workers show respect for him by addressing him as “Boss Paul.”) Paul called the team of painters together and told them:
    “Boys, we need to paint this garage and house. The quicker we do it, the more profitable it is for us. So get to work! Since the garage is smaller, we can finish that quicker. Then those who finished the garage can go help the others finish the house.”

    One worker objected: “But Boss Paul, those were not the owner’s instructions! We are supposed to paint the house first. Only after the house is finished and the paint is dry can we go and paint the garage.”

    Paul replied: “I’m Boss, you work for me, and you do as I say. We are painters, and we paint. We don’t have time for debates about ‘which one is first’. We need to get to work applying that paint to the garage and house as quick as we can. Which owner would be upset if we finished early? The job is to paint the garage and house – what difference does it make ‘which one is first’”?

    “It makes a big difference to the owner,” the worker objected. To which Paul replied, “you’re fired.” Paul then took his team of painters, and started painting the garage and the house.

    When the homeowner returned in the evening, he was furious. He had nowhere to sleep, and had to go stay in a hotel for several days. The homeowner’s friend, the painting contractor, apologized, and explained:

    “I hired a new foreman named Paul, but that was a huge mistake. He ignored your instructions that I passed on to him. You don’t know him, and I’ve just barely met him.
    To be extremely polite, I could say that Paul ‘says some things which are difficult to understand.’ To be more direct, I could say Paul talks like an arrogant megalomaniac with a messiah complex, proclaiming; ‘I am not under the law’ but yet making up his own laws as he goes along, that everyone else has to obey. Paul said: ‘I became your father…. therefore I urge you to imitate me,’ and ‘I have become all things to all men.’ Paul thinks he’s Boss, and doesn’t need to listen to your instructions that I gave him.”

    In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, Jesus identified two commandments, saying one of them is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

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  24. Hi, Caralyn. Nice to meet you!
    Firstly, congratulations on your continued recovery, and kudos on having the fortitude to share it publicly. That takes strength. Fortitude. Courage…. possibly even more than seeking to heal in the first place. You *are* an inspiration.

    Now, I don’t know any more about you than what I’ve read in this one post, and you know nothing of me outside of what I say here, so take my words as the grains of salt they are… if it’s true for you, it will enhance, if not, it will be distasteful, so feel free to discard it.

    I believe that the world around us is a mirror. The external things which wound us simply reflect the wounds within ourselves that are as yet unhealed. (1Cor 13:12)

    I won’t presume to know what wounds you may carry regarding authenticity (or regarding OTHER’S opinion of your authenticity/recovery), but what I do know is, when we use our emotions as a system for self-discovery and healing, in time, we not only discover our authentic selves and heal wounds we didn’t even know we had, but we begin to experience gratitude toward those who bring up those ‘negative’ emotions, because we begin to see them as the ‘pain signals’ they are, for our emotional body.
    The physical body indicates that something isn’t as it should be by physical pain… pain in the emotional body is indicated by emotional pain.

    Best wishes to you and for your continued recovery!

    Like

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