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, 6 May 2015

Day 2: What have you done to help yourself with your eating disorder?

For eight years, all through my teenhood, I did absolutely nothing to help myself with my eating disorder. I was in denial, and did not seek or look for help, let alone accept it when offered. And this was how things remained, all through my school years and then into the beginning of my time at Trinity...restriction and denial and starvation, overexercising and anxiety and depression. But all that time, I did nothing to help myself, because I believed that this was the way it was meant to be...that I didn't deserve help, and that I was unable to help myself, and I did not need help, anyway...

I didn't want anything to change...

But in May 2014 I finally acknowledged to myself that I had a restrictive eating disorder...that now was the time to reach out for help. I knew, that this was not a life that I was living...that on the contrary, is was a living death. And one thing had to, or my eating disorder.

I knew, that I couldn't do this alone.

So I threw away the mask that I had worn for so, so long and told my Mam...of everything I had done, everything I was still doing on a daily basis, that I was scared and exhausted and frigtheended and was in desperate need of her help. She was shocked, upset, and extremely concerned, but she was not angry. And then she hugged me and told me it was going to be okay. That we could beat this thing, together. And from that day onwards, something changed, deep inside me. I knew it was going to be a long, hard, difficult road...but it was on that day, of that month, in the year 2014 when that girl with an eating disorder started to help herself, by fighting for her life and her recovery.

I gained weight by myself over Summer 2014. I managed to increase my bmi from a dangerously low 13 to just under 15. I was still underweight, of course, but I had just managed to pull myself off a brink which could very easily have led to my own death.
Though I was still underweight, I was out of the danger zone...but I was not recovered. I had started the climb up that mountain which is recovery...but at that time, I was still not quite prepared to give myself the help that I needed to reach the top.

In January 2015 I went into hospital to commence my treatment as an inpatient in a mental services hospital. It was one of the most difficult times of my life ...but by putting myself in such a rigid environment in which I was closely monitored on a day to day basis , I was helping myself flight my eating disorder in a way I would never have been able to do alone.

I gained weight during the whole course of my hospitalisation, to reach a much healthier bmi, a bmi which allows my body and mind to properly function. Though I still have an eating disorder, I know that my body is in a much better state than it was this time last year...and though the battle is far from over, I know that in this regard I fought and won a great victory.

I fought the compulsive urges of my eating disorder to exercise for over 2 hours a day when I started to work on recovery. This, for me, was one of the most difficult habits to kick. My walks with Benny in the morning and afternoon were my escape. They seemed to be the only way in which I could quieten the furious, manipulative Voice that occcupied my head every single day. But in the initial stages of my weight restoration, even my walks with Benny had to be curtailed, and this was very, very difficult for me, to refrain from something which gave me so much joy, so much happiness, so much pleasure. But I did it,because I knew that I had to, to help myself fight my eating disorder... and now I am back to walking my beloved springer in the beauty of the Irish summer, in a way which is not unhealthy or obsessive.

For so many years, my eating disorder was my deepest and most darkest secret. I did every single thing in my power to keep it concealed from everyone around me  - my family, my friends, fellow students at school and college, my teachers, my tutors, my counsellors. I put off going to the doctor's about my total absence of periods, reassuring myself that nothing was amiss and I was just later starting than others. I never opened up to a soul...not even those who I loved the most - the closest of my friends, my sister, my Nan, my Mam - noone knew. and though, at times, I was desperate to let them in to this bitter, destructive, harsh world of my own creation...but I couldn't. I told myself that they wouldn't understand.
But things have changed, since then..I have changed. I know that to help myself, it is absolutely crucial that I reach out, that I ask for help and support, that I voice my feelings and share my fears and concerns and anxieties with my nurses, doctors, counsellors and my loved ones.

I want to help everyone out there with an eating disorder. I want to help all those with anorexia, with bullimia, with EDNOS, with a restrictive eating disorder, with an undiagnosed eating disorder. I want to help all those out there who are struggling with this horrible, horrible disease which destroys lives and ruins countless others. I want to help them all to recover, to fight their eating disorder, to be free...
But I know that I will never be able to do that unless I help myself...unless I help myself to fully recover, to fully let go of my eating disorder...


  1. Well done Emmy. Those changes are all truly amazing and even though they probably felt impossible, you did them anyway.

    It was so hard to make changes after being sick for only 3 years so I cant even imagine how hard it was to make the changes you have, after being sick for 8 years.

    Everytime I feel like something is too hard I think of how brave you have been and this reminds me that I can do it. You are so inspirational and make me feel like anything is possible, so thank-you.

    talk soon gorgeous <3
    Karly xx

    Btw- this photo is so beautiful Emmy

    1. <3 Aww hun thank you so so much, your comment really does mean the world to me <3 but I can only say these things right back to you hun, as your bravery and strength inspires and motivates me every day! And thank you hun for the compliment on the picture, you always make me feel so much better about myself Karly. Thank you so much. <3 xxx

  2. *_*It is such an increeeeeeeeeeedible huge step in the right to admit to oneself, that you have an eating disorder and the voice in your head is not telling you the truth :( and that you truly have to go directly against it =) I am so aaaaaaaaamazingly proud of you my hunniiiiii <3 it is so brave of you fighting against it and wanting to help others in their progress ;) I am so thankful for all of you share with me and I love u so much ;)
    I absolutely can´t wait to meet somebody so strong in real life my deeeear *_* this will be a lifetime experience ;)
    Loooove u and keep the great work up :) xxx

    1. Awwww my huni thank you so so SO much for this lovely comment <3 And I absolutely can't waitttt to meet my extra-special Nutella-living friend too heehee, oh huni it would be a dream come true and we will do so many fun things together WITHOUT the company of Miss Mager!!! Go us hun!! Love you loads huni :* xxxxx

    2. Ooopsss Nutella-LOVING that should be huni, I do aplogise!!! ;) <3 xxxxxxxxx