At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

I have an eating disorder.

The day I finally realised that I had an eating disorder is certainly one which I am very unlikely to forget. It was May. The weather was okay, ish, if I remember correctly. It was exam time in my second year of college.
Everyone hates exams. But for me, exams meant even more stress than usual; and more stress meant yet even more poor eating habits. To be brutally honest, the few months before the exams I was probably at my thinnest, and my eating went from bad to worse.
There wasn’t really one single day when I would eat “properly” during this time period. Each day I would miss at least breakfast or lunch, if not both. If I was away from home, I would often miss out on dinner, too -  or what I would convince myself was “dinner” might have been a measly portion of pasta, a piece of toast, a bowl of cereal, or something like that.
It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly how it happened; how I suddenly opened my eyes up to the reality of what had happened to me; of what was slowly destroying me. Something just seemed to click inside me. My loved ones had always told me I was too thin, but it was as if I was ignorant to their concern. Until one particular weekend when my sister, who had moved away from home on finding a new job, came down to see us. I had always found the distance between us now that she had moved out particularly hard, as we were always very close. I was so happy to see her, but the concern in her eyes when she saw me took me aback somewhat.
Then few days flew by and the next thing I knew I was hugging her goodbye with tears in my eyes. Not only because she was leaving, but because of her final parting words to me that echoed in my head for hours after she stepped through the door.
“Make sure you keep eating, sis. You’re looking so thin again!”
Guilt and self-hatred built up inside me. Liz, and Mam, were under the impression I was eating “normally” to some extent; I had told them that I had; they thought I was at least eating three regular meals a day and that all those compulsive little habits I had developed around food were non-existent. My own deceit tore me up inside. I felt wretched and miserable and I couldn’t study. The exam period loomed ever nearer, and I, telling myself that I was set up to fail them all, resolved to put on some sort of brave face and at least try to sit them. And yet still, I could not bring myself to tell a soul about my problem. My poor eating continued as if I thought that by starving myself I could make up for all the lies and deceitfulness I had practiced for so long.
And then…the day came. I was at home and Mam was about to go to work. I suppose Mam had become so used to my odd attitude towards food and seeing my bony frame on a regular basis, she managed to appear as if she was indifferent to it all; though in reality I knew this was far from the real case. This morning, however, she spoke to me at length, her tones gentle but serious. She implored me to seriously consider putting on weight. “Your sister is so worried about you, and so am I. think about it today and we can talk about it when I’m back this evening.”
I broke down then. Her gentle words and worried eyes affected me more than any raised voice or anger ever would have done. And that’s when I told her, everything. That’s when I knew that I had an eating disorder.

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