Well here we are, we’ve jumped off the starting block of another week.
The internet is in an absolute tail spin over the James Charles and Tati Westbrook scandal in the YouTube makeup community.
The Royal watchers are all abuzz over the arrival of Meghan and Harry’s son, Archie. While Kardashian fans are aflutter over the birth of (American royalty) Kim and Kanye’s son, via surrogate.
Game of Thrones is shaking the globe, quite literally. (I, however, am in the minority, and do not watch.)
And all the while, I’m just sitting here, dating my brains out, and wondering how early is too early to start a countdown for Christmas.
But in my quest for information on the James Charles drama, I happened upon an interesting coincidence…Mother’s Day, this year, fell on the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week.
And as I was reflecting yesterday, on my beautiful mother, and how grateful I am to have her in my life, I realized that the timing of these two was actually quite perfect.
Allow me to share with you, how my incredible mother, saved our relationship.
Ask anyone who has had mental illness touch their lives, and they will tell you – it is an incredibly isolating experience. You have all of this chaos and turmoil wreaking havoc on literally every aspect behind closed doors – 24/7, and outside the world is turning. You’re in this bubble of hell, and you feel completely alone.
During my anorexia, that was absolutely the case.
To say that it was a minefield-covered war zone, would be an understatement.
When there was not fighting or explosive outbursts, the tension and anxiety could be cut with a knife. You could feel the words that people were wanting desperately to say in the uneasy silence. Desperation and despair were mainstays, and literally the sight of my gaunt, skeletal frame would cause such a surge of concern that being in the same room as me was often too much to bear. They felt helpless, watching me frantically running from this to that, avoiding social situations, sneaking off to exercise, screeching out of the house in my car in rage, lying about eating, practicing food rituals, and just wasting away in every sense of the word. It was like watching a death scene in extreme slow motion, with nothing you can do about it.
I cannot imagine what that pain must have felt like for my mom, to watch me actively choose to throw away my life like that. I was choosing behaviors that were leading me on an accelerated path to death’s door.
And the harder my mom tried to get through to me, the harder and more determined I was to push her away.
This is where my mother’s immeasurable wisdom comes into play.
Hearing everything that she was going through, I think one of the things that most people would want to do, would be to vent to their friends.
For Heaven’s sake, I’d need a girlfriend to talk to about this. To have a glass of wine with and just spill everything. Cry. Pour my heart out. I’d need support from others.
But she did none of that.
She didn’t breathe a word to anyone. Didn’t put my name on any prayer requests. Didn’t bring me up at bible studies or social gatherings.
She kept it all to herself, and instead, took those deep needs for consolation and crying out — to Jesus. She would go to the adoration chapel every single night and pray for me. She’d go to confession and confide in our Priest, seeking his guidance. And that was it.
No gossiping. No divulging personal information guised as a “prayer request.” None.
And I asked her about this later, in my recovery, and she said that she knew it was not her story to tell.
And here’s the kicker that’s so SO important, as we’re starting this Mental Health Awareness Week, for any loved ones to hear:
My mom knew, that if our relationship was ever going to heal, that I had to be able to trust her. Even though I had broken every trust with her: in my anorexia, I was lying to her, manipulating her, saying horribly mean and hurtful things to her in rage, and destroying every ounce of respect — she knew that deep down, those things were the result of my disease, influencing my words and actions.
So even though I had destroyed her trust in me, she knew that when I got out of that pit of darkness and healed, I was going to need to be able to trust her. And that is why she never gossiped or talked poorly of me with anyone. She was an iron vault and kept those things in her heart. And that, is how she saved our relationship.
She was absolutely right. When I finally did recover, after a long and difficult journey, the fact that I could trust my mom at literally the most critical time in my entire life – it has been the greatest blessing of my life. And in fact, it has strengthened our relationship.
Do I regret how badly I hurt my mother during that season of my life? Yes – deeply. And I carried so much guilt around for a long time.
But by the literal grace of God, she – and my whole family – they all whole-heartedly forgave me, and were just grateful that I was better, and wanted to put it all behind us, and move forward and heal as a family. And for that I am eternally grateful.
Relationships come in all different varieties. And for better, or for worse, each situation is delicate and intricate and has its challenges and history. But I’m here to tell you, that it is never too late. It is never too late to seek forgiveness, and a second chance.
My mother is a shining example of that hope.
And this Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Week, I think it’s important to remember that. Mental illness, like anorexia, can bring relationships to the absolute brink. They’re painful and mentally/emotionally/spiritually exhausting, but at the end of the day, love matters. Relationships matter. And I promise you, they’re worth fighting for.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
Sign up below for my free newsletter!
Get my daily videos, recipes and posts delivered straight to your inbox!
Here was yesterday’s video! https://youtu.be/8pmp4ZI968A
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!
OH MY GOSH THE FABFITFUN SPRING BOX IS HERE!!!!!! A seasonal box of over $300 worth of health, beauty and fitness products, for only $39.99! Order yourself a box with my code SPRINGLOVE for $10 off! 😉
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“***
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible 🙂
And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank you! Again, it is an absolutely free, and easy way for you to help keep this blog going!