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.:)
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Chapter 4 of My Eating Disorder and Me...
I fell, though, of course...ever deeper into my eating disorder's ever-present trap. But it was a trap that I allowed myself to stumble into with open arms. For I became very, very unhappy again, when I came to Dublin. I was lonely and felt more isolated than I ever had felt in my entire life. My shyness had overcome me again when I had first arrived on the college campus, and I found it more than overwhelming to approach people and introduce myself, let alone go out with them, mix with them, strangers I barely knew. I missed my family, and my home, terribly. My life had been turned completely upside down, thrust into a frightening, unfamiliar world in which I was floundering desperately, struggling to keep afloat. And my eating disorder seemed to provide the only way out.
There didn't seem any point, in eating and cooking my own meals anymore. Sitting at the table, all by myself, in the lonely little kitchen of my apartment always made me want to cry with bitterness and flee into my room, where I would weep hot tears into my pillow. And it became a regular thing for me, to not even bother making myself something for dinner. If I had a loaf of bread in, I would shove a couple of pieces in the toaster, and cut up a tomato or to to eat alongside this scant dinner. Sometimes I had porridge or maybe even a small plate of pasta...half of which I would throw away if I felt like I couldn't finish it. The disturbing thing was I derived a sense of weird, consuming satisfaction from doing this - depriving myself, my body of proper nourishment. In my head, I did deserve it. I felt like a failure, a failure as a daughter, sister, and friend. I had got the course that I had always wanted....and had discovered, that I hated it. I blamed myself, and still do to this very day, for messing up in making this one crucial decision in my third-level education.
I couldn't study, I couldn't write, I couldn't even focus in lectures. My eating disorder had taken over, realy and truly. I lost alot of weight again, and finally, one weekend in November, Mam quizzed me as to whether I was eating enough up at college. I lied again and told her I was, and that I couldn't really understand why my weight had plummeted.
Mam begged me to try and put on a bit more weight, as my underweight, frail little bbody was causing her enormous concern. As I had done so many, many times before, I cried my heart out with shame and misery, at the thought I had caused her so much pain, worry and stress. I promised her I would try to change. And I did try, I really did try. But it was like all those times before...my eating disorder let me try to change, but it didn't let me change. And, after a few weeks of eating well and regularly once again, the thoughts crept back in, the Voice took full hold...and I was just back where I had started.
And so this vicious pattern continued, over and over again. I went back to college after the Christmas holidays; my weight dropped again. Then over summer 2013, I prevented it from becoming dangerously low, since I was at home again and eating much better, with Mam keeping a close eye on me, ensuring I ate all my meals and making me hot chocolate with full-fat milk, which I could never, ever resist when offered. I was out of the danger zone again. The voice of my eating disorder faded, a little...but then the summer was over and second year English beckoned. I made a silent pledge to myself that I wouldn't slip into old habits again. That I would cook for myself and eat proper meals, and treat myself whenever I felt like it; to take better care of myself. If not for myself, for my loved ones. No matter how lonely or awful things got, I would try...again...for them.