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, 30 November 2014
From the frozen hard ground of winter...a beautiful spring bud bursts forth.:)
it is a scene capable of evoking, for me anyway, the first crucial and fundamental ideas which are brought together to produce a work of art... I'm not really much of a painter (I enjoy painting and drawing but I fear Van Gogh and Da Vinci and Monet would all be turning in their graves if they saw one of my various attempts at creating a "Masterpiece" ... :p ) so for me this would most likely be a story of some kind. I don't know if you recall but there was one time when writing was my one time favourite hobby... but that all changed when I went to college. Writing became, for me, a source of stress and frustration as a pose to enjoyment and pleasure. I became isolated and detached from my own little writing projects that had previously meant the world to me...more than that; they were my world; and I invested a large amount of time and effort in them.
But here I am now, at home in my own little environment, away from college and the bustle of the city. There is no pressure to do anything, no rush to be anywhere, no essays to read or assignments to write. The only thing I have to focus on is...myself.
And really, I have all the time in the world to do whatever I feel like doing. Including writing...and I am glad to say that my former passion for writing has been rekindled. Perhaps it's only a spark, but who knows...that spark might become a flame, and then that little flame into an unquenchable fire which nothing will be able to extinguish. :) For I am hopeful that, once I get back into writing again...there will be no stopping me. This is what happened with my baking addiction and blogging, after all. Who's to say it won't happen again with my writing? :)
My first writing project which I want to dedicate some of my time towards, is something which I started a few years ago. And though I haven't done any work on it for a long time, the themes, subject matter, and characters of Morokia still hold, for me, a compelling fascination and a certain captivation... which has not, thankfully, been tainted or touched in any way by the disappointing and dispiriting experiences I have undergone in choosing to study English at Trinity. Or by my ED, of course.
And now I realise something which fills me with a sense of hope...which serves to somewhat dispel the feelings of uselessness, ineptitude, and worthlessness that seem to frequently occupy my head. I know that for the past 8 years I have been used, abused, and manipulated by my ED. It's always been the one that's been in control; it never ceased to not have the advantage over weak, defenseless Emmy. But now it's time, I think, for a reversal of roles. Instead of me being used and exploited consistently by my ED...it's now a case of I, the Ganache-Elf, being the one who has the upper hand.
I have always been a firm believer in the theory that one of the best strategies to adopt when it comes to writing is to write what you are familiar with, what you know. Haha. Morokia is a medieval story. Am I an expert on the Middle Ages? No. So yes one could argue I am most definitely contradicting myself here. But! In my defence..ok, maybe I can't say I know an awful lot about medieval stuff. Rather, it is through the sufferings and experiences of my characters, their various trials and tests and individual struggles, where I can really put my own knowledge and experience into play. For all of these can function as a mirror or a reflection of my own life, my own personal battles. It's like I am inserting a little piece of my own personality into my own characters and matching their worldly experiences with my own.
My feelings of inadequacy and inferiority; of worthlessness, helplessness, desperation...and my belief that I don't belong. Of feeling like a failure and a hopeless cause. fearing of change and the future. Wanting desperately to mature, but simultaneously longing to remain as that small little girl who wants to remain protected and closeted away from the harsh, cold, unfeeling world.
The character that I relate with the most is Begonia, who is a young princess abducted from her home as a child. While she is imprisoned, Begonia, despite being fed relatively well by her captors, begins to refuse to eat and stunts her growth. At the tender age of twenty-two, her radiant and startling beauty remains, but she has the body of a child and her body is infertile. Begonia's willingness to starve herself is brought about by a deep self-hatred and a desire to punish her own body. When one of the heroes of the trilogy, the young knight Connor, liberates her, she falls in love with the dashing young man, but is torn with despair at the thought that her barrenness will repel him. It doesn't of course - Connor loves her for as she is and not for her ability to reproduce children - but Begonia is desperate to make up for the damage and abuse she has put her body through all through her teenage years. She makes a brave attempt at restoring her weight and nursing herself back to health. Gradually, she becomes healthier, and she is filled with delight when her menstruation begins. However, her malignant half-brother drives the lovers apart and forces Begonia to marry a wealthy lord of his own choice. Begonia becomes disillusioned with misery and wretchedness. She sinks right back down into her old ways, purposely starving herself in order to undo the repair she has done and make her body barren once again in the hope this will repulse her new husband. As the trilogy commences, Connor's own intrepid endeavours to unite his divided, war-striken country are matched with his lover's personal battle with her own eating disorder, as she struggles to escape the manipulative voice in her head that whispers that she is of no worth, she deserves to die, and that she should destroy herself and rid the world of an existence that is of no significance.
And so I suppose one could say...we can make little flowers grow from something so cold and hard and cruel. by this I mean, that from the sufferings and struggles I underwent in my experience of an eating disorder...I can create something beautiful and positive and nurturing. I can translate my experiences through my writing and produce a unique and meaningful work of art. And in doing so, I can reach out again, in the same way as I have done with my blog...I can touch the hands of those like me who are have been, or currently are, fighting the same battle as I have fought for the past 8 years. Begonia does, as the third book in my trilogy reveal, recover from her ED and makes that crucial and fundamental recognition which I want all of you who are reading this to realise, too. You are beautiful, you are worth it, you deserve life and you should never, never let anyone - including your ED - let you think otherwise. So strive to be what you want to be. Love, laugh, live...open your eyes and see the sunlight streaming through your bedroom window like liquid gold. Dip your feet into the waters of the ocean and feel the spine-tingling coolness against your skin. Walk amongst the primroses and the new green shoots of spring and hear the birds call to you from the trees. Your life is worth more than a treasure trove of diamonds and you deserve to live it the way you want it to be. :)