Reclaiming My Voice

One of the most common pieces of feedback I receive about my blog is that people resonate with my voice.

Which, is such a wonderfully affirming note that I am very grateful for. But honestly, hearing that, it brings me to my knees when I think of the journey I’ve taken thus far.

Eating disorders, and anorexia in particular, are so misunderstood. Seen as a “diet gone wrong” for vain, suburban upper-middle class white teenage girls, people get the wrong ideas. Especially when it comes to “fixing” her — believing that she can merely “snap out of it.”

Which, is such harmful thinking for so many reasons.

But tonight, I wanted to just touch on something that we all have in common: our voice.

Growing up, I was one of those vibrant, happy-go-lucky kids.

img_9563.jpg

I was constantly talking in goofy accents and playing dress up like a gal’dang professional, and at the age of five, begged my parents to put me into acting classes.

And there began my lifelong love of the performing arts.

But my voice was always something that was a defining part of who I was. I loved singing, and I began doing musical theater professionally in the city from the age of 7 on, even starring in a television pilot that was a spinoff of Barney.

But my voice was an integral part of me. My mom jokes that when I was a kid, we’d go to the park, and I would sing to all the old ladies sitting on the park benches. I loved to share my voice with whomever would listen.

But my anorexia stole that.

During my disease, I’ve already shared with you about how I chose to isolate myself from my friends and loved ones. Years went by where I would never return a text or pick up the phone. I wanted to be alone with my eating disorder, ashamed of who I’d become, and unwilling to relinquish the death grip I had on my destructive behaviors.

I wanted to be alone. And I didn’t care who I hurt in the process.

But in addition to the isolation, my anorexia was destructive in another way:

It silenced me.

I became a meek, unsure shadow of myself, without a shred of self confidence, or self worth.

And my voice reflected that.

Aside from the, nearly daily, blow ups or standoffs that I would have with my parents — outbursts of rage over food, or weight, or doctors appointments — my voice was non-existent. I didn’t speak. I bottled up all the emotions and thoughts and fears and cries for help, and never uttered a word. I was screaming on the inside, but all anyone could see was a shrinking girl, desperately trying to disappear from the world, cowering away from prying eyes behind baggy clothes and hardened, vacant eyes.

I remember so vividly that day at inpatient where I finally used my voice for the first time in probably close to 2 years.

I sang. 

We were at chapel, and I had one of those knee-buckling experiences. I was overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ love and forgiveness finally broke through the fortress I had built around my heart. And He broke through. And I genuinely smiled and laughed and cried and just felt this soul-level joy that I can only attribute to Jesus.

And the next thing I knew, I was singing. I was on the ground, this heaping pile of snotty tears, and laughing jubilation, and I was singing.

I finally felt that freedom I had longed for for so long. I had let Jesus in, and opened up my heart – even just a crack – for Him to whoosh in and heal my broken spirit.

My voice came back. As though, overnight. I began laughing and cracking jokes. I began to speak with a volume and command, as a young woman who had reclaimed what was rightfully hers all along. I looked people in the eye. Became engaging and lively again.

Because ED could no longer silence me.

Psalm 40:3 “He put a new song in my mouth. A hymn of praise to our God.

Our voices are one of the most powerful tools we have in this world.

A word can build someone up, or tear them down. It can inspire change in the world. It can heal wounds. It can pacify tensions, and create unity in divisive times.

And when you couple your voice with your story, you become a force to be reckoned with.

Because our stories matter. Each one reveals a glimpse to the heart of the Father, and the depths of His love for His children.

I know my story isn’t extraordinary. I know that each and every one of us battle adversity and walk through challenges.

But this is my opportunity, to use that which has been reclaimed. To share my story, in celebration of His victory over the darkness in my life.

Lastly, the really powerful thing about voices is that yes, one is strong, and powerful and important. But when we all bring our voices together, we can create a symphony. Harmonies and melodies that are as intricate and beautiful as each individual contributing voice.

A compilation of life-affirming sound that can drown out the negative noise in this life.

Our voices matter. And whatever silencing force we may be up against in life, is no match for His restorative and redemptive power.

Our voice is our power. Let’s use it for good.

Ps 59:17 I will lift my voice to sing Your praise, O my Strength—
    for You came to my defense.
    O God, You have shown me Your loving mercy.

Sign up below for my free BeautyBeyondBones Newsletter, complete with daily videos by yours truly!

 

A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you! Just click here!


Have you seen my latest FabFitFun video? Because…you should watch it. It’s pretty funny. And then order yourself a box. 😉

Be sure to check out my affiliate, Audible. Listening to audiobooks while I cook is literally my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!! 

***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“***

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY!

img_5109________________________________________________________________
STAY CONNECTED!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to stop by my link, amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones first! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog! (When you stop by my link first, whatever you get on Amazon will give this blog a little kickback :))

patreon

For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible 🙂

***NEW!! For outfit details, you can check out my LIKE.TO.KNOW.IT page or follow me in the Liketoknow.it App!

IMG_1288

Published by

beautybeyondbones

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

134 thoughts on “Reclaiming My Voice

  1. Caralyn, I agree, our voice is so important. So glad you regained your voice and life in inpatient treatment. A voice that speaks lie! Yes!!! xoxo

  2. What a wonderful post. In Canada, today is Thanksgiving Monday, so I’m rolling with good vibes anyway, but your newsletter has been great to see on my device, and I cheered for you when I saw your tweet remembering ten years of recovery. It is great tidings. Keep up the extraordinary good job you’re doing with BBB!

    1. Thank you so much Odell. Oh thanksgiving Monday! That’s wonderful! Thanks for the encouraging words. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! Oh that’s terrific! Congrats to him! God is good!! Hugs and love xox

  3. I wish we lived closer. I’d break out in song with you right now. We’d sing our duet to the world. “I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart; I will enter His courts with praise; I will say this is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice for He has made me glad!” He has made me glad … and so have you! I love that you share your voice so openly, Caralyn. Your vulnerability and your reliance on the Lord make you powerful. God bless you! Thanks for sharing. <3

    1. Aww Jan you’re the sweetest! What’s beautiful thought! I love that so much. Singing with you always! Hugs and love xox

    1. Awww thank you so much!! You are so sweet. Thank you for this beautiful affirmation. You’re a great friend! Hugs and love xox

  4. Beautifully done, as usual. But I do want to correct you on one point: your story IS extraordinary, because it is different from any other story in the world, and that is because there is only one YOU. We all have stories that are extraordinary and worth telling, because they are specific to the individual that God chose to create. May we all sing together! Hugs and love– Mike

    1. Thank you so much Mike. I am humbled by your kind and generous words. God is good. Hugs and love xox

    2. There is just one little word that takes ordinary to the next level. Can you believe that you are the “extra” to make that happen in your life? God can take you to the limit and you through Him can be extraordinary!!!
      How great Thou art!! Can be your song of victory today!

  5. Great blog. I had anorexia & bulimia when I was young, brought on by my desire to please a man I loved very much. He would tell me with each 5 pounds I lost, “You would be perfect if you just lost 5 pounds more.” I never became perfect enough for him. I eventually tried to commit suicide when the romance failed. You are using your voice in a very powerful way to help others who suffer with these illnesses because they can’t ever see themselves as beautiful just the way they are. Bravo!

    1. Thank you so much Cheryle! I really appreciate you sharing your story. So glad that you know that freedom too!! Amen! Hugs and love xox

  6. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the insights on voice. I have prayed more than once that one day I will be singing a song here on earth and finish it in heaven! Blessings

  7. Your Story has always been inspiring. And this just affirms what is burning in my heart lately! Too many voices have been silenced by situation and circumstances. It is time to speak, to inspire, encourage, and help one another to speak, to testify like you are doing here of your overcoming adversity just as in Revelations 12:11 Thank you for Your Story!

    1. Oh my gosh Joan, thank you friend. I am so touched by your kind words. I will def have to look up that verse! Hugs and love xox

      1. Hugs and love! Just gave birth to a project on my Radiant Glory FB Page today, and to read this! So on time!. Thank you Caralyn!

  8. Reading this took me back to meeting you and what an incredible experience that was for me. Now I understand better the strength of your eye contact and the, well, just your presence. I would never have expected your strength in being there, in the moment, making a connection. I had planned to greet you gently, softly, considerately. Instead I was suddenly in the grip of a Caralyn blast!! I thank God for your recovery for your sake, but also, selfishly, for your friendship.

    I hope many others read this tonight who wonder if they’ll ever have a voice again. I pray that they find hope and strength to open that door to Jesus so He can whoosh into their hearts too!

    1. Thank you Jeff. Gosh I am so touched by this kind note. Yeah that was such a special meeting. Haha a Caralyn blast – love it. I am so thankful for our friendship too! Big hugs to you and Julie! Xox

  9. Beautiful. Cool how lifting your voice to the Lord lifts and blesses so many who hear…me included. Thankful for your vulnerability and tenacity…and the song of redemption that resounds. Hugs.

  10. Welcome back Caralyn’s voice! It’s good you are here. The world is a better place now that you’re back. May God bless you and keep you and may the saving power of Christ be forever in your heart through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    1. hahah aw thank you Tim 🙂 seriously, your words touch me heart so much. God is so so good! Hugs and love xox

  11. I love your reference to Psalm 40:3. The part that you did not hear is the part that says, Many will see it, fear, and trust in the Lord.” See a song? How does someone see a new song? In the life you live. Caralyn, people see the “new song” the Lord put in you. He has given you this tremendous platform to exalt Him. May people trust the Lord because of the great work they see in your life.

    1. Thanks Matthew. oh wow – that’s such a powerful part of the psalm. and gosh I am humbled and touched by your generous words. thank you so much. that truly means the world. so glad you stopped by. big big hugs to you friend xo

  12. My favorite sentence, “And when you couple your voice with your story, you become a force to be reckoned with.” Satan trembles at that reckoning because there’s nothing he wants more than our silence.

    Keep singing.

    1. Amen to that, friend. The thief wants to steal kill and destroy. And silence. Hallelujah that Jesus is stronger! Thank you friend. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Cait – gosh I’m touched by you saying that. You stay blessed too, my friend! have a great Tuesday! Hugs and love xox

  13. Caralyn, you are a beautiful woman ,inside and out! Sing with your whole heart…for it delights Him to hear the Voice of His child. He alone gave it to you ,to sing His praises… I have always loved your blog since I first read it. I took a small “vacation” from my blogging, but that was due to external factors….now,I am back , to declare as you did….with your unique voice, so shall I also use mine…. like Sisters. God bless you….and congratulations on this Victory!!!!! God is Indeed Good! xoxo

    1. Oh my gosh, Terrelyn, thank you so much! Your wonderful comment made my heart so warm. I’m so glad you’re back blogging! I look forward to reading your work! Hugs to you, sister! 🙂 xox

    1. oh wow, thank you friend. I am so touched!!! YOU have blessed ME!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  14. I’m so glad when you quote Scripture to support your positive statements. The two go together. Scripture and positivity. 🙂 What a life journey you’ve had. Sometimes God allows us to go through self-inflicted harm so that we can see how wicked satan is in tearing down the image of God originally planted in Adam and Eve. When we see that and come out of it we can relate to people struggling in a way that those who’ve never gone to the depths can understand or talk about. Only then can we be of help to others suffering and God grants us that privilege.

    1. thank you so much Ian. Yeah — the Bible is full of so much hope and powerful life application. You’re right- I read an awesome quote today: “I prayed for God to help me grow. It started raining.” He’s always refining us, and some things we have to learn the hard way. amen to that. thanks for stopping by! big hugs to you friend xo

  15. “felt this soul-level joy that I can only attribute to Jesus.” Isn’t that the best feeling in the whole world. Freeing, peace, happiness just plain everything. Praise God! Great testimony Sister. Thanks for sharing. LORD, thank You for continuing to bless Caralyn 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Margaret! Yes! His joy is inexplicable and life-changing. truly. praise God indeed! thanks for taking the time to read, and being such a wonderful source of encouragement! big big hugs xo

  16. My dear friend,

    I always love your honesty that you share in your feelings and writings. Your story about how voice and voices are important confirm how much you have spiritually digested after a long night of suffering. Yes, our voices, when bringing them together, are a symphony of togetherness, of love and harmony – and these voices already start in our thoughts: when we listen in silence we can hear this symphony, the divin music of the spheres, – and there we can hear and see behind such a beautiful melody that we are all brothers and sisters in Him… drops of the Ocean, each of us unique.

    Thank you so much for sharing, my lovely friend
    All good wishes
    Didi

    1. Hey there Didi! Oh thank you, my friend. A symphony of togetherness — amen to that! And I love what you said about the voices starting in our thoughts! What a powerful insight — that is so true. Drops of the Ocean! You are so poetic! And inspiring! Thank you friend! hope you have a wonderful Tuesday 🙂 big hugs xo

  17. “I know my story isn’t extraordinary. I know that each and every one of us battle adversity and walk through challenges.” How dare you say that about yourself! You and everything about you is extraordinary! Your impact on countless people every day is greater than you will ever imagine.
    Thank you for one of the most profound posts you have ever written. You are truly an inspiration in this old man’s life and one of the highlights of my day.

    Love and Blessings,
    Jim

    1. Hi Jim, my goodness you sure know how to make a gal feel special. Thank you friend. I am so incredibly touched. Very grateful for your friendship. Hugs and love xox

  18. What a powerful post!! God blessed your story of victory as I read and absorbed the melody of the song it sang!!
    My journey through mood disorders has been similar but I never stopped singing. But I was blocking the joy and worship — just mouthing the words and tunes.
    God allows me the freedom to disappear from His path but I do not want to disappear anymore.
    The “Footprints in the Sand” poem is the story of my life. It is just so annoying to know the truth of it but have Satan block the feeling of being in God’s arms.
    My steps have been ordered by my God even when I was walking on His feet so to speak. Over the last 3-4 months God has been leading me to be a better friend to those around me and encourage and challenge them. This ministry He has given me is so affirming when the joy I feel in His service to these men is returned to me by their smiling faces and kind words of appreciation.
    Men are so vain. Pride keeps them from sharing their true selves.
    Prayer is difficult for many to audibly say with a group of men who want to know their hearts and their deep needs. They feel that no one understands or would understand these deep needs. So prayer requests at a men’s Bible study I attend are shallow and other directed. Rarely is a personal request voiced.
    It will take some men moved by the Spirit to be real and open so that others will loosen up and share the needs they have! Please pray for me as I attempt to carefully and prayerfully follow God’s direction in this area.
    My voice is ready to be heard. Maybe God will allow the opportunity I might have to lead worship this week on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 9:30 am PDT as a launching pad to a new openness among the men of our church. Pray with me that my voice will be strong in His power and that the Spirit will guide my speech for God’s glory!!
    Thanks for the opportunity to unload these thoughts here. May God bless all real good because “God is good – all the time. All the time – God is good!!”

    1. thank you so much for sharing your story, Richard. powerful. I’m so glad you know His freedom too. I will definitely be praying for you! amen! Hugs and love xox

  19. “unwilling to relinquish the death grip I had on my destructive behaviors.”

    My heart aches at the millennia of time spent by millions of people lost in these dark places, and oh how I wish at times that I couldn’t relate as well as I do.

    But then again, “the evil one is overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony”, and your testimony is truly a sweet song indeed.

    Prayers that your many endeavors prosper and that our gracious Father continues to receive the glory through lives being touched and inspired through your story and light.

    Blessings in Christ!

    1. thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words and prayers. it means a lot. God is so good, and hallelujah that He can overcome any darkness! Hugs and love xox

  20. More power to you for sharing this story with your readers. It’s not easy to be vulnerable but you showed me just how important it is to write your story. You only get an opportunity to do life once and while we’re here we should live it the best way we know how and help everyone around realise that it does get better in the end.

    I’m happy to know you’ve healed from your ED and I hope and pray more people get to read this and spread the positive message.

    Sending you warm hugs.

    MaKupsy: http://www.makupsy.wordpress.com

    1. thank you so much MaKupsy. I really appreciate your encouraging words. Yes! It DOES get better! big hugs xo

  21. I like the symphony picture. 2 Chronicles 20 came to mind. They went into battle by singing. Using their voices. And God fought for them. Here we stand, sister. I commend you. And rejoice with you. Amen? 😊

    1. thank you so much Sarah! Oh wow, I love that so much! thank you for sharing. I was unfamiliar with that verse until just now! how powerful!! big hugs xo

  22. Yes, our voices and our stories matter! Thank you for sharing yours. It’s very hard to share such personal stories but those are the ones others appreciate more. It inspires others to do the same because they know they are not alone! God is good. Wonderful post 😀😀😀❤❤

    1. yes they do! thank you so much Lane! I am so touched by your encouraging words 🙂 hope you have a great day, and thanks again for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  23. Our voice is the only thing that will separate us from the rest with out our voice those that around us would be def by the enemy lies speaking to them, God has given us a voice to speak truth, share hope to the lost and those hearts that are broken and shattered , we must not be afraid to open our month and sing and speak truth in this life.

    1. thanks so much Irvin. He really has given us a voice to speak truth! amen! Hugs and love xox

    1. oh thank you so much Amy 🙂 I really appreciate you sharing in that joy with me. God is so good, and I am just so grateful for His healing presence in my life 🙂 so glad you stopped by! have a beautiful Tuesday! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi friend! oh thank you so much 🙂 He has been so good to me, how could I not!? hahah but seriously, thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words. Hugs and love xox

  24. Really excellent thoughts. So many things can steal our authentic, God-given voice. The world, the flesh and the devil all conspire against us – but the Holy Spirit is with us.

    1. Thank you so much friend. You’re so right about that – and amen! The HS is with us!! Hugs and love xox

  25. Very thoughtful and beautiful post, as usual Carolyn. I think because talking is such an everyday occurrence we’ve lost the sense of magic and power that it has. But like some writing site (I can’t remember which) said, words can be diamonds or they can be daggers and e get to choose which one they will be.
    I’d like to say too–you always find great backgrounds for your pics.

    1. Hey Nathan, thank you so much for your kind words! I think you’re right about talking! Haha yeah I love photography 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Hahahha thank you Keith! All it takes is brushing with that toothpaste! It’s crazy! You can order a tube here: beautybeyondbones.mynuskin.com 🤗 hope you have an awesome day! Hugs and love xox

  26. Thank you for sharing, your blog has been such a source of hope for me this past year. I’ve been free of anorexia for 2 months now and my voice hasn’t came back just yet, but I’ve always found your posts so encouraging and I hope one day I’ll get my voice back too. Thank you

    1. Thank you so much Arabella 🙂 oh wow I am so touched by that. Congrats on your recovery! Cheering for you friend!! You absolutely will! You’re on your way. You’ve reclaimed your life and that is something to celebrate!! Your courage is inspiring 🤗 Hugs and love xox

  27. Hi Caralyn: you continue to bless more people, in more ways, and for blessings received, I must be at the top of the receiving list.
    I believe also, that you are a very blessed person. In all you write, and I would say do as well, you plainly let all know that it is Jesus Christ in you who has made the difference.

    The more blessings you give out to others, whether one to one, or in a mass publication, Holy Spirit knows exactly, and pours more than enough back into your life to do it all over again.
    There is no way we are able to out give God, and He lives to bless His people so they can bless others.

    As I read your posts, Caralyn, I am reminded of the parable Jesus told about the man who gave three of his servants bags of gold, one received 10 bags, one received five bags, and the other received one bag.

    On the man’s return home he called the servants together asking what they did with the bags of gold.the first two men, with the tenbags and five bags, wither to double the amount.
    The man with one bag had buried his, so still had the one bag.

    The owner was so happy with the two who doubled what they were given, he was going to double their reward. The servant who buried his. Lost everything, and was told to give his to the man who had the ten bags

    That is how I see you Caralyn. You use all that God has given you, and you multiply it and give it all away through encouraging, writing, singing, helping others in a variety of ways, using all that you have received from our Father.

    Luv, 😀❤️🌹😘

    God Bless you Caralyn,

    1. Hey George, thank you so much my dear dear friend. Your words are always such a wonderful source of encouragement to me. I am so grateful. And wow – I am humbled. Touched. Thankful. You are an amazing friend. Biggest hugs xox

  28. You have a great voice. Thank you for sharing it. I myself had to overcome tons of adversity, and I still do to this day. But I listen to the voice of truth (Jesus) who tells me to keep going.

  29. You are an amazing, inspiring woman and I am so glad we’ve connected via blogging! Keep singing! We can hear your voice through your words! So proud of you! ♥

  30. As I read this I was reminded of Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirts are crushed.”

    I love how God met you in the darkness moments like the woman at the well whose voice was silenced by the shame that gripped her. But when Jesus met her, she went to the whole town to proclaim what Jesus had done for her. He gave her a voice that would turn the whole town to Jesus.

    I can’t help but wonder the striking similarities in your story. It shows God’s faithfulness in the past but also in the present that He can be trusted with our shame and brokenness. He turns water into wine.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Hey Frankie! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Wow – I am humbled and touched by such generous words. God is good! Hugs and love xox

  31. Thank you for liking my post from yesterday… I actually thought of your post (this one) when I was writing it. Both are about reclaiming the value of our words and our selves. God is good.

    Also, to Frankie Choi: I love your comment.

Join the Conversation!