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.:)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

I remember...

Well I don't think it's very likely that I will ever forget them...them being, the things I used to do when I had my ED which at the time, to me, were perfectly acceptable, even normal...but which I know now were exactly the reverse of that. Some of them make me want to cry with shame and guilt...others just make me almost want to laugh before I stop and think, that actually is not funny. The ones I hate the most are the ones in which any form of deception was involved. I know I told lies...horrible, open-faced my family and friends, in order to keep up my guise of normality, to keep them from worrying about me, to prevent them from learning to awful truth.
I wonder if anyof my readers could relate to these. They became so much part and whole of my everyday routine, that I didn't see any harm or abnormality in them. But writing them now makes me realise how disillusioned I really was. And I really hope if there is anyone out there who was in the same situation as in, you might have an ED but you are refusing to acknowledge to that one simple fact. I really hope that this post might help open your eyes and realise that those seemingly innocent and harmless habits and patterns of behaviour are in fact ED-type symptoms.
 Don't let your ED continue to control you and make your life a someone, seek help, and regain control of your life again.

I remember.

I remember coming home at the weekends from college, and my Mam remarking how much thinner I looked, how tired and haggard my face had become. On being asked was I having three regular meals a day, eating properly, looking after myself...I would spontaneously assure her I was. I was just stressed. That bit's not a lie: I was stressed; but I was most certainly NOT eating properly, and I deceived her every Friday of every week, again and again and again...all for the sake of staying thin. I didn't want her to know what I was doing, what I was not eating.

I remember making delicious meals for my family to have during the week when I wasn't there, all the while thinking hopw much I would love to stay with them, eat with them...but knowing in my heart that the evening they would be sitting together enjoying what I prepared for them, I would probably be sitting alone eating nothing. I cooked little meals for my roommate too if I knew one evening I was going to be back late from college...and then when I did get home she would always ask me "have you eaten Emily?" and I would reply...yes, I got something in town.

I remember the evnings when I just couldn't put off the hunger for any longer; and I would creep into the kitchen, fretting anxiously about what I was going to eat. I would stand in there for ages, wondering and worrying and screwing myself up, before ventually taking out something...something small, but filling, in the hope that it would keep the hunger pangs at bay. A small owl of cereal, or porridge made with water and skimmed milk...a small piece of wholemeal toast....a bowl of peas or boiled carrots. Though by the time I went to bed though I would usually be hungry again, but I would just ignore that feeling, and lie down beneath the quilt with that hollow, empty feeling in my belly.

I remember how I would scrutinise everything when it came to amounts. I would pour cereal, bit by little bit, into a bowl, and then spend ages just looking at it before I put on the milk, anxious to ensure I hadn't exceeded the tiny amount I would usually allow myself to have. I always tried to use the same crockery, so it was easier for me to keep my food amounts and portions the same. I would count the slices of potatoe I would put on my plate, I would cut off pieces of meat or bread or whatever and push them off my plate if I thought I had too much...

I remember washing clean plates and bowls and spoons in order to trick my loved ones into thinking I had eaten before or after them...and then, when everyone else gathered together to eat, I would slip away to my room and sit in there alone, trying to study or read...but not being able to, as my stomach would be groaning and my head would be throbbing with a horrible combination of guilt and anxiety...guilt, for having to lie to them, though they meant the world to me. But anxiety, because I was so, so afraid that at any moment, someone, somehow, would have discoved that in reality, I had eaten nothing.

I remember running my hand along my torso and feeling the protruding ribs, or pulling on a skirt or leggings over my bony hipbones and taking,,,taking comfort from that. The fact that I was skinny and that even being ugly and unattractive couldn't change that. I was in control of my body and my food intake, and to me - miserable, lonely, homesick, and crushed down by my own self-made feelings of worthlessness and ineptitude...this to me was some sort of comfort, back then..the fact that I wasn't "big".

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