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, 3 July 2015

I can choose to be...the passenger or the pilot...

The first week at Villa Selene has almost been and gone. A week tomorrow me, Mam and Dad will be clambering on the plane which will bring us back to Ireland, and home.

A few weeks before our departure for the airport, I was struggling hard to conceal my apprehension about the upcoming holiday from my parents and friends. Unpleasant images from holidays in the past flitted across my mind's eye, further fueling the burning sensations of fear and apprehension that coursed through my body. Endless rows and heated disagreements which would always end in nothing but tears, angry glances, and then me isolating myself for many days at the least, if not for the remainder of the holiday. Crying spells in the night, of a despair so sharp, it wounded me more than any weapon or sharp object ever could have done. of wandering out from the villa first thing in the morning with tears streaming down my face, forcing myself to walk or cycle furiously until my limbs and joints were screaming for mercy, until I felt ready to collapse out of sheer exhaustion.

And, of stepping that close to the edge of the cliff face at the headland of Formentor, to look out over the edge at that depthless expanse of sapphire blue hundreds of feet below me, broken by sharp, jagged rocks, as sharp and as pitiless as the talons of an eagle. Where those waves met the crooked outline of the coast, the water churned and roiled into white-tipped, foamy waves that crashed and roared as furiously as the misery and wretchedness that crashed in my own skull, but, beyond that, towards the horizon where the sea met the sky on that beautiful, terrible day when I felt as close to taking my own life as my feet were to the precipice at which I stood by, the waters were as calm and as still as the silence of death.

But, in the space of just over a year, now, my life has been changed before my very eyes, as has the way that I see my life andthe world, and the place I have upon it.

I realise now, that it was not Emmy who went on holidays all those times, and caused so much upset and hurt and discord. It was Emmy with an eating disorder who stepped on that plane every time. It was her eating disorder which caused all those arguments, fights and endless tears, who caused all the pain, all the heartbreak, all the unhappiness.

I guess back then I was the passsenger...the passenger of my eating disorder, who would choose every single route and path for me; would dictate every single thought in my head; would govern every action and manouvre I would make.

But NOW, I am determined top become the pilot...I need to be the one in control.

This is the seventh day of my holiday now. And you know, I am glad that I decided to be brave and say that I would come.

I admit that it isnt easy - far from it, and every day poses its own little set of challenges, as the ongoing battle between me and the Voice in my head commences - but every day I plough onwards and do everything in my power to defy my ED. It's hard and sometimes I am not quite strong enough, and don't feel brave enough to have a large dollop of peanut butter on my toast like I would really love to; or sometimes, as I go to chop up a whole bar of galaxy chocolate to sprinkle on my banana and custard, a little Voice creeps into my head and before I know it I have put one - just one of the six squares of the bar - back into the packet, folded it over and put it back in the cupboard, simultaneously "agreeing" with the Voice that I surely would not be able to eat six rectangles of chocolate. I can just about manage the five, but six would be much, much too much. I mean...logically, what kind of nonsense is that? One rectangle more isn't going to make any difference whatsoever, and thinking about it now I realise how silly I was for doing that.

So of course, there have been those few times when Ed did win the fight and I didnt and complied with its demands. But there have also been victories, too, victories which I am proud of and are helping me to become stronger and braver in this fight with my ED.

Yesterday was a really, really lovely day, and one on which I did something which I think was a really positive step against my eating disorder, and which, now that I have done it, I know that I will feel confident and happy to do again and again. I suggested to my Aunty that we all go for Ben and Jerry's by the seafront that afternoon, and so we all hopped into the car, granny included, and drove down to the seaside town of Port de Pollenca, just five or so minutes away. I got one of my all time favourite flavours, the famous cookie dough with its divine chunks of chocolate chip biscuit, and it was as scrumptiously irresistible as I fondly remembered. (haven't had Ben and Jerry's for what seems like a very,very long time!!!) It was a perfect holiday moment, and I felt so, so happy. A perfect moment with my loved ones by the sea, the soft, gentle breeze stirring my hair and tenderly carrying away the burdens of my heart.

Enjoying my Ben and Jerry's with my loved ones yesterday!


  1. Wow, huge well done to you for suggesting to go for ice cream and then treating yourself to a Ben & Jerry's! I know how hard that must have been for you, but I hope you enjoyed and savoured every mouthful! I hope it is the first of many more fond holiday memories to come! Keep fighting hunnie xxx

    1. <3 thank you so so much hun! Believe it or not hun, once I had actually got the hard bit over (suggesting we go in the first place, as this was something which ED did NOT want me to do!! ), I felt totally in control and I really really enjoyed the yummy ice cream! ;) <3 I hope you are getting on okay hun <3 please stay strong for me and message me whenever hun if you need someone to listen <3 xxx

  2. Emmy I am SO SO jealous!! And SO SO proud! Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough flavour is my all-time favourite dessert but unfortunately Canada has very strict laws about allergies so all of the Ben and Jerry’s flavours have “May Contain Peanuts” warnings (and I have an anaphylactic nut allergy). So instead every time I go to the US or the UK (where there are no such warnings on B&J!) I always have my fix!!

    I can relate so much to everything you wrote. Last summer I went on holiday with my Mum to Spain and unfortunately it was ED that governed all my thoughts and decisions (it was upon returning from that trip that I really hit rock bottom and confessed everything to my parents). Now, when I think back to this trip, although I obviously remember the amazing things I saw/visited, I also remember the foods I refused to try, the ruins/cathedrals I wouldn’t go into because I was too cold and wanted to stay outside in the heat and the countless opportunities to try European coffee/treats that I missed.

    I am determined that this WON’T happen next time I travel and that I will never again have all these regrets.

    It makes me more happy than I can say that you have enjoyed your holiday! And although I know things must have been challenging, the fact that they were just meant you were FIGHTING!! And I’m sure it meant so much to your family to be able to truly enjoy a holiday with you, without having to worry. And I’m sure all the challenges just made them burst with pride for their incredibly STRONG, COURAGEOUS and BEAUTIFUL daughter/granddaughter/niece/sister.

    You continue to inspire me every day! Keep up the great work!

    -N xx

    1. <3 awww hun!! We actually have so much in comon in regard to our favourite treats! ;) Aww it's so annpying though how you can't get it in Canada! And oh hun, I know exactly what you mean..unfortunately, ED often ruins holidays as we both know :'( but I am so, so glad to hear you say that you are going to make this change hun and not let it happen again - that is a really positive attitude to take and I'm proud of you hun <3

      You are so kind hun, thank you so so much <3 It has been challenging hun, I knew it would be , but I know the importance of facing these fears as that is the only way to conquer them. Thankyouso so much hun <3 I hope you are doing ok, and that you got my email the other day, can't wait to hear from you soon xxx