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 November 2015
No matter where I turned, there was no escaping you...
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 college...college. 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, forever...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 need...to 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.