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, 6 March 2015

Your Eating Disorder is Not You...

Just a quick little post today, on something else I was anxious to write about, as I do believe it is something which many people who had or have an eating disorder commonly experience. That being...guilt.

The past few days this overwhelming, crushing sense of guilt has been hanging over my head like a thick, inter-penetrable raincloud. And it did get me down, and I often allowed myself to think that this was now my just punishment, osteoporosis, being hospitalised, being so far away from everything I had ever known, all the people I loved.It serves you right, I had thought. It serves you right for all the lies, the deceit, the trickery, the half-hearted attempts you made to get better. Thinking of the heartache I had pulled my family through made me want to weep bitterly, and I spent many an hour wrapped up in melancholic, guilt-ridden contemplation.

On arriving home today for the weekend, mam and I went into the garden before entering the house. We stood beneath the yet flowerless blossom tree and looked down at the dainty bunch of snowdrops which were gathered at its roots. And it filled my heart with an uplifting sense of pure joy, looking down at those pretty little flowers with their heads as pure and as white as freshly fallen snow. Joy at being home once more, of course...and at being able to see the beauty and radiance of the natural world again. But as well as that, the snowdrops made me contemplate something else...

Recovering from an ED can be likened to the growth of these beautiful early spring flowers.

The seeds are hidden beneath the hard ground as winter maintains its cruel, icy grip over the land.

But then...then, in a landscape upon which it appears nothing can grow, a small, tender stem emerges...there is hope. It is difficult, though. The ground is tough and the elements are harsh.

The snowdrop could just stop and give up...but it doesn't. Instead, it perseveres with this difficult, seemingly endless task, and becomes stronger and stronger. And then the tender little buds open to reveal the delicate, tear-drop shaped heads underneath which nod and bob in the cool breeze which greets them. But they have done it...and they are so, so exquisitely beautiful: elegant in their delicate tininess; pure and innocent in their unblemished whiteness.

And when you step onto the road to recovery, you can liken yourself to those very same snowdrops...

At first you are trapped in a cold, harsh, bitter place...and then you start to try to break free...

But when you reach emerge more beautiful than ever before. You are stronger, wiser...and you are innocent. That crippling sense of guilt; I understand just how hard it is to terminate it entirely. But what you have to remember is it was not, and never will be, your fault. You didn't choose this disease.

Don't call yourself a failure, a good-for-nothing. Don't call yourself useless and insignificant and worthless. Don't call yourself a bad person. Don't ever, ever let yourself think that you don't deserve life and recovery.

It was not you who made yourself lie and deceive. It was not you who always made yourself choose to do the wrong thing, who made your loved ones cry and worry. It wasn;t you who prioritised exercise and sticking to rigid fixed mealtimes over spending time with others who cared about you...

It was your eating disorder, not you, who was the cause of all the hurt, the suffering, the anxiety, the heartbreak.

And your loved ones will understand. They will still love you, no matter what you have done at the ruthless hands of  your eating disorder...they would never, ever neglect their love and concern for you, based on that.It might take a while for some of your loved ones to understand, but in time, they will. 

And by choosing to fight the thoughts and that heartless, sneering Voice - by choosing to fight your eating disorder - you are doing everything that you could possibly do to make it up to them. All they want is for you to be healthy and happy. Never forget that.

And never forget that your eating disorder is not you.

No comments:

Post a Comment