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.:)
Saturday, 13 December 2014
In September 2006, a little girl became sick.
That's the month I started secondary school.
That's the month when it all began.
That's the month when a small, blonde-haired, shy, quiet twelve-year-old girl entered a world entirely different from the one she once knew. Her relationship with food was, from that point onwards, altered forever; as was her own attitudes to her own body and her diet. And then, of course, her mind became sick...sick with the mental illness that we all term as an eating disorder. That girl, of course, was me.
I thought about this alot over the past few days...and I think these are a few of the things that triggered my eating disorder...which allowed those tiny, but destructive seeds to be sown in my mind, which would grow and strengthen as time passed, blocking out the light of all the goodness, forcing all my other thoughts, motives, and emotions to bend into submission to its heartless, cruel, merciless demands. And just like that big weed in the garden which chokes the life out of its victims struggling to grow alongside it...so too did my ED consume and suffocate me, my enjoyment of life, every chance I had at happiness.
When I went to secondary school...it was like I became super-conscious of myself, the people around me, what they were eating, what I was eating, what the media and dr this and professor that said you should and should not eat.
One distinct memory I have...was sitting in home economics class and learning about the food pyramid, diets, healthy eating and so forth. As I sat there alone a strange, unpleasant feeling of unease began to creep up my spine and the words of my teacher who was reading out loud to us became faint and muffled in my ears as I became absorbed in anxious thought. Oh...God... I don't eat like that. I eat so unhealthily...I'm going to become like...like that. The obese lady in the photo at the bottom of the page stared out at me sadly, as if to say, in joint sympathy, I know, I know, darling. I know what it is like to feel bigger than everyone else.
Suddenly, everyone - my classmates, the senior girls above me, even my own sister. Suddenly they all became, in my head, slimmer than me. Suddenly I was the chubby, ugly one, who stuck out like a sore thumb in a crowd of elegant, attractive, and of course slim girls. Another sharp memory I had was getting off the bus with my sister one Monday. Liz saw one of her friends and quickened her step in order to catch up with her, leaving me trailing behind at a short distance. But this wasn't what disconcerted me. I couldn't tear my eyes away from Liz's legs. Look at Liz...she is so slim...her legs are like matchsticks compared to mine! Which wasn't true, of course.
I was convinced that I was unhealthy. That my diet - which was pretty much the same as to what I ate in primary school - was one which needed to be modified, drastically. One day - I can't remember exactly when - I decided that enough was enough. I had to, and was going to, change...everything.
Something was going to have to give.