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, 24 November 2014

This was me...

This was me...this time last year.

Weight? I can't honesty say as up till this past month, I never, ever weighed myself. In my early years of secondary school, my Mam, having noted the odd and rather secretive behaviour I displayed around food and at mealtimes - as well as the fact that I seemed to be slowly but surely losing weight - concealed the home weighing scales we had at the back of the wardrobe in her room, and there they have stayed until this year, in fact, when my doctor actually made me start weighing myself. Anyway, to return to my point, I don't know how much I weighed this time last year. All I know must have been very, dangerously, low. I mean, I'm about 40 kg now. This time last month I was about 38 I think. And this is me now, having gained weight, over summer and over the past month. And so...I'm guessing it must have been below 35 kg.
 Clothes wise, I claimed I was a size 6...though in some shops even the size 6 wouldn't stay up on my tiny, bony waist.
 God only knows how bad my bmi was.

 So since then. I have gained weight. No one can take that from me. And I know, I have accomplished alot. This is the most frustrating thing of all I guess. The fact I have gained, I have achieved, I have conquered so many of my fears and ED-related anxieties. If only it were enough.

This time last year...I was literally, wasting away. I restricted without thought because to me, that ok, it was normal, it didn't affect me at all (though of course, in reality, it did). most days in Dublin I would eat, at the most, two meals a day: either lunch or breakfast would be skipped, if not both, and if I did have dinner, it was...barely anything. Sometimes I would eat a load of ice cream or chocolate or something as I was just so, so hungry...and then the next day would wake up, scared out of my senses that I had "over-indulged" and, accordingly, I would try to exercise more to burn off the extra calories, or just restrict more if I could get away with out without making it glaringly obvious.

I walked at least and hour and a half most days, pounding down the roads at breakneck speed in a desperate attempt to keep myself as trim as possible. even when rain splattered itself relentlessly against the window, even if there had been a frost overnight and the roads were slippy and treacherous, even if there was a gale and tree branches and bits of rubbish would be bblown haphazardly across the pavements of the city. it didn't matter to me: rain or shine, freezing cold or boiling hot, snow or ice or hail or did not matter, I had to walk and if I didn't, well...that would mean, inevitably, anxiety, guilt, irritability...and even more walking the next day.
 That was me.

 But I have come so, so far since then.
 That girl who stood up and looked at herself and her what she had done to both herself and her loved ones...and realised that the life that she was living was, in fact, not a life at all - more like a living hell; all centered around restriction, secrecy, starvation...that girl then chose to make a crucial and fundamental decision. A decision in which she would embark upon a emotional, rocky, and undeniably life-changing journey, upon which she would face her greatest ever fears and her greatest ever enemy...the ED that has been controlling me ever since I was a child of twelve years old.

And now, standing where I am today...I know, I know, that I haven't completely lost my way. I have fallen a few times, that is true -  but, as  I am doing right now, I have always got back up, brushed away the dust and the tears and the feelings of hopelessness and despair...I can't do it...I have fallen so many, many times and I'm not strong enough to keep on getting back up and trying again... no...each time I bravely pushed them all away, and I kept going. I kept going, to the place where I am now. It has been incredibly, overwhelmingly hard. But I did it. I have trodden so many miles. But yet there are still more bridges to cross, more frightening, unknown tracks to gently step upon. But I know now I am strong. The Ganache Elf may be small, but no one can take away from her her inner strength, her courage, her determination. My heart is as big as any lion's. My resolve and strength of purpose is as great as Benny's when he sees a deer run out in front of his nose and he sets his heart upon chasing it.

What I need to do now... is to draw upon that strength that helped me to make those first few small but vital changes. Because at the time I know, those first few little steps appeared, to me, like massive mountain which I couldn't even find a foothold on, let alone begin to climb.

But I did it.

This mountain sure is big, steep, rocky...I knew that from the very beginning. But I'm getting closer and closer to the top, despite the slips I've made along the way...I am going to get to that summit, my peak. And oh, what a view awaits me at the top. :)

As a dear friend told me may be raining now, but the storm won't last forever. :)

(my friend specifically requested to be referred to as the crazy cat lady or inspirational angel. Both of which, as well as being a truly amazing friend, she most definitely is. :) thanks hun, you know who you are. <3 xxxxx)

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