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, 16 March 2015
An important lesson...
I've always thought that having an eating disorder isn't unlike being controlled by a demon, a demon in your very own head. And just like those demons in the horror stories, the effects on the victim are both external and internal. Recovering from an eating disorder is not all about the physical. The restoration of weight, the recovery of all the bodily systems which are so adversely affected by starvation and restriction and overexercise and purging....these are crucial, of course, to proper recovery. but the recovery of the internal self is equally as crucial; and this is the part which many people may overlook or misunderstand.
What many people associate with sufferers of eating disorders, so to speak, are the more explicit or physical symptoms - being bone-thin, constantly purging or running several miles every day, eating less than a sparrow would in one day, or maybe not anything at all. Dry skin and flat stomach, ribs and shoulderblades protruding. And yes, some of these symptoms might be found in many sufferers..but not all of them, and it's so important to be aware of that. For there is as much going on inside of the body - deep in the complex chambers of the brain - as there is on the exterior.
The first thing that immediately springs to mind when I sit and contemplate this, is the whole preoccupation with food. From the moment I woke up each morning, to when I closed your eyes last thing at night...i was constantly thinking, worrying, and ruminating about food and mealtimes and such. What I would have, the little amounts I was going to permit myself to eat. When I would eat, how I would prepare it, what I would do when I was eating...how I would fool those around me into thinking I had eaten enough.
I know this might sound disturbing and weird to some people...but it's the truth. It's a symptom of having an eating disorder...and if anyone out there is reading this now and thinking...that aplies to me, too...Please know, that it is not disturbing or weird...it's completely and utterly out of your hands. Please know that you are not alone.
Perhaps, some people might say, that this isn;t such a big deal. Ok, you might think about food much more than other people...but sure, what's wrong with that? It doesn't effect your life much, right? But this assumption couldn't be any further from the truth.
Because the sad reality is, it does...in many more ways than one.
But here I am at Christmas. I've gained some weight. Perhaps, people would look at me and think...no, that girl doesn't have an eating disorder. But this is something I think which is so, so important for everyone to be aware of.It's not all about what you see on the outside, when you have an eating disorder.
The real battle is the one that takes place in your very own head.