In Memoriam

Warning: This post contains sensitive material pertaining to eating disorders and suicide.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

I went back and forth about writing this post. I couldn’t sleep, tossing and turning all night, debating whether or not to address such a heavy topic. But, as the top Eating Disorder Recovery Blog on the web, I felt it grossly negligent and acutely irresponsible to let the following tragic news pass without addressing it, on this blog — a resource for so many who are struggling themselves, or are the loved ones, deeply concerned for their child, friend or sibling, caught in the throes of an eating disorder.

Please know, that by sharing this post tonight, it is my deepest prayer that it does not come across as exploitative, but rather, as a means to raise awareness of the severity and seriousness of eating disorders, how to recognize the warning signs, and hopefully, something positive can come from such devastation.

On Christmas morning, I awoke to numerous notifications on my Instagram account. Which is not unusual. However, these notifications were different. They were concerned, frightened, heartbroken and deeply sad messages from followers, sharing with me a particular post, where I discovered the crushing news that a member of the eating disorder recovery community had taken her life the day before – and posted about it online.

She had recently been to treatment for an eating disorder, but had grown exhausted from the constant battle of recovery, day in and day out. And in an Instagram post that she had scheduled to “go live” posthumously (on the day after she ended her life), she published a note, explaining why she took her life, and that she is “no longer in pain.”

Reading that note, and seeing the photo of this now-deceased young woman, it was as though I couldn’t breathe. Such a heartbreaking, tragic and truly shattering ending to this young woman’s life. A young woman who was a daughter, a friend, a loved one, a school mate, a colleague, a child of God. A young woman who had so much ahead of her. She had begun the arduous journey of reclaiming of her life in recovery, and had so much to offer the world. She was a beautiful singer, was interning at a theater in New York City, and was only 24 years old. My heart is completely torn in two for this young woman, her grieving family, and crushed friends. May she rest in eternal peace, and may she find comfort and solace in Jesus’ arms.

Why am I sharing this? Why, instead of writing about cheeky New Year’s Resolutions or Bidding Good Riddance to 2020, have I chosen to talk about such a sobering and gut wrenching topic? It’s still the Christmas season. Surely I could find a more ~uplifting~ matter to discuss.

Why? Because this matters.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses – with suicide being a common cause of death, even though, by definition, the act of starving oneself, is in fact, an inadvertent act of suicide itself. Of deaths from anorexia, 20% had been from suicide; and for those deaths from bulimia, 23% had been by suicide.

Eating disorders are a devastating, serious mental illness, that are sadly, grossly misunderstood.

Seen as a “diet gone wrong,” or a “rich white girl syndrome,” they are so often downplayed or seen as frivolous, when the actuality is that this young woman or young man is tremendously suffering. Eating disorders are a battle for control of the mind: with the eating disorder incessantly berating the sufferer with thoughts of unworthiness and self degradation. It takes every ounce of courage and strength to constantly deflect those negative “ED” thoughts and challenge their validity, when it has beaten you into submission to believe that those lies are true.

Exhaustive. Emotionally depleting. And incredibly isolating, as you’re fighting this all out war, and all anybody will say to you is, “just eat something.”

An exhaustive battle, that sadly, this young woman chose not to fight anymore.

Two things…

First: to anyone who may be struggling right now, please know that you are not alone. You are never, ever alone. This suicide prevention hotline is available 24/7: 800-273-8255. And there is always hope. Even when it seems the most dark and solitary, there is always a faint, speck of hope. And there is always another option: one that does not lead to the cold, finality of death.

But there was something that this young woman wrote in her posthumous note: that by ending her life, she was “no longer in pain.”

Oh the sadness this statement brings. To think of the place this young woman must have been in to think that death was the best solution to her pain. And though I cannot pretend to know what this young woman was going though, I can only offer my deepest sympathies, and promise of Jesus’ healing and comforting hand.

Because that is the hope. That is the faint speck of light that pierces the darkness, when all seems lost and desolate. His love, His forgiveness. His mercy that washes over His children. His heart that loves us enough to die for. His love that covers our wounds, and His arms that reach out to us when no one else will. He sees us. He knows us. He knows our hurts. He knows the deep wounds that plague our every thought and keep us up at night. He wants to take them away, all we have to do is give them to Him to heal and make new.

That is what I pray for anyone who may be reading this, and who is struggling.

Though I didn’t struggle with suicidal thoughts, I did have to surrender my eating disorder over to Jesus. I had to give it to Him. I was exhausted. I was terrified. I felt alone, misunderstood, dirty, unworthy, shameful. I was plagued with so much darkness, truly. I was overtaken by it. Until one day, I decided to go towards that faint speck of His light, that was piercing my dark.

And as soon as I did, He broke through, in a radiant, light explosion — casting out all of the dark, overcoming me with His warmth and love, and walking with me every step of the frightful and arduous journey of recovery.

I was only alone because I chose to believe I was. But the fact is, He was always right there, carrying me through.

Eating disorders thrive in secrecy and deception. But there are warning signs to look for, aside from weight loss: skipping meals; a sudden preoccupation with dieting, outward appearance, calories, clean eating etc.; over exercising; being constantly cold; growth of fine body hair on the face particularly; disinterest in typical hobbies or activities; wearing baggy clothes; isolation; withdrawing from social interaction; loss of mensuration; lethargy; an increase in sleep; eating in secret; hoarding food. These are just a few.

The most important thing you can do for a loved one is get them professional help.

You can’t love her out of it. You can’t force her to eat, nor should you put yourself in the position of “food police” or “meal plan enforcer.” She needs medically trained, specialized supervision: doctors, therapists, a dietician: medical professionals who can handle the perilous ups and downs of the throes of an eating disorder.

In closing, I just want to offer you this one final piece of hope. I am sitting here today as a healthy, healed, and thriving young woman, free of my eating disorder, in my 13th year of recovery from an incredibly severe case of anorexia.

At 78 pounds, the nurses at my inpatient treatment would tell you, it’s a miracle that I survived. And they’d be right.

Jesus rescued me, and I owe my life to Him. He is the way out. He is the hope. He is with us, always.

Thank you for reading. And to this young woman, may you rest in eternal Peace, knowing that you are loved.

“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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118 responses to “In Memoriam”

  1. Oh this made me so sad. Eating disorders are their own kind of hell, very difficult to understand if you’ve not experienced it. I pray that those who are suffering with an ED and read your post will seek help. There is freedom in Jesus. ~ Danielle (14 years free of ED)

    • It is so heartbreaking. Thank you Eirene. You’re so right – they’re their own kind of hell. Praying with you. And also celebrating your 14 years of recovery. Thank you for sharing your heart. Hugs and love xox

  2. That is so heartbreaking, a friend who lost her son this way told me they go in peace because they are so sure they have finally found their solution. Precious, precious girl, thank you for sharing, I can at least pray for her family.

    • Thank you Veronica. It is truly so tragic. Oh gosh, I am so sorry that this has also touched your life. It is so sad. Praying with you. Hugs and love xox

  3. Thank you for your post on such a sensitive and delicate matter. You have so much to offer and are a Godsend for so many people. You are an inspiration. You continue to be in my daily prayers. Love and hugs to you. 🤗🌹❤️🙏

    • Thank you HJ. I appreciate your kind words. And thank you for your prayers. I pray that those who are struggling find hope, and know that they are loved and that there’s a way out. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Ofelia. Joining you in that important prayer. It is just so tragic. Hugs and love xox

    • This is serious and you thoroughly explained it. I have been blessed to be a disciplined eater, although I have friends who struggle with eating disorder. I will share this with my friends. By the way, I enjoy your blogs.

      • Thank you Eric. I appreciate you passing this along. It really is a tragedy. Hugs and love xox

  4. This is so sad. Thank you for tackling this difficult topic with your usual poise and grace. As you stated (implied) more than once, this young woman is not to be blamed for the choice she made—though it was a very grave one. She was in the throes of a terrible disease and felt (regrettably) that taking her own life was the only way to escape her pain.
    Thanks again, Carolyn. This is not the typical B3 post, but was the right one to make tonight. Blessings.

    • It really is so sad David. Thank you for sharing your heart on such a difficult matter. Prayers for her and her loved ones. Sending love xox

  5. Thanks for being willing to share on such a overlooked topic. There is such a horrible stigma that follows addiction and I am glad that you are willing to be vulnerable and share your experience. I am just getting involved in the blogging world but you inspire me to get my story out there. God bless you!

    • Thank you friend. It really is so tragic. And you’re right – misunderstood and overlooked. Thank you for saying that. Wishing you best of luck on your blogging journey. I look forward to reading your content. Hugs and love xox

  6. Caralyn, I grieve with you. You did the right thing tonight to share this in a timely fashion. What good is the manger if you can’t point to the healing His birth affords? Yes, Christmas is about presents and fun, but it happened to deal with the darkness thrust upon you and the community tonight. If you catch any flack for writing this tonight – and I’d be shocked if you did – please hold on to that!

    Suicide. I considered it once. Very briefly and, as it turned out, not that seriously, but I started going there. I was in such pain that I couldn’t relax enough to sleep and thought the only way was to switch off completely. That’s all it was for me; an off switch with no room to consider how it would devastate others. So I understand why this person did it.

    Just keep doing what you do. Talk the practical talk, the nuts and bolts of recovery. Keep telling your story of your own dark days so people know you don’t speak from a position of not having known pain. Keep telling people how Jesus saved you from your sins and your anorexia. Post your talk again from CTK. It is powerful enough to help those who see your “before” and realize they can have an “after” like you. Just keep being you, and leave the rest to God.

    Hugs, love, and prayers.

    • Thank you Jeff. It really is so incredibly sad. I wrestled with posting this, but I felt called to. You’re so right – He is our healer, our hope. He is how we survive. That is the miracle of Christmas. Oh Jeff, gosh thank you for sharing your story. I am so glad you didn’t go there. The world is better with you in it, and you are such a light. You touch a such an important point – how it would devastate others. I am humbled and honored that you would share that, Jeff. You’re right – it’s so helpful to see that there is an “after” when you’re stuck so deep in the trenches of the “before.” Amen – God is our glory. Thank you for this incredibly powerful response. Sending so much love and hugs to you and your girls. Xoxox

      • Well, if we can’t share here, where can we? And you really put yourself out there! I can only honor that courage by doing the same. Another thought; your forum here introduced DavidsDailyDose and me. We’ve been corresponding just as I do with you. We’re going to FaceTime this weekend. How many other people have met here that never would have? Thanks to the top ED blogger in the world!!!!

      • Very true. Thank you Jeff. And oh my gosh that’s so wonderful about you and David!! That makes my heart so warm to think about! I hope you have a great time with no technical difficulties! Haha enjoy your evening!

  7. Thank you for this post, Caralyn. As always, you did so graciously lend the love of Jesus to a heartbreaking circumstance. I will also pray in memoriam to a beautiful soul who was in such pain. I hope we can all continue to be supportive of a suffering community, with our prayers and actions of devotion.

    • Thank you so much Susan. Heartbreaking indeed. Joining you in that important prayer. Amen to that. Even knowing that there is one person out there on your “team” can make all the difference. Hugs and love xox

  8. Thank you, for yet another amazing and thought provoking post. These two dark subjects need the brightest of lights to shine upon them and have them exposed in our society as something treatable and that help and hope is always available. The shame of it needs to be removed and replaced with love, acceptance and understanding. It is my considered opinion that anorexia (along with other eating disorders) and suicide are not two separate things. They are in fact, the same thing (or at least grossly similar). What differs is the method and the time it takes. The end result is the same. In both cases, the victim is believing lies about themselves. Lies that say they aren’t beautiful, they can’t be loved, there is no hope for them, success and love is for other people and not them, etc. This is why testimonies from those who have overcome are so important. Thank you for being transparent about your journey and I pray that others listen to what you and others have to say and they get hope and the help they need to overcome.

    • Thank you M. You’re so right – they need bright lights to shine and raise awareness. And it’s true – they both stem from lies from the pit of hell. Joining you in that prayer. Thank you for this powerful response and taking the time to read. Hugs and love xox

  9. Very, very sad. I can’t help but think about her parents and how devastating for them in particular … especially when it might have appeared that she was making progress. What you’ve shared here is so important and possibly a lifeline to many. Thanks for always being willing to tackle the hard stuff … the reason you’re one of my favorite bloggers!

    • Thanks Shelly for sharing your heart on this devastating topic. I know – my heart goes out to her family too. So so sad. Thank you for your kind words. Sending so much love and hugs xox

  10. I did hear about this story, and it is truly devastating. Thank you for your words, your reminders that eating disorders cause great suffering and a kind of anguish we don’t always see or recognize. ~WB

    • Hi WB, it is just heart breaking isn’t it? So true – so often unseen. Thanks for sharing your heart. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Brendan. Yes, definitely difficult and definitely important. Amen – professional help is absolutely necessary. Glad you stopped by tonight. Thanks for the encouraging words. Hugs and love xox

  11. So sad. Yes, people dismiss ED’s as trivial when they are dead serious indeed. And it’s a lifelong battle ~ I’m 59 and it’s still “there” over 40 years later, though controlled more or less. Love to you Caralyn. Stay strong! 💖

    • thanks Paula, it really is so sad. thank you for sharing your story. you’re right – it is an every day commitment! cheering for you in your recovery 🙂 sending so much love and hugs xox

  12. God Bless you for looking past all the festivities of this time and DOING AS JESUS did by seeing around what the world was busy doing (celebrating) and seeing the broken hearted and those in need. It was no cake walk for you to of endured the disorder of anorexia, but God brought you through to shine a light for others. I am so proud of you BBB! May you be Blessed for having a heart for the Lord who now works through you.

    • thank you Julia, i appreciate your encouraging words. Your’e right – God brought me through, and I truly owe Him my lie. Praying for those also battling. Hugs and love xox

  13. Thank you for showing your love to humanity by voicing this. What you do is so precious and valuable and I am so proud of you for having a broken heart for those suffering with mental disorders. May you inspire many!!! God bless you and I love you as always, beautiful friend! Hugs! XO😄❤

  14. Thank you for sharing this! Way more important than seasonally typical posts. You’ve offered the best hope there is in Jesus (that IS Christmas), and I pray hurting people are receptive. You’ve addressed the situation of this young woman’s tragic death with such grace and compassion. I pray for her family and friends. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy life. I pray his grip will be loosened on others by your honest sharing.

    • Thank you so much Laura, amen to that – Jesus is the hope. He is the way! I will join you in that important prayer. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  15. This is such a sad story, but worthy of being heard. Thank you for not letting the joys of this season hold you back from sharing. I learnt something from reading. In sharing you have shared hope and comfort to many. Thank you.
    May God comfort her family and may God comfort and strengthen those suffering from living with eating disorders and even others.

    • Thank you Joy. It really is so sad. Yes – joining you in those important prayers for her family and those suffering. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Kenneth, it really is so tragic. Yes – there is comfort in those in our lives, but most especially from Jesus! sending big hugs xo

  16. Miss Caralyn, my prayers for this young woman, her family, friends and the ED community. I started following a Catholic Blogger who lost her son when he completed suicide. She has grieved publicly and it is one of the ugliest and most honest thing I’ve ever watched. If you would like I’ll email you or DM you on twitter her name to share with the family. I know she would talk with them from a place of understanding and deep compassion.
    Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

    • Hi Teri, thank you for such heartfelt words, and for sharing that. Gosh, that is just so sad. So incredibly tragic. It’s hard to know how to even begin to pick up the pieces after such a crushing tragedy. Unfortunately, I do not know this family personally, but I think that connection would bring healing fruit. Amen – Lord have mercy. Joining you in those important prayers. Hugs and love xox

  17. Caralyn, thank you so much for taking the time to create this post. I know it must have been hard for you, but I am glad that you are able to realize that the power in your words and your personal testimony can help others in their time of need. Thank you for realizing the platform you have is a ministry and an outreach that counts. You are making a difference. God bless you.


    • Thank you Zik, I so appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. There are so many out there hurting, it is my prayer that they feel seen, heard, and loved. Hugs and love xox

  18. At first when I was reading it, I thought that you were talking about a certain youtuber. I’m sure that you did not want to mention any names out of respect.
    I’m sure that it was a hard thing to write about and completely personal since you were so close to that point yourself at one time. I would say that it is a reminder of how far you have come in your journey in God and in Life.
    Look at you now. You have a wonderful man in your life, you look like a normal, healthy, lady and to be honest, no one would be able to even tell that you were suffering from anything. I guess that the highest compliment and encouragement that anyone can get really.

    I can never understand what drives someone to take their own lives. What can really go on in someone’s mind to decide that taking your life is a best solution. It goes against every notion of self preservation that our minds are conditioned for since birth. You can be sure that it is more than just anorexia, depression. Someone once told me that mental illness like Depression is basically a demonic attack against a person. I know that this might sound like some kind of crazy notion, but the fact is that the Spiritual world is real and is all around us. The Spiritual realm can effect the physical realm in ways that you will not understand. That is why we have things in our lives that we just cannot explain.

    The Good thing or rather the “Great” thing is that God IS and always will be on our side and is ready to fight these mental battles for us on our behalf. We need not go through the valley of shadow of death alone. We have our great shepherd.
    Seeing where you’ve come, is a real testiment to that. Continue to walk in faith…

    • Thank you so much for such kind words, and for your thoughtful sentiments. I agree – I fully believe that the enemy is on the prowl, and uses mental illnesses as a foothold. There is so much unseen that we do not know. Amen – God is greater and our advocate and always there to fight for and rescue us. thank you again. Hugs and love xox

  19. I too saw the social media post about the suicide, and was sad for this person and her survivors. I flashed back to being 18 yrs old, in a hospital, for a simple surgical procedure, and my roommate was a long hauler, who was hospitalized for anorexia. We talked a lot, and I felt her pain, but she was already in recovery at that point, fortunately. It is very complex, the treatment of eating disorders, and an uphill struggle, that requires collaboration among disciplines. The patient has to WANT to get better, which may be the ultimate point. Sometimes suicide is the natural conclusion of unremitting pain, be it psychic or physical. I am glad for all those who have traversed this journey successfully however and celebrate u, on your life journey!
    I also flash back to Princess Diana’s real life bulimia, even tho The Crown does not show any substantive treatment of her disorder, which was real. But her life was very abnormal, and lived in a fishbowl, w the world watching. So having an effective treatment plan might have been impossible. Her premature death was from other means, not the bulimia.

    • Thank you Marsha for sharing that. Gosh, what an incredibly moving experience to have at 18. Wow. You hit the nail on the head: the patient has to want to get better. Thank you for your kind words. You’re right about that. sending so much love and hugs xxox

    • Hi Amy, it really is so tragic. joining you in those important prayers. thank you, friend. May they find comfort in Jesus’ love and mercy. Hugs and love xox

  20. Thank you for being so brave to write about this very sad topic. I pray someone who is suufering through this will read your blog and take fresh heart andd overcome the weight of carrying such a heavy burden

    • thank you Jo – it really is so tragic. Joining you in that important prayer. There are so many hurting out there, i pray they feel seen, known, and loved. Hugs and love xox

  21. So saddened to hear about your friend. Yet proud of you for letting God speak through your grief to warn others of the dangerous tight rope those in the grip of addiction (of any kind) are walking day by day.

    • Thank you Rollie, it really is so incredibly tragic. Though I didn’t know her personally, I grieve for the loss of such precious life. thank you. Hugs and love xox

    • Hi friend, thank you for your kindness. It really is so sad. Yes – there is so much misinformation about eating disorders. I pray for those suffering. Hugs and love xox

  22. Caralyn, Thank you so much for sharing this story. This was the right thing to do as her life was important. Her death needs to be recognized. Lord, please be with her family and friends. Hold them tightly and comfort them. Draw them to you so they may experience your peace and presence. That they may in time find hope in their loss. Please. In Jesus’s name, amen. Blessings, dear lady.

    • thank you so much Robin for your kind words. You’re right – it needs to be recognized, and I pray some sort of positive can come out of such tragedy. Joining you in that beautiful and important prayer. Amen. Hugs and love xox

  23. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss Carolyn. Praying for the young woman and her family. Thank you for sharing your heart on this. As a family who has a member struggling actively with bulletin, my heart goes out to everyone struggling with it.

    • thank you Shell. Yes, joining you in that important prayer. i’m sorry that has touched your life in such a personal way. sending so much love and prayers. Hugs and love xox

  24. One of the saddest, most heart-rendingly frustrating things when someone commits suicide, is that feeling of standing over their grave, screaming “why didn’t you call?”; that maybe one’s own testimony or simple encouragement about the effect of realizing the love of Jesus Christ could get that person to think again about “ending their pain” in that way. (And while I hate to say it, we have no proof that the pain does end with suicide: to my knowledge, no one has ever come back to say they feel so much better.) I have a friend who came close to taking his own life due to a physical ailment that has been treated as insanity, and his own realization of his blessedness as a child of God has given him new hope and new impetus to carry on. Interesting thought that just crossed my mind: while people who are suffering through afflictions like these — your riend’s … my friend’s, for example — need to know they are not alone, those who love them and want to minister to them need to know that they’re not alone, either. That’s sorely needed at times when we think that saying “Jesus loves you” seems hollow and even tone-deaf. I don’t know if you meant that encouragement for those who love and want to ease the pain of the ones who are suffering, but that’s been a side-effect of what you’ve written.

    • Hi Drew, thank you for sharing your heart on this. you’re so right about that – those left behind are wrecked with so much grief and unanswered questions. thank you for saying that. you’re right – saying Jesus loves you feels so hollow, but it really is the truth that will set one free from the torment of mental illnesses. Hugs and love xox

  25. I’m so sorry about her loss. But I’m so grateful to God for you caralyn. I’m glad when I hear about people whom Jesus have helped. Thank you Jesus and thank you caralyn.

    • Thank you Eliza. I appreciate your kind words. Yes, Jesus was and is my rescuer and I owe my life to Him! Hugs and love xox

  26. Beautifully and thoughtfully worded. I pray that anyone that needs to read this does so and that they are able to receive the wisdom, guidance, and love it contains. May God use this dark circumstance to bring about healing and good for His honor and Glory! Thank you for all you continue to do in the ‘ED’ arena!

  27. Thank you for finding the courage to write this beautiful testimony in her memory and may Our Father pour out His perfect peace and comfort on you and all who knew her. My mother struggled with bulimia most of her life, it was a battle she also chose to stop fighting in her weariness but I am confident that the blood of Jesus is sufficient!

    • Thank you so much friend. Amen – joining you in that important prayer. I’m sorry to hear that Ed touched your life in such a close way. amen – His blood saves. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Gerry! I agree. And I’m joining you in that important prayer. Amen. May she rest in Jesus’ peace. Hugs and love xox

  28. I am sadden from reading the words poured out of your aching heart but also uplifted by your faith in the Lord. Why Jesus came into our world has always seemed a conflict for many in understanding why. If we look at Genesis 1:27, we see the reason why? That everyone is created in Their image and likeness. He came into our world to embrace the brokeness of this world and suffered the pain and suffering that each and everyone of us face. He took upon himself to redeem us not by suffering but through it.
    The work you do is truly by His Illuminating light, that you have taken upon yourself to help these people and remind them of their intrinsinsic value. That they are all His children and created in His image and likeness. We were created for a Purpose and Value. God Bless you and all those you shepherd.

  29. I’m sorry the young lady felt the walls closing in and got away. When I was diagnosed with prediabetes, my doctor would only tell me what I couldn’t eat. Wonderful. We need to educate doctors also. I have suffered with anorexia for decades. You are right. He is the answer! 🎆

  30. Thank you for talking about the things that really matter and trying to share hope with those who are still hurting. Each life matters! Your courage is an inspiration.

    • Thank you Teresa, I truly appreciate your kindness. Yes it does. Every single life. Hugs and love xox

  31. Thank you for highlighting this matter, we know that pain will end but God’s grace remains. It takes people like you to announce it to the world.

    • Thank you Nadi. You’re so right – God’s grace remains. i appreciate your encouraging words. Hugs and love xox

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