The Hardest Recovery Truth to Accept

Thank you guys for the wonderful birthday messages! How beautiful to read such sweet words from my friends.

I think sometimes God has a powerful way of reminding me, or gently nudging me, about something that He has planned for me in this life.

Maybe that’s too grandiose of thinking, but sometimes I think it’s important for me to remember why I started this blog back in 2015. It’s a lot more emotionally easy to write about current events or lighter fare than to delve into the topic of anorexia recovery, but the truth of the matter is, God allowed me to go through that living hell so that I could use that experience to help others.

But to be honest, that horrific season of my life feels so distant, almost like another lifetime. Here I am, I’m newly married, moved back to my hometown after living for over a decade in NYC, and I am free. I am no longer enslaved to an eating disorder that nearly destroyed my life.

And just because it isn’t touching my life right now, doesn’t mean that it isn’t completely tearing apart someone elses.

Just this week, I had two readers reach out, searching for information on how to help their loved one who is suffering from an eating disorder. They felt their hands were tied, and were desperate for any way to reach them, any way to help, any way to save them from themselves.

And then this morning when I was on my morning jog, I ran past a woman who was severely anorexic. And I know that’s not kind to “judge a book by its cover,” but I can spot anorexia a mile away, having been so deep in the trenches of it myself. And this woman was a textbook case, power walking like her life depended on it, dangerously emaciated and skeletal with a desperation in her eyes. And my heart broke for her.

But all of these touch points with it this week reminded me of the biggest — and hardest to accept — truth of eating disorders: no one can want recovery for her: she has to want it for herself.

That is what is so hard: loved ones can beg or plead, bribe or threaten, warm love or tough love them — they cannot recover for their loved one.

They have to do it themselves. And in order to truly recover, they have to want to recover.

For me, the only way I sincerely adopted recovery was when I accepted Jesus’ forgiveness and love. And I know that sounds so crazy…accept His forgiveness? But the truth of the matter was that I was carrying around so much guilt and shame about all the deception and manipulation in my life from the eating disorder, that I believed I was disqualified from His love, His forgiveness, His grace. I felt I didn’t deserve it.

But that was like saying that my eating disorder was greater than His grace and His ability to forgive. It was only when that wall I had built up to separate myself from Him absolutely crumbled, and I accepted His forgiveness and love and invited Him to take over my recovery.

I was no longer just going through the motions to get discharged from inpatient. I was earnestly recovering because I wanted to live the life Jesus had waiting for me on the other side of the eating disorder.

And that was the beginning of my true recovery. I couldn’t have done it without Jesus. He was my strength. He was my hope. He was my courage.

This week reminded me of why I am blogging. It reminded me that others are out there needing prayers, healing, help and hope.

Here are a few blog posts that are especially poignant on recovery. And remember, my inbox is always open.

The Truth about Bloating in Recovery

Debunking the Myths of Eating Disorders – VIDEO!

My Top 3 Practical Recovery Tips

3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I was Anorexic

To hear my story, click here.

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8 responses to “The Hardest Recovery Truth to Accept”

  1. You are a wise, loving, and wonderful young lady; hence, the reason we love and appreciate you. I propose that he make a extra effort to keep these ladies and all with any disorder in our prayers, maybe a daily Rosary for them. Thank you for your inspiration! Hugs and Love 🤗 & ❤️!! (including Steven)

    • gosh, what a kind thing to say. Thank you HJ. That turly means a lot. Yes – that’s a great idea. I will join you in that daily Rosary! sending big hugs! (And i’ll pass that along to him! 🙂 )

  2. You know why you blog. You have multiple purposes. Greatest among them is reaching out to those currently in the throes of anorexia who are turning to you for inspiration. You deliver. You’ve been there. You have a heart for those suffering. God bless you as you continue to reach out and touch lives. You make a difference! ❤️👍🏽

  3. You continue to amaze me with your wisdom. I may belated but wish you only the best for your birthday. I feel so blessed to have you as a blog friend and truly appreciate your insight on recovering from anorexia. Those same principals of recovery can also be used in recovering from other addictions as well. So insightful – keep it up! You are helping people more than you know. Hugs to you and Steven too!

  4. I feel for those who reached out to you. It is not easy to watch someone you care about go through something or worse, deny that there is a problem in the first place. I watch that famous blogger who has the same issue as you, and still see her completely denying the fact that she has an issue because stupid followers keep praising the way that she looks.
    Those of us who have similar testimonies often say, “God caused this for me and made me go through it so that I can help others.” I feel that is a very wrong statement. God did not cause it. We cause problems for ourselves because of our own choices. The only great part is that we have a God of such tremendous love that decides to walk with us as we go through own individual “valley of the shadow of death”. He puts people in our path to help us. He then uses us in the same way to help others who are walking in their own valleys.

  5. First, great job refocusing on your core reason for blogging! You’ve had a lot of great things going for you these last couple of years, but it’s great for your audience to see where you were and where they can be and how to get there. And you’re doing something I’ve done from time to time; referring to previous posts to reinforce today’s message. You’ve now got a huge catalog of materials you can still use and bring to the fore whenever needed.

    The message about loved ones not being able to decide on recovery for someone else hit home for me. My mom spent two years as a virtual log in a bed in a nursing home because she wouldn’t help herself with the physical therapy offered. The social worker saw my frustration with her and gave me some very good council. She told me that I’m on The Mom Bus. I’m just a passenger and she’s driving. There’s nothing that will ever get her out of the driver’s seat unless she decides to. Until then, buckle up and look out the window. Anything else will make me nuts. I was always there to visit and support, but that’s all she wanted, that’s all I could give.

    Hearing your story at church, I saw your family was on The Caralyn Bus. They could wrestle you for the wheel, but that was as far as it could go until you gave it up.

    Offered with lots of love and hugs!

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