Three Truths of Recovery

I’ll tell you what, I just celebrated my 14th year in recovery from anorexia, and wow, sometimes I just stop and am literally in awe that I am alive. I mean, the gratitude literally takes my breath away.

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

Thinking about that scared, shell of a young girl – eighteen years old and 78 pounds, with a deadly case of perfectionism, and enslaved to pride, I’m telling you, it is a miracle I made it through.

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

There’s so much of that time that I’ve buried away – blacked out of my memory, so to speak. So much pain. So many shame and guilt-triggering memories that I’ve put to rest — another lifetime, another person, another heart.

Like the feeling of suffocation I felt, walking into the inpatient treatment facility and seeing all the skeletal young women with feeding tubes coming out of their noses, feeling like I was in a morgue.

Or the grogginess of being woken up every few hours to have my vitals taken in the middle of the night when I had to sleep in a cot at the nurses’ station, for their concern I would go into heart failure overnight, during my first two weeks there.

Or the explosion of anger I felt when that same inpatient treatment facility accused me of secretly exercising when my weight gain plateaued for a few days, and had all my privileges revoked. (Note: I was not.) But given the fact that eating disorders thrive on deception, secrecy and manipulation, I had no leg to stand on, even if I was telling the truth.

*Sigh*

So many little blips of episodes in my head that seem like a lifetime ago, and yet, simultaneously, like just yesterday.

Gosh, the girl I am today…I never dreamed that I would be able to have the life I have today: free, happier than I’ve ever been, in love, enjoying food, and have not just made peace with my body – but actually love it. It is something I did not believe was possible.

When I was in the thick — or rather, the thin — of it, I couldn’t see beyond the next five minutes — how to avoid the next meal, or how to burn calories, or how to just be left alone with my disease.

I was so enslaved to my anorexia, not only could I not imagine a life without it…I didn’t want to. And that was the saddest part.

Recovery was the best decision of my life. And it has been the most difficult, most rewarding, and most meaningful journey I will ever undergo. One that has led to a true, personal relationship with Jesus, the strengthening of my family, a knowledge of how to truly take care of myself, and most recently (and beautifully): the opening of my heart to life’s most beautiful gift: love.

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

And along the way, I’ve certainly seen and learned a thing or two: everything from recognizing an unhealthy dependence on exercise, to regrowing my hair from 2 inches of peach fuzz, to having to rebuild and re-earn trust from literally everyone in my life, especially those I loved the most.

So sitting here tonight, I wanted to just share Three Truths of Recovery that I’ve learned in these 14 years, so that perhaps, if this falls into the hands of someone who, like me, couldn’t even fathom that a life free of an eating disorder or addiction could be.

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

1.) Recovery must become your most prized possession: to be protected and fought for at all costs. It’s gotta be priority number one: behind God, of course. (But as you’ll see in #3, they are really one and the same.) But the fact of the matter, is that without your recovery absolutely bulletproof, watertight, rock solid, nothing else in your life can work. Your recovery has got to be solid for anything and everything in your life to function. So protect it at all costs. “Just do the next right thing.” Don’t flirt with anything that might even make you waiver in the slightest. Because relapse is the slipperiest of slippery slopes. You do what you’ve gotta do — even if that means eliminating toxic influences or people from your life. Which leads me to…

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

2.) Create an environment to thrive. And yes, relationships are absolutely part of this equation. Surround yourself with people who want to see your recovery thrive as much as you do. Purge the toxicity! Throw away the diet books, the “measuring stick” jeans or the clothes you wore when you were sick. Eliminate shows or media that make you have bad thoughts about yourself or your body. Follow through with your care team. Make time every single day for Jesus and prioritize taking care of yourself: mind, body, spirit. And socially take care of yourself too! Call people back, engage with your friends and loved ones. Recovery is truly a second chance at life, and it’s up to you to create a life for your to thrive!

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

3.) Jesus is the source of true recovery. This is last because it is the most important. Without Christ — His life-changing love that embraces the broken, imperfect me; His calling for my life; His incredible forgiveness; and His promise to make us a new creation in Him: the old has gone, the new has come — without His strength every single day, recovery would not be possible.

Because the truth of the matter is that every self-affirmation, every mindfulness mantra, every body positive mumbo jumbo that people try to use as an anchor or a foundation of their recovery journey — it proves to be hollow and empty at even the slightest rumble of thunder. Because believe me, the storms will come, no matter how strong your recovery may be. The storms will come, and unless you are rooted in the firm, steadfast foundation of Christ, you’ll find yourself flailing and floundering.

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). Jesus is your biggest recovery advocate. And in fact, during those moments I have blacked out in my memory of the past, it was during those difficult times when He was carrying me. He was getting me through: my Savior, my Help, my Advocate, my Deliverer.

It was when I finally allowed His love into my heart that everything changed. I could not do this without Him. I did not do this without Him.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23

So there you go, friends. Three truths that I have come to know to be truth in this lifelong journey of recovery. And truthfully, they can be applied to just about everything in life. Because when all is said and done, it all goes back to Jesus.

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Have a great week, friends! Praying for you! And I’ll see you on Wednesday for a delicious recipe!

After 14 years in recovery from anorexia, the Top Eating Disorder Recovery blogger is sharing the Three Truths of Recovery. And it turns out, these are applicable in all situations in life! #recovery #edrecovery #anorexia #eatingdisorder #mentalhealth #catholic #faith

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56 thoughts on “Three Truths of Recovery

  1. I didn’t know this aspect of your life. I know a few friends who have suffered from anorexia. It can take a toll.
    After reading this post my respect for you has multiplied. It is ok to be unwell. It isn’t anyone’s fault.
    However the way you have come out of it is amazing. Shows your inner strength.
    Hats off to you my brave friend.

    1. Thank you so much, I really appreciate your support and kind words!! Seriously, you rock. God is good – He’s carried me through a lot! Hugs and love xox

  2. Nicely told. Those sort of guides/signposts are necessary for when things start going off course. I taught my girls that there are a few questions to ask themselves whenever they’re getting down: have you eaten? How well have you slept? And have you spent too much time alone? Your three truths seem to work very much the same way.

    As for your return to CTK, do you have any September weekends open after Labor Day? If so, I’ll get you on Pastor Chuck’s calendar.

    I hope your week is off to a great start!

  3. I love your point that Jesus is the source of true recovery. It is so true! I suppose people could change behavior without Jesus, but oh, the peace, fulfillment, new life and hope He gives sure do make a welcome exchange for the brokenness we give up to Him! Thank you for being a constant source of real encouragement.

  4. You didn’t just survive… you’re thriving! God is good. Good for you for believing and keeping the faith. <3 Happy days ahead, Caralyn <3

  5. Is God’s Love so awesome. Once we truly embrace Him, we realize that we have all the strength we need to not survive, but to thrive. We accept the realization that he is beside us during the “good time” and more importantly He is holding and carrying us during the “difficult times”. Again, Thank you for sharing your life and experience as a “Shining Example” of God’s Graces gifted to us. Hugs and Love to you! 🤗 & 😘

  6. Thank you for the story, Caralyn. So glad to witness what God has been doing through you and you in Him. Always a joy, my dear friend. Hugs, as always.

    How’s your summer? Enjoying it? Winter better come quickly, haha!

    – Thompson.

  7. So very proud of and happy for you. Great insights, the one that resonated with me the most today is, dont look back in regret but forward in hope. Only experienced regret for first time in my life resently and its a horrible feeling, but all that I can do is use that experience to help me in the future. 🙂

  8. Beautiful and powerful testimony, my friend, just like you! I am so thankful you made it and can share your story with us. Hugs and love.

  9. Carolyn, my son and I just heard your recent testimony on YouTube. It was powerful and very touching. I cried with you. Wow, you are an eloquent speaker!! Though I don’t know you in person, I feel I do…my little distant niece. 😇 Continue your calling and mission cause it’s powerful. 🙏 My God continue to bless you and your special gentleman and use your lives mightily. Love, Auntie Giselle from Miami

    1. Amen to that Rollie! So well put! Thank for friend for your support and encouraging words. Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much Larry! I really appreciate that! And yes! Absolutely – I would be honored! Amen to that! Hugs and love xox

    1. You’re so right about that!! Thank you so much for your kind words! Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw I’m so glad this hit home with you! Thank you so much! Hugs and love xox

  10. God has turned your test into a testimony.
    Though the trials were the result of your own folly, it shows the nature of God in that through it all, He never left your side. He was always on your side, He always will be.
    I was just watching a recent video of that youtuber and it is fair to say that while she says that she is getting help, you can clearly see denial written all over her face. I only hope she will learn the error of her ways long before it is too late.

    1. You’re so right about that! He never left my side. Thank you so much 🙂 me too. Hugs and love xox

  11. I rejoice over 14 years of recovery for you 🙂
    Jesus is reaching so many people through you. If you think back to the time you first went in for treatment, that would have seemed impossible. I am blessed by your blog 🙂

    But still waiting for that airlift lol

    1. Aw thank you so much! Yes it has been quite a journey. I am truly so grateful. God is good. Haha it’s in transit! Haha Hugs and love xox

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