One is Silver

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I had one of those full circle moments over Thanksgiving break.

Returning home is always an interesting thing – it’s like you grow, you evolve, you blossom into the person you’re meant to be, and then you return to where it all began, and not a single thing has changed — at least the setting anyway.

I walked into my old bedroom while I was home one afternoon, and it was as though time had stood still. The photos, the closets full of clothes, the trophies and jewelry.

You see, in the last several years, when I go home, I’ve stopped sleeping in my old bedroom. I instead sleep in the guest room. To be honest, I just get a bad energy from that space. It was the bedroom I was in during my anorexia in high school. And, at the risk of sounding completely bonkers, I feel spiritually attacked when I sleep in there. Unsettled. Vulnerable.

But that’s a story for a different day.

Anywho, one afternoon, I found myself wandering into my old bedroom, and it was actually quite a powerful experience.

I saw memorabilia from ex-boyfriends, and high school. There were little trinkets from summer camp, and my early acting career.

But what really struck me — and truthfully made me catch my breath — were coming across old photos of when I was in my anorexia.

But what struck me more than, say, my graven image, were the other people in the photos with me: my friends.

And what struck me the absolute most — were those friends in the photos that are still in my life.

I had a bit of a moment that afternoon. I sat on my bed, looking at those photos, and got a bit verklempt.

Seeing the faces of my very best friends, who have been by my side — literally — through the most difficult of times. Times when I had nothing to give, but they stuck by me anyway.

I saw in those photos, the picture of what true friendship looks like. And my heart was filled with gratitude.

Maybe I was feeling extra sentimental with it being Thanksgiving. Or maybe it was the vodka/soda I was sipping, but I couldn’t help but recognize that friends like that, just don’t come around very often.

Friends who have exemplified what it means to care about, and love a friend. Who will give selflessly, and choose to see the good, even when it’s not so clear to see. And in my case, even when it was hidden deep below a scary exterior that pushed everyone else away.

They fought for the friend they knew was trapped inside. And to this day, these girls are in my daily life. And for them, I am so grateful.

Friendship is so much more important than we realize. And — controversial opinion here — but they’re perhaps even more important than family, in some regards. Because friends choose to love you. Friends choose to value you and your relationship. Their presence is worth-affirming at the deepest level. And these special friends, the fact that they saw me through that time, communicates in the most powerful, money-where-your-mouth-is, actions-speak-louder-than-words way, that I am worth knowing. I am worth loving. And that my past does not discredit who I am today.

Sitting there on my bed that afternoon, I was reminded not to discount those friendships around me. I’ll never know what my friendship to someone means.

Friendship takes intentionality. And at the end of the day, the people who mean something to you are worth investing in. Even when — and especially when — the other person cannot return the investment at that very moment.

So this Christmas season, as it’s often times easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of people you need to recognize with cards or cookies or gifts, let’s remember just how blessed we are to have those relationships.

And that, the only way to have a friend, is to be one.

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

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.


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108 responses to “One is Silver”

    • Thank you Shell. Yes! I am so grateful for those girls ☺️ God is good and generous!! Hope you have a beautiful week! Hugs and love xox

    • Aw thank you John!! Yes they are such a blessing. I feel so grateful for such great friends 🙂 hope you have a beautiful night! Hugs and love xox

  1. Beautiful.. These are beautiful people, can I make a friend… The three ladies pic…maybe with the one In the middle… Get to know her better…

  2. The common cliche phrase “blood is thicker than water” is actually a shortened version of a longer phrase: “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”, or the bonds we choose are stronger than the bonds we’re born with.

    It’s not controversial at all: Our family is our family, and can never be taken for granted. But our friends are who we rely on and talk to and share our lives with, in a way that family just can’t duplicate.

    Excellent post, thank you. Hope you had a great thanksgiving!


    • Oh wow I didn’t know that! There’s so much truth there! You’re right- family is family is family, but friends — that’s something truly special. Thanks Scoot for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    • Oh Melissa, you are just too sweet, thank you so much my friend. Hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks Alice! They are such real gifts! I am so grateful for those girls! God is so generous! Hugs and love xox

  3. This was great, Caralyn! I’m reminded of a family therapist who told me (among other things) that every family has a “dance” that they choreograph together over time. Stimulus/response. Pavlov’s dog. We’re our own person when we move out but going home finds us in a dance with our past and all of the stimulus of that home and those people leading us once more.

    Is your room a shrine to your past? It sounds like it. It’s a bad history, but you can’t let it go somehow. Is it time to take it down, rearrange the things of value, like pictures with friends, paint it over and make it Caralyn 2020? You can’t stay in it, but you have, what? An attachment to your darkest days? Maybe it’s time to stop letting your room “lead” you in that dance. Put it to bed…so to speak. Sorry if I’ve over-stepped, but these observations really hit me. If I’m off, I’m off.

    That same dance is why friends are so important. They teach you new steps and lead you to different styles. I wrote an article this past year about how parents are never enough. You always need friends to unlock the rest of your potential that your parents can’t reach. You’re so blessed to have friends who were willing to keep trying to help you find that new step, new dance!

    Thank you for teaching ME some new steps! Although I’m jittery about it, I will submit to agencies around Memphis and Nashville. I’m taking my time to put as much in place as possible and send a hopefully irresistible package. Your encouragement at lunch here in Memphis was a big deal in deciding to actually go for it. Thank you for that and all of the other ways you’ve been a blessing! As always…

    • Thank you so much Jeff! How interesting! A dance with our past -that is such a beautiful image. My room used to be, but in the last couple years we completely transformed it and turned it into a guest bedroom. So thankfully it’s not a shrine anymore. There are still a token free photo albums and such in the closet but it’s hidden away. I love all the dance talk Jeff! I’m such a lover of dance it really speaks to me! And YES!! I am cheering for you my friend!! You go for it!! You got this! ☺️ Hugs and love to you and your girls! xox

      • Yes!!! Actually my mom and sister in law totally revamped it – it looks amazing – straight of a Pinterest board. It was such a gift and act of love. Talk about two more blessings: my sisters in law – they are ROCKSTARS 🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰🥰 God is good and generous

  4. This was great to read. It was very inspiring and I know a bit about being low and in a dark hole due to my bouts with anxiety and panic attacks. It can be so tough. Having friends in your corner means everything. Lovely photo.

  5. This is beautiful. 🙂 I think I’ve told you this story before (if I haven’t, let me know and I can send you the link), but one of the most significant times in my life happened as a freshman in college. I’ve always struggled with outbursts and self-control and stuff like that (which makes things difficult in my current line of work, but that’s a different story) (I suspect that if I were a kid in school today, I’d probably be placed on the autism spectrum, but that’s another different story). One time I was asleep, and a bunch of my friends decided to sit and talk right outside my dorm room, after quiet hours, and I woke up and got upset and threw a tantrum in which I expressed my anger by throwing something nonlethal and almost hitting someone. Then I ran outside of the building and sat in my car for probably 15-20 minutes, contemplating running away and quitting school. I was ashamed that my new friends had seen this side of me, and I didn’t want to face them anymore, because I suspected that they would scold me for acting out like that, just like most of my teachers and family had over the years… Have I told you this story? Because now that I mention it, I really don’t want to spoil the ending if you haven’t heard it.

    Anyway, all but one of the people who were there that night are still in my life today, at least on a social media level, and one of them I see a couple times a year on average (it would be more except that the rest of them have all moved farther away from where this happened than I have). Another of them, the one who lives farthest away (about 500 miles), I was just catching up with over Facebook messages a few days ago (because it was her birthday). So I know exactly what you mean. 🙂

    • Thank you friend! Oh wow, I appreciate you sharing this powerful story!! I hadnt heard it before but I’m so glad those concrete angels stuck by you. You are very blessed, friends like that don’t come along often!! Aw, that’s do wonderful. Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement! Hugs and love xox

  6. Thank you Caralyn, for your openness and willingness to be vulnerable. I understand and whole Heartedly agree about genuine friendships. Beautifully done. I posted a simple statement the other day about valued friends, I think you’ll appreciate it.

    • Thanks so much John! I will definitely check it out, and look forward to it!! You’re right – there’s so much to be grateful for when it comes to friends! Hugs and love xox

  7. Beautiful post Caralyn 😊. So agree that Friendship requires intentionality and requires you to invest in it even or especially when they cannot invest back at that moment. Was reminded of my friend, she was going through a rough patch and she used to keep saying to me I don’t feel like I deserve your friendship because it is so one sided at the moment.
    I used to always tell her – what kind of friend would I be if I bail when you need a friend.
    We are still close friends and I like what you wrote that to have friends you have to be a friend, that is so true.

    • Thank you so much. Yes! My dad used to always say, relationships take investment. Much like an emotional bank account! Oh wow it sounds like you were a real blessing to her. I love that. Thanks for sharing that. Hope you have a beautiful night! Hugs and love xox

  8. Well said. “Friendship is so much more important than we realize. And — controversial opinion here — but they’re perhaps even more important than family, in some regards.” I believe you’re right. Reminded me of Proverbs 27:10. “Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.” What a God-given blessing you have in your friends, proof that He was always taking care of you. 😊 Have a great week!

    • Thank you so much Kenneth!! Oh wow I love that verse, thank you for sharing it!! They really are such a blessing. God is good and certainly generous. 🙂 and I am grateful for your friendship too, my friend! It is a great blessing 🙂 hugs to you xox

  9. Happy Thanksgiving My Beautiful Friend! I could relate to your post and experiences so much. That whole sense of nostalgia has happened a bunch of times around the holidays. There was a time when I was 22 and had come home after being in an abusive relationship for 2 years. I could not even spend more than 5 minutes in my bedroom because of all the bad energy. I even had to stay with my sister in her room for the first 2 months before I could purge old items and rearrange my room.

    This was such a beautiful way to reflect on your friendships and give thanks. I love how you said that friendships could even be more valuable than family because they are the people who choose to stick around for all those ups and downs. Your friends are truly blessed to have you too.

    I hope you will continue to enjoy this beautiful holiday season. Keep on celebrating your progress and your growth because you are blossoming into an amazing woman.

    <3 Alana

    • Aw thank you so much! I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving too! I’m so glad this struck a chord with you. Thanks for sharing that, I’m so sorry to hear that you were in an abusive relationship. Gosh that just breaks my heart because you did NOT deserve that. Alana, I wish I could give you the biggest hug through the screen right now. Love you dear friend. Thanks for the kind words. Hugs and love xox

  10. You are so fortunate to have your parents still available. Parents are the cement that keeps a family together. While we still have siblings to cherish after parents are gone its almost as if an era has passed and there will no longer be that feeling of home when the “cement” is removed. When parents are gone the house will likely pass to the ownership of a stranger. Maybe you can stand outside and try and remember those good days of the past but when I tried that I found that old home with its memories is just another house now. Nothing special. There are no memories of family on the walls and no trophies in the room. So its up to us to store those memories in another way and hopefully create a home by mixing cement to nurture a new generation. Cherish your family this Christmas and store each precious moment with them in your mind.

    • Thanks Ian, for sharing your heart. You speak so much truth here – it’s very powerful. They really are the glue. And relationships we should never ever take for granted. Glad you stopped by tonight. Hugs and love xox

    • aw thank you so much Penny!! friends are truly such blessings. God is very generous! hope you’re having a great morning! hugs xox

  11. I love what you said about friendship. Especially this part: ‘Even when — and especially when — the other person cannot return the investment at that very moment.’ That’s so true. I’ve really discovered who my true friends are through the toughest times. X

    • thanks so much — yeah, it’s a powerful thing to see who sticks by your side when the chips are down. I appreciate you stopping by! have a great great day! hugs xo

    • Oh gosh thank you so much! you’re so right – God has been incredibly generous by giving me those special friendships. Thanks so much for stopping by!! big big hugs xoxo

    • you’re so right about that, Ted! both are real blessings, and reflect the Father’s love for us! thanks for stopping by!! big hugs xox

    • thank you so much! yes – there really is something so special about lifelong friends. There’s a real gift in sticking by someone when the chips are down. God is good. hope you’re having a great Tuesday! big hugs xo

  12. I don’t know. Elements of our past have power because we give them that. The manipulation is subtle. I also don’t know about friends. I moved around a lot. i think it’s good though, you have a uh, “crew.” It might be bad for the next guy that may try to marry you. He’ll be vetted heavily. 😂🙌🏽

    • you’re right – we give then that power. haha — a crew! you’re right about that! I’m literally sitting here chatting with them about the suitors in my life as we speak! haha heavily vetted indeed 🙂 and vice versa! thanks so much for stopping by! big hugs xox

      • I think. For myself. I mean, I married my best friend. If it was Disney, it was like Tangled. Maybe, like Aladdin. Her life, was so different and weird. When we divorced, I stopped making friends. Maybe. It’s a trust thing. I don’t need friends I get by. 😂😬

  13. Wonderful post! It’s funny how things with family can fall apart when the ‘cement’ (as someone else said) was removed. Each year at Christmas, we would go to my in-laws house for dinner. All the family would gather there. Then one year they moved to a different house and decided not to do Christmas anymore. That was the beginning of the end. It became more difficult for family to get together and now, for the most part, it doesn’t happen at all. Kind of sad. You have the memories that were created but you miss making new ones.

    And with regard to your post about not sleeping in your old bedroom because you felt spiritually attacked, I immediately thought of Ephesians 6:12. When you’re at a low point spiritually, Satan uses that time to attack. Stay strong in your faith and always claim the victory in Jesus. Just remember that, in the end, Satan loses. 🙂

    Take care!

    • thank you so much Joe! you’re so right about that – we can claim the victory in Christ! He already won! Thanks for sharing that about your family – I’m sorry that you’re going through that season. Maybe they just need someone to take the lead and be the organizer? It can be scary to be one the put yourself out there, but in the end, sometimes things just wouldn’t happen without a little push! 🙂 sending big hugs to you xox

    • oh gosh thank you so much Diana! I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 While family certainly takes the top spot, there is something really special about friends too 🙂 hope you have a great night! Big hugs to you xox

  14. First of all, you get ten bonus points for using ‘verklempt’ correctly in a sentence. I just spent ten years caring for my mom at home while she died from Alzheimer’s disease. We are an Air Force family, and lived in England and many states as well. She had friends everywhere and exchanged hundreds of Christmas cards, and we drove to visit many people every Christmas season. In her final ten years she had ONE friend who came to visit about once per month. Not one neighbor offered to cook meals, help with the lawn, or anything else. Her funeral was attended by only a few dozen people, most of whom were from the school at which she worked. That really opened my eyes. It made me bitter, but now I am trying to get over it. If you can find one or two ‘true’ friends in this life that are with you when the going gets tough, you are doing well. The older you get the more people you thought were your friends will disappear on you.

    • John, I am just so sorry about your mother. It sounds like she was an incredible friend, and truly knew HOW to BE a friend. I can only imagine the number of lives she touched with her kindness — and christmas cards! Even if those people didn’t attend on her day of rememberance, she will forever be in their hearts. And you’re so right – just a couple true friends is a huge blessing. thank you for sharing that, John. Big hugs to you xox

  15. I love this post! It really is overwhelmingly beautiful when friends choose to stick with you at your lowest. Thank you for the reminder to be a friend because you never know who needs it!

    • Thank you so much. You’re so right – when friends stick by you when the chips are down it’s such a powerful act of friendship. Those are true blues 🤗 Hugs and love xox

  16. Hello Caralyn!!! I share your views on lifelong friendships. The ones who have been by your side through it all. An investment in a priceless gift. My mom still lives in my childhood home and I always sleep in the guest room too. I go to my bedroom less and less when I go home. Just realizing that since you brought it up. Have a wonderful day 💗

    • Thanks so much Lisa! Aren’t they a blessing?! Worth investing in for sure. Thank goodness for guest rooms! Haha glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  17. True friends are the ones who have seen you at your worst and love you anyway. You are correct. Family have no choice but to love you and care for you. You’re family.
    Friends have a choice. And those who chose to stay by your side through the rough, are the true friends.

    • You’re so right about that. They know the real you and love you anyway! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! Hugs and love xox

    • you’re right about that – it is an incredible gift. And I certainly am grateful for God’s generosity in that department! thanks for stopping by! big hugs to you xox

    • thank you so much Natalie!! 🙂 Yes — good friends are such a blessing. Amen to that! His strength is seen best in my weakness! big hugs xo

  18. Peace inside and around us begins and ends with a smile… the pictures of you in your room tell the story of where you began and have returned … and just look at all the smiles of readers here… grateful for you. – Tony

    • Yes! You’re so right about that Tony. THanks for this beautiful insight. A smile holds stories, and time and space and memories. And wow, what a kind thing to say 🙂 grateful for YOU! big hugs xo

  19. Thanks for sharing. I can’t imagine a physical place which was a source of darkness in my own home. However you found items that reminds you of the good things. 😉

    • thanks so much, yes — good things 🙂 always gotta find the good! glad you stopped by! hugs ox

  20. Thank you for this blog. I always enjoy reading your blogs. I had fallen behind with writing and reading lately due to many things. God told me to start from the oldest articles. God knew I would need this particular blog. My tribe aka family and closest friends have really been with me over some of the most persecuting times in my life including right now. Thank you for reminding me to cry tears of joys and thanksgiving for my tribe. You are a gem. Thank you for writing from the heart. I am so glad God has given you victory so you can empower others.

    • Thanks so much Ada! Aw what a kind thing to say 🙂 and I’m so glad you stumbled upon it. I’m not sure the specifics of what you’re going through right but hang in there. I’m praying for you. Hugs and love xox

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