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.:)

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Happy Advent Everyone!! :) xxx

Yessssss...hard to believe but it is officially advent today...let the countdown to Christmas begin!! ;)

I am currently sitting here drinking my mid-morning hot choc of course ;) I think I remember from my R.E. classes in my secondary school days that advent can be considered a time of new beginnings. Which is I suppose very relevant for me, as I want the next few weeks, months and year to be a time of progress, transition and positive change, for me.

Haven't done anything that Christmassy today though, unfortunately :'( wellllll....Daddy bought Christmas choccies yesterday, so at least that's something? And I bought mincemeat for the mince pies I intend on making next weekend. (It was a HUMONGOUS jar may I add!! ;)

Ganache-Elf's apron will soon be covered in sticky mincemeat as well as chocolate!! ;)

And so, for one of my main goals for Advent in regards to recovery: Stick to my meal plan 100% over the next couple of weeks (I've marked this in me diary sot there will be NO "convenient" forgetting (oh how good ED is good at making us do just that :( !! ) sunday two weeks I am going to have review of everything and I might have to increase the intake again.

At the moment I suppose, it is still a scary thing for me, the thought of having to up my intake even more. I suppose, Considering this time a few weeks ago I suppose, I wasn't eating properly at all, this is hardly a shock to me. Actually picking myself up, acknowledging that I had had an actual relapse and doing everything in my power to get back onto my basic meal plan again was something that required enormous, enormous effort. Every day poses its own challenges; Ed is there, screaming away in my head; making me feel hesitant, uncertain, afraid, and sometimes, just plain terrified. But well, I'm looking at it this way. I know I HAVE to do this - there's no choice in the matter, anymore; it's either going to be me, or ED, who is going to win this battle. I can choose to kil my eating disorder...or I can choose to let it kill me.

Because that, after all, is the sad, terrible, final reality.

Eating disorders can, and do, kill. And even if it hadn't quite got to that point; even it hadn't got so bad that it had literally killed me... I still truly believe, heart and soul, that if I had continued to let ED control me, the real Emmy - the Emmy without her ED - would have been lost, destroyed forever. I would have become a ghost, a shadow of the girl that I should be. For living with an ED is not living; it is hanging otno life by the tiniest, thinnest threads, threads which could snap at any minute to cast you down, helpless and alone to be broken and torn upon the hard, cold rocks.

But I am not going to let this I can see now, looking back over the past few months...just how much it was killing me, slowly but surely, taking more and more away, bit by bit, piece by piece.

And so, sticking to my meal plan; and possibly upping my intake in the next few weeks.. Yes, it is tough, but...I know I can do it. I will do whatever it takes.

Anyway, today I thought aout some little things I could do to increase my intake, when the time comes:

  • The most obvious one: having an snack with my hot choc ;)
  • Making the snacks bigger or always going for bigger snacks
  • Having bigger bowls of cereal and extra toast at breakfast
  • Having a yoghurt/nuts etc with lunch and having the fruit before breakfast instead
For me, breakfast and snacks are the best ways I can improve, as these are the times when I feel the most hungry. ;)

I just wanted to say again, a big thank you for all your supportive, lovely comments on my posts since I started blogging again. I can't express how much this means to much YOU all mean to me. Without you I honestly don't think overcoming my relapse would have been made possible...I can't even begin to thank you enough <3

And the good news is that today I literally SMASHED the first one of my ED goal!! I had a scone and butter with my afternoon hot choc...oh my goodness it was so so delicious <3
I am so, so happy that I managed to do this, as I am a massive scone fan...scone and hot choc was my standard afternoon snack when I used to come home from the hospital at the weekends; Mammy used to to make them for me specially and I was literally converted <3 I made some white ones in September but by then I was sort of falling into the relapse; consequently, I cut them out of my diet. But there will be no more of that kind of carry on, now. From now on, I, not ED, decide what and how much I am going to eat.

And so yes, today was a very good day in terms of fighting the Voice. I've managed to stick to my meal plan completely today, I cleaned my plate/bowl etc, I achieved my "scone" goal , and I defied the Voice when it told to tell me that I was not hungry, that I did not need this, that I should try and throw away some of the food on my plate when noone was looking. I felt...strong, today. I felt in control of everything; and I felt good in nourishing my body and not restricting. It was hard, it was daunting, it was nerve-wracking and scary and I feel as drained now as if I had spent the whole day jumping through hurdles but...I feel proud of what I have achieved. I know that I am getting stronger, and that I have found my feet again in path which leads to freedom.

So make today, the first day of Advent your new beginning. It's never, ever too late to change. Have courage, steel that determination, and stay strong. There is nothing to stop you from doing anything...least of all the Voice of a murderer, a thief, a destroyer...that is, ED. Make today the day you choose to change...the day you choose to fight for your freedom, for your life. <3 xxx

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Food for Thought... xxx

So a few weeks into my grand ole' blogging revival (if you wish to call it that ;) ), and so I thought it was time for me to reflect a little on how things are going for me in turns of fighting the ED voice and sticking to my meal plan.

And so, the big question is, of course - how exactly am I getting on with it. And, thanks to the care, support, encouragement and advice of you, my readers (I've said it once, but Im going to say it again.. ( and again and again and again, later on, probably, so apologies if it does get a bit repetitive, but truly, i really do mean it...just thank you, thank you, thank are all just so amazing and you have my eternal gratitude and love <3.) and of my supportive friends and loved ones...I'm happy enough with how I am progressing, at the moment anyway. There's a been a few hiccups, of course - as is usually the case with me, nothing is ever as perfect as I would like it to be. But I still feel as if I could do more, though. That I could push myself that little bit harder. It's an ongoing, furious battle between ED and me: and to say that it is me who always emerges as the victor would be a lie, as this is not always, always the case. The other day, for example, I didn't have my morning snack. I had an absolutely mad morning at college, and what with going to the seminars and running for the train and everything else...the Voice convinced me that I didn't have time to stop for a few minutes and eat my snack..

Over the past few weeks I I haven't been checking the weight either...I suppose this is something which I need to start doing, again. :( it's going to be hard - God knows that I absolutely hate standing on that detestable instrument of torture - but I know it is sort of necessary...just so I can keep an eye on it, monitor it I suppose until I get it bback to where it should be. My relationship with the scales has always been a bit problematic, to say the least. I transverse between phases, as far as my weight and the scales are concerned;the former of which would involve a studious avoidance, and complete distancing from, all awareness of the actual number. In the throes of the latter, on the other hand, I would usually find myself, on a pretty much daily basis, hopping on and off, on and off the darned thing that sits like some sort of grotesque, all-powerful, omnipotent silver robot in the bathroom upstairs; staring, each time, at the digits which would appear above my feet - digits which would thus be ascribed on my memory for the remainder of the day; repeating themselves over and over and over again, driving me almost to distraction as they echo mockingly through my head. So yes, it's true to say that I frequently negotiate between the two extremes. For me, as is for so many others, I am sure, the happy medium always seems so unreachable and unattainable.

Anyway. I am working on it, and I will keep on working on it. I don't want to live my life in fear of the number. I's a number!! And I do not need a skinny identity to be matter what that b**** of a Voice says. 

so here are my Goals for the Week :) - 
  • Have a scone with hot choc for afternoon snack on Sunday
  • Have 2 tsp of peanut butter on my toast instead of 1
  • Clean my pudding bowl and my dinner plate every night from now on
  • stick to meal plan 100 %
  • Have egg mayo in my roll on Tuesday

I am going to see how this week goes anyway and then based on that I might try and increase my intake again soon, depending on how I get on.

Anyway: here is the plan for tomorrow: and by writing it on here, I know that I WILL stick to it, one hundred and fifty percent. <3 xxx
Hot choc + marshmallows with Lizzy...the chocolate snowflake on top really made my day <3

Breakfast: Multigrain toast + 2 tsp peanut butter
                  Bowl of malt wheats + milk

Mid-morning Hot choc <3

Lunch Brown seeded roll, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese
           Green apple

Afternoon snack Hot choc <3
                              Blackberry scone and spread

Dinner Salmon, roast potatoes and vegetables
             Banana, custard, and bbar's worth of chopped Milka Oreo. <3

Bedtime Hot choc <3

Thank you so, so much for staying with me. Your comments and advice and emails, and everything else; even for just taking the time to read my blog. It really does mean the World to me. I could never have gotten back up again without your help and I just want you all to know how important you are to me. <3 xxx

Thursday, 26 November 2015

This time, I won't forget...

All those months ago, way back in March, on that day when I was finally allowed to leave that secluded, detached, imprisoning walls of the eating disorder ward...I felt a palpable, unfamailar sensation pulsating through every vein in my body; an adrenaline, sweet even in the fury of its rush; beautiful, even in its striking unfamiliarity: it was nothin, nothing like I had ever experienced before. I felt as if I had overcome the battle. A Battle which had been so long, so hard, so excruciatingly painful; a battle through which I had shed countless tears; which had cost me, and my loved ones, untellable amounts of hurt and heartache and suffering; blow upon blow falling upon us like the pitiless waves of a maddened stormy sea, crashing against the trembling creatures of the rockpools, tearing and destroying everything in their wake.

I have overcome the Battle, I had thought. I felt like a bell: my whole body was ringing, vibrating, resonating with an unquenchable, indescribable, irresistable, overwhelming sense of pure, vibrant, joy.

But then the days passed and the winds changed...

And I allowed myself to forget....

forget everything which I had overcome, everything which I had been fighting for. Everything which ED had taken from me, everything that it could still take from me...if I did not continue to fight it, fight it with every single bone in my body.

I allowed myself to forget...and then, before I knew it, ED had jumped in, having taken its opportunity when I was at my most vulnerable, and suddenly, my joy was shattered. That feeling of pure happiness seemed as distant and as unreachable as the moon. It seemed as if I had never achieved anything, had overcome, anything. It was as if nothing had ever changed.

But now I realise that I was wrong...and that, no matter how many times I fall down, I can pick myself up again, and carry on with my head held high.

For a stumble in the road does not mark the end of the journey. 

And though there were storm clouds blocking out my horizon,

The winds of change are blowing again, blowing away those clouds.

And in their place I can clearly see, my own glowing, twinkly little stars. :) xxx

And so today I thought I would write this little post, to remind myself of the things that I once forgot, which ED made me forget.

But not this time, Ed.

This Time, I will not Forget. <3 xxx

  • That this is my body, the only one that I have and will ever have. But for the past nine years, I have relentlessly abused and mistreated the most valuable and priceless of all of my possessions;  depriving it of its most basic and most fundamental of its needs, mercilessly pushing it to the very brink of exhaustion. And never once did it occur to me to stop and contemplate just how much damage I was causing my body...
Don't forget...Your body is irreplaceable. It will do everything in its power to take care of you, to protect you and keep you safe, functioning, alive. But like all animate things, there is only so much that the human body can take.
I won't forget this time...that every day I spend restricting, every day I spend overexercising, every day which I spend, giving in to Ed, ignoring my body's signals and forcing myself to go hungry...that I am just wasting yet another day of my life, sacrificing it to the cruel voice of Ed. Causing my body even more damage...damage which my body, having been already endured so much abuse for so many, many years, might well not be able to repair, this time...
I won't forget...that if I do not make that change, maintain that change, and learn to take proper care of my body, then there might come a time when it is too late. I will hit rock bottom and then I will realise; realise that every minute of every hour of every day, I should have given recovery all that I had...but then, it will be too late.

So now is the time to stop allowing myself to forget...what truly matters. To stop putting recovery aside; to stop complying with the demands and dictations of theVoice. To never, ever forget the importance of caring for my body, right here, right now. I cannot afford to waste a single day more.
  • Thistime, I will not forget...
 That yes, I do have serious osteoporosis. Not just for a day, a week or maybe even a year: no, I have it for life. And that if I do not make that change now, my osteoporosis will only deteriorate ever further: my already weak, brittle, delicate bones will suffer enormously, as a result. I don't like to think of what that will mean for me. All I know is, that I cannot forget that this might well be my final chance. We stop taking calcium into our bones when we reach our thirties, so I have been told. And so, the next few years will be, for me, pivotal in striving to improve my bones. Which is exactly why I must never allow myself forget the importance of maintaining my recovery, and of nourishing my body and giving by bones the best possible chance of strengthening themselves while they still can.

  • I won't forget, that now I have the best possible chance of helping my metabolism to recover, if I stay strong and continue to eat well and frequently thoughout the day.

  • I won't what I have put my loved ones through. I won't ever forget their unconditional, unflatering love for me, despite all the pain and the sorrow and the heartache. I won't allow myself to forget just how much they have done for me...and how much pride, and joy, it would bbring them to see me happy and healthy.

  • I won't forget how fleeting, how valaule, how precious life really is. I won't forget that this is my nly ever chance at life...that tomorrow ould be my last. And that if I chose to remain with Ed, then There is nothing left for me in that place, but pain and and depression unhappiness. I must leave that place behind, walk towards that beautiful yet unknown horizon. <3 xxx

Monday, 23 November 2015

You can't put a price on what truly matters...

Hi everyone !!! <3

Yep, it's time for another one of those wee updates.. :o

I do apologise profusely for the lack of blogging since Thursday :'( bbut unfortunately, the cause of this was completely out of my hands. I have had NO INTERNET since Friday morning hence, blogging came to a standstill, sniff!! Anyway, I'm back in the land of the Connected now, so normal blogging wil resume veryyyy soon <3

And this gave me a chance, I suppose, to have a wee think myself, about how my blogging journey, and that of my recovery, was going to go on from here.

I sort of have come to realise something, though. It's something which is very hard for me to accept, and as usual, there is that little inner voice calling me a failure, that I am weak, that I am absolutely useless in every single possible way, and that I am not worth recovery...BUT...well I am going to be strong now, and resist that voice and shove it ruthlessly away. No...I am not a failure...we need to realise that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of strength.

Ever since I left the hospital, that day back in March, my Mam, and all my loved ones, strove to urge me to seek therapy. "You will slip back, Emmy," Mam had warned me bback then. I could see the glistening of concern in those beautiful, soft green eyes. "You will slip back. If you don't get help, in order to maintain all the hard work you've done, in there. So you will be able to beat this thing for good." Eyes filled with both love, and fear. Fear that I would slip back...but back then, I had refused to believe that that was even a possibility...

My fear of being put back in Pats, will keep me from falling, Mam, I had said. i don't want to cost you anymore money.

That had always been a stickler, with me. Deep inside me, there is a vast and overwhelming sense of guilt, a guilt for what i have put my family through, of all the money I have cost them through my illness. And no matter how many times mam and dad would tell me, to stop worrying aout the money... somehow, somehow i have never, ever managed to kick that guilt away. it's still there now, as I sit writing to you....

But this weekend I realised something. That by refusing to go to therapy on the basis that it will cost mam and dad too much money, is actually not, by any means, the way I should be thinking about this.

At the moment, my motivation and determination to defeat ED have been both restored and renewed. But of course, though I hate to admit it to myself, there might come a time when things get rough again, that I might receive a buffet to the head which will send me topling over again and unable to pick myself up. And I don't want that to happen...and I know, that in order to completely and utterly change my mindset, so I really can become that happy, smiling, rosy-cheeked girlee with sunlight in her eyes and the spriteliness of a dancer in her toes...then I need to complete, the seemingly impossible task, of completely and utterly driving out every single trace of that ED...

And therapy will give me the best possible chance of doing just that.

I know that nothing else in the world will make mam and dad more happy, more proud, to see their daughter fully recovered...and that happiness and joy, and physical and mental can't put a price on that. <3 xxx

I can do this for you Mam... <3 xxx

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Likes, dislikes and goals!!! :D

When was the last time I did a blog challenge?? Like a MILLENIUM ago it seems!!! :o  This one is from the blog of a girl who has a very special place in my heart and who remains one of my truest inspirations. Check out her own post HERE :) <3 xxx

7 things I like...

  • Walking on a frosty winter's morning, when all the spider webs are pearllike with dew drops and the leaves are all crunchy and crisp beneath your feet. <3
  • Going to the beach, the zoo, the mountains...a random trip anywhere sounds good to me. ;)
  • Going for a hot choc and a catch up with a good friend <3
  • Medieval stuff. Castles, old creepy dungeons, Lancelot, you name it - if it's medieval then I wanna hear about it. ;)
  • Making bread. Especially the kneading part and then when it's in the oven and that divine smell is wafting through the house...mmmmm
  • Christmas!!! The smell of the Christmas tree, the twinkly lights in the shop windows, buying and receiving presents, the annoying ads on the tv...awwwww sorry but yea I love christmas.
  • Hugs, getting letters in the post, receiving a cute message...just those little things in life which make me feel loved and safe.

6 things I don't like...

  • being too hot..makes me feel queasy and sticky, ugh.
  • days when it just rains and rains and RAINS and you can't go outside at all!!
  • being on my own for long periods of time :'(
  • when people walk really slowly in front of you in the sreet and you can't get past...arghhhh!!! ;)
  • don't laugh but..sleeping in... yep, i hate it..i think its such a waste of a day!! call me weird but anyways!!! ;)

5 things that make me happy!! :)

  • When someone makes me a hot choc.... awww <3
  • Having my cat nestled in my lap <3
  • getting comments on my blog and hearing from my special readers <3
  • baking something special for someone and seeing the delight and surprise on their faces when they receive their gitft.
  • riding rollercoasters and screaming myself silly at the very top!! ;)

4 things I want to do...

  • Travel the world of course ;) and meet all my AMAZING blogging friends along the way!!
  • Start volunteering and making a difference in my community.
  • Go to Disneyland Orlando <3 omgggg
  • Have my own baking business!! A little cafe would be nice, with a duck pond outside and cute little tables covered in checkerboard tablecloths.

3 goals...

  • Stick to my meal plan every day and to NEVER give in to ED voice :D 
  • To complete Morokia (my medieval fantasy story): all three books!! I have a story that I think needs to be heard ;)
  • To blog at least every two days..not only do I love blogging, I know now that it has such a positive influene on my own recovery and that by doing so I can reach out to others and help them in their journey too. <3

2 things I want to achieve.

  • Realising that I am worth recovery and that I deserve to be happy and healthy.
  • Fully recover from ED, leave all trace of it behind. To find the real Emmy, who is happy, free and healthy. To make up to my loved ones for everything I have put them through with my illness and to make them happy and proud.

1 favourite Quote...

Every day is a new beginning.
Treat it that way.
Stay away from what could have been and start looking at what could be. 
if nothing changed there would be no butterflies. <3 xxx

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Eye of the Storm...

10 past 5, sunday evening, and I'm sitting at the table here at home. The wind howls eerily around the walls of the house, rattling the weighed-down lids of the wheelie bins outside the garage and causing the limbs of the eucalyptus to shudder and sway as if shaken by some great giant's hand, tough-skinned branches still adorned with the leathery grey leaves despite the onset of winter's chill as November tightens her icy fingers over the landscape. Some of the leaves are lost, however, prised off by those cruel, pitiless fingers to be cast away into the depthless darkness of the night.

And I realise now, if I had let - if I let ED have its way - then I could have been could be lost, too. Cast away into the darkness, having lost my grip onto the branches...the branches which make up the tree, the tree which made up of all the many, inter-twined little branches of my life.

Looking out my bedroom window, over the garden where my heart is at home. <3 

The past few months, it's true...I let recovery fall by the wayside. Those long, idyllic, sun-soaked days of summer were over. I was back at college, and the reality of that was slowly beginning creep up on me, as sharp and as stinging as a slap to the face. I was desperate to prove to myself that I could do this, that I could be a Trinity student, that I could make Mam and Dad proud of me and succeed in a course which I possessed no love or passion for.

And of course, just as I had initially feared, everything was beginning to crumble up again, before my very eyes.

But I was stubborn, in my own little way, turning my face away from that second, but no less harsh, other reality: as painful as the wound which has been ripped open before it has properly healed, as bitter as burning acid upon a parched tongue. The reality being, of course, that I was falling, and falling, hard. That reality was as harsh and as painful, as that which I first encountered in September, when the fairytale of that beautiful summer finally drew to its inevitable close. The two of them crowded amongst themselves within my head, bludgeoning and pulsating through my blood with a terrible, insistent, deadly beat. In a way, they had both merged into one: two realities, two voices... You are a failure, Em. There is nothing left for you but to become the skinny girl. Noone will care if you live or die. I am useless. What the hell are you doing in Trinity? How did I get here? Why...why do I exist?

I just want it all end.

But over the weekend...sitting at my kitchen table, listening to the wind outside. Surrounded by those who I love, and who I know will never give up on me...made me think, made me realise...realise what really, really matters.

And I know...I know that I am never going to be an achiever. That Emmy has long gone. The girl who got the best grades, who had such high aspirations for something...something more. No. That's not me anymore...and it breaks my heart every day, to think of how much I have changed; of how I have lost, that ability to study, to dedicate myself to my study, to be the girl who succeeded.

But I realise...I realise now that I was wrong, so wrong, to put my recovery aside, to put Trinity before my recovery. The way my ED works, I suppose, is that through restriction, my brain was enabled to assume a sort of "calm" of sorts I suppose: a calm brought about by the assurance that I had not eaten enough, that it's ok, Em (ED), you are not going to gain any weight today. You can be at your ease. That Voice. That horrible, malicious, cruel, cruel voice. And when I would make any weak, desperate attempts to resist that voice and nourish myself...thn the voice would...explode. that's the best way I can describe it. Like a storm in my head. Again, I know this might not make much sense to doesn't really make much sense to me. All I know is, I was desperate, so, so desperate, to calm that storm and get back my focus. I have to. I have to restrict! What other chance do I have? I have to get back to that studious Emmy! This is the only way!

But no. I was..I was wrong, so wrong.

I know I have to face the storm...

But I know that I can overcome it, and battle my way through the rain.

And this time, I will not let those winds carry me away.

I will be like my eucalyptus trees...the winter may come and the storms will rage around me. But they will not knock me down or take any more of me away. I will stand tall, and brave, and find my inner strength. Like those beautiful, endurant, brave grey trees, I know that I can be strong. <3 xxx

There will always be another chance, to go back to work, to take up that course, to go back to college.
But there will only ever be one chance at life.
Each and every one of us, will only ever have, one body.
So let's stand strong together against the storm. <3 xxx

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Step 2: Tear down those rules!!! :D

Ah, yes. Ed's rules. It has...alot of them. And God forbid you ever disobey them. On pain of death, would I go against them...but Ed, in keeping with its malicious, sly, devious nature, is quite adept at essentially romanticizing, idealizing these rules so that they become fixed in your head as proper, indisputable, and entirely acceptable. Oh, you say I can't have a scone? Oh, well, ok...I suppose you are right. It would be entirely wrong of you, em, to eat a scone with your hot choc...and it will make you gain weight, and it will that, if you eat that single scone with your hot choc, then your resistance will be broken, and you won't be able to stop eating scones. So NO!! you are not allowed a scone...

But you know what, Ed?? I have had enough of living by your rules.

It's time to break those rules and make my own ones, essentially: to start a revolution, to rebel against the Voice that is trying to tie us down with its manipulative, twisted, corruptive,  lies.

And so for my post today, I thought I would gather together all of Ed's rules; get them out onto paper, so that they're there, exposed, out in the open - vulnerable. It didnt take me too long to come up with them. Because after all, I know them all too well, I guess...
  • You always have to leave something on your bowl/plate/mug.
  • You cannot say you are hungry or phrases such as "that looks nice" etc.
  • You always have to pick bits off food.
  • You always have to spread food around your plate and take tiny mouthfuls.
  • You are allowed a teaspoon of peanut butter maximum on toast/bread etc.
  • You are not allowed to buy yourself any kind of food when you are on your own in Dublin.
  • If you have hot choc mid-morning, you are only allowed cereal or toast for breakfast, not both.
  • You are only allowed to put a tiny amount of filling in your sandwiches/rolls at lunch, and if you have more that that then you must compensate later on.
  • You cannot have any snacks with your hot choc except maybe (maybe? like, that's a big maybe) a few nuts, or a tiny piece of bread, scones, biscuits, etc.
  • It's impossible for you to follow your meal plan anymore. You have to leave out at least one thing...and the more you do not have, the better.
But now it's time to break those rules!!!!

It's EM vs ED!!!

Emmy's OWN rules...

  • Clean my bowl, mug and plate
  • If I feel hungry then I can say so - that's perfectly normal!!!
  • Don't pick off bits of food - what's the need for that? Unless you've cremated your toast Em there's no need!!
  • I don't need to spread out my food, or take tiny mouthfuls. Just eat at speed which is comfortable for me, but not painfully slow.
  • I can have as much pb as I in order to break this rule I am going to try and eat 1 and a half tsp of peanut bbutter as a starter, and then increase it a little more if I feel like it, until I feel comfortable in eating as much as I like without guilt.
  • I can buy stuff out for myself..if I fancy a hot choc from Butlers when Im walking by then I can go in and get one and enjoy it. (this is a big challenge for me to do - I love going for hot choc with a friend but up till now I would never dream of going in alone and getting one for myself!!)
  • Of course I can have hot choc after cereal and toast - thats part of my meal plan and I can do it
  • I will put a nice amount of filling in my sandwiches - protein is important for me to have. This is something which I have been managing well over the past few days as Mam has been helping me make lunch  - now all I need to do is prove that I can do it alone too.
  • I can have a good snack with my hot choc and I am going to vary my snacks depending on what I feel like.
  • And I CAN follow my meal plan. It's what my body needs and what I want to do.
Feeling motivated!!!! :) <3 xxxx

So hence begins our (because i want YOU to join me, too <3 ) battle...

Our battle to tear down ED's rules...<3 xxxx

Friday, 13 November 2015

Step 1...STICK to the Meal Plan!! :o

And so, following my post from yesterday, I thought I'd take each one of the steps of my Plan of Action individually and talk about them a little more in separate posts. So let's begin with Making and Sticking to the Meal Plan. Which I know is so important for me right now...but also, very hard. But I know that I CAN do it. And that I AM stronger than I might think...

Of course, there are a few obstacles though that I have come across here. Firstly...I don't know, precisely, just what my "ideal" meal plan for me should look like.

Of course, there was what I was on in the hospital...but if I was very honest, the thought of going straight back onto that is very daunting to me right now. Firstly, because even though I am still not quite at the healthy bmi range (working on 19 or 20, I suppose?) I am not severely underweight, as I was when I went into hospital.

I think what I am going to have to do is try and follow this meal plan which I have devised for myself below, and see how I get on with it. By following this meal plan I hope to achieve the following goals.

  1. To get into  a balanced and regular eating pattern once again, with my three meals and three snacks.
  2. To incorporate all of the food groups into my diet so that my body is getting all the essential nutrients that it needs.
  3. To break the silly ED rules constructed by the Voice; particularly over the past couple of months; rules which prevented me from eating certain foods, eating over a preicese or tiny amount of a certain food etc. (more on this in a later post!! ) 
  4. And the hardest part, but I know that it is so important: reach and maintain healthy weight range for my height.
  5. By eating more my concentration, energy levels and anxiety shoudl all improve drastically. 

And if it becomes apparent that these goals are not being reached with my new meal plan, then I will just have to adjust accordingly and make a few changes where necessary.

Another thing that I have found tricky in the past and which I still do now is worrying about sugar. Now, as you know I am pretty much the Queen of Hot Choc: no joke, I drink three mugs worth of this divine concoction every day - made with Supermilk of course ( a special type of milk fortified with extra calcium and vitamins for my brittle bones!!) and then of course, I always have my banana and custard in the evening, with over a bars worth of some sort of lovely chocolate on top...(currently Im working my way through a ginormous bar of Milka Oreo that daddy dearest brought me back from lisbon. milka + Oreo...ahhhhh now that IS a match made in heaven....<3
anyway, to return to my point. So I suppose, the fact that I do eat alot of chocolate and hot choc, this was taken as an "excuse" by ed, for me to not eat my snacks and certain other foods because of thei sugar content.
But I sat and had a thought about this, and now I see that it is easily an obstacle that I can ovecome. After all, I dont really drink fizzt drinks or alcohol (purely because they just don't bother me: i much prefer drinking water ) and i also dont really drink juice, or eat candies or jam or sugary cereals.
Also, I might try and have, 80% of the time, the less sugary sort of snacks like the bread and the nuts and the scones, but I know that there is absolutely NOTHING stopping me from having a chocolate cookie with my hot choc if thats what i fancy, or a crunchy Nature Valley bar if im in a hurry and want a quick sweet fix on the go. That's completely normal; its not as if its going to do me any harm!!!

So anyway, here is my current meal plan, as a starting point. :)

Breakfast 8.00 1 slice wholemeal/wholegrain/multigrain/seeded toast and peanut butter (about 1 tbsp) + bowl of cereal

Mid morning snack 10.00 - 12.30 Hot choc or A large snack (porridge/readybrek/bagel + peanut butter/toast + peanut butter/bowl of cereal/miller rice/rice pudding etc.).

Lunch 1.30 - 2.30

  • 1 brown submarine roll/1 toasted white submarine roll/1 soft crusty roll/1 mini baguette/wholemeal bread/wholemeal toast/wholemeal bap/soda bread/baked potatoe with
  • Protein filling: Ham/Turkey/Chicken/Tuna/Pink salmon/Cheddar/Soft boiled egg/Hardboiled egg/poached egg/Mozzarella/Baked beans/some kind of soup with…
  • A little salad: tomato/beetroot/spinach etc.
  • Portion of fruit (apple or banana usually.:)

afternoon snack 16,45 - 18.15
hot choc + snack (biscuits/salted cashews/salted peanuts/scone/teacake/hot cross bun/homemade granola/soda, rye or spelt bread + peanut butter/half bagel + peanut butter/toast + peanut butter/muesli or granola bar/belvitas/yoghurt/crackers and peanut butter etc.)

dinner 19.30-20.15 Varies depending on what I'm cooking ;)
Pudding 21.00 Oh yes, the inevitable banana, lashings of custard, and a ridiculous amount of choc, all melted on top.... <3

bedtime snack 22.00-23.00 Hot choc before bed <3

So this is what I am going to START with at first. but I think as my body gets used to this I might add in a snack with the hot choc in the morning; and then, depending on how Im getting on, I can always make a few more tweaks (an early morning snack at 7, an extra piece of toast, bigger snacks with the hot choc, etc.)

So anyway...wish me luck everyone <3 thank you so, so much for your support over the past few days...for your beautiful comments and sweet words, the kind thoughts and caring advice. I can't express how much this means to me, how much YOU mean to me. <3
Thank you, thank you, thank you...for believing in me. It's because of you I am sitting here writing this today. You helped me so much to pick up the pieces and scramble out of the dark hole, and step forwards once again, with a smile on my face and a new brightness in my eyes.

And here is one of my ED victories today!! Perhaps I should do this every day if I have time...write out a little goal that I reached, or an ED rule that I smashed, every day? Oh and as always if you have any other comments or suggestions please let me know <3

ED victories today ;) I have three in mind now which I will share with you:
Crappy pic haha, but anyway: heres me eating snack today - biccies and hot choc!!! :D yummmm

  1. I ate my toast and cereal at breakfast, despite the fact it was 6.00 and I didnt have much of an appetite 
  2. I asked Mam to make my roll at lunch, as I find this is much easier for me and Mam always put in a good amount of filling. It was so yummy and I really, really  enjoyed it <3
  3. And with my hot choc this afternoon, I had some yummy Belvitas...perfecttt for dunking and this is the first time in a while Ive had hot choc and biccies (that list of divine combinations would surely include biccies and hot choc too, wouldn't you agree... ;) ) and again, I really enjoyed it <3

And yes, Im not going to lie. the ED voice was there, screaming away...but this time, it was me, not the Voice, who triumphed. One little battle won...and I know that it will be the first of many. Remember have to take everything, one step at a time. And then all those little steps will add up, add up till you suddenly realise that you have made it: you've made it to the top of the mountain...
 So together, let's take those little steps... <3 xxx

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

ED watch out!!! :D the Ganache Elf is back and she has a Plan of Action... :) xxx

Polka dots, Morokia, volunteering...and that faithful, chocolate-splattered Kenwood Mixer of legend... ;)

Yes, these are just SOME of the tools I have at my my quest to overcome my relapse and forever silence ED...

My plan of action against ED. :D

1.To make a concise meal plan and stick to it every day, NO exceptions.

Designate a particular time of the week (for me I think it will be on one of my hot choc breaks at the weekend! ;) ) to plan out my meals and snacks (I have ANOTHER new noteook for this purpose, this one has polka dots on little catty one has gone walkies somewhere in my room so I had to get another one!! :o ). Let  Mam know what I would like her to get for me when she goes grocery shopping (I used to go with her but I have college friday mornings now :'( ), vary what I eat so I don't get bored of anything and lured into just having "safe" foods.

And of course, one of the most essential components of my meal plan = LOTS of hot choc!!! ;)

2. Make my own list of rules...which are essentially are reversal of the ED ones :)
I will tell you more about this in a separate post as it is a very good and helpful technique I think, for going against the ED voice and destroying the "rules£ that it makes for us, in their various forms.

3. Bake my own snacks so that I will be more motivated to get back into the routine of snacking regularly.
Yesssssss, what better excuse to stick to my meal plan and eat my snacks?? Because by doing so, I will give myself the perfect reason to bake and mess around with my beloved Kenwood Mixer to my heart's content. In a nutshell: eating my snacks and keeping to meal plan = more baking and I will of course post all recipes/photos on here, rest assured.. ;)

4. Make sure I make time for my hobbies and interests and for spending time with people who make me feel happy and loved. <3
I'm going to start volunteering here at home (an hour a week, visiting an elderly person in Mountmellick to keep them company and give them someone to talk to); keeping up my blogging and maybe Morokia over Christmas if I have time; make time for baking, walking Benny, knitting, and meeting a friend for a chat over hot choc - just some of the things I am going to do in order to keep me busy and occupied and distracted from the ED voice.

5. Talk back to the ED voice when it tries to sway me off track again.

Talking back to the Voice: an example dialogue...

ED. No, you don't need your snack...get out the packet of biscuits, take them out of the packet...but then just wrap them in a tissue when no one is looking, and throw them away...then they will be none the wiser...

And the past few weeks, it's true; I went along with what that Voice was telling me, agreeing with what it said, not putting up any fight. Deceiving my loved ones and throwing away food; not eating, even though my stomach felt empty and all I could think about, focus on was what i wanted so badly to eat...but the Voice said, no, you cannot; you shall not, you will not.

But now, I am determined to talk back to that voice: take up a defiant stance. And in that moment of resistance I know I will find my strength.

And so, let's write out the new dialogue.

ED: You CANNOT eat your snack.

Emmy: No.
I want to have my snack.
Why should you get to decide what I can and cannot eat? What right do you have to dictate to me how I nourish my own body?

                                         yes, I CAN!!!! :D

If I don't eat that snack...

I will just contribute to the weakening of my bones...
I will deprive my body of the vital energy it needs...
And ultimately, it will mean that I am just giving into,..the Voice of Ed...
I will just be costing mam and dad more money, more worry, more heartache.
I will just be wasting yet more and more of my life away, sacrificing each and every day to ED.

So I am going to adopt this approach, when ED tries to persuade me to not stick to my meal plan, to not finish a meal/snack, or to engage in any other ED type behaviours. I think it might help me as well to make little memos and stick them at random in places where I can always see them (ie the top of my laptop screen, my food diary, etc. just random stuff which will help keep me motivated...more on this to follow!!! ;)

6. Set myself daily and weekly goals.
And I will tell you more about this in a later post too. But the main idea of this is to set yourself individual little challenges to complete every day, so that I will be making progress week by week at a rate which is very doable and not too overwhelming. I might try sharing my goals on here as I think that will really help motivate me to accomplish them!! And if you have any suggestions let me know, thank you so so much <3 ;)

7. get as much support and help as I can.
I know I have all my loved ones, friends and readers behind me; and that I should never feel afraid or ashamed to reach out to them when things get tough.

8. Charter my progress and share my experience through my blog.
Blogging has always helped me so, so much with recovery...and in a way, I suppose, when I stopped blogging just before the relapse, that didnt really help me at all; but back then, I was in a bad place and felt too ashamed to write about my struggle. But now I am thinking about things in a different way and, though I am finding it very, very hard to let go of the anger and shame at myself...I'm trying, to move on and find peace with myself. And so I suppose you can say that the Ganache-Elf is back on the blogging scene...and her recovery journey goes on from here. :)

Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Girl who Can, and Will, like a tunnel winding up and up and up a steep mountainside, a yawning chasm of murky inky darkness. Because you dont really know where its going to take you, and how long you are going to be stumbling forwards for. I think that's what makes it so hard, so painful, in a way; there is such enormous fear in uncertainty.

And then in that tunnel there are so many hazardous pits and falls and foottraps...and despite the very best of your intentions, it's only a matter of time before your foot gets entrapped in just one of them, and you fall. But you have two choices here; to lie down and acknowledge yourself as weak, and inept, and defeated...or to get back up, to acknowledge that, yes, I did fall down. But that does NOT make me a failure...and to take one slow, long, deep breath, and pick yourself up once again, reaching out with both hands, and despite the pain of the fall and the shame at having let yourself be tripped, you keep on going forwards once again, with your head held's not the fall that defines you; it's how you reacted to that fall...

And yes, I fell...but this time, it was different. It was more than a simple stumble: it was a fall, and the hole was deep, and I became...trapped. And this time, I know that the effects of it weren't all just, upon me emotionally and had taken its toll upon my body too. The past few weeks, my little back has been aching away, as if my body was trying to convey to me a silent, but crucially urgent, message.

And I felt lifeless, so empty and torn up inside. Dark shadows under my eyes. The skin on my hands became cracked and dry; the sore, red fingers taking on the appearance of hands which looked alot older than their twenty one years. And as for college, I might as well not have been there at all, really. For all I was doing was going to sit in a lecture hall or seminar room, but I might as well not have been there at all: I could hear the sound of the lecturer speaking, I could see the words upon the page in front of me...but I wasn't learning, I wasn't taking in anything. All I could hear was this...noise, in my head. I know it might be hard for you to understand this. You might think...why? Why can you not just block out that noise and focus your thoughts on what you are doing? How could just a silly little voice in your head, impact on your studies so profoundly? Surely, it can't be that hard to block it out...?

It's...hard, to explain. But this is something, which I wouldn't want to wish, on my very worst enemy. Because...there is no escape; there is no peace; everything that you do, everywhere you go; then it is there, with you, clinging to your shoulder like a demon, whispering in your ear without cease.

I don't think I could properly begin to describe, the feeling of wretchedness, the self-hate, the self-convictions of stupidity, worthlessness, for being a good for nothing, waste of time, a failure as a daughter, a sister, a friend: an identity, forged through my own branding of myself, as the girl who failed. Because...well, you have, haven't you? That voice snarled in my head. You've everything.

You are the girl who failed...
You are the girl who cannot, and will not, ever recover...

And what makes it even more so awful, so horrible, is the fact I know I have been in this place, many, many times before. This feeling of ineptitude, of exhaustion, of complete and utter despair - they aren't new, or strange, or unfamiliar to me. I know I have been in this place, so many, many times before. This is what being at college with an eating disorder is really like.

Everything that I loved, everything that I held dear, slowly but surely drifting away from me. I had no joy, no pleasure in anything. For the Voice had taken over, wholly and completely...

And I know that I now have to sum up all my courage, all my strength, every shard of determination and bravery and willpower that I have, to climb up out of that dark, slippery hole, and continue in, along that long and winding tunnel. Otherwise, this monster which has already taken away so much of me, will emerge the victor in this long, hard, bloody, bitter fight. And there will be nothing of Emmy left.

And it was today, the eighth of november, was today when Emmy realised exactly what I now need to do. 

I know my posts have been really scattered and all over the place of late - I do apologise for this. It's taking me awhile to just accumulate all the thoughts and ideas in my head and to formulate them into words. I promise to make my blogging more coherent and structured asap. Tomorrow I would like to share with you my little plan of action for fully overcoming my relapse: my mission, to beat this thing, once and for all.

I am not the Girl who Failed.

I am not the Girl who lived, and died, with an ED.

I am Emmy: the Ganache Elf, the hot choc gal, the baking fanatic, the nature lover. I am Emmy and I do not need an ED to define me. I am Emmy, the girl who had an ED...

But who can, and will, recover. :) 

Me... not long after being discharged from inpatient care earlier this year. I want to get back to that happy, smiling Emmy..:)

Thank you so so much for staying with me. You don't know how much this means to me. You have motivated me so so much to take this crucial step forwards and to get myself back on track. I couldnt do this without heart goes out to you all. 
Thank you <3 xxxx

Friday, 6 November 2015

No matter where I turned, there was no escaping you...

...Because the thing that I was running from, was a Voice, in my very own head.

And so, it's true to say that I had a setback. Probably my worst setback since I started fighting my recovery, in terms of how I felt deep inside and my apparent inability to resist the anorexic Voice. And it was all sort of, unconscious, in a way. I didnt even seem properly aware of what was going on, on what I was doing every single day. The habits which I thought I had forever cast away, had returned again in force; becoming habitual, automatic, instinctive,  ; the "rules" ED had long ago slyly made for me, bending me to its will and forcing them to obey them...they had established themselves once again, as if they had never really ever been broken.

ED was becoming ever stronger, I, ever weaker. The days flitted past, and not one of them passed upon which I did not restrict or follow the soft, snarling dictations of the horrible little voice which had taken over my mind and brain. I could feel my willpower being ruthlessly crushed, like a daisy being trampled beneath the callous heel of some cruel, malignant beast, intent upon the little flower's eternal destruction. Trampled, to be scattered like dust upon the wind.

And so, there I was. Stuck in a hole again. And then I bbecame more aware of the familiar telltale signs. How secretive I had become, for one thing. Little rituals which I would go out of my way to conceal from everybody; and my snappy, angry response if any of my loved ones ever broached the subject of my weight. And i had gone back to Trinity: that had been my decision, after so much painful deliberation, so many tears, so many sleepless nights when I would sit up late just...thinking, thinking until my head felt as if it were about to split in too. I had wished in a way that it would. I just wanted the thoughts, the noise to stop. I just wanted that voice to be silenced.

The Voice that told me I was useless, worthless, a waste of time, a burden to everyone I loved, the most stupid and pathetic girl who had ever lived.

But the Voice was a thing that seemed to intent upon touching, tainting, corrupting ever branch, every little thread of my life...

And so I went back - or should that be, we went back - Me, and my little Voice. And I made a solemn promise to myself, to not let things get on top of me, ever again. That no matter what happened, I would be stronger than my inner demons - I would not allow myself to slip back, one bit. But another thing that the Voice apparently seems to excel in, is making up, oh-so-plausible excuses which crowd in on one another in the brain, throwing a dark and obscuring shadow over my hopes and plans and good intentions; quashing my resistance, making me believe that what it spoke was final and true.

It follows me everywhere. It first came to me so long ago, that I can't even remember, what it was like to not have my little voice. It crouched upon my shoulder in my early days at secondary school, whsipering in my ear that I needed to make myself skinnier in order for the other girls to like me. It travelled with me to America, to england, to spain, to Mallorca. Every single holiday that I had, my Voice tagged along too, not wanting to be left behind; not allowing me to leave it behind. And it came with me to college, too, of course; and it was there where my Little Voice was enabled to grow and fester, like a small but deathly fungus sporing and spreading itself across the flowerbed where the tiny, weak little flowers struggle desperately to grow. But the flowers are choked and suffocated; the fungus is too powerful, too strong. There is nothing small, nothing little about the potential deadliness of that fungus. Just like there was not about my own Little Voice.

Another Dean Clinic appointment, of Tuesday. I havent been back there, for a whole three months. Three months, since I was discharged from their care...I was so , so happy, and I truly believed that I was free, from the control and rigidness of the hospital, and free, so blissfully, happily free, from my Little Voice.

But I was never free, and I know that, now.

Knowing that once again I allowed the Little Voice to be stronger than me; that once again, I allowed it to hold and control my mind and my heart and all my actions, is enough to cause me untellable shame, and pain, and self-disgust. But that's not going to get me anywhere. So I will be strong and brave, and go along on Tuesday. I know for a fact, after all, that accepting you are struggling. Doing just that, is being strong. Doing just that, takes enormous courage, and strength, and wilpower. We have to all remember, there is no shame in asking for help, and that asking for help does not make us weak. Asking for help takes enormous strength.

I am going to go along, no matter how scary, how hard, how difficult and painful going through those familiar doors is going to be. Because I know that I need t move forward, but I can't just do this alone.

I hope that they will give me the help and guidance that I support myself, to manage my own recovery, by my own. And to give me the courage and the strength that I need, to lay aside the oppressive chains of that Little Voice which has stayed with me for so, so long, and then, to walk away from it, towards the beauty of the horizon. To be free.

I will not look back.

Monday, 2 November 2015

My footprints didn't just end here... :) xxx

Hello,'s me! I'm back! <3

And after being away from my blog for so, so long, its so hard, really, to know where to begin.

But I think it's time to stop going to such great lengths to make things perfectly right. To make my first stand, against that little voice in my head saying that I am not good enough...

It's time to just let go, and just let myself be me.

it's felt age since a certain day, back in August 2015. It's been over two months. Two months, since I last blogged.

Two months since that day when I, as was often my custom, during those long, blissful, golden days which were the summer of 2015 - sat down one evening in the sunlit conservatory overlooking the garden of my home; a garden overflowing with the rich, vibrant colours and fruitful fertility of late August. The shifting dapples of sunlight beneath the gently swaying, leaf-adorned branches of the maple tree. The sweet pea frame, with its wispy purple blooms above tender, supple green stems, entwining themselves intricately across the expanse of the slender bamboo canes. The neat flowerbed at the garden's very heart, where robins pecked amongst soft brown soils and flowerbuds stretched, with soundless longing, towards the fading evening light as the sun begins its slow descent towards the western horizon.

I had sat there with my laptop, in my little comfy chair by the window, gazing towards the horizon, too, watching as the golden rays slanted upon the gently sloping sides of my beloved Slieve Blooms which guarded the skyline to the west, their peaks ablaze with vibrant patches of rich purple heather.I could picture those moors in my mind's eye as clearly as if I was standing directly above their heathery, windswept expanses: close enough to inhale the peaty scents of the boggy ground, to see how the wind rustled every single one of the tough-stemmed, scrubby plants with their tiny bell like flowers. Such unspoilt, wild, untamable beauty. A beauty that could never be tarnished or tainted: a beauty that would never be stifled or contained, for the mountains, and everything which they nurture and contain, will forever be free.

Beautiful, sweet freedom.

But as the sky dimmed and the sun slipped silently down between the soaring forms of those mountains, the garden was cast into shadow, the warmth of the evening ebbing away like foam being carried away by a stream. A delicate, feather-light chill hung in the air, prickling across the bare skin of my arms and shoulders. But I barely noticed that chill. All I could see, all I could feel was the emptiness that enveloped me, as surely as the darkness encompassed the garden. Because I knew I was not like the mountains. I was ensnared within that darkness, trapped in that gaping, vast emptiness. I knew that I was not free. That I never had been, or was anywhere near, free; ever since that day my eating disorder came into my life; the day when everything changed. And there had been those times when I felt as if I had the world at my feet; times when I felt as if could conquer everything and anything. Times when I convinced myself that I was fre...or at least, closer and closer to my freedom. That day back in May, 2014. The day when I promised myself - promised my loved ones - that I would never, ever give in to my greatest ever nemesis ever again. That no matter how bad things got, I would not give up. No matter how many times I fell down, I would pick myself up, pick up the pieces, and stumble forwards once again. I would never let myself be a prisoner, ever again...

But then, at the eclipse of that golden summer, as autumn leaves began to turn and change and the fragrant blooms which adorned the flowerbeds of my garden began to fade, withering and compressing into dry, brittle, lifeless forms of what they once were as if a single touch would cause them to disintegrate into dust, I could perceive another change in my own little world, too; a change that was occuring deep within my very soul. A change as gradual as the turning of the leaves as green gives in to gold; as steady and as inevitable as the purposeful, cruel, heartless advance of winter. I could feel my inner strength ebbing away, born away like those fallen leaves upon a icy cold wind. To be replaced by nothing but the emptiness, and the heady, crsuhing feeling of shame. because I knew that I was relapsing. The Voice had jumped in at my first sign of weakness, and its soft whispers filled my head with every step that I took, every breath that I inhaled. The shame was as heavy as a lead weight hung across my neck. The guilt was as sharp as a bramble thorn, pierced in my side so that I was left bleeding and crying out soundlessly for someone to help me. Soundlessly..because I thought, well, why should anyone come to help me? I was the girl who had failed. Who had put up such a brave face and had spoken of how she would give everything she had to recovery.. but you failed, Em, you failed. Just as you always do, and as you always did, and always will. You are the girl who failed...

You deserve this pain, this pain of not having your voice heard. 

But then a few days ago...can't even really remember what, or how, or when. All I do know is, I was longinto go back to my blogging once again....

And that, no, I should not feel ashamed.

I still haven't really succeeded in convincing myself this... It is so hard, and the guilt and the shame are still there, pressing down upon me. But alongside the guilt and the shame and that crippling sense of loss - the aching and crushing recognition of being the girl who failed - there is something else now, too. A tiny, quavering little flame of weak and feeble candleight. But it is there, all the same. A single, tiny, minute flicker of light in the yawning chasm of depthless emptiness.

I suppose, recovery is sort of like walking along a windswept beach, with the sound of the waves roaring in your ears as they roll in towards the shore; the relentless, gusty winds tugging fiercely at your clothes and hair and body as if wholly intent upon pulling you down, down into the rapidly advancing tide which approaches the sand upon which you walk without one shard of remorse or pity. And to fall would be to be engulfed by the icy, cruel, suffocating embrace of those rushing, icy waters; to be submerged within the fathomless depths of that sublime and terrible emptiness. No trace of you would remain, save that little set of footprints you made as you approached that beautiful, terrible shore: one single set of footprints in one huge, and impossibly cruel, world.

And this time last week, every single little part of me truly believed, that I had allowed myself to be borne away by that tide. That I had lost in my fight against the malignity which was my own eating disorder: that it had won, and that there was no hope left for me.

But I know now that my footprints don't just end here.

 It's true. I did fall down, in my slow trek upon that beach. I was borne away on the tide. But that did not mean that all hope was lost. I know that the past few weeks I have been drowning, and that it would only have been a matter of time before I was completely and utterly lost beneath the icy waters. But despite everything and how weak, scared, and afraid I now feel, I know that inside me there remains a little flame flickering. Which the icy waters have not - and will not- ever extinguish. I know that I have the strength deep inside me to do this. I know that I can find my way back to that beautiful golden shore. And that my footprints, instead of abruptly ending, will continue on their little path. My little path...the path that I choose. the path of recovery, with all its little slips and bumps and falls.

My footprints didn't  just end here.

Thank you so, so much, for staying with me. Please know that you have touched my heart in a hundred thousand ways and that you all mean so much more to me, thank you will ever, ever know. <3 xxxx