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.:)

Monday, 13 October 2014

One of the many, many reasons why I want to get better. :)

I can't believe I never introduced you all properly to one of my most special and beloved friends...and of course the best and most adorable doggy in the world. My Benny. Here he is with me yesterday. :)
I think really, I should soon dedicate an entire post to Benny...I know that my life would be empty without him. I love him, and I can never really look at him without smiling, or without feeling a warm, tender glow suffuse throughout my heart.
 Yesterday we took Benny for a walk at Cadamstown in the Slieve Blooms. It was what you would call a perfect autumn day. A clear blue sky the colour of fresh new forget-me-knots. Autumn sunlight batheing the gorgeous canopy of leaves above our heads, which ranged in colour from brilliant sunshine yellow and delicate emerald green, to coppery bronze and tawny chestnut and chocolate brown. Robins and blackbirds calling sweetly from the berry-laden hedgerows, accompanied by the gentle cooing of a plump woodpigeon or the harsh croak of a coal-black rook. It really was truly, truly wonderful. I can honestly say, if it wasn't for me and my foot problem, and my anxieties about whether I really can beat my ED for once and for all, all crowding in on my head...well, I really do think that I would be near enough to being perfectly happy. I know, it's easy enough to say that, but as I walked, somewhat unsteadily, in the sunshine yesterday, I just felt that bit closer to a sort of flawless, unbroken tranquility and inner peace of mind.

But no of course...there are still a few things that I need to rectify. I need to fully recover. My foot of course needs to heal as well, but this fight with my ED is not yet over. And as well as prompting me to reflect on how beautiful and uplifting life really walk with Benny yesterday served to remind me of something else, too. I really, really do have reason to, not one singular "reason" - reasons, should I say. There's no pluses or benefits involved in staying like this forever - stuck in semi-recovery. But if I look towards the future that's stretching out in front of me and think of what life would really be like without my ED...when I think of what it would be like, to be completely free. To enjoy every single bite of every single bit of food i choose to eat, and never have to worry about whether or not I am eating too much, too little, too much sugar, calories or fat. Then every fibre of my being knows that in choosing not to give in - in choosing to face my fears and anxieties and uncertainties full on, and to fight every single little remnant of my ED with all the courage and strength I could possibly muster - in choosing to do just that I am going to make an enormous difference to my own life and to the lives of others. A positive, generative, and life-changing difference. I am going to choose health and happiness and life; I am going to choose recovery. I choose to help myself and to help others out there who might be suffering from the same terrible, manipulative, and soul-destroying disease which I, at one time, had lost myself to, body and soul.

To be able to walk normally again. To be able to run after Benny as he scampers through braken and undergrowth; or as he charges around the garden with his ears flapping wildly and a rotten apple or a broken flower-pot in his jaws. To be able to stride up rocky mountain paths with the wind in my face and the golden beams of the sun dancing upon my skin. To be free and able to do what I want, with the most special doggy in the world at my side.
 That's just one of the hundreds upon hundreds of reasons why I want to recover, of why I want to beat my ED. Why I will. One day soon I will roam as happily and as carefree as Benny did among the heather and between the great tree trunks of the woods yesterday. One day I will be completely free.:)

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