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.:)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

The reasons why the Ganache-Elf decided to finally wash her sticky fingers and sit down with a laptop to embark upon her first ever blogging journey.

I didn’t just wake up one sunny day in June 2014 filled with a sudden urge to start blogging. Rather, it’s been something which I’ve wanted to do for a good while, but always put off or didn’t get around to doing. But for me, this particular blog - in chartering both my baking and my recovering from an eating disorder - has allowed itself to assume a special significance. There’s a few reasons why I chose to write it and so I thought before we resume that I’d just outline these to you first.
In regard to the eating disorder, I believe that blogging is just one of the many things that is helping me to get better again and to leave all traces of that awful, awful condition -  which for years had sought to diminish my happiness and well-being and essentially corrupt my relationship with food -  far, far behind. How? Well, I don’t know if you can relate to this from your own experience, but in writing and describing what I went through - the abnormal thoughts, how it all began, what I ate then in comparism to what I eat now - I am enabled to look back upon it all and realise how bad it really was and to dismiss all those potential doubts about weight gain. One thing I really hope you will come to understand through my blog is that gaining weight - especially for someone like me who, due to the eating disorder, had always tried to eat as little as possible for such a long time - is anything but easy. Even now, I still have to face misgivings, hesitations, uncertainties; it’s not all plain sailing. But in writing my blog I have a written record of all these doubts and challenges. And in writing them in this way - and in sharing them with my readers - I believe that they can be controlled.
I know there’s a good possibility that my blog won’t be read. But if there was any realistic way a normal girl like me could reach out to anyone who’s struggling, as I was, with an eating disorder, then I think that blogging is the way to go. And that’s another reason why I’m writing today. I know all too well what living with an eating disorder is really like; for both the sufferer and their loved ones. It’s horrible, it’s shit, and it can ruin lives. Perhaps one day it might have utterly ruined mine. Unfortunately, I think in some ways my condition has had a damaging impact on me in ways which can’t really be changed. But hey, I’m coping with that. What I’m focusing on now is recovering and moving on completely, so that, in the future, my life will never be affected in such a harmful and negative way again.
And! Two more things. I’m really hoping (I know it’s unlikely, but a girl’s allowed to dream!) that bogging might improve my baking in some way too. Again it’ll be a way of keeping track of what I make every day I suppose, and any mistakes made along the way. And I can set myself goals and challenges too. Today my challenge, gulp, is to make mushroom ravioli from SCRATCH. I might chicken out later on, I’m not promising anything. I’ll let you know later on of course whether I decided to rise to the challenge or not, and if I did, whether it was a success or just a sticky doughy disaster.
If you recall from my first post, I mentioned that I am an English student who’s struggling somewhat. Having just battled my way through two years of a course I do not like, I can safely say college has not been one of my most memorable or enjoyable experiences. Disliking my degree has made it extremely hard for me to be motivated or to work hard at the course work, and has made me feel unhappy, stressed, out-of-place, and useless, in a university where everyone else seems so studious and intellectual and really into what they were doing. I should never have opted to study English; it was a stupid mistake on my part; and looking back at the day I filled out my CAO form in my final year of secondary school, I am always filled with a strong sense of regret. The thing is, though, I did used to enjoy writing. I loved to write stories and essays and diary entries, and whenever anyone asked me what my preferred hobby was, the answer would spontaneously always be “writing”. But, like so many other things in my life, that all changed. The course, I fear, diminished my enjoyment of writing in a number of ways, and I began to feel as if my writing and everything I wrote was crap. As a result, I ceased to write as a hobby; writing became a chore rather than a pleasure. Even writing one of my own projects, a fantasy medieval story which I used to be so passionate about - it was as if the course had sucked all the joy I used to derive from producing it; and so, I stopped trying completely.
But in writing this blog, I am hoping to reconnect with that long-lost joy. Could blogging help me to enjoy writing once again? I’m really hoping that it will be so. I know I’ve only written three not very good and probably overlong posts. But just in composing them, I have felt the old sense of enjoyment that I thought I had forever lost.

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