Recovery: 10 Years Later

Sometimes I am really blown away by people.

In a good way.

Not in a Kendall Jenner, Pepsi/Fyre Festival fiasco sort of way…

But in a, wow, how did I get so lucky, kind of way.

My best friend said the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me the other night.

We were sitting at a bar, and she proceeded to floor me with kindness.

And honestly, I’d muuuuch rather be self-deprecating than self-affirming, but I’ve decided to share this with you to show the full circle that God has brought me on.

She looked at me and said, “I’ve finally figured you out.”

And I asked her, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Caralyn, I’ve been your best friend since we were seven, and I’ve seen people just be drawn to you. Attracted to you. And I could never pinpoint what that “it factor” was. But I’ve finally figured it out. You’re the only person I’ve ever met with this characteristic, but you’re yellow.

And I kind of looked at her puzzled. I mean I know I eat a lot of carrots as a vegan, but…yellow?

And she said that I give off the color yellow. That I’m kind, effervescent, and joyful, and people are drawn to my “yellow.” That they are attracted to the warmth and light of my “yellow” because it makes them feel warm, and good.

And I just looked at her almost in disbelief, taken aback by the incredibly generous affirmation my best friend just blessed me with.

You’re my ‘yellow’ girl. You’re rare and beautiful. Make sure you find a guy who is deserving of your ‘yellow.'”

So why did I tell you this? Because I can assure you, my skin is crawling and I’ve getting stress hives with the level of rodomontade in this post. But allow me to just take you back for a quick moment.

Let me set the scene.


10 years ago. To the day. Yes, today is the ten year anniversary of when I went to inpatient treatment for my anorexia. And one of the most defining moments at inpatient was during family week. We were each asked to make an art project depicting how the eating disorder effected us personally.

And I remember exactly what I made, because there was no doubt in my mind as to how the eating disorder impacted me.

I made a black coffin out of construction paper, representing my anorexia. And then inside the coffin, I put all different colors of confetti.

The eating disorder killed my colors.

I have always been a vivacious, fun loving, spunky, full of life – and full of color – girl. But my anorexia wiped out all the color in my life. It shrouded my life with a blanket of darkness.

And the thing is, I never thought I would be able to regain it. The pallor of my existence seemed too despairing to be able to imagine a life in color again. And even during much of my recovery, I felt as though I was still missing that vibrancy. I was a muted version of who I was. Of who God made me to be.

So wouldn’t you know, that on the eve of my 10 year recovery anniversary, that my best friend, who has known me through all stages – all colors – of my life, would tell me that I’m the only yellow person that she knows, it made me just smile at the goodness of God.

He has brought me full circle.

Ten years later, he has restored me. Brought me back to who I was. And confirmed it through my best friend in the whole world. I had never told her about that episode with the family week art project. She didn’t know that “colors” were anything meaningful to me. It was just from her heart. And, I believe, how God encouraged me and recognized my anniversary weekend.

The journey of recovery is long and arduous. And one that I haven’t been alone on. God has been rebuilding me, brick by brick, every day, a little more and more vibrant. You can’t always see your own progress, but others can. Especially your best friend.

Restoration is possible. Even when it seems unimaginable, nothing is impossible for God. And I’m sitting here, ten years later, confirming just that.

God has brought me back to life. Brought my colors back to life.

I’ve got my yellow back.

Outlook: sunny.

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378 thoughts on “Recovery: 10 Years Later

  1. You seem relationship minded. Let me tell you something I know about a person that will fall for you. (Assuming your straight). Putting God aside for just the moment, I can share an experience with you that might help.

    The man that REALLY loves what makes you tick will graciously offer up his worthless piles of dirt to you – as a humble offering as you are a work of art to him. He will be sad when he realizes he can’t give the world but would move heaven itself t try and give it to you, no questions asked. Careful with him though, he will be terrified of your responses.

    Great blog. I like reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much friend. Oh my gosh this gives me so much hope. I think you’re right – there is a man out there who will want to love all of me, just how I am. I do have hope in that:) thanks for the encouragement! Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hope? Forget hope. When someone see’s your light they will want to do this: I hope the image posts.

        Thanks for visiting our blog! I’ll happen!


  2. What a lovely compliment from your friend. I truly believe that we can see the light in people–some shine brightly while others are dimmed from trauma or circumstances. However, we can gain back that brightness through healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful post! Let me dry my eyes and stop sobbing like a baby! What a wonderful God we serve that can take darkest shades and turn them into the most vibrant hues! I’m inspired! Shine on sister ! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back to the old new you Caralyn! Do not worry God still has plenty of color to offer you to explore in life too. Hope your adventure is rich and abundant as you are renewed day by day.


  5. Oh wow, I LOVE this so much! I’ll always think of the color yellow when I meet someone with those qualities. A person people are drawn to because they are genuine, warm, and compassionate. All the things I strive to be 🙂 And I never knew your name is Caralyn! So pretty. Take care, Jenny

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, you are definitely a warm color and yellow is such a happy one. You’re very special and very much loved by God. WOW!!!! God brought you to your roots to unclutter your mind so that you could write that book. How many girls like you will it help? I would say thousand and then evangelizing as the same time. As I read your post this is what came to me. To God you’re like like the great treasure hidden in the field…… Matthew 13:4. God bless you Caralyn.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. God is truly amazing in picking us up and putting us back together again and you are an amazing person for allowing Him to take control of your recovery. Congratulations on coming so far.


  8. I like that He chose to do this on the 10th anniversary. 10 encompasses every single digit prior to starting anew. Yellow (for me) is associated with ‘sparkle’. It is the first color of fire that I see – the bright burst and flash of light before it simmers down. Eyes are attracted to bright, happy things. It’s rejuvenating, yet mellow. Did I mention Minons are yellow, but even they are happily hapless (which you aren’t) but they are very fun and lively. <<<<<———- Key word, lively, full of life. Don't ever forget it, overcomer!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this so much! And I relate to it so much too. It’s so beautiful and refreshing to read a blog about eating disorders that focuses on hope rather than darkness. So restorative and encouraging :o)


  10. Outlook: sunny

    I love the sun, the sea, the animals, the plants, and the sunny people, and the life they emanate.
    Summer is my beloved season.
    The heat expands, exudes energy and life.
    Yellow, translucent as the light, radiates hope and moves us.
    Sunny like this land, like Brazil.


  11. How well your story goes with the Plan of Restoration to the Original Intent for our Creation, and, with my wondering in the post of today. WoW Father is GOOD! And you are beautiful! 🙂


  12. Thank you, Caralyn, for sharing your story with others. God is the creator of life, and the giver of life. Honor Him in all you do, and He will guide you through this journey called life. And if we live for Him, we will find life in heaven thousands of times even better and more fulfilling.


  13. I’ve really enjoyed reading your articles I was just wondering how you tell people you love about what you’ve been through. I’ve never told anyone what was happening and now that I’m on the road to recovery I feel a lot more comfortable telling the people I love. Do you have any tips for how to do it? Any would be appreciated. Thanks. – Laura


    1. Thank you so much Laura. I really appreciate your question. I guess I would do it one on one and just be open and honest with them. When people love you, they will be compassionate and supportive 🙂 good luck! It’s scary but so totally freeing and amazing 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person



  15. I completely agree with your best friend: you are yellow, and beautiful, and have a heart of gold. Thank you for sharing your heart so honestly and boldly with us!


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