Finding Myself After Anorexia

Here’s the thing about life: we don’t get a do-over.

We can’t turn back the hands of time and redo a moment, a season, an era. Time keeps pressing on, and whether we like it or not, how we choose to live our lives is happening right this very minute, never to be relived again.

You see, that’s the dark side of an eating disorder that they don’t tell you. That season of your life, that was spent enslaved to a disease that was actively destroying you…you can never get that time back. You cannot undo the lost years that were spent chained to rituals and isolation and fear and self-abuse.

All you can do is try to move forward with the broken pieces. Which, take it from me, is a very difficult task indeed.

Because you’ve spent that destructive season — that for me, was years long — having completely lost yourself. You no longer know who you are without the disease. You’ve completely forgotten — or rather, it was beaten out of you by the eating disorder.

So the question becomes, how do you return to yourself in a recovered life, if you’ve forgotten who you were in the first place.

Which, honestly, seems like an overly dramatic question that is, “a little much.”

But quite honestly, that has been such a difficult aspect of recovery. Pre-anorexia, I was a girl with dreams and passions, silliness, and compassion. But after years spent obsessing over food, and exercise, and lying, and manipulating loved ones, and keeping this giant web of deceit spinning — by the end, you’ve not only become an emaciated shell of yourself physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially — you’re completely wasted away as well.

So how, then, did I find myself again?

Well, spoiler alert – for a long time, I didn’t. I was like a dandelion seed in the wind — flitting from here to there. I thought I wanted to be a Southern Belle, and went to college in South Carolina for a semester — only to fall back into the eating disorder. That was followed by a season of culinary school where I thought I’d be a chef. Followed by college in Colorado where I thought I would be a sorority girl. Which brings us to my current stage in New York. And during that time, I don’t think I really found myself again, until I was several years into life in Manhattan.

So – coming from the girl who has been trying desperately to find that life on fire that I knew before the anorexia – false starts are part of the process. As is patience, and perseverance. And courage.

But I think if there’s one piece of advice I could give: it’s to go back to your roots. And by that, I mean in a multifaceted sense.

  1. Surround yourself with your “corner people.” You know who these people are. They are the ones that, through thick and thin — literally for me — were always there for you, loving you, having your back, being “in your corner.” These people knew who you were before the eating disorder. And with their help, they can support you as you rediscover that person again. And on that note, if you’re so blessed to have “corner people” in your life, cherish them – they are a blessing of infinite value.
  2. Go back to your roots, spiritually. I’m going to come out and say something that is really an ugly truth: during the disease, the eating disorder becomes your god. You worship at the alter of ED. Idolizing thinness and emptiness, and self. To truly find yourself, you have to find your center again: God. You have to put yourself back in proper priority: under God. Because a life spent in worship of self is an empty, insatiable existence that only leads one place.
  3. Go back to your roots, passions-wise. Remember the things you loved to do, and then dip your toe in. For me, I was a singer before my anorexia. But I literally lost my voice in the ED. Everything about me became small and hollow, including my singing voice. So finding it again, and not being afraid to try was a huge step in rediscovering me. But whatever you loved doing — hiking, painting, volunteering with the elderly, cooking, making up stupid dance routines to Ricky Martin songs ((just me?)) — do them again. Listen to the music you loved before. Watch home videos. Try to tap into that emotional response of things you loved to do.

But here’s the most important thing: yes, go back to your roots to try to recall the person you were before. Do that, but then let it go.

Sounds counter-intuitive, right?

Yes…release yourself from the pressure of becoming her again.

Because here’s the thing: you are a new person. Whether we like it or not, we have emerged out of that pit of hell stronger, having seen and experienced something that – well, changed us. Changed our outlook. Changed our perspective. Changed our thinking.

So the task is then…how will we let that impact our going forward. Will we let that define us, or will we use it to propel us forward into a life of fulfillment and purpose.

We cannot get that time back, lost to the eating disorder. But we can choose to make the most of the second chance we’ve been given. And the more time and distance between you and that season, and the more you dive headfirst into chasing life again, little by little, you’ll slowly realize you’re becoming the “you” you used to be…only with a depth of soul that can only be found by overcoming something that tried to take you out.

You’ll slowly realize you’re becoming the “you” you used to be…only with a depth of soul that can only be found by overcoming something that tried to take you out.

Wherever you are in that process, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. Believe in yourself. Lean on those “corner people.” But more than anything, depend on God. Give it all to Him and allow Him to breathe life back into your spirit.

Because dear warrior, you are worth it.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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

170 thoughts on “Finding Myself After Anorexia

  1. ON TRUE TRANSFORMATION AND REDISCOVERING THE PURITY OF OUR CHILDLIKE STATE

    ◇ My Diamond Hard Experience and Instinct Suggests that there ARE Two Ways to Approach the Living of 3DLife; these ARE:

    ♧ 1. Wants + Demands = Highs and Lows 😀

    ♡ 2. Hope + Desire = Acceptance and Pleasant Surprises 😀

    ◇ Do You CHOOSE!!! 1 or 2 EveryOne; Balance, 2 or InStability, 1 or, perhaps, a combination of both 🤔 ?

    …♧◇♤♡…

    1. Thank you so much Yernasia, for sharing this interesting insight! acceptance and pleasant surprisees – how lovely! 🙂 hugs xo

    1. thank you so much!! i really do appreciate you taking the time to read it! it means a lot 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  2. Thank you for your honesty. It is everything. And when you mentioned finding the self you lost once you’re in recovery, that was powerful, and SO relatable. Who were before the core parts seem to have been stolen from us. And I completely agree: false starts and new beginnings. It’s a process, and through the process, God is making us new. Love it, love it. <3

    1. I meant to say “when you mentioned finding the self you feel you’ve lost prior to anorexia, and now that you’re in recovery*** I hope that sentence actually makes sense now!

    2. Hi Christie! Thank you so much for your wonderfully encouraging words. I’m glad this resonated with you. Amen — God is making us new through the process! love it!!! big hugs xox

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much Elizabeth, I really appreciate you being in my corner 🙂 God bless you too, my friend! big hugs xox

  3. You absolutely cannot get time back. As always thank you so much for sharing your story/struggle with anorexia. It’s very heartbreaking and sad but very inspiring. At the end of the day, you made it through and are able to share your story. God is good. And you can always go back to your roots and having people in your corner is the best! Fantastic post my friend 🌻🌻🌻⚘🤗

    1. Hi Lane! Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. You’re right – God is so good, and I am so grateful for the blessing of people who love and care about my wellbeing. Thanks for being in my corner!! 🙂 big hugs to you, my dear friend! xox

    1. Oh wow, Ted, I am humbled by your kind and generous words. Means a whole heck of a lot 🙂 big hugs xox

  4. “…you’ll slowly realize you’re becoming the ‘you’ you used to be…only with a depth of soul that can only be found by overcoming something that tried to take you out.”

    Okay… first of all, I haven’t been what you’ve been through. I haven’t had an eating disorder, at least not in your sense. So what you say here might not apply to me exactly. But the above statement makes a significant assumption: that the “you” that one used to be actually exists and is known. I have been severely depressed for as long as I can remember. It has taken different forms over the years, but I really don’t know who I was meant to be. I feel like the closest I had to that experience was from around ages 19-25. (You may already know some of this, from my posts and other comments I’ve left here.) I was a brand new Christian, attending a large university in a fairly small college town. Early in my second year, before I really had ever made a commitment to Jesus, I started getting involved with a Christian group on campus, and a Bible study shortly afterward. I started volunteering with a church youth group It was easy to find community, because everything was built in, and with a large university (about 30,000 students at the time) in a smallish town (about 55,000 people at the time, not including about 7,000 or so living on campus… those numbers stick out in my mind, they’re all a little larger now), I was naturally around people in the same place in life as me. Once I was over 30 and all of my age peers were married, it was very hard to find Christians in the same place in life as me, and when you combine that with the two churches where I had major problems in my late 20s, I have never really been able to find that kind of community again. It really doesn’t exist, as far as I can tell.

    Those tend to be the days I look back on fondly, and that is the time period that my second blog is about.
    However… I wasn’t exactly the “me” that I was supposed to be back then either. I was still severely depressed. The group I was involved with was a bit cliquish, and while I wasn’t entirely rejected by those cliques, I wasn’t in the inner circle either. And I was sad over the fact that I didn’t have a girlfriend and didn’t really even know how to express interest in women. It didn’t feel as hopeless as today, and I feel like if I could relive those days with what I know now, things would have turned out differently. But you’re right… all I can do is move forward. I’ve thought about moving back to that town (30 miles away, I’m still in that area often for various reasons), but the main reason I haven’t (even more so than their far-left politics) is because what I really want isn’t so much to live there again, but to go back in time. Moving back there isn’t going to make it be 1998 again.

    God put me in the place where I am for a reason. I have friends, even though most of them aren’t like me. I’m part of a brand new church; that’s an opportunity I’ve never experienced before. I still have a lot to figure out, and a lot of opportunities I’ve lost that I need to grieve, but I have a lot to be grateful and excited for as well.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m glad that this resonated with you. I think you’re right — we all share similar themes of life, no matter what we’re facing — be it an ED, or depression. But you’re so right – God has you where you are for a reason. You’ve gone through that for a specific purpose, and one day it will all come full circle. but in the process, trust and look for the good!! I’ll definitely be praying for you and this new chapter 🙂 hugs xo

      1. yes!! sorry – i was at a blogging event and not by my computer! but i got it!! 🙂

    1. I did! Yes! THank you again for such a heartfelt response! It’s definitely still here! 🙂

    1. Thank you Kirk. You’re so right about that — it applies to so many different scenarios! hugs xo

  5. Your writing blows me away every single time you post. I love what you said about going back to your roots, and then letting it go! Wow!!

    1. Oh my gosh, Laura Beth. I am so humbled by such a generous and kind comment. Thank you. Yes! I think there’s something really empowering about that. Glad it resonated with you. big big big hugs xox

  6. I was once told a quote, “You only have one life, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Truly, nobody does it all right. We will make mistakes, but with God’s help, we can make changes for the betterment of the rest of our lives.

    1. Hi JB! Oh I love that quote. and you’re so right – God can and will use it all! The ups, the downs, the detours — and will use it all for good! hugs ox

  7. Hey Beauty, (notice I left out the rest). I only have one question for you; whose answer will set you free, release you from your past and ignite your passion for the future. Beware, though, it’s a difficult question….

    “Who do you want to be?”

    Once you genuinely answer it… The rest is, as they say, History. You know, the stuff they call the Rearview Mirror.

    Second thought… Rename your blog. Drop the end part… Focus on who you’ve become and who you’re going to be. Much more powerful and affirming.

    How about, Beauty is an Inside Job… Or, Beauty Goes To The Bone… Beauty Is My Choice… Or, Beauty is What I Feel Inside…

    You get the “picture”, right? Now, go be Beautiful and Spread that Sunshine like the Burning Torch to which you have Transformed.

    Don’t forget to include God… He’s the boss, you know.

    Bye Beautiful,
    – Michael

    1. Who do you want to be — what a powerful question, Michael. Thank you so much – You’re so right. And thanks for that suggestion! I’ll definitely take in under consideration! I like that: Beauty is my Choice! oh my gosh, you are too kind! thanks again. And amen! God is everything!!! hugs xo

      1. Hey Beautiful, there are No boundaries with God at the helm. And there is no future you cannot create. Be well.
        -Michael

  8. You touch on something critically important: a person has no choice but to own experiences, both good and bad, that have shaped the person he/she is NOW. At THIS moment.
    There’s another aspect to this. If I run into someone I knew BACK THEN who I haven’t seen since, that person may expect to see the same “me” that I was at that time, and not want to accept that, for better or for worse, I am a different person due to my life experiences. It is wrong to try and be someone we aren’t anymore.
    Mary and I recently moved past 36 years of marriage. She’s not the same person that I married, neither am I, and that is perfectly okay. Hugs and love– Mike

    1. Hi Mike! Thank you so much for this thoughtful response! You’re so right — at THIS moment!! And wow – congrats on 36 years — that’s really something to celebrate. And you’re right- we’re always growing, blooming, becoming more and more who God is shaping us to be 🙂 hugs xo

  9. Caralyn, I have to say your broken pieces don’t look so broken to me. Yes, I felt the problems when we first started communicating, but you’ve come so far from then I only see healthy Caralyn now. I’ve witnessed your struggles these last few years, but now there seems to be no trace of them. I’m proud of you, happy for you, and looking forward to things to come.

    1. Hi Jeff, oh gosh, thank you for saying that. I am truly touched and humbled by your generous affirmation. God is good — and it is He who has been helping me continue to heal and grow. To God be the glory! hope you and julie have a stupendous weekend! hugs xo

  10. This reminds me of how we are new creations when we come to Jesus Christ. Full disclosure, I know next to nothing any eating disorders, and no experience with it among family and friends. No disrespect to any who fight this battle. But being a new creation is what I thought of when reading your post.

    Blessings to you, your Mom and family. I keep you in prayer, in the big city when I spend time with God.

    Take care 😊🙏✝️

    1. Hi friend, thank you so much for this insightful response! yes! new creations!!!! that is something that we all have in common! And thank you for your prayers – they mean the world. hugs xo

  11. My wife, JudysCorneroftheWorld, had anorexia in 1954 before it even had a name. It has haunted her life even up until the present.

    My daughter, Amy Barbera, also was like my wife when she was a teen. We even took her to the same hospital that my wife had been treated. And one of her doctor’s was still there even after retirement. But we refused to commit her for treatment because we didn’t want her to go through all the medications and treatments like Judy had endured. We choose a health style approach.

    Amy Barbera is now an inspirational singer, Make Me A Butterfly! She is not haunted by any ghosts of anorexia.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that. I’m so sorry that anorexia has touched your family in that way. And praise God!!! I am so happy to hear that she is flourishing so abundantly!!!! That is so wonderful. SO glad you stopped by. bigbigbig hugs xo

    1. Thank you Noel, I cannot begin to express how much that means to me. Thank you 🙂 I appreciate you always being in my corner:) hugs xo

  12. Wow!!! I so did not expect that ‘let it go’ part but you’re right.
    I really have to release myself of the pressure of being that person again
    I may not have had an eating disorder but I’ve gone through some things that have made me lose sight of who i am and as I try to put my life together…I’m so thankful I have God and your blog to help me.❤

    1. Thank you so much Scarlett! I’m so glad this resonated with you. I think this is definitely a common thread that we all have in common, no matter what it is that we’re going through. Thank you so much for saying that. Sending you big big hugs xo

    1. Hi Shelby, thank you for sharing that. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been battling that — know that I believe in you. And I am cheering you on as you fight the biggest fight of your life. You are stronger than you can ever imagine, and I know that you can silence ED and crush him under your foot once and for all. This is YOUR life, and you deserve to live it to the absolute full. You are worthy of that abundance. You’ve got this, beautiful. One day, one hour, one moment at a time 🙂 hugs xo

  13. One of the things I tell broken people who come to Celebrate Recovery for help is that, with Christ, you get a complete reboot on life. You don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission. They’ll probably brush you off with “Oh, now you’ve ‘found Jesus’ so I’m supposed to forget everything you’ve done? No way.” Simply tell them they’re going to have to get used to the “new you” because you’ve got the limitless power of God inside you and that’s the only thing that matters anymore. It’s not just a positive mind-set. It’s everything you’ve dreamed of. A new beginning. And only God can make it happen. All it takes is sincere faith and a willingness to repent. He will open doors in front of you.

    1. Hi Rollie! THank you so much for sharing that. Amen – with Christ a COMPLETE REBOOT!! oh my gosh i love that so much. Thank you for your powerful words. amen!!! hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much for saying that. I’m so so glad it hit home with you. Sending the biggest hugs! xoxooxox

      1. Thank you. I think God is amazing. On most things we are not on the same page at all. God reminded me of my own experience with a potential Catholic priest. I had a deep conversation with him before he headed off to the Vatican. As you probably realise I am not Catholic and I was trying to understand what he was doing. I knew him really well. Most days I shared a bathroom with his dirty washing soaking in the bath. I witnessed his struggles with the whole idea of becoming celibate. We talked about it.
        Our last conversation did not go well. It was rather grumpy. As I have said previously we did write but to be honest I had felt out of my depth.

      2. Thank you for sharing that. Sounds like your friendship was a meaningful one!

    1. Thank you so much Lisa, I really appreciate that. I’m so grateful to have you in my corner! 🙂 sending so much love and hugs! xox

  14. Fr. Richard Rohr writes, “Humans are wired to scapegoat and project our shadow elsewhere. Being able to recognize our own negativity takes foundational conversion and transformation of the egoic self. Unitive consciousness—the awareness that we are all one in Love—lays a solid foundation for social critique and acts of justice. I hope you will let God show you how to think and live in new ways, ways that meet the very real needs of our time on this suffering planet.”

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that! I love that – unitive consciousness — one in love. amen. hugs xo

  15. Excellent post! It’s true, depend fully on God, return to Him! We dealt with anorexia and bulimia with one of our daughters! It was very hard! It’s been several years ago now and she is married and has a child. She’s doing better with the ED’s.

    1. Thank you so much!! amen – fully depend on God! I’m so sorry to hear that anorexia touched your family. But praise God! I’m so glad to hear she’s doing so well! God is good!!! hugs xo

  16. After reading your post, it helped me with a bit of frustration I was going thru. And these words came to this brain. Maybe it will help : “We are nothing more than a jigsaw puzzle that the LORD has dumped out of the box, and He hasn’t let us see a picture of what the end result should look like! … and I sure have no clue what the final picture of my puzzle will look like. But one thing I do know is that I will need all the pieces, and I can’t toss any of the ones I have snapped together away. Each piece makes up my life and each piece is to be cherished no matter how ugly.”
    Those are some of the words that came from reading your post and the thoughts of my trial of today. The words are part of my newest post. Just keep flipping your puzzle pieces over and try fitting them together with guidance and grace.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I’m really glad this resonated with you. I absolutely love your Jigsaw metaphor. AMAZING. And so true — one day the end result will be clear, and it will be absolutely beautiful. This really touched me tonight. thank you — if you need me, i’ll be flipping pieces 🙂 hehe hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful encouragement. it truly means the world. hugs xo

  17. Beautiful. xx We are a different version of ourselves in every new moment, and such is the magic of life. ❤️

    1. Thank you so much Brooke!! You’re so right about that — every moment, new! love that@ hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much Chloe, I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 big big big hugs xox

  18. Wonderful post, thank you! It seems to me that we need to keep finding ourselves every single day throughout our lives. This post reminds me to attend first to the things that are important to me, otherwise I end the day having been diverted by all that imperative stuff that demands attention but actually takes you away from where you are trying to get to.

    I can relate very much to the idea of a jigsaw. I remember that after my marriage broke up nearly 30 years ago I felt as if my whole life lay spread out in broken pieces in front of me. It took a long time but healing started with the notion that I could actually choose which of the broken bits I wanted to keep and which were only causing me pain and could be left behind. Gradually a new picture started emerging, a better person, perhaps sadder, but certainly wiser. Ultimately happier.

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful response. You’re so right – every single day we have that opportunity. And thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad to hear that new picture has emerged 🙂 hugs xox

  19. This is inspiring. When there is life there is hope. As long as we as still breathing. Let us give praise to the lord. What can’t stop you from praising God can’t take your life. There is nothing that has a beginning that has no end. Weeping may endure of a night but joy comes in the morning. There is always a light in the end of the tunnel. I love reading your post. Thanks and God bless you🙏🙂

    1. Thank you so much Chris.Amen — praise and thanksgiving to the Lord indeed!! glad you stopped by! big hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much Brad, I really appreciate you taking the time to read, and for your kind words! big hugs xo

  20. Timely. I haven’t done so in a long time; but, last week I had a heaviness…God, why did you allow the horrors in my life that led to self-destruction for so long? Thanks for confirming that recovery is tough but worth it.

    1. Thank you for sharing that Lisanne, I’m glad this resonated with you. You’re right — incredibly tough but infinitely worth it. big hugs xox

  21. What a beautiful, inspiring post! I’m sure you must have gotten a hundred other comments just like this one, but I honestly loved this post. I loved how you put yourself out there and really laid yourself bare – it’s really sad that you went through this. I think anorexia is a bigger deal than it’s made out to be… I’ll be sitting down and I’ll hear some people just casually drop the word in at any point, like, “Yeah, I’ve never seen her eat, I’m pretty sure she’s anorexic…’ I find it disgusting, and I think this post really emphasised how big of a deal it really is and how large a part of your life it affects.

    Again, I loved this post so much and hope you feel better now (: I’m always here if you want to talk, rant, complain or anything, just email me at livinguniquelyme@gmail.com

    Have a nice Friday,
    UniquelyMe ❄️ xo

    1. Hi friend, thank you so much for these wonderful words of encouragement. I’m so glad this resonated with you. Yeah, people use it as the butt end of jokes, or ad insult — it’s really awful. and gosh, you’re so sweet — thank you for that. so glad you stopped by. big big hugs xo

      1. You’re welcome lovely ❤️ It is, definitely! Awh thank you, and no problem, I’m glad I stopped by too xoxo

        UniquelyMe❄️

    1. I’m sorry that this was offensive to you. I guess it’s easier for me to talk about when I frame it as though I am talking to my younger self — therefore, the pronouns become your and you

      1. Caralyn, it was not offensive, just confusing. I felt like you were distancing yourself from yourself and it left me wondering what parts of your recovery you own and if there are parts you are still struggling to incorporate. Recovery is a process–I get that; it just seems to me that making “I” statements brings the healing deeper inside–or at least shows things from a different perspective.

  22. I really appreciate this post. I left residential treatment almost a year ago and what you say here really resonates with me. A big part of this journey is figuring out who I am without Ana (my name for my ed). It’s a wild journey, but the 3 points you make are exactly right…I have come out of isolation and included my “corner people”, returned the prodigal daughter to my faith in Christ, and been discovering new passion. You really hit it on the head with these 3 important keys to recovery!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m cheering for your as you reclaim your life!!! 🙂 You’re so right — it’s such a huge part of recovery. And day by day, life without Ana/ED will feel less foreign, and more comfortable, and know that I’m praying for you and in your corner along the way!! you got this!!! 🙂 big hugs oxx

  23. What a beautiful post! And, oh so true. But sifting through the ashes, we find and collect the beauty, like diamonds forged by fire and are the richer, more refined, fully faceted and able to release that brilliance into the world. You’ve done that well.

    1. Thank you so much Laura. Oh my gosh I love that — diamonds forged by fire. What a beautiful analogy. Gosh, I am humbled by your generous words. Thank you, friend. big big hugs xo

  24. The combination of your honesty and writing skills is enviable. You keep compassion at your elbow and truth behind you. You lend people who may have been lying to everyone, especially themselves, an example of surviving the way things are.

    One thing that touched me about this post is your reference to “the elderly.” If you stay heathy and safe, you will be elderly one day, before you know it. Staying firmly in the present all your years can make getting older less frightening. I remember when “old” was age 45+, now 70 is the new 45, if you do it right.

    Swing out for what is important to you. Dive deeper into your love of God. Smile first and ask questions later. Be proud of your life every year, whether it is a trial, tribulation, or celebration.

    This year I will be 74. I have been through war and peace, depression and triumph. It is all important to acknowledge the people who have been part of my life and helped me when I would have died without them. I knew it was worth staying alive when the love of my life came back to me 6 years ago after 26 years apart. I still feel young and passionate. I attribute this to my love, my “corner people,” good genes, good fortune, and God. I salute you for encouraging your readers to appreciate the gift they have been given and to live fully.

    1. Oh wow, Von, I am so touched by this wonderfully kind response. THank you so much. You’re right – swing out for what’s important, I love that. And thank you for sharing your story. Wow, God is truly good. big hugs to you xox

  25. If I understood you correctly then you discovered what I did, you can never again be the person that you were. You are a new person now changed by disease and growing older. After defeating clinical depression, the worst of chronic fatigue syndrome, 13 years believing I had aids, having my youth stolen from me, being indoctrinated in a cult, I emerged a totally new man. I am a strong man now. I like who I am not wanting to be anyone else. I love my uniqueness and even being extremely eccentric. I have new goals and passions. Some remain the same, but many are different. God is good because what the enemy has stolen, these years are being returned because my life now is ten times better than before. Keep going girl. You are doing well. You’re going to make it in a big way. Never quit or give up. Keep moving forward and nothing can stop you ever. And that is the greatest secret of all. Just keep moving forward with your dream and never quit. All you need to learn comes to you while you move forward. Don’t ever quit and you are guaranteed to win.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, and your story. You’re so right – what the enemy has stolen, God has restored!! I really appreciate your wonderful encouragement. big hugs to you ox

  26. All that I could say will remain silence. (I must say this) If I had known you in those years, I would have prayed that you would find your Real Self. And maybe, I did pray for you to be found.

    1. Oh gosh that a kind thing to say. I am so touched by your kindness. Thank you friend. Hugs and love xox

  27. It’s an honour to follow your blog and read your articles, it really is and I don’t get to comment as much as I’d love to. But I am happy to take the time out to let you know that I really appreciate this powerful post. I’m sure it will have a tremendous impact on other readers who need to hear the sound words of wisdom and honest life appraisal in it. Thank you so much for writing this.

    1. Oh wow I am so touched by your generous words. Thank you so much. That is my deepest prayer. Grateful for you!! Hugs and love xox

  28. Great article Caralyn… Keep them coming.
    The truth be told, what you described is the antithesis of the human condition. You never appreciate what you’ve got until you don’t have it anymore. We always looking for the bigger and better thing. As a result, we always spend most of our lives correcting our mistakes; trying to get back what we lost.

    The great news is that God is always on hand to help us through. He knew we were making the mistake, but since He gave us the free will He doesn’t interfere with our decisions. That’s the freedom of choice. So while He doesn’t interfere, like a loving Father, He helps us get back on track; no matter how long it takes.

    1. Thank you so much. Amen – God is ALWAYS on hand to help us through. I love that so much. He’s a good good father. Hugs and love xox

  29. So very true, you can never go back again. The sad thing about time is that it is a one-way street. Looking back is ok, but the future lies forward. I will grieve for the things lost, but after all they are lost. The one thing constant is God, unchanging and always there. I have never suffered ED, but the monster only takes on a different form.

    1. Thank you so much Ted. You’re so right – a one way street for sure. But amen – God is our constant!! Thanks for stopping by and for your compassion. Hugs and love xox

  30. Time is the most precious thing any of us have. You are right about keeping the right people around you. As I like to share with people that a basic fact of life is that there is only one person that they will spend their entire life with and that is themselves.

    1. You’re so right – time is THE MOST precious. And what a true statement – we have to be with ourselves our entire life. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  31. That concept of letting go of your former self to embrace who you will become … I think that goes for the future, too. I’m finding that I need to let go of who I think I should become and be the person I am now. Thank you for putting words to my shapeless feelings!

    1. Thank you so much — i think you’re right about that – the future, absolutely! big hugs xox

  32. Hi Caralyn

    Everything you say about anorexia here is true for me right now.

    20 years ago I hit bottom with major depression after my dad died. I’d just started trying to move forward with what I felt I was “supposed to do”. Looking back, I realise I’m not remotely the man I was then, and as I’m nearing 50 now (yikes, really?!?) instead of 30 I’m coming into another new season after a couple of very difficult years. I hope eventually that I will be able to return to writing the way I was loving it a few years ago, but right now I’m not that man any more.

    My pastor advised me to clear the rubble and get back to the foundation of my Faith – because that’s where I’ll find myself. I’ve now been advised to do that four times!

    In my depression I self-harmed and had more than one suicide attempt. The man who emerged from those years was a very different one to the man I was in January 1999 before it all started.

    Unlike most psych illnesses, anorexia has a very distinct physical set of symptoms that are very visible as the illness develops and difficult to hide. I just wore long sleeves and most people had no idea what was going on.

    Finding myself has become much harder as I get older. So much crap builds up over the last vestige of myself that it’s harder each time. Now I’m a dad I don’t have the luxury of losing myself again like that though. I need to be there for my family.

    I love your stories. Thanks for allowing us the privilege of hearing them!

    David xx

    1. Thank you so much David for sharing your story. I am honored to read what you’ve overcome. And i just want to give you the biggest hug. I think your pastor is right – the foundation of faith. Owning your story and having the strength to talk about it gives you power over it. And praise God for that. You are doing great things. Keep writing. Your story will help and inspire other. So glad you stopped by, my friend. Hugs and love xox

  33. I haven’t suffered through anorexia, but I do understand that we were created to worship. We will either worship God or something else. There is no middle ground. I suffered from co-dependence for years… My identity was wrapped up in n needing to be needed… Fixing people…creating dependency with other unhealthy people. I too have found freedom though… Jesus… He set me free when I moved my object of worship and dependence back to Him. Thank you for your words.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. You’re so right – created to worship. And amen! Freedom through Jesus!! Big big hugs xox

  34. There is nothing like going through life altering seasons to bring us to more growth and gratitude. I appreciate your transparency, and solid points that lead to our true identity found only in God. I would rather face the fear of future unknowns in the process of transformation, than the fear of leaving the powerful grip of familiar torment. We all have darkness to walk through, but great encouragement and empowerment comes when the one who has experienced the joy of overcoming that darkness, can shed light and love, fueling a fellow sojourner with courage to take the next step of discovery. Thank you for always sharing the truth in love. Blessings ♥

    1. You’re so right about that, Jacques – growth and gratitude. I love that so much. Amen. Found only in God! Hugs and love xox

  35. This is so well expressed. I’ve felt similar feelings in my numerous recoveries from depression. Reconnecting with our former selves can be so difficult. But then maybe they are our “former selves” for a reason? We can make a new, stronger self, built from our struggles. Loved reading this!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You’re so right. New and stronger! Hugs and love xox

  36. So much bondage, so little time. I too would like a do-over. You may have lost your singing voice, but you have found a new voice. I do love your message, and how you tell it. Well done good and faithful servant.
    ;-D an

  37. I happen to read this the day after the Pentecost celebration. I see a parallel, for those who wish to put recovery into a Christian context. I will have to contemplate that for a bit. – Oscar

    1. I think you’re so right! Thanks Oscar. Yeah I love Pentecost. Such a power message. Hugs and love xox

  38. This is good advice for anytime you take a path in life that takes you away from your true self. For me it was a 20 year marriage—I lost myself in trying to single handedly keep it together. When you finally, step by step, get back to yourself, it feels so right.

    1. Thank you so much Sandra for sharing your story. You’re so right – it feels so right. And little baby step by little baby step 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw thanks Tony – you’re sweet. hmm I have a couple posts where I sang – let me see if I can dig them up.

  39. I had no clue you attend college in SC for a semester. If you don’t mind me asking, where did you attend? I live in the northwest Corner where everything wreaks of tiger paws. I live just minutes from Clemson University. I’m from Virginia and settled here in SC about 10 years ago. I love it here. I don’t know that I could call South Carolina girls “Southern belles” (maybe in the Charleston area), but it’s hilarious reading about you potentially being one. If a person can be born Southern, I am. Thank you for engaging your audience! I see your interactions on many blogs I follow. You are definitely a bright spot in the blogging community.

    1. I went to College of Charleston for a semester. 🙂 and gosh you’re kind to say that! Thank you!!

      1. Hi Matthew! I was only there for a semester – i thought it was a good school – Greek life definitely has a huge presence on campus, but I don’t think it’s more of a party school than any other. I think if you’re looking for that scene, you can find it wherever you go. But you can also find pockets of other types of groups too if you look for them! hugs xo

  40. This hits home for me! I’m a fiction writer and I’ve been thinking about including personal issues like this in my stories. I think this is stuff people want to read about because so many of us can relate. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. I’m so glad this resonated with you! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  41. BBB, I changed my phone number… whoops. So, now I’m having trouble getting back into my blog due to Authenticator thingy. Anyway, to hopefully fix the problem, i made another WP blog and invited myself to be an Administrator on my site, so to speak. Naturally, I accepted the invitation. Lol. Anyway, I’m using my same name and everything, but I’m so confused. More so than usual! Hugs! I’m still here. ♥️ This is Tamara Nika…

    1. Hi Tamara! Oh gosh that sounds like a headache. Glad it’s all figured out! Thanks for the update! hugs xo

  42. I’m reading Spiritual Bypassing right now by Robert Augustus Masters PHD, it definitely speaks to what you are talking about. It speaks to me for sure! For many years I have lost my identity in any thing I could distract myself with. Thanks for writing.

    1. Hi Brian! Oh wow — I will definitely have to look that up! thanks for the recco. And thank you for sharing your heart. I hope you continue enjoying the book. big hugs xo

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