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.:)

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The phoenix.:)

Having spent the past two and a half years drifting through college, barely getting the required reading for my tutorials completed in time, and driving myself into tearful fits of frustration and panic over essays and assignments which presented, to me anyway, a task so difficult it was almost impossible to even begin...well, with all that, and with my eating disorder dominating my head, my mind, my thoughts for the whole length of that time....I can't say that I learnt really that much. But of course, a few things do stick out in my mind. Lancelot's rescue of Guinevere from the treacherous Mellygaunte. (Think I spelt that wrong, apologies Sir Thomas Malory!! ) . My half-hearted efforts at reading the Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman - quite possibly the most confusing and irritating novel I have ever attempted to read; and one which I will most certainly not be endeavouring to pick up ever again. And also, the conclusion of a one of the most popular science fiction books ever written; that being Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451. The image that pervades over the closing section of this book is that of the phoenix. The fire bird...the bird that destroys itself, or so it seems, but then rises from those very same ashes which brought about its destruction - beautiful, strong, unbroken.

Alongside the fact that I have always been fascinated by mythical creatures in general - my childhood games were always filled with unicorns, dragons, trolls and such like - the image of this particular magical beast has a special resonance for me.

For I can liken myself to the phoenix, in a way. For I was so, so close to truly killing myself...but then, in May 2014, I realised that I had to make that change. I was, slowly but surely, destroying myself, by never fighting that ruthless, mainpulative little voice in my head. And even, in that moment of crucial realisation, it did, at first, appear as it it was, really and truly, too late. I had carried along that road for so, so long, that to even attempt to change my path seemed nigh on impossible. I wanted to give up. I yearned so badly to just continue on with that life that now was what represented reality, to me: it was familiar, in a terrible, awful sort of way, and the thought of having to step out of that horrible, cold, but familiar world was to me, at the time, truly frightening. I wanted to stay there, right where I was...or, more than ever, ever before, I wished I could just curl into a ball and hide away from the rest of the world; to fall asleep forever and to never wake up. To be, for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime, at peace.

It was as if my life, my whole world had been torn apart, leaving nothing but broken, shattered pieces, flimsy little embers, in my hands.

But then, just like a phoenix, I rose from those ashes.

And if I can do it, I know that you can too.

I believe that we can all be phoenixes, together. I believe we can together make our weaknesses our strength.  That we can turn on that voice that was our greatest ever enemy and the source of our greatest pain. We can leave that world we once knew - the one that was the only one we ever knew, it seemed - but one which was full of suffering. We can turn those ashes into something positive. And just like the phoenix we can become strong and whole again, and even more beautiful than before. :)

I like to think that in drawing upon my experiences and sharing my story, I can help those who have been, or who still are, in a similar place as I was, and am. I know I have come far, since that month when everything changed - May 2014. and along the way, I have grown. I'm wiser now. I know there's still alot to be learnt, and in 2015, the year when I will receive professional treatment for my eating disorder, I will come to learn even more.

I know that in choosing recovery, choosing to fight the voice of my ED, choosing life and happiness over misery and hurting - I will be able to make a difference. I will be abble to reach out to those who are struggling. I will be able to proof that eating disorders can, and will, be beaten.

I have made my weakness my strength.

And I know that you can too. :)

I know this post was a bit of a ramble..Sorry about that. You wouldn't know it but it was originally intended to be the continuation of my last post about 2014. That's coming up next !! And i'll try not to waffle, promise. :)

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