This Post is Raw

I had been putting off writing this post for about a month and a half.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Feb 26-March 4

I had been dreading writing this post because, obviously BBB is an eating disorder recovery blog, so I feel kinda…obligated…to address the topic, but honestly, I’m kinda luke warm on the whole “awareness” thing.

It just seems a little…glorifying if you ask me. And I have a problem with that. Don’t throw around photos of healthy-yet-slightly-thin girls in stock photos pretending to be sad, or even worse, smiling and holding a piece of pizza, and gloat that you’re raising “awareness” or fighting the stigma. The theme: “It’s time to talk about it…” that’s borderline insulting.

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Why don’t you ask the mother whose daughter died of heart failure due to anorexia, or my mother when I was 78 pounds and she was checking on me in the middle of the night to make sure I didn’t go into cardiac arrest. Why don’t you ask them how they feel about those photos.

But I digress. Perhaps there’s more to NEDA week than that.

I will say one other thing though. Whoever thought it was a good idea to have NEDA week overlap with the first week of Lent, and particularly, Ash Wednesday – a day of fasting, was a grave oversight.


But this is definitely a difficult post for me to write. For one, I actually developed my anorexia during Lent my Sophomore year. I gave up sweets. And well, the rest is history.

So there are a lot of mixed feelings about that.

So this time of year is always a difficult one for me.

But ED awareness.

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

I had a real sweet conversation with my mom tonight after we went to church together. She had spent the hour reading my inpatient journal. She’s pouring over it ever since I brought it home from NYC. I don’t know if it’s because of the stroke that she doesn’t quite remember it, but she just has this passion to read what I went through. It’s really quite touching.


But afterwards, tonight, we were the last two people in the room. And we just embraced in this crying hug for a couple minutes. And she just cried in my ear about how sorry she was that I went through that. And she said, “If I could go back, I would do it differently.”

A little surprised, I prompted her to share more. And she said, “I would try to talk to you about it.”

So, it turns out, that I have to eat my words. NEDA week’s slogan this year, “It’s Time to Talk About It” turns out to be quite spot on.

Standing there hugging my mom in church tonight, I finally realized that NEDA week isn’t about the girls. But for the loved ones. The same reason I started this blog. The same reason I’m writing my book.

Eating disorders are hard. There’s stress and emotion and anger and desperation and micromanaging and everyone is on edge around the issues of food and weight and calories and recovery. But at the end of the day, everyone is trying to navigate this scary and unfamiliar territory in the best way they know how. And sadly, that’s hard to know what to do.

Holding her, and telling her how she doesn’t need to apologize, the thoughts about NEDA week and its timing couldn’t get out of my head.

The fact that Ash Wednesday – the day that we literally wear ashes around on our foreheads, marking us and reminding us of His crucifixion – the crucifixion that paid the price for my anorexia – the fact that that day falls on the week that we’re also spotlighting eating disorders…that gives me chills if I’m honest.

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That was what got through to me at inpatient. That was what broke through the walls and the barricades I had placed around my heart.

I was a scared, hurting, and starving little girl. And what set me free from that anorexia and the guilt I had, was to realize that I didn’t have to carry it anymore.

Jesus took it and nailed it to the cross.

Jesus died so that I didn’t have to be enslaved to ED anymore – I could be free.

Hugging my mom in the back of the church, there were so many unspoken words, words that healed. I wished that I could have gone back and undo all the hurt and pain and sadness I caused her. But she then turned to me and said, “But I wouldn’t change it. Because it brought about a lot of good.

Reading my recovery journal, coming face to face with the raw, unfiltered reality that I was battling every moment in my mind, my mom finally came to understand things that she was never aware of. How could she have been at the time? I was shutting everyone out, isolating myself, and if anyone would try to broach the topic with me, I would storm out and peel out in my car and go take a power walk at the nature preserve. And then when I came home from inpatient, I didn’t want to go back and talk about it. I wanted it gone. Erased from my history.

She finally was seeing what I was going through.

She was getting aware.

Eating disorder awareness… it’s not a photo of a smiling, healthy girl in a cute hat looking down and thinking about puppies.

Awareness means seeing the disease for what it is – a battle for your mind. A girl paralyzed in fear, using her control of food as her coping mechanism to ease her tortured mind.

Awareness means seeing the girl as more than just a severely malnourished body, but a spirit that needs emancipation. Freedom. Rescuing.

But the even more important and exasperating thing…is that no one can do that for her, except herself. She has to want it. She has to seek it.

And the only rescuer that will truly save her, is Jesus.

I guess my trepidation with writing this post tonight was because I knew deep down that awareness hurts. Because you’re letting someone into the pain. You’re exposing the darkness that is the eating disorder.


It’s not some celebration a la Think Pink Breast Cancer awareness month.

It’s the line that once you cross, you can never uncross. Kinda like walking in on your friend’s dad on the toilet. There’s no going back.

So I thought I’d close with the final passage from my inpatient journal.

Let the words of that scared girl speak for themselves.

Life is full of many unexpected twists and turns that we are unable to predict or control. Most situations are out of our hands, but it is comforting to know that the Creator knows all and that He knows what is going to happen and that He will take us in His hand and carry us through life if we ask Him to. I want Jesus to carry me right now because that is what I need. 

I am scared because I am on transport and I am scared because my supplement was upped and I am scared that I am having an ulcerative colitis flare and I am scared that I have to have these injections but I am going to put my faith in God and let Him lead me because He puts this all together for good. And we may be in the top of a burning building, but He’s outside telling us to jump, and even though we can’t see Him through the smoke, He can see us and will lead us to safety.

Sometimes in life we can take a lot of things for granted. Including life itself. That’s what I did in the eating disorder. I took life itself for granted and when you do that, it is a very very scary thing. Life is so fragile and precious and when our vision is skewed by a filter such as an eating disorder, it is like we are playing with fire. And that is a dangerous thing.”

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380 thoughts on “This Post is Raw

  1. Well, another BRAVO! article. This is terrific. I’m unaware of all of this, but your article was very inspiring. I’ve never been one to judge other people about things like this. My worldview is a little unique compared to most. Very heartfelt article. The honesty is what makes your blog worthwhile. There’s nothing artificial or fake about any of your postings. Thanks for putting your heart into this. That’s what good writing is all about. That’s what makes your blog worth reading. The heart and love you put into the writing is what this is all about (at least for me).

    1. Oh Dave, thank you so much for this kind comment. haha, yeah, perhaps I’m a little too honest at time 🙂 haha….but seriously, thank you for your affirmation. It’s nice to know that someone is enjoying these ramblings 🙂 You’re awesome, Dave. Hope you’re having a great night. hugs xox

  2. For what it’s worth, blogs like your’s are examples of what it means to raise awareness. I’m not convinced we need something like NEDA. We need more people like you who are courageous and willing to be open about their experience. We need parents and friends of people with ED who are willing to do the same. It’s that openness and vulnerability that builds relationships. Without that nothing is really accomplished. Thanks for all you do, Caralyn.

    1. Wow, I am so humbled by your words. Thank you so much. Truly. And I think there’s a lot of truth in that — the key to a strong relationship is that vulnerability — when the walls are down and the hearts are open. So glad you stopped by. thanks for reading 🙂 hugs xox

  3. I think I said this already, but thank you so much for your bravery! You’ve come so far in your journey.
    I agree, I feel like sometimes awareness movements do unintentionally glamourize the problem that they’re trying to help with – to go off what you said, addiction isn’t a sad girl with too much eyeliner holding a bottle of pills, it’s completely losing yourself to maintain a state that blocks out the pain…

    1. Thank you so much Joss. I think you’re right about that … glamorizing the issue may make it more “appealing” to the masses, but it doesn’t actually get to the heart of the issue. That’s a really powerful statement. thank you for sharing that. you’re right, there’s no single “face.” And the sooner we collectively as a society can realize that, the sooner healing can take place. thanks for stopping by and for sharing your heart. big hugs to you xox

    1. thank you so much. I really appreciate that. I know it was slightly longer than usual, so thanks for taking the time to read. hope your week is off to a great start. big hugs xox

  4. Eat this Ash Wednesday. Tell your priest your story if he doesn’t know it. Abstain from something else. Don’t let your body or mind rekindle any memory of your dark time.

    1. Hi David, thank you so much for this response. You know, I actually haven’t fasted since my recovery. I wrote a blog to it last year…I’m pretty sure I linked to it…but I believe that it brings God more joy that I eat and NOT fast, than it would give Him if I did…I will abstain from something else. But you’re so right David — that’s really important. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Big hugs to you!! xox

  5. You give me courage to open up about my binge eating . It’s easier for me to talk about alcoholism than it is to talk about binge eating. II’m so happy for you that your mom is becoming aware, that’s so important . I cried reading this blog because I wish my mom would get me. I get tired of hearing ” so when are you going to start working out” stop being lazy etc etc . It’s really hurtful . But she just doesn’t get it so I just try my best to not let it get to me. I know this won’t last forever because my God is amazing ! Thank you for this post . ❤

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that, friend. Oh Cristal, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re not feeling heard by your mom. That breaks my heart…perhaps your opening up about that could spark some healing conversations. 🙂 I will definitely keep your relationship and what you’re going through in my prayers. One of the most tricky relationships in this life is our relationship with food, and for me that took a looooong time to get straightened out. big hugs to you girlie. Hang in there 🙂 much much love xox

  6. I am speechless at your courage. Your story of survival and how belief in whatever higher power you choose to believe in got you through. I am in awe of the hauntingly raw beauty of your words. I am happy for you and I
    See you as the fierce survivor that you are. You will inspire so many. Thank you and keep
    Up the amazing work gorgeous!
    xoxo Nikki:)

    1. Oh Nikki, I am so touched by your kind words and encouragement. Thank you so much. I really am so grateful for the healing. Life is a gift, and it took me a long time to realize that! You’re a blessing to me! Big hugs to you xox 🙂

      1. And you to me soul sister! I am excited to keep reading your journey and I’m always here if you need a listening ear! Bless you girl
        💜😍

  7. Out of all the blogs I follow, yours is the only one in which I read every. single. post. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. May God continue to strengthen your faith in Him, and may something incredible spring from this blog and your dedication to glorifying Him during this healing process, to the benefit of other hurting girls out there.

    1. Oh my gosh Laurie, I am so humbled and touched by this. Thank you so much. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying reading my posts! Thank you for your prayers too, it truly means a lot.God is good and I am so grateful for His healing power. Big hugs to you xox

  8. I am glad that you and your mom are opening up more, but your post made me think about how I as a breast cancer survivor HATES those stupid games that for the sake of breast cancer awareness you are supposed to make a Facebook post that is so cryptic, that your father ends up calling your unwed daughter and ask her if she is pregnant because of it. (That really happened in my house!) If anyone reading this wants to make people aware of a certain issue PLEASE contact several people who have actually battled it, before you publish your idea. Awareness events should be informative, Pictures that misrepresent the problem, and cryptic Facebook post do not help anything, and may actually hurt some that are in the mist of the battle.

    1. I am giving this a standing ovation. So so true. And so important! Thank you for sharing your story, and first of all — congratulations for being a survivor. that is amazing. I cannot image the strength you must have to have gone through that 🙂 What a rock star. (And sorry your daughter had to have that phone call! eek!) Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

      1. I was lucky. Before I got the diagnosis, life was an obligation, after I realized that I would not have gotten the crap scared out of me, if life was as bad as I thought it was. My new perspective came at the price of a lump on my breast, a hysterectomy, radiation,… but I gained a new appreciation for life!

      2. My dad’s wife, the same person who told my dad to call my daughter about being pregnant, today asked me to put a heart on my Facebook page status!
        Instead I posted that mammograms save lives, and a link to cancer.org.

  9. I love the rawness. You are so REAL. So AMAZING. You are on a journey and have allowed us to travel along with you. WE are blessed to have you here. THANK YOU for being YOU. THANK YOU for being HERE.

    1. Thank you so much! Oh my gosh, what a kind thing to say 🙂 I really appreciate that. THANK YOU for being so awesome and for being such a positive source of encouragement and JOY!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 This made me smile. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. big hugs xox

  10. You are so loved. Honestly, I’ve never even met you face to face, but I genuinely care for you and appreciate you. I’m blessed to know you and the world is blessed by what God has done, is doing, and will do through you.

    Keep on keeping on.

    1. Thanks so much Matthew 🙂 Gosh, that seriously touches my heart. Thank you. I’m so grateful that our paths crossed and that I can call you a friend! thanks for this beautiful encouragement. big hugs to you xox

      1. I am too! It’s a shame we don’t live closer. I’d love to meet all of my close blogging friends. It seems, from what I read, that you and I would get along great. 🙂 Maybe one day.

  11. Thanks for opening up and sharing your story – I am sure that at least one person reading that post is where you were – and the message for them is clear – there’s hope even in the mountain that is ED!

      1. That’s the deal about these blogs – we don’t know who’s reading them and what situation they are in – but I’m sure that readying about a ED first hand account will help others open up – I’ve have tried to help a few people with ED’s and the roots go really deep – God bless you in your recovery – you are making a difference – hugs back!

  12. You are an amazing writer in that you have that way of pulling in your reader and surrounding them in your experiences. I have never had anorexia touch my life in any way, and have never paid very much attention to it, but your blog is just interesting and engaging. A lot of what you write speaks to other aspects of life, kind of like when you open the bible and come across something that pertains to your life RIGHT NOW. And I swear, if you make me cry one more time…;)

    I’m glad you found your way out of that darkness. Thank you for spreading your light to others.

    1. Oh my gosh Amy, thank you so much. What a kind thing for you to say. I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed reading my blog. Isn’t it amazing, how God’s Word transcends time and culture and eras?! There is so much comfort and hope there. Yes, me too…God is good. thanks for stopping by and for your encouragement. hugs xox

  13. After reading your post, to click “like” seems trite, and thoughtless. “Thank you for writing” also seems thoughtless, but there aren’t really words. Silence seems more appropriate, for those who’ve suffered and no longer have words.

    1. Wow, that is so powerful. Thank you so much. One of my readers and dear “blogging friends” actually passed away from this horrid disease about a year ago, and so that is so true – silence for her beautiful soul. I appreciate your support. sending love and hugs xox

    1. Oh Rajiv, I am so sorry to heat that. I will keep her in my prayers. It really is, and the more vulnerable you become with her, the more encouraged she’ll be to reciprocate. that’s so tough. hang in there. big hugs xox

  14. “and even though we can’t see Him through the smoke, He can see us and will lead us to safety.” and thank God you let Him. For so long I just wouldn’t let Him lead me to safety. He can see us, He truly is the only One who can see us, really see us, not the picture we paint, we don’t have to worry about worrying Him, protecting Him from the real us. He gets us, warts and all. I am sorry you had to go through that, but it got you here. God bless you for sharing. xoxo

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement and support. You’re right – He gets us warts and all. what a comfort that is. It’s almost impossible to comprehend that amazing love and grace. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

      1. I love all your posts. so bold and brave… I am just entering the blogging world and am learning slowly.. but your insights— you definitely have the Holy Spirit moving through you- what a huge honour and blessing.

      2. Thank you again 🙂 Gosh, I am seriously so humbled by your affirming words. God is good and I cannot take any credit! Good luck with the blogging! Looking forward to reading your words ! 🙂 xoxox

  15. Comments at Patreon. This was a tough one. I wrote a short book. Sorry…

    Anyone else that maybe reads this comment, you really should listen to these at Caralyn’s Patreon site. You can really get a lot out of listening to her post!

  16. “Awareness means seeing the girl as more than just a severely malnourished body, but a spirit that needs emancipation. Freedom. Rescuing.

    But the even more important and exasperating thing…is that no one can do that for her, except herself. She has to want it. She has to seek it.

    And the only rescuer that will truly save her, is Jesus.” < Wow!! Such a powerful post. Thanks for going there and being willing.

    1. Thank you so much Gunnar. I really appreciate the encouragement and for you taking the time to read, I know it was a slightly longer one. 🙂 Thanks for offering a supportive and kind environment to allow me to feel safe sharing 🙂 You’re a great friend! big hugs to you xox

  17. You express things plainly and in a voice that one is moved to trust. It’s HOW you write that keeps me interested — in a subject (more accurately, a synthesis of subjects) that I might otherwise skip over. If you wrote about how to repair plant pots with natural fiber extracts, I would probably read it. You have moved me to to be aware and to care about people struggling with a burden I can only imagine. I have to add that it is vitally important, to your readers, to your mission, and to your God, that you continue to raise up Jesus for his role in your recovery. He is everything to me, too. In time, at my little Maine Yankee site, I am going to publish a novel on faith. It is written, just needs to be added to the site chapter by chapter, as I recently did with the juvenile novel The Clover Street News. Once again, thank you…

    1. Wow, David, this absolutely made my night. I actually just read this out loud to my mom and we both got a great chuckle…I’ll be sharpening up my potted plants knowledge just for you 😉 haha But in all seriousness, thank you so much. I’m so glad that you also know the Love of Jesus — I look forward to your upcoming novel! thanks again! big big hugs xo

  18. Difficult to not cry after reading this, especially the part where your mom was holding you, crying and telling you that she wished that she had the chance to go back and talk to you more about this. Thank you for sharing. And it gives me chills too that Ash Wednesday and the awareness week ended up being the same week.

    1. Aw, thank you so much! I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 Yeah, my mom is a pretty remarkable woman. I am so grateful for her. Isn’t it pretty incredible that they’re in the same week! definitely gives it a new perspective. If only they realized that too!! haha hugs xox

  19. This is a really very powerful emotional thing. I am glad you got to enjoy that moment with your mom. Also we will be putting you in our prayers through this very difficult moment that you are having. Remember God speaks to you through sometimes prayer and the Bible. God can overcome any of our difficulties and he wants us to ask him. He knows everything but if you only trust in God and have that strong faith then God will help you.
    Amen!

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. Yeah, it was a really touching moment with my mom. I’m very lucky to have her in my life. And thank you for the prayers. That means the world. You’re right- there’s power in His Word. Amen to that! Hugs to you xox

    1. Thank you so much Iris. That really means a lot. Amen – He is the source of healing and peace and I am so grateful for the work he’s done in my life. 🙂 so glad you stopped by! Big hugs xox

  20. Dear Friend, you are a rare diamond in the rough of this race we call life. Smile, because your help cometh…. If that doesn’t work I can always wave my hands in the air like a true Italian…. Have a good night. PS: You can remove the third b in the nickname. God has shed light on the past events and wiped all your tears away… By the way, although I don’t agree with you on everything that’s still okay but if I may be so Canadian and polite. The next time you choose to celebrate with a drink think water, it was good enough for our Lord Jesus.. If that doesn’t sound good to you drink milk. It promotes good health at least that’s what those commercials say, perhaps that’s why most Holstein cows go Moooooo!

  21. Wow. EVERY time I read something that you have written, I am so glad that I clicked on that link. Everything you say scares me, makes me sad, fuels my anger; but also brings with it a sense of peace and joy that you escaped. I hope that embarking on this path to share our loss and experience, and how we are learning and changing and growing; sometimes it feels like scratching and crawling, will ultimately lead to healing. Your words are strong and true. Thank you. XO

    1. Oh my gosh, Allison, what a kind thing to say. Thank you so much. I’m glad that this resonated with you. Yes, I am so grateful for the healing that has taken place in my life. I’m so glad I am no longer that scared little girl anymore 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement. big big hugs xox

  22. “You’re exposing the darkness that *is* the eating disorder.” This, right here is why NEDA should exist – and, who better to articulate the role it should play on the national stage than someone so eloquent as you. This was such a raw, powerful testimony. Furthermore, it dawned on me – God is love and light. Only Satan exists in the shadows and darkness. By shedding light, you are letting God in to the conversation and awareness as well.

    Thank you for sharing your insights. Your truth. Your “you.” As a former clinician, I appreciate the first hand stories, as difficult as they may be to hear (or tell) over the latest and greatest research (although I don’t discount that either).

    1. Wow, Anni. Thank you so much. I am so incredibly touched by your kind and encouraging words. And amen to that! God *is* the source of all light and love and life and goodness, and yes — let’s blast His love and mercy to eradicate the darkness! I really appreciate you taking the time to read my blog:) hugs to you xox

  23. Thank you so much for sharing. I LOVE this:

    “Awareness means seeing the disease for what it is – a battle for your mind. A girl paralyzed in fear, using her control of food as her coping mechanism to ease her tortured mind.”

    So true. More people need to realize this.

    By the way… how are you doing?

    1. Thank you so much Talasi. I really appreciate your encouraging words. And thanks for asking, I’m doing well. Everything given my mom’s recent stroke has been difficult, it’s hard to be away from my friends and life in NYC while I’m here helping out, but I’m just focusing on the positive and remembering everything i have to be grateful for every day:) i appreciate you taking the time to read and for your thoughtful words! big hugs xox

      1. Aw 🙁 So sorry about your mom. What a great practice–to take time for gratitude every day. It will make a world of a difference!

        Hugs to you too <3

      2. Thank you so much. Yeah, it’s definitely easier said than done, but if there’s one thing my mom has instilled in me, it’s that gratitude is the source of joy 🙂 Have a great rest of your night and thanks again for stopping by! xox

  24. Thank you for sharing your story, and for sharing just how much you have let yourself trust in the Lord. It is a hard thing to do, but it is inspiring. For what it’s worth, what you share on your blog has had a positive impact on me and my own struggles with chronic conditions. I appreciate that you share them and even if it is small, you are making positive impacts out of the dark place that you were in.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response, Sam. Wow – I am so touched by that, I’m so glad that my blog has resonated with you. That is my deepest prayer, because that means that that dark time wasn’t for nothing. There can be good that comes of it. I hope you’re having a great night. Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to read. big hugs to you oxox

  25. I don’t like it too much when “let’s talk about” drives are financially linked. Complicated issues with several sides are often simplified. And a corporation (or org) uses public naivety to advance its ‘benevolent’ image. That’s a cynical view. It may not be entirely appropriate. But sometimes I’ve felt that way!

    Cheers! 🙂

    1. I so feel you on that 🙂 I’m with you — it feels a little disingenuous. And you know, that really resonates with me. thanks for sharing and for taking the time to read! big hugs xox

  26. As always, you step forward in courage. But I might suggest a small correction to your story. You write:

    “Awareness means seeing the disease for what it is – a battle for your mind. A girl paralyzed in fear, using her control of food as her coping mechanism to ease her tortured mind.

    Awareness means seeing the girl as more than just a severely malnourished body, but a spirit that needs emancipation. Freedom. Rescuing.”

    I know from your writing, that you well know, that you needed more than rescuing. You needed redeeming. Indeed, in your next few sentences you cut to the heart of the matter:

    “But the even more important and exasperating thing…is that no one can do that for her, except herself. She has to want it. She has to seek it.

    And the only rescuer that will truly save her, is Jesus.”

    No one can do it for you because only you can surrender and ask Jesus to take over and be the Lord of your life. You have to want it and seek it and you did. You knocked on the door to Jesus’ heart and He opened it wide for you to enter.

    Read the words of this old hymn:

    Come ye sinners, poor and needy
    Weak and wounded, sick and sore
    Jesus ready stands to save you
    Full of pity, love, and power

    Come ye thirsty, come and welcome
    God’s free bounty glorify
    True belief and true repentance
    Every grace that brings you nigh

    I will arise and go to Jesus
    He will embrace me in His arms
    In the arms of my dear Savior
    Oh, there are ten thousand charms

    Come ye weary, heavy-laden
    Lost and ruined by the fall
    If you tarry until you’re better
    You will never come at all

    I will arise and go to Jesus
    He will embrace me in His arms
    In the arms of my dear Savior
    Oh, there are ten thousand charms

    You, my dear lady, offered Jesus the only sacrifice the lord commands:

    …For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51: 16-17

    In your brokenness you sacrificed your contrite heart and Jesus swept you up into HIs arms where there are 10,000 charms, charms of mercy and grace that allowed you to experience His healing pity, love and power.

    He is still with you, now empowering you to share your cross with us. You have not wasted your eating disorder. You have used it as a launching point for personal spiritual growth and by sharing your story with the world you are aiding the spiritual growth of all of us who stop here at your well and drink in the words of faith you pour out.

    The walk of faith is never easy, never a straight line. It is a difficult passage through a narrow gait and up a steep mountain; but, as you know, the view from the top is amazing.

    Remember: God goes before you to guide you; God goes beside you to be your best friend; God goes behind you to protect you; God goes beneath you to support you and give you strength; and God goes above you to give you vision and courage and hope.

    Thank you for sharing your amazing journey of faith with us. God bless you as you take up your cross and climb your mountain.

    1. Wow, Oogata, this is absolutely beautiful. My goodness, I am so touched by this. thank you. You’re right — Jesus did it, and He is still with me, helping and guiding. I absolutely love that hymn…He will embrace me in His arms….that is such a comforting image. Thank you for this wonderful encouragement. You are a blessing to me 🙂 hugs xox

  27. I am so happy you wrote this post, I am one of those people that are all for awareness because I think it helps people out, but I saw it from your side and how much hurt it caused you and your mother. At least for me being more aware of​ how to help people that have it.

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection! Yeah, there are definitely two sides to this coin 🙂 And yes — raising awareness does do a lot of good, especially in settings like high schools or middle schools where it may be happening undetected, or where sufferers feel alone with no where to turn. Support is always good. hugs to you xox

  28. Very well said. When I was asked to speak for a local organised Suicide Prevention group, I felt terribly uneasy as I didn’t understand what highlighting my trauma and depression woupd help prevent suicide. Once there, I noticed that the majority of people attending were parents, teachers and health care givers. They came because they wanted to be educated on the signs and triggers, how to talk to someone who they suspect is suicidal or how to deal with an attempted suicide. It wasn’t for me, it was for them.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad that it hit home with you. Wow, what a powerful gift you were able to give those people. That is an incredibly tough issue, and I know the words you spoke gave them more than we will ever know. Kudos to you, my friend. That took an enormous amount of courage. big hugs xox

  29. I don’t know to much about eating disorders, but I do know that models suffers from this and also people who think they are fat, because they worry on what people think of them. I also heard if you force your children to eat foods that they don’t want to eat can cause them to have eating disorders later on in life, so yes eating disorders are very bad and dangerous, and what people do, to them selves, like eating very little, like a cracker or a piece of bread, that isn’t good for you, and people making themselves sick after each meal they eat, that is very unhealthy for you also.
    It is very important to have people to be aware of eating disorders and people of their thinking of their weight, because it might not be what they thinking it is.

    1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful reflection. Yes, they are very dangerous indeed. Each person’s relationship with food is tricky, and establishing healthy habits, especially early in life is important. it’s when we use food to solve an emotional/mental issue that things get hairy…thanks for stopping by. hugs xox

      1. I admit it’s to hard to see when people have theses eating disorders and I bet even harder to see a family member going through it and how to approach them, on how to deal with it.
        With me I never gain weight, so it very important that I need to eat to keep my entergy up, and my doctor say I need to watch out for what I eat with having a little high cholesterol, so yeah food relationships can be hard, like giving up on your favorites foods, with more healthier foods that you might like a little but not to crazy for.
        I also don’t like in animes, when they makes jokes of eating disorders, like in American Dad, even know I like that show. just not that episode, where Stan gets an eating disorder of thinking he’s out of shape, but not how he thinks of being over weight, but not eating a lot or close to nothing. Also he works out a lot with this eating disorder.
        I have seen a women like that, that was like that, all muscles no body fat, that is not healthy because you need about a inch or 2 inches of body fat to be healthy.
        I seen this on a Facebook post, of her at a gym, posting the picture of herself, of her working out. You might of seen this on the internet.

  30. I think awareness is more of awareness for other people to change their views if you get what I mean. Also, what is the cross on the forehead I know its to do with lent but why? So not looking forward to lent this year 😂 I caved last year 28 days in because I was stressed 😂 giving up coffee again this year hope I can do it this time lol x. What if you had to give up BNS ICE CREAM lol x

    1. Oh wow…giving up coffee…that’s tough! i don’t personally drink coffee, but dang, I can definitely appreciate that sacrifice! haha…i don’t give up anything food related for obvious reasons, so the ice cream stays!! thanks for the constant positivity in my life Benjamin, you rock! And the cross are the ashes from ash wednesday. 🙂 hugs xox

  31. Caralyn:

    I’ve got the feeling that your writing is squeezing time from either end onto a moment yet unrevealed. If that’s true, know that we’re here for you. All you have to do is grasp the outstretched hand of the Holy Spirit. Those words that I make people recite to their younger selves come to mind: “I love you. We are strong enough. Come to me.”

    But whether or not that applies: at times I feel you shining so brightly, even from two thousand miles away. Your mother is right.

    Believe in yourself.

    Yours in Christ,

    Brian

    1. wow, Brain, your words are always so encouraging and affirming. thank you so much, i can’t begin to express how much that means to me. Amen, the HS really is our guide and wants to lead us. What a comforting thought. big hugs to you xo

  32. Your post is brave. You make clear the paradox at the core of the disorder between language based thought and the universal appetites of the instincts as they manifest across mankind. Instincts respond more to how they’re spoken to, more than to what is said to them.
    This is why the spiritual path is the healing way and the order to ease disorder.
    You may have seen my site at drt.global where I try make clear this possibility of rehabilitating the word ‘addiction’ to a healthy place in a problem solving pathway.
    Addiction is not the problem, stuck-addiction© is the problem, and you have written about that very bravely from your personal witness.
    I wish you continued success in your journey.

  33. Dear Princess; this post is as raw as my comment will be. First of all, thanks for finally after the month and more, deciding to write and share it. You put so much into your posts it is awesome.
    When I usually read your posts and don’t comment it’s for 3 reasons:
    1) I may not relate eg with the Elections saga …
    2) I may not have anything to say or
    3) I may so relate I am simply speechless.
    For this post, the 3 is my reason.
    Have a ‘happy’ Lent season… Our joy is in the outcome of the season and the Grace we know we can rely on to go through. Hope mom is much better

    1. Hi Marie, gosh, what a kind thing to say. I’m so glad this hit home with you, and I appreciate you sharing that it did. THat seriously means the world. This was a particularly difficult post to push the “publish” button on, so i appreciate your affirming words. Amen to that — the outcome of this season is where we place our hope. our joy. our life, really. big hugs to you xox

  34. What a beautiful relationship you and you mother have. And I so resonate with your words. The muck we experience…if we are allowed to hear it…for what it’s really saying… truly becomes our gold. Our key to healing more than just ourselves. Your such a shining example of this.

    Much love!

    1. Thank you so much Jenna. Yeah, I am so blessed to have my mom. She really is my best friend. I’m glad this resonated with you. Oh gosh, i love how you put that — yes!! it becomes out gold! Wow, that’s some powerful stuff. thanks for sharing that 🙂 big hugs xox

  35. An inspirational post full of raw emotion. You are so brave to open yourself up in this way – it will help a lot of people. The messages in it apply to other mental and physical issues too so this reaches out far and wide.
    Meryl

    1. Thanks so much Meryl 🙂 That is my deepest hope – that it might help even one person. THat is what i pray. You’re right — the root of all of those “things” is the same, and honestly, the solution too 🙂 Big hugs xox

  36. Great post – I feel the same. Don’t get me wrong, the girls that post their before and after pictures are so brave, but I could never do that. And the ads are too fake… they don’t get across the pain we go through. I’m still not 100% sure about if I want to post it on my blog yet! Recovery was the best decision I ever made and I’m so glad I can see the world from the other side of it all. I’m so glad you do too – Love ya ❤

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I’m so glad it resonated with you! Yeah, I feel like many of the B/A photos are posted simply to glorify their before…almost as a sort of *brag.* And that makes me sick to my stomach if I’m honest. Because what people don’t realize…or maybe they do…is that those before photos are actually *incredibly* triggering for people…they compare themselves, they *yearn* for those bodies, which is so sad to think about, but they do….I’ve been there!! So yeah, it’s a tricky road, because yeah…it’s awesome how far she/he has come, but on the same token, it could be detrimental if it got into the wrong hands. I have published my before photo before, but only in my youtube video for a couple seconds, and I explain that if you’re triggered you should turn the video off now. i went back and forth and back and forth about whether I should put it in there or not, but I decided to because I wanted to share the gravity of my illness at its depths. Maybe I shouldn’t have, I’m not sure looking back. But any who…rambling now. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart. Congrats on your recovery….you are a rock star!! 🙂 big hugs xox

      1. Yeah totally – it’s such a sensitive thing and really personal. You are amazing too hun 😘 I think words are more powerful in this case than photos in order to do good and your blog is brilliant ⭐️

  37. You gave up sweets, angered by ED, but what came before anger? Recovery, is a path that goes backwards and forwards so where did the anger start? An aversion to our feelings is also a hard path. After the military, I was numb for a few years. I did some SWAT team stuff but I wanted, I don’t know. Something else. I felt like I was at the end of a big social problem that was being solved with just, more bullets. There’s a bit of sameness, I had to be someone I wasn’t for a purpose I didn’t agree too. An actor in the dangers of reality. I feel like, your writing from a spot of excellent observation but avoiding, something. In time, maybe it will come into focus.

  38. Another great post which I’m sure was difficult to write but you hit the nail on the head – when we take life for granted in any way we miss out on all the God has for us and also what we can do for others. Thanks again for your honesty and vulnerability. By the way our memoir of a doctor who has journeyed through anorexia is now published – if you would like a copy please email your address malcolm@malcolmdown.co.uk

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 You’re right — we miss out on the many blessings that are all around us when we’re taking life for granted. Oh congratulations! How exciting! hugs xox

  39. Amazing post- must be a very difficult time of year for you, and it must be difficult looking back.
    All the fasting and feasting in my religion has definitely contributed to my ED, too…

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this. I appreciate your encouragement. Yeah, it’s hard when a religion says you must fast, but I’ve come to accept that my worship of God is *in me eating.* I know that God doesn’t ever want me to go back to that dark place, so even on the days of fasting, I still eat, and will abstain from something else…like TV or something. Just a little food for thought 😉 Thanks for stopping by! big hugs to you xox

  40. It’s really heart touching. And at one point where you quote “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

    In india a famous saint Kabir say –

    माटी कहे कुम्हार से, तु क्या रोंदे मोय।
    एक दिन ऐसा आएगा, मैं रौदूंगी तोय।।

    माटी (clay, dust) कहे (says) कुम्हार (potter) से (to), तु (you) क्या रोंदे मोय (roll/ trample downs)।
    एक दिन ऐसा आएगा, मैं रौदूंगी तोय ( i will trample down you and you will be formless and will dilute into me)

    Means one day we all will return to dust.

    Clays says to potter- you roll me, but one day you will turn to dust than i will roll you and you will mix up into me.

  41. Oh my… Thanks for sharing. This message is seriously thought-provoking. It makes me wonder how many untold stories there are about things like this. It is definitely heartbreaking to know that people are suffering in silence because of the stigma attached with the condition. Once again, thank you for sharing 😔

    1. thanks so much Sean. I really appreciate that. Yeah, suffering in silence is really what it is — my deepest prayer is that this makes even one person feel that they are not alone. thanks for stopping by. hugs xx

  42. I just wrote a post about Lent and Fat Tuesday. However, it is extremely superficial compared to yours. I do celebrate Lent and I think it is an opportunity to be reflective but I totally understand the balance of taking it one step too far and spiraling into something negative. I am so glad you are well and willing to share your experiences.

    1. Thanks for this, Lauren. I really appreciate your encouraging words! Oh awesome! I look forward to reading your post! Yeah, balance is so important. Thanks for stopping by. Big hugs xox

  43. We are this Let’s Talk day to spread awareness of mental health issues. I agree – marketing for such awareness really has to be very well thought out and planned and it looks like these ED Awareness posters need a serious re-do. The Let’s Talk campaign here in Canada has been really good. I’ve used it to help myself open up with my struggles with my family and friends. This year, they put another spin to it – because the campaign was to break the stigma and myths surrounding people who are battling mental health disorders, the message this year was to ask others to listen to some one who is struggling. And it was wonderful! Two words said it all – Just Listen. It means to take the judgement out, it means to be serious about a friend’s suffering, it means one does not really know what the other one is going through (it’s hard to) so listening is the best thing they can do. Anyway – thank you for being so honest. I am not familiar with ED (other than the text book lessons from psychology) so I am hear to listen!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m so glad that the campaign has proved so beneficial to you! That’s terrific. Just Listen. Now THAT is powerful. Sounds like Canada’s got it goin’ on! 🙂 thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  44. “She threw away all her masks and put on her soul. She declared “I am here to be of service. I am open and ready to receive”. And the Universe heard her and sent out its infinite guardians to help her. They said “It’s only the beginning” and she laughed, sang, danced, prayed and healed with her guardians until the very last human was awakened and realised the true meaning of the the words “we are all one”. The End.” Francesca Silvanna
    Dear Beautiful Lady, these words seem to sum up quiet nicely what I heard pour through your heart in this raw post of yours. Lent draws us all near to one another through our individual pain & suffering. I continue to be so proud of, & inspired by, the courage you’ve been given to share your story, full of healing, hope, and honesty. You inspire us all!! And what a lovely gift God is giving to you now, this lenten season with new awareness & perspective, seeing the ‘other side’ during that particular period of your life. How beautiful the Holy Spirit has rolled this revelation into one beautiful big ball of timing: NEDA, lent, and you being with your mother during her own recovery. HUGS, HUGS AND MANY BLESSINGS for a happy, holy lent!

    1. Hi Dawn, thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. I am truly so touched by your words. That’s so true – this timing is incredible. God really has surrounded my family and I with so much grace in this time, I am so incredibly grateful for it. Thanks again for your support. You are a blessing to me. Hugs and love xox

  45. Reblogged this on untiring endurance and commented:
    Reblogging this beautiful post of faith and healing from the control food has over us. For the writer, the food was a bad thing, and she stopped eating it, for me, the food was an idol, and I ate too much. There are many ways eating disorders affect people, and as the writer says, the only way to break free from it is to give it to Jesus. He already took the burden from us on the cross, we just have to accept that love.

  46. Wow…thank you for sharing! I know that was difficult, but yet you did it. Your story can/will help so many lives that struggle with ED. I am truly touched and inspired by your writings— God bless you hun!

  47. You just opened your wound wide open. I don’t know why. You are very brave. I would surmise that you’re going to be looking for an anesthetic after this one. I hope you find it. Writing is a very heavy chore, especially when combined with life. I thought a broken U-joint was a chore, but I can see now that the human body is the much bigger chore!

    1. Thank you so much, Dan. Yeah, writing can be emotionally difficult, but on the same token, incredibly healing. And I’ll take the healing over that any day 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for taking the time to read. I know this one was a little longer than normal 🙂 I appreciate it 🙂 hugs xox

  48. Hi BBB,

    Thanks for your words. Praying that another layer of healing comes as you revisit this from the beginning.

    Gary On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 4:00 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “I had been putting off writing this post for > about a month and a half. National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Feb > 26-March 4 I had been dreading writing this post because, obviously BBB is > an eating disorder recovery blog, so I feel kinda…obligated…” >

  49. There were so many great points in hear that needed to be said out loud. I am so thankful to be following your blog and listening to someone the age of my children effacing what the Spirit has been telling me. I am thankful you can speak to Jesus rescuing you and I love your relationship with your mom. The Holy Spirit is using your blog in so many ways. He is using your journey through all this to touch lives but not only about the eating disorder, you are sharing something on so many fronts that help and touch lives.

    1. Oh my gosh, what a kind note. thank you so much!! Yes! Jesus really is my rescuer and I am so grateful for His healing in my life and my mom’s life. Gosh, I am so touched by your words. thanks again. big hugs xox

  50. Wow! Thanks for the tender and brave share. I wonder if every issue anyone has comes down to trying to wrestle control away from God. I know for sure it is for me. I know why I feel helpless sometimes and why I think I need to control everything (including when someone will leave me because I show them “the real” me and scare them off.) Even though I know though I still struggle to let go and trust God. One day at a time :), thanks again for a great post BBB.

    1. Thanks so much for this thoughtful response. you’re right – one day at a time. And I’m with you — revealing the “real” you is scary. Being vulnerable takes a lot of courage. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  51. This was very inspirational. Your words and rawness will help a lot of young people who need to hear the truth. Eating disorders are serious, but the media and pr firms for awareness do not seem to really get that message across. It’s the worst kind of gaslighting out there because the scale is so large and the damage is politely ignored. Thank you for sharing your faith and words to the world.

  52. I just love your blog. Firstly, let me send love and hugs your way, and to thank you for sharing. Secondly, I too suffered this disorder. One day, I was so weak, I could not get out of bed. My mother called for a doctor who asked my age. He couldn’t tell. I was wearing children’s clothes for 11 year olds. I was 18. Thank you for being you. ❤

  53. Thank you so much for sharing. I have a couple friends and girls from my church that I know have struggled and are struggling with eating disorders. I haven’t experienced that so I don’t know what it is like. Thank you for sharing so I could get a glimpse of what they are going through. I don’t know if you would ever feel comfortable sharing this or if you want to write this kind of post, but I think writing a post about what you would have wanted someone to tell you when you went through your eating disorder could be really helpful to myself and others out there who have never been through it and want to help those we know.
    -Rebekah

    1. Thank you so much Rebekah, for sharing thing. I’m sorry to hear that you have people in your life who are struggling with ED. I will definitely keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Yeah, I have thought about writing a post like that but honestly, that’s really hard….but I should really try and wrap my mind around it. Because the main theme that i hear is that loved ones feel that their hands are tied. Big hugs to you, it sounds like you’re a great friend and these girls are lucky to have you in their lives! hugs xox

  54. This was so powerful. Thank you for sharing. It means a lot, even if I don’t have an eating disorder personally. My sister and best friend were anorexic, and talking about it was difficult to the point of impossible. I still to this day wish I had talked more to my best friend, even as she was pegging me for details of how my sister got out of it a few years before.
    Best wishes for your mom’s recovery, too – and your continued health.

    1. Thank you so much Katherine. I’m sorry that you had to watch your sister and friend go through that. Being the loved one is not easy. And it’s hard to broach the topic. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart. Big hugs xox

  55. This post is raw! And from raw comes goodness. I would never presume to understand what you’ve been through. I have but one view point, that of mother to child who binges and purges.

    I want desperately to talk about it …to get it out in the open so we can address the elephant in the room. Not talking about it, doesn’t make it not so. As we’re quiet and walking around on egg shells, she gets worse.

    My therapist tells me to wait for my daughter to make the first move. That if I push, I could lose her forever. And I get that. She’s a perfectionist straight A student living away from home. She is wound tighter than I was at that age. She deeply cares what others think. She’d be mortified to know that I’m on to her secret.

    One week for awareness is not enough in my opinion. Thank you for sharing. We need more people to do just that.

    1. Thank you so much J Dub, I really appreciate this kind reflection. I’m sorry to hear that your daughter is going through that. I will definitely keep her in my prayers. You’re right – it’s hard to bring up these tough topics. That sounds just like how I was when I was in my ED. And I would have never brought it up. And I didn’t. My family staged an intervention. Gosh, J Dub, what a tough situation. Hang in there. And I agree — one week isn’t enough…it should be everyday. Sending big big hugs xox

      1. Thank you so much. Your blog is bringing needed attention. I’m glad I found you out there in this universe. There is comfort in your words. For the first time in a while there is hope.

  56. I can never hope to understand what you or your loved ones went through. Just let me say I am glad you survived! The world is better having you here with us and telling us what this is like.

    Proud of you!

  57. Just like how forgiveness works, awareness can work the same way. Some people do not realize all the behind-the-scenes of a season until it is revealed to them. I felt the love when you and your mother were able to mourn together again. I felt like it brought more healing to an area you did not realize was there.

    so impactful.

    -JV

    1. Thanks so much JV. You’re right. It works the same way:) yes, it was a really special moment between my mom and I. I’ll definitely remember that for a long time 🙂 thank you for stopping g by and for the wonderful encouragement. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Stephen. I really appreciate that. I do feel His presence, holding up my family and I , especially now during this difficult season. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  58. This hit me so hard and I’m so glad there are people like you who have the courage to speak about these topics. Good luck to you in everything xx

  59. Oh my heart. I have sat here for about 20 minutes reflecting and organizing my thoughts, unsure of how to put them into words. FIrst off, thank you. Thank you for sharing You. I feel like a mirror is reflecting back at me as I read. I am not alone. I never was alone. Those years were tough, not only for me but most of all to my best friend, my mama. I feel grateful for coming across your site. I actually came across your post after looking through who liked my blog posts. You liked my “Water Droplet Meditation”. Thank you for visiting. I will be stopping by here more, I really love your writing. Bliss & Bless, sister.

  60. Inspiring….thank you for being strong enough to share and it sounds like you have the support and love around you to continue with your recovery and I am sure you will continue to be strong and win out x

  61. Thank you for this post! It is beautiful when we are able to speak and write openly about this struggle — because that is a true sign in personal growth and strength in winning the battle.

  62. Raw indeed. But stripping off the skin of eating disorders will always, always be raw – uncomfortable, squirmy, putting the parts of us we tried so hard to squelch out there on view. It is a brave and beautiful thing to share those hidden and sore parts of yourself with us. I rejoice in the healing you have found at Jesus’ feet. I rejoice in the healing I have found at those same feet! And until more of us are willing to enter into our own pain deeply enough to expose raw flesh, our stories lack power – the power to reach back and hold out a hand to someone else walking in pain. Your words were raw enough to reach into my wounds – which means they will have the power to heal. Blessings on you!

    1. Thank you so much For this thoughtful reflection, Melody. It really means a lot. You’re right – it’s raw indeed. But amen! There is healing in Him. How grateful am I for that!! Glad this resonated with you 🙂 Big hugs to you xox

  63. Thank you. When someone pushes themselves to be brave or past lukewarm, it pokes those of us in the same spot to also share our story. We grow together. Thanks again.

  64. Yes! This is wonderfully written and a spot on description of what awareness is really about. It’s not showing just the happy sides of ourself that we want the world to see. It’s not just the “fake recovery” posts and pictures. It’s those, and everything else too. It needs to include the incredible that everyone with an ed experiences. Thanks for this 💗

  65. Powerful, Powerful Post. You have come a long way and your courage and determination show. You are definitely a voice for the voiceless when it comes to ED and I really love how you put it in its place with that quote “you are dust…..” May God continue to give you the strength, wisdom and courage to continue to share what you have been through in order to help others be more aware of ED and to help those who are going through it. May God also continue to bless you mother on her road to recovery. God bless.

    1. Thank you so much, John, for your kind words and prayers for my family and I. It really means a lot. Yes, God is the source of our healing and strength! Big hugs to you xox

  66. I can’t imagine the courage it took to write this – or any of your posts. I am sorry you went through what you did but God does work in mysterious ways and you must know that you are right where you are supposed to be. Helping others the way you did is so selfless. I have a tremendous respect for what you have done to raise awareness. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Joan, what a kind thing to say. I really appreciate it. That’s so true, God is in control. I may not always understand His ways, but I do trust Him. Thanks for stopping by! big hugs ox

  67. I’ve never dealt with your particular type of battle, but so much of what you say here applies to everyone. We all need freedom, all need rescuing. Thank you for adding this truth: “And the only rescuer that will truly save her, is Jesus.”
    This post may be raw, but as such it is lovely. And so are you.
    Blessings.

  68. You are such an inspiration to me. I do not struggle with ED. I struggle with panic and depression but reading your blog always helps me see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That I can make it out of this alive. That there is a bright future ahead of me.
    Thank you for sharing. You may not know it or believe it, but you are changing lives. <3

    1. aw, I’m so glad it hit home with you. thanks for taking the time to read. I know it was a little longer than usual 🙂 hope you have a beautiful weekend. big hugs to you xox

  69. Thank you for always being honest when sharing your feeling with others. You are strong. Have a great weekend.

    1. Oh Nkeoma, thank you so much for this kind response. Thank you for providing a positive and accepting environment for me to feel safe to share 🙂 hope you have a beautiful weekend. hugs xox

  70. Caralyn I had wanted to respond to your previous blogs along the lines that having rediscovered the cheerful little girl (pre-a) and reflected on the strong confident woman you have become (post-a) you might now be ready to revisit this extremely difficult period of your life. Then to read this brave, honest raw account of your feelings has made me realise how everything you have gone through has made you the very special, sensitive person you are today. This is so very much reflected in how you have been ministering to your mom through this challenging time in her life. Bless you for what you bring to the lives of so many people through your blogs.

    1. Oh my gosh, what an incredibly touching note. Thank you so much. You know this really has been an interesting period of revisiting the past and seeing it with new eyes and then looking with those new eyes towards the future. It’s pretty cool. Hugs and love xox

  71. I definitely very similar in the earlier years of my recovery–I just needed to get away from the eating disorder world entirely and remove all stigma. But now, years later, I feel a lot more secure in myself and I realize how important it is to talk about the difficult feelings and conversations–because it is the part that is often most needed, i.e. inviting others in. Thank you for sharing, your words resonate a lot!

    1. Thank you so much Rebecca, I really appreciate your kind words. I’m so glad that you’re living in such freedom! thats so awesome. You’re right – inviting others in is one of the most scary – yet important – aspects of recovery! thanks so much for stopping by! big hugs xox

  72. Very well-written, and it is good to know that you have put your trust in Jesus through your recovery and beyond. May God use you to help others!

  73. As you may have gleened from my posts, I view life in cycles, rather than linearly. Breathing is inspiration and exploration. Gardening is seasons and years. Creativity is gathering supplies then making something. So to is recovery: contemplation (individually and collectively) then doing. -Oscar

  74. Wow what an amazing, moving, powerful post. Thank you so much for writing this and sharing it. I have never suffered eating disorders, but know people who have and know how terrifying and powerful they are. Your site is great, offering support and information; I hope to develop mine so that it is a little more like this. Take care 🙂

  75. You are amazing, totally amazing! Thank you for sharing so much about this and also for sharing the beauty of your faith, and partaking of Ash Wednesday the way you and your Mom did. I’m so glad you were able to help her see what has been a part of you, that she did not totally see! What a blessing you are both for each other at this time!! xoxoxoxoxoxo <3

    1. Thanks again friend 🙂 yeah this really is a blessing. And I am trying to remember that each morning. And especially in the difficult moments 🙂 thanks for reading today! Hugs and love xox

  76. So I came to your blog out of curiosity–mostly driven by the fact that you had liked a post of mine recently, and I am glad that I spent some time on your page. I just read “This Post is Raw,” and I felt it was relatable in so many ways–for so many different people, too. I started writing, in a variety of forms and mediums, about 15 years ago. As a teenager, I was diagnosed with cancer and fought for six months to achieve remission. The most noteworthy piece of reading your work today came when you suggested that NEDA week isn’t for the girls but for the loved ones. When I was sick, I was constantly trying to survive, as it sounds like you may be able to understand quite well. When I reflect on this years later, I realize that my family felt helpless, like they were unable to protect or heal me. What a terrifying feeling that must be. I too struggle with the concept of awareness at times, as I am more inclined to believe that action drives progress more than anything, but I have found that awareness can lead to action and bring people together that might otherwise not be. Great post, I’ll be following!

    1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. I am so sorry that you had to go through that as a teen. But wow, I am so glad that you achieved remission. That is so great. You’re right – I’ve often talked with my family about that difficult period and they all say the same thing: they felt helpless and like their hands were tied. I think it is good for there to be support for the loved ones, as well as the sufferers. Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  77. I tried to talk to my daughter during her struggles with anorexia. Yes, like me she too suffered. I did not succeed in any discussion. She resented me during her distress. I was blamed. I talked to her about everything! Organ failure, the decline of the possibility to have children and so on. She wouldn’t listen so it was all in vain.When she was admitted to Fairbanks she shunned me. Today she is healthy and is involved in fitness instead of food. She has two beautiful children, married, and we are closer than ever.

    1. Oh Teresa, I’m so sorry that you had to walk through that with your daughter. Wow, I am so glad that she is living in freedom and is healthy and vibrant in life! I will definitely keep the two of you in my prayers. Big hugs to you xox

      1. Wow, Teresa, this gives me hope as I am going through this with my daughter who shuns me and won’t talk about her not eating. She is being put on supplements now by the dietician who tried to terrify her with what was going to happen to her body if she continued to refuse to eat. My daughter’s reaction “I wish someone would force feed me as I just can’t eat.” Watching her get thinner and thinner is heartbreaking. Her BMI is very low and she is now malnourished. I love her but just don’t know how to help her.

  78. Wow. This post IS raw. Thank you for being so brave in sharing all of your pain and your mixed thoughts and emotions about NEDA and EDAW. It was as if I could feel the twisted knots of tension and entangled, messy emotions behind your words as I read them. I think your response to those stock photos and the often trite tag-lines that are part of these publicity campaigns are entirely valid. It’s hard to start these incredibly painful conversations. Perhaps the use of these cheesy phrases and attractive pictures is designed to get past those initial, self-protective, vulnerability defenses that people tend to erect. I am amazed at your willingness to be vulnerable and to share so much of yourself, and I am amazed at your strength – the strength that brought you through your ED and into recovery. God gives us the strength but it is up to us to use it, and that is what you continue to do. Sending so much love.

    P.S. A mental health treatment center nearby to me opened the week with a free screening of the documentary “Embrace.” If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it! The theme is body-acceptance, and it’s one woman’s first-person account of her travels around the world exploring the issue. While watching the movie, there were times when I felt so discouraged that I wondered how we will ever change things, but then I remembered that it is God who is bringing about our salvation, just as you wrote about, and we can trust that He will make everything ok (more than ok!) in the end if we surrender to him.

    1. Thanks for this thoughtful reflection, Lulu. You’re right, initiating a dialogue is SO difficult. It’s hard to water that down to a simple tag line. I really appreciate you’re encouragement. And you’re right – God really is the source of our strength, and what a comfort that is to know that we don’t have to do it alone! Oh interesting! Embrace…I’ll have to check it out. thanks for passing it along 🙂 You’re right – He is in control and will make everything okay 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  79. You are such a wonderful young lady, this post had me in tears. I want to know what my daughter is feeling but she does not share. She does not know why she can’t eat, why she is not interested in food. Her dietician is worried about her as her BMI is very low and she is going to put her on supplements to give her the nutrients she needs. She is going to write to the doctor again to see if she can get some more help for her, but as usual, we seem to be doing the run around with my daughter just getting thinner and thinner. It seems very hard to get help in the UK when it is not a clear cut anorexia diagnosis. We went to a clinic for people with anorexia but they said they could not help so they sent my daughter to the dietician, and now dietician is sending her back to the doctor. My daughter wants to be force fed as she says she does not want to eat but knows her body needs food. On the one hand, my daughter has great plans for the future but on the other cant find the motivation to eat so that she can have a future. Praying that God can reach her through other people and bring back my beautiful girl.

    1. Oh Margaret, my heart is just going out to you. I know how difficult that must be to watch that. It sounds like the doctors are stuck on a bit of a merry-go-round. I will definitely keep her and you in my prayers. Yes, there is so much for her to embrace in this life. She’s got a good head on her shoulders. She just needs someone to break through the fear. Gosh, I’m sending you such big hugs. thank you for sharing that. hugs xox

  80. I have a friend that suffered from an unusual eating disorder. I am grateful that you are writing about it. In my friend’s case the whole suffering was mainly cause by a creative block. She wrote a screen play about it. It was amazing to see how the mind, the spirit and the physical body are so intimately connected. I am sending lots of light to you. Big hugs and thank you for your courage to reveal your pain.

  81. Thanks, Sister for reading my “Before”. You, too, know the truth of the “before and after”, and you tell it so well. Like the Uber man, I encourage you to keep on with your eyewitness ministry. It isn’t always easy to be faithful to your cause, but through Him you do it so very well. Blessings, daily blessings, to you! Len, your Gloryteller.

  82. I love your writing style and honesty. I was about 14 years old when I began to binge and purge. I lost weight quick and my dad caught on and asked me what was going on. He was genuine and concerned, I was stubborn and 14 ; letting him in wasn’t an option. I also struggled with self harm, self confidence and self love. Somehow I managed to get through that time of my life on my own but had to go to counselling to learn better coping skills and emotional release for the self harming. I wish I could go back and hug my 14 year old self. Finding self love is a difficult and

    1. Challenging at that age. I hope my daughter will never have to go through that and god will help her and me to be the confident women he knows we can be! Thank you for your beautiful words.

    2. thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that you can relate on such a personal level. I’m so glad that you’re enjoying freedom and peace now. I know what you mean about wanting to go back. I want to go back and give our 14 year old selves hugs too 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  83. Thank you for your honesty and for your witness and testimony of the healing power of Christ. For all of life’s trials, be they physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, TRUE healing is found only in Him. May God bless you.

  84. Your words pulled me in. Drawn into an understanding i did not have prior to reading this and yes I, too take life for granted when I am unaware of it. Thank you for helping me to understand not only what you suffered through, but how you endure. You are more helpful than you realise…

  85. This post/your whole blog is beautiful! I absolutely love that you are sharing your story of suffering and of God’s work in your life. God is redeeming so much through you and your story. You are so strong and brave and beautiful! Keep fighting the good fight. 🙂

  86. Your post resonated with me so much. I am planning on becoming a therapist who helps people who have ED’s. I admire your honesty and strength. I also love how you incorporate faith into this (I’m catholic as well). Great writing 😊

  87. Thank you for sharing. I have been thinking about you and your Mom. How are you both doing now? I pray for complete healing and restoration for both of you. Blessings. 🙂

    1. thank you so much for your continued prayers for my mom and i. she’s doing a lot better. still a long way to go, but there’s terrific progress every day, and i am so grateful for that 🙂 i appreciate you stopping by! big hugs xox

  88. Reblogged this on heartshabitation and commented:
    This was written by a lovely young woman who follows my blog. She also rights one of her own called Beauty Beyond Bones where, among other things, she shares her battle with an eating disorder and of her faith in Jesus that helps her to overcome. I reblog her post to honour her.

  89. Well said, and very insightful for me, I liked what you said about ‘she has to decide”. So very true for many areas of our lives. And yes, in the end, Jesus is the only one who can save us. Thank you for sharing your heart. ❤

  90. I love the honest way you write your blogs. I feel the Lord blessing them in a powerful way and using you as his faithful servant to spread love and understanding.

    1. Thanks Jo. Gosh, what a kind thing to say. All the glory be to Him – they aren’t my words, but His. thanks for the incredible encouragement. big hugs to you friend xox

  91. You are a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart. Good on you for having the courage to share your journey. I pray it will help bring healing to many who struggle with similar issues. Blessings!

  92. Sometime the hardest knocks provide us with the best education. This is evident in what you have written here.If just one tear drop doesn’t fall because of what you written it was well worth it. Stronger to day much stronger tomorrow. Thanks you.

  93. God bless you and your beautiful bones, body, heart, and soul. What a monumental moment you and your mother had during this Lenten season. Thank you for sharing your story. xoxo — Part-Time Sunshine

  94. Many of us have painful stories that are difficult to share, and silence can breed ignorance and judgments. I applaud your bravery is sharing so many details of yours. I can see how helpful it is for so many.

    1. Thank you so much Aurora. What a kind thing to say. it really means a lot. You’re right, we all have different challenges we’re dealing with silently. thanks again for stopping by 🙂 hugs xox

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