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.:)

Friday, 5 December 2014

Don't suffer alone.

And the other point I wanted to make before I proceed. (and I do think it is time for a baking post soon as I do want to tell you about my Rolo Buns. ;) )....

And that of course is...that if you are struggling...then please, please, please don't suffer alone!! And believe me, I know how scary it is to reach out. To tell you loved ones just how bad things are, what you have really been doing, just how lost and trapped and despairing you feel. I know because I have been there - a few months ago - a few weeks ago, too, should I add - I was in the exact same place as you.
But here I am now sitting writing to you. And I did it. And now, after my initial feelings of despair and guilt and misery...I know I did the right thing. for years I was wearing a mask, a mask which made it appear as if Emmy was a completely normal, happy girl, who meant exactly what she said when responding to a "how are you doing?" "how are you Emmy?" on any particular day. "Oh, I'm...I'm grand!"
No. I was far from grand. Most days, I was very, very down.

What compelled me to throw away the mask? To finally, after having kept my true feelings, emotions, and problems hidden behind a smile and a brave face for so long, to let it all go and reveal the truth?
 Well, I suppose I was finally ready. I realised that I was brave enough. That opening up was not a sign of weakness: rather, one that required real strength and courage.

The first time I talked to someone about my eating disorder was, of course, at the beginning of this summer - when I told my Mam of how, the past 2 years of college, I had been consciously skipping meals, overexercising, restricting day after day after day...that's when of course I really did realise I had an eating disorder; and when my fight against it really did begin, in earnest. Though I think, looking back now, I underestimated just how bad it really was. I termed it as a "mild" eating disorder when I talked about it with my friends afterwards. Though now I understand that it was alot more serious than that. The impact it has had on me, physically, mentally and psychologically, testifies that for me. I had to learn that the hard way.

So please, please, please, don't ever feel like you have to go through this alone. You don't.

It's not easy, driving out that ever-present, manipulative voice in the head. The thoughts, the guilt, the urge to over-exercise or restrict or vomit. Accepting that you need to gain weight for yourself. It's not easy at all...and it's not something you should choose to go through in isolation.

Opening up, talking to others is a sign of strength, and not weakness. It's easy to just withdraw into yourself; detach yourself from others and the world; to become a closed book and pretend everything is bright and rosy. But in doing this, you will only be hurting yourself and others more in the long run.

If you believe you need help, talk to someone. Everyone of us is only human, and human beings aren't meant to carry massive burdens alone.

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