The People I Find: Caley

This girl is one of my favorites. She is someone who has touched my heart more than words can express. Her name is Caley, she is a survivor. Her story is one of sadness and triumph. She has overcome every obstacle placed in front of her. I have known Caley since I was little. We grew up together, she was younger, but I always looked up to her. There isn’t anything that scares this girl, and she has been through a lot. I love this girl, and will always look up to her! Last December I wrote a blog on her act of kindness that made me feel needed, you can read her act of kindness here. I have never met someone who is so loving and willing to help.

Caley Eating DisorderHere is Caley’s Story:

The past can only define you if you allow it. There are parts of mine I have gladly left where they belong, but there are several lessons and memories I have chosen to carry along on my journey. The fact is, I can shape my future, but I can’t change my past.

A little on my past… I am always willing and excited to share my story. At one point I was ashamed of who I was and what life had dealt me. But now I am proud of who I am and grateful for my struggles. I suffered for eight years with a severe eating disorder. I spent four of those years in hospitals and treatment centers away from my family and friends. I was diagnosed with what I would’ve believed earlier as a “crazy person” but now just list it off as anorexia with purging and exercise addiction, generalized anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and the list goes on.  I have had episodes of severe self-hatred and self-harm. I have been in a psych ward. I have had my heartbeat slow down to a near stop. I have been a victim of abuse in a romantic relationship. I know addiction. I have spent Sunday mornings at the jail visiting a loved one. I have had my heart broken so badly by those I have trust and love that I was unable to get out of bed for weeks. I have lost several friends to suicide. I have spent countless nights in an emergency room for heart, kidney, and liver scares. I have been too depressed or too anxious to function. I have gone ten nights without sleeping. I have lost control of my life. I have wanted to escape the very skin I reside and never return. But I am alive.

Go ahead and judge me now, your thoughts are your own and have no reflection of who I am.  That is my past and there is nothing I can do to change it. 

There have been too many times where I should’ve died or given up, but God has a bigger plan for me. He will not allow me to become another statistic of a young girl who died because she couldn’t handle the struggles of living. I owe my life and love to my Higher Power and to Him will I dedicate my life to serving and strengthening His other sons and daughters.

I am nothing short of a miracle. But neither are you. You are a human animal; you are a living, breathing wonder. What is life without struggle? What is purpose without pain?

LIFE IS HARD. Yes, we all experience hardship. No single one of us is immune to heartbreak or hurt. The cat is out of the bag. I’m sorry if I had to be the one to break the news to you. But I can guarantee that I am not, and you have already experienced the turbulence found in the winds of breathing daily air.

I have people apologize that my life has been so hard. They listen to my story in awe, like I’m some type of superhero. They ask me how I was able to keep going through everything I had going on. My answer is always the same. I DID WHAT I HAD TO. You would too, wouldn’t you? I had will to live, and the most basic instinct (to survive) kicked in every time and I did what I had to in order to see the next sunrise.

Eating DisorderI would not take a second of what I have gone through back. It has made me who I am and I love that person. I have dedicated my life to helping others overcome the same chains that held me bound for so long. I am alive so I can make someone’s life better. And still, after all this suffering, if I can help yet one person on their journey through life, none of it will be in vain.

About my future…Like I said, I am dedicated to helping other people find love for themselves and feel the love that God and others have for them. Every human being on this earth is a miracle and needs to not only see themselves as one, but treat themselves as one. There is a light inside everyone that is waiting for its time to shine. Once you ignite that flame, it may flicker and falter, but it will never want to dim.

One specific event from my past always comes to mind when I think of “defining moments”. I was twelve years old in a hospital bed. I had been in the hospital a few days now and the doctors were incredibly worried about me.  I had said my “goodbyes’ to my family members in case I didn’t make it through the night.  My body was so weak, I felt like I was floating. I heard alarms and bells going off and softly turned my head towards my heart monitor to see my heart rate dropping. 28 beats per minute…doctors and nurses are swarming around my bed with all these contraptions. 24…I am no longer in charge of my body and I’m being moved and poked. 18…I can see my Mom hovering nearby with tears in her eyes. 14…I realize I’m probably dying. In my mind there was no fear, no sadness, only peace.

I don’t remember much more of that night, but I know the doctors eventually shuffled out the door, my mom kissed my head, and I glanced over at my machines to see my heart still beating. At that moment in time, I knew that I was not going to die from my illness. I knew I would face years of struggle and heartbreak, but I would be a survivor. I knew the Lord had spared my life for a specific purpose, and I knew I would spend the rest of my life sharing that purpose with others.

The moral of the story…We are all survivors of different life events. We all have flaws and make mistakes. We all have skeletons in the closet.  We all struggle. But more importantly, we are all loved human beings. We are all special and unique in our own way. We are all fighters. We can overcome. We are not in control of what life gives us, but we are in control of how we deal with life and how we see things. Life is beautiful; enjoy every second of it.

I appreciate the opportunity to share a small part of my soul with you on Clare’s blog. Please, never be too proud to ask for help. We all need it.

Contact Clare to speak with me directly

3 thoughts on “The People I Find: Caley

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  1. Caley, I was listeneing to Elder Eyring read his book “to draw closer to God” this morning after reading your post here. He shared a story about his Father dying of Bone cancer, and kneeling in complete agony of pain to ask the Father why he was to suffer so much pain. the answer came to him “because God needs brave souls” . I loved that. thought I’d share. you’re right, you are blessed to have learned so young to be brave and helpful to others. love you caley!


  2. Reblogged this on This, That and the Other Thang and commented:
    My dearest friend, survivor, and all-around kick-ass girl Caley has inspired me, and so many others, who have felt hopeless, weak, and lost in the fight against an eating disorder. In this, the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I wanted to share with you her story to show you, or anyone you know who is going through these struggles that you are not alone, that you are stronger than you think, and that it is possible to kick your ED to the curb, once and for good. I am so very lucky to have known Caley, and to experience her joy and smile, her absolute love of life and everything in it. It is my hope that this blog, Caley’s story, and my own will only serve as a source of strength and support for every reader out there.


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