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, 4 June 2015

Day 17: What is the hardest thing you have had to give up, because of your eating disorder?

I think for me this would have to be the high-impact physical activities - such as horse riding, skiing, and running - that I am now prohibited from doing given that the risk of me breaking a bone is too high.

I'll talk more about osteoporosis in a future post, but basically, having restricted for such a long, long time, in a period of my life which is absolutely imperative to healthy bone development (peak one mass is mainly established in the teenage years), as a result my bones have become weak, brittle and susceptible to fracture. If I fell over on the road today, instead of just getting off lightly like a person with healthy bones would - maybe with just a few cuts and bruises, say - it is highly likely that I might break or sprain something due to the weak condition of my skeletal system. I have osteoporosis, serious osteoporosis, at that. And it is all because of my eating disorder.

I try my best not to dwell on it too much, but, sometimes...the cruel, harsh reality does slap me in the face, making me want to cry...cry for everything I lost through my eating disorder. And I realise now, with a bitterness deep inside that tears at my heart every single day...I realise now that some of those things I will never, ever be able to reclaim. And healthy, strong bones is just one of those many things. I will always have osteoporosis, and my bones will never be properly healed. I was never a very sporty person, but as a girl, I adored Irish dancing. The music enchanted me, the magical beat of it pulsating through my veins till my heart seemed to resonate to that beat, too, as if they were both but one. When I danced,I felt truly alive. i could fly across the floor as gracefully as a bird taking flight; as elegantly as a dragonfly skirting across the still waters of a lake. i will always remember my last show in primary school, when I wore a blue dress and led the chain of dancers across the wooden stage, leaping about like a fairy girl released from a lantern. I played a major role in all of the different dances, the names of which will remain with me forever: The Walls of Limerick, the Siege of Ennis, the Haymaker's Jig...

I haven't done any Irish dancing for years now. The last time I think was at a céili in fifth year, during our class trip to the Gaeltacht. But that was about five years ago, now. Now, things are very, very different. A year later, I finished school and left home to go to inviersity, and it was the two years following that Septembber when the real damage was done; and my bones suffered and declined.

Since injuring my foot last year, I have never dared to run, hop or jump or do any other kind of high-impact activity. Including Irish dancing. A few weeks ago Daddy and I took Benny to the vets in portlaoise for his jabs. Stepping into the small, two storey building, my ears immediatly pricked at the curious noises that were floating down from floor above us. tap tap, tappity-tap. I turned to daddy, the question "wonder what they're doing up there" on the tip of my tongue. But the words died on my lips as I heard another sound. an unmistakable, beautifully haunting sound that brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes.

They were Irish dancing, of course. My feet longed then to take up the steps, the rhythmic one-two-three, one-two-three that, after all those years, I still remembered, and loved.

I don;t know if I will ever be able to Irish dance again. Or run, or do gymnastics, or ski, or go ice skating. Or ride a horse across meadows and forests and beaches. Things I have always wanted to do, which I always dreamed of doing, sometime in the future. But now my bones are weak and fragile. One fall, and I could snap like a twig. All because of what my eating disorder did to me, of what it took away from me.

If anything good can be dervied out of what has happened to me, what I have been is this. I am going to utilise my sotry and my experience to demonstrate  just how devestating the consequences of holding onto an eating disorder can be, whether the sufferer be young or old, male or female; mildly or severely ill. I would do anything to go back in time and change everything before it became too late to save my bones and stop myself from becoming so deeply enmeshed in my eating disorder. But I know I can't and I can only deal with what I have left. I hope that be retelling my story and highlighting just how harmful the effects of having an eating disorder can have on a person, I will be able to make some contribution to the ongoing fight against this horrible mental disease which touches, taints and destroys so many lives.

Life is precious and beautiful. there should be no room for suffering.<3 xxx


  1. You are so incredibly brave. I cannot imagine how hard it must be to keep forcing yourself towards recovery, despite knowing that there are things you will not be able to reclaim. That takes an enormous amount of courage and self-will. And the ability to keep fighting, keep sharing your story, to help others avoid the tragedy that happened to you is so so selfless. You're such a special person!

    -N xx

    1. <3 thank you so much hun <3 i know I have not lost everything, but as I say there are alot of things which I always have wanted to do in the future as I am quite an adventurous person who loves being outdoors , doing things. It breaks my heart to think I won't be ever able to do some of those things. Though at the same time, I just have to work with what I have - I can still walk and ride a bike and swim, say. But I think it's also important to realise that if I didnt choose recovery I might not have bbeen abble to do those things either, eventually.

      But i really hope that my writing WILL help anyone suffering from an eating disorder that the consequences can be so awful , and I really hope it will help to motivate others to recover.

      Oh hun thank you so much <3 all my love and best wishes dear <3 xxx

  2. My heart really goes out to you after reading this post. Your writing is so enchanting, I'm drawn in to your story. I wish I could give you back what your eating disorder has taken away, but such is life, I cannot :( I'm so sorry for all the things that you have lost due to your ED. I must say, I used to Irish Dance too, and it is something that I too have lost due to my ED, as well as running and horse riding. Do you take any supplements to help with your osteoporosis? I really wish I could help you, my heart just breaks for you. Sending you tonnes of love and hugs from Wales xxx

    1. <3 Thank you so, so much for this hun, reading it made me feel quite emotional!! <3 I really appreciate your support hun <3 I am currently on calcium and Vitamin D tablets, it is just such a bitter pill to swallow, knowing that I will always have very weak bones. All my love and best wishes hun. I hope you are getting on ok. Thank you so, so much for your eautiful sweet words. <3 xXxXx

    2. Aww, don't get emotional, bless you!! I'm always here for you :) I'm on a calcichew supplement too, I know what you mean about it being a bitter pill to swallow, but at least you are in recovery and making your bones stronger and better, even if they will always be a bit weaker. Thinking of you lots and lots xxx

    3. <3 thank you so much hun <3 you are so, so kind, comments like yours always make my day.:) take care hun. <3 xxx