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, 31 December 2015

To fight against the emerge from the cold

I suppose, the onset of my negative self-talk began in earnest around the very same time when my eating disorder was in its initial stages of development. I'm not sure if my low self-esteem stemmed directly from my eating disorder, or the other way round; all I do remember is that in school, I was steadily immersing myself deeper and deeper in a destrutive sense of bitter self-loathing. I told myself that I was a useless good-for-nothgin and I honestly, hand on hheart, believed it with all my soul. I just saw myself as worthless, on the basis that I thought that I was everything. I had no talent for sports or drama or music, or any other kind of activities which my peers seemed to excel at. I was never particularly studious..I could produce a decent enough essay or do well in a test, but to do so involved an enormous and exhausting amount of effort on my part: it certainly didn't come to me naturally, and the effect of such toils usually would have the effect of shooting my stress levels sky high.

Still, I grasped desperately onto that one single thing that I had, telling myself that even if it killed me, I had to get good grades. It didn't necessarily change the way I thought about myself - I still despised everything about myself as a person:, my appearance, personality, everything from the way I conducted myself to way I would think and speak and react. These negative, self-destructive feelings leaked into the cracks being opened and filled by my eating disorder, cracks which compelled me to reach out to the hollow, numbing, cloying emptiness offered by restriction and self-depravation: which I mistook, at that time, as my sole and only lifeline.

My identity, or so I thought, was one which was based on nothingness: I saw myself as a complete and utter nobody, a minute, insignificant, dully coloured little piece of gravel, sinking in an ocean of beautiful, sparkling, but cruelly cold azure blue. And above me, on top of that gleaming water, floated all the others: sparkling diamonds and dazzling rubies, beautiful in their flawlessness, untouchable in their unblemishness. How else was a girl like me - so stupid, so ugly, so pathetically and completely hopeless, in every single possible aspect of her person - going to ever have a chance of being like them? To become like them, to be...just..noticed, even, by them. I yearned desperately for everything which they seemed to have: they were so effortlessly stylish, so elegant, sophisticated and intelligent and beautiful.  But I was so, so far removed from all of that, with my boring, average school girl look, my shy and childish personality, my apparent inability to hold a conversation of interest to anyone. And then of course, there was my body -  my dumpy, plump body, as I now saw it. The only chance that you do have, the little Voice in my head whispered to me, is to become the skinny girl, the thin one. You must and will lose weight. 

And that's exactly what I did...that's how the pattern of restriction began. My school years were, for me, a balancing act in which I managed and maintained my eating disorder at a level which would not interfere with my studies; since they, or so it seemed to me, were the only two things that I had, to keep me floundering - floundering, but not sinking - in that cold, cruel, serenely harsh sea.

And then...then, I left school for Trinity. And suddenly, that one single thing which I had, was gone.

I couldn't concentrate, I couldn't study, I seemed unable to do...anything. It was gone, all gone: every last single fragrant. And my self-esteem, what was left of it...dropped like a pebble being flung from a bridge. The voices in my head, screaming became were now so loud, drowned out everything. The tiny, paper thin sraps of confidence I had, were brutally smashed and scattered , borne away on the raging torrent.

And this is how it remained...until that crucial day, when I decided that things had to change...

But it's true to say, almost a year and a half from that day, it's safe to say that my self-esteem hasn't, in all honesty, improved that much. I still strongly dislike myself as a person; I spend much of the time inwardly criticising myself and comparing myself to others, musing over how inferior I am in comparison..and this, of course, does get in the way of recovery, as more often than not, I convince myself that I am not worth it. I know I am not alone in feeling like this - low self-esteem, I am sure, is something which many sufferers of eating disorder share in common with eachother. And so, the challeneg that I face now, of course, is exactly can I fix my negative self-esteem? (well I say I but I really hope some of these ideas might be of some use to you too, or maybe give you some insight, about how address your own problems. <3 xxx

  • Keep up the hobbies that I love, and which make me feel good about myself...
namely, of course...baking, walking Benny <3, hiking, knitting, cooking..writing my blog, Morokia...but I also think it is time to introudice some new hobbies/pasttimes as outlined in number 2 below ;)
  • Take up a new hobby or interest...Next year I really want to try out drama or these two things I have done before and really enjoyed..and it will be a good way for me to get out there and interact with other people and maybe make new friends..
  • Spend plenty of time with the people who I love and who make me feel happy and needed and loved. Also, to try to refrain from spending too much time chasing around people who aren't willing to give you their time nd are just letting you do all the running around.
  • volunteering: Doing something which will improve the lives of others: I think this will be a really good way of improving my self-esteem! 
  • At the times when I am feeling really low and down about myself, often the only thing that I know will make me feel better, is hearing or reading the voice of someone else. But in the past I suppose, I always let the Voice hold me back from reaching out to others..because it convinced me that if i dared to message a friend or tell a loved one how I was really feeling..well of course, they would be extremely irritated, even annoyed, at being bothered by my messages. Now, I know this might seem illogical to some...and to me, reading it now, it does seem like that to. But I know times, it is a very, very real feeling. But I think it's past time for me to stop letting that Voice bring me down; and to not hold back from reaching out if and when I need it. It's always helpful to remember in these sort of you yourself would feel, if you were in the other person's shoes. Would you feel annoyed, angered, or resentful, if a friend messaged you and asked you for help? 
  • Again, I suppose, a essential approach to take when tackling low self-esteem is to use the same talking method similar to that taken with the eating disorder. Because it is, after all, in many respects, another damamging, destructive, highly manipulative voice of our very own making; and it isn't going to magically disappear of its own accord. It;s something which requires an incredible amount of wilpower and strength, in the same way as does resisting and silening the Voice of the Eating Disorder. 
Talking back to the inner's hard, I'm not going to lie; and for many of us, that voice has become so dominant in the mindset, that it becomes increasingly difficult to actually distinguish between the But I truly believe, that if you just take a moment to that it is possible to determine, whether or not that Voice is atually your own. I can tell..usually by reflecting on whether or not that whatever this voice is saying, feels "wrong". Today, for example...eating my snack at 4 o clock, toasted spelt bread and peanut butter. <3 and the crusts, Im afraid to say, i picked off. they were hard, but not by any means inedible...but at the time, I could hear a voice saying softly in my brain, they are too hard, we don't need to eat need to leave room for your hot choc..just leave them. Now, I know that that was...the Voice. The Voice which is not my own.
But it requires...anger, I suppose. My close  friend, listening to me dsecriving on how at one point during the weekend, I had given in to the Voice in , looked at me honestly and said, Em, you're not angry enough with that Voice yet. You need to be, Em. Otherwise you'll keep on leting it take advantage of you, control you. Don't let it bbeat you Em! Think abbout what it's really doing to you!

I don't think I will ever be able to completely change the way I think about myself - I think it is part of my personality, my But at the same time...I know it is not healthy, to have such a low sense of self-worth, and it's just another contributing facotr to keeping me entrapped within the bubbles created by anorexia and depression. So I really hope that, this cominf new year, will see some positive and progressive changes in me which will enable me to raise my level of self-esteem a bit, which, in turn, I know will greatly aid the recovery process too.

But hand in hand in improving my self-esteem, is the equally important - and difficult - task of destroying the "skinny idenitity"...something which I will talk about a little further in my next post or the one after.. <3 xxx

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Year that I make the

I thought today I would write hopes for 2016. Because as I was saying in my post from a couple of days ago... I want 2016 to be my year. The year I beat ED....destroy it forever. The year I really make that crucial change and become the person I want to be.

because I know, of course, that there are still so many remnants of ED present in my life, clinging, like some sort of hideous, malignant, toxic fungus, to my identity. But there is no longer any part of me, which wants those remnants to remain. Rather, I want them all to be destroyed: wholly and completely, without one single spore or strain remaining.

This time last year, it was nearly the end of Christmas 2014: a year which had been so, incredibly hard for me, in a number of different ways. But the one thing that I had to hold things together, as the sparkling lights which had been lit in my heart by the joy and excitement of Christmas gradually began to dim to fade and die to be replaced by the heavy, oppressing darkness of January  - a January which promised, for me anyway, assessments and appointments ,and, very likely, imminent hospitalisation - was that one slender, flickering hope, that 2015 would be the year when I would be healed, completely and wholly, of my eating disorder. That the hospital would cure me of my problems and I would never, ever again allow myself to lapse into the deadly embrace of ED. I know that this was unrealistic and wishful thinking on my part. But it was all I had. I clung to my little, fervent dream like a drowning man hanging onto a piece of driftwood, in some wild, grey, hostile sea.

I read somewhere, though, that the gritty, hard, real work of recovery doesn't take place until after hospitalisation...which I can really relate to, in many ways. Because after all, that environment of the hospital, is one which is altogether unrealistic. I was cared for in there, made to gain weight, gently or not so gently prompted to eat my dinner, like a good girl. And so in I went, and they did what they had to do to me, what they were supposed to do. And then suddenly I was out again, in the real world: This was where the real work was supposed to begin. For this was the environment where my eating disorder had first been enabled to develop and evolve; and of course, here, there was no nurses watching my every move, no monitoring, no one constantly looking over my shoulder, making sure that I doing what I was supposed to do, eating what I was supposed to be eating, conducting myself in a way which fitted in with the hospital and their rules. No, it was just me, little lost Emmy, pitted against her eating disorder. Which the hospital, of course, had not magically whisked away, as I was hoping, so desperately, that they would.

No. ED remained, lurking in the darkest corners of my mind, awaiting its opportunity to slip silently from its hiding place like a lethal viper emerging from its lair, intent upon sinking its poison-soaked fangs into its helpless, unsuspecting,vulnerable prey.

Because yes, I guess that's the truth of it, even though to say so fills me with shame: I was vulnerable, I didn't suspect anything, and I was pretty much rendered helpless, again. What chance did I have? The hospital had pretty much given me a new body, a body I was unused to and could not bear the sight of. The comments made by others - oh, you've gained weight, you look well - were unbearable to me, as were the ones which made it sound as if I was fully better. Because deep down inside, I felt as if my heart was breaking. As I knew, without one shadow of a doubt, that I was no way near recovered. People would look at me, and smile, and make their comments, and see a girl who was recovered: but they didn't know, they didn't feel, they couldn't see the storm that raged deep inside.

But that was a year ago now. It's true: somethings, unfortunately, do remain the same. That being, principally, that I am not free. ED is still part of me, and ED still talks to me every day: pouring its poisonous lies into my ears; lies which, I know, are jut what they are - pure, senseless, lies. But at the same time, ED makes them so believable, reasonable, to me; and at times, when I am caught off my guard and let myself down. And then ED grabs onto that victory, shaking it in my face, telling me that there you have it, there's the proof. Proof of your own stupidity!! You are just worthless, you are never going to recover!! You might as well give up, right here, right now.

But this is when I stand up and say...No, ED. No...

Never, ever again, ED....

No matter how many times I fall over...

This time, I will never again allow that fall to break me...

I will never again turn back.

At least I can say that is one thing...that has changed; That being, my determination to beat this...thing, which has taken so, so much away from me. And that, whatever it takes, I won't ever allow myself to just give in, ever, ever again. Maybe I will struggle forever. Maybe I will relapse again. Maybe I will never get to that beautiful, distant mountain top, the one to which I can see, in the furthest corner of my bright, so beautiful, but so, so painfully far away.

But I am going to give it all that I have...I am willing to fight with every single breath.

And I am wiser, now. I have come a long, long way from the frightened little Emmy of a year ago. It's true to say that I still feel so afraid, so uncertain, so confused. But. I know that I am, in a way, alot wiser, maturer, stronger. I have proven that I can be strong. I have overcome so many obstacles and fought so many fears...and although I know, that there I still have a long, long way to climb along that hard, rocky road winding its way up that steeply sloping mountain; I know that this time...I will not give in. No matter what ED may say or what ED may try to do to me, I know that it will never, ever be able to rob me of the inner strength that I possess deep inside.

Yesterday I mentioned, how I was going to do some reflective work on what, specifically, I need to do and achieve, in order to make this crucial change.

  • I need to develop my self esteem...Because after years of branding myself a worthless and useless failure, ir's now proving so, so hard for me to want to recover, as I continuously let this voice drag me back down. You are useless, you are worthless, noone cares about you. You are stupid and selfish and pathetic. What do you have to recover for? One thing I know for a certainty now is that, if I am to make a full recovery, I need to completely destroy this Voice. But how, essentially, am I going to accomplish this? I have a few ideas..more on this in my next post. ;)
  • I need to separate myself from the "skinny identity". I need to recognise that being at a healthy weight for my body (ie around that which I was at on leaving the hospital) did not make me ugly, repulsive, fat, or unattractive. Rather, I need to find peace with my fully and wholly recognise that ED's promises of the benefits of being skinny - that it will bring me happiness or fulfillment; that being skinny will mean that I look just a wee bit will still be ugly, but maybe, not quite so ugly as you would be, if you were at what people call a "healthy" weight" - for exactly what they really are: nothing but manipulative, non-sensical, distorted and corruptive lies.
Before my relapse in the summer...
But though others would look at me and think I was recovered...they couldn't see the storm that raged,
deep inside my "recovered" body...

  • I need to follow my meal plan and get back to healthy, strong Emmy, who enjoys her food as much as she enjoys cooking with it. I know that I love food. Food is awesome!! Why should I let a stupid voice spoil my enjoyment of it?
  • To break every single one of the ED rules, in their various forms. I'm currently working on this long and detailed list which I will definitely share with you very shortly. 
  • And all the other various Branches of my Recovery need to be properly tended with equal care and attention. Some are harder than others, but I am not prepared to neglect a single one of them.

Saturday, 26 December 2015

If you are struggling...please know you are never alone...

I was going to entitle this post, something to do with Christmas...but I stopped myself in doing so, after having sitting with my laptop for a little while, gathering up my thoughts and running through, in my head, what I actually was going to write. And that original title seemed, somewhat out of place here, because I am not going to use this post to talk about how special, how beautiful, how precious Christmas truly is. I could easily write page upon page about the wonder and the joy which can only truly be found at this time of the year, for I adore Christmas, and I always have done..but no, that is not what I am going to talk about today, and that is not what this post is going to be about.

No...this post is for everyone out there, who is struggling. My heart and soul go out to you now. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Just please...if there is one thing that you must never, ever forget, it is this: Please know you are not alone. You might feel as if you, and only you, are the only person out there today, on the 26th of december,2015, the day after Christmas as we know it...who is struggling, who is feeling lost, alone, trapped in despair. You are not alone. I am right there with you and I am struggling, too. But together,we can and will get through this.

Through believing in ourselves and finding our inner strength. Through refusing to give in, no matter what the storm may hurl in our faces. No matter how many times we fall. Through facing those fears directly, tackling them head on. Through telling that Voice, when it tries to tel you that this is it, you can't go on, to go and f*** itself, and that, for every hit and buffet it may give you, you will pick yourself up after every single one, and come back fighting, stronger and harder than ever. This is what I am telling myself, making myself believe, sitting here writing to you today..and I want you to believe it, too. Recovery is never going to be easy. But if there is one thing that I know now, it will be worth every single fight.

If you're ever feeling lonely, if you're ever feeling down,
you should know you're not the only one, because I feel it with you now. (A line from one of my favourite Kodaline songs <3)

As I had sort of expected, the past couple of days have been hard, for me. And another reminder, of just how many rules and regulations, constructed by ED, are present in my life; and of the extent to which they have such a powerful and extensive control over me. So many rules...after dinner yesterday, I felt so angry with myself, that I sat and wrote down every single little one of these rules...rules which I hadnt even realised were a rule, until now: now , it seems perfectly obvious, and I berate myself, again and again and again, for having not acknowledged it before.

It was after dinner, and we were about to have dessert. as usual, Mam had done me one of her amazing, utterly irresistible banana and custards - my alltime favourite dessert, and something I indulge in every evening, without fail. And this evening, it was m and s custard <3, lots of oreo chocolate, a couple of celebrations and a cadburys chocolate biscuit, all crushed up and scattered on top in one melting, heavenly bliss. Was the food the problem? No...on this occasion, not in the slightest. It was rather...something else. My custom after dinner , is always, always to go and sit by the fire with my divine dessert and to enjoy it while reading my blog or looking at something on my laptop or journals... and this was what I went to do, yesterday evening. Even though everyone else was still sitting at the table. Why didnt I just stop and think..hang on, Em. Why are you going to sit alone, whereas everyone else is still sitting together, eating their dessert and enjoying eachothers company?? But it didn' didn't even occur to me, that what I was doing was essentially wrong. I instantly got chastised for it, and told to come and sit with everyone else like a "normal " person. I felt like crying: I did cry, afterwards. I felt so stupid and babyish, but I felt like I had ruined everything, again.

A stupid little rule, I suppose, unconsciously made by ED? That I always have to eat dessert alone? But why..just, why? Why does it do this to me..why did I listen to it? Why didnt I see, at the time, that what I was doing was just plain rude and weird and stupid?

So many rules, so many chains: I feel so small, so stupid, so lost. like a little beetle, staring up at the massive, impossibly tall mountain, a mountain of sides so steep they appear almost impossible to ascend, a mountain whose beautiful top is so distant and so far, seemingly, so out of my desperate reach.  to knowing how hard, how long, it is going to be, to get to the very top. But to the top I must go. I must try. I must try. Christmas Day 2015...tenth Christmas with ED. It's been too long. Too long. I have to break every single one of these chains.

So anyway...I have made my Christmassy goals..the first of which I have already achieved :D and I absolutely enjoyed it so much <3:

My Chirstmassy Goals :) <3 xxx
  • Make TEACAKES <3 and toast them over the open fire..mmmmm <3 (we did this yesterday afternoon...og my goodness they were gorgeous. mam had told me before about how she used to go over to my great grandmother Capel when she was a small girl, to have toasted teacakes y the open fire. It was quite a hair raising feat, toasting them on the fire with a barbecue prong - but mammy did us all proud with her amazing efforts here!! :D
  • To not let ED spoil..anything. to try and be bright and talkative at mealtimes, even if I am struggling with any anxiety. To eat the food which I want and which my body is craving. To enjoy this special time, at home with the people that I love. <3
  • maybe try some new things over christmas, if i get the chance to.
  • Spend some time thinking...about what it is I need to do, to make a real, true, concrete change. I am most certainly going to spend some time with my recovery "stuff" today ( I have numerous journal and folders!! :o
  • Take full advantage  of there being a lot more people around (granny, little bro and big sis are all home with me at the moment:) ) in maintaining my meal plan and sticking to it properly. No more meals/snacks etc eaten on my own. I also directly asked my mam to look at it yesterday she knows exactly what I need to be having, now, and at what time. I have decided to add in the morning snack as I was contemplated doing a few months back. It wil be hard and scary at first, I know, but I am determined to persevere.
I am not going to allow ED, to mess up the next few days for me. I know, I just need to be on my guard. It is just so, so easy, to fall into there are so many traps, so many pitfalls, and before you know it you have placed your foot into one to be knocked over, crying out for help.

But don't let one single stumble in the road, be the end of the journey.

One fall does not make you a failure. What matters is that you don't just lie there and see yourself as defeated; that every shard of hope is lost. What matters is that you get back up again and carry on, in the belief that even if the road is hard and bumpy and long., if you persevere; keep your head up, and refuse to give in, no matter will not last forever.

My Christmas Wish for you, and anyone who is struggling...

I wish you all the strength, courage, and love in the world.

to overcome anything, which has ever tried to destroy or take away, your happiness, your freedom, your life. <3 xxx

Thursday, 24 December 2015

The Breaking of the Chain...

It's so strange to think...that this is essentially my twenty second Christmas...and that, in a few days time, we will be bidding 2015 a final farewell, and welcoming in another new year.

 and, on a sadder note. this will be, in the twenty first year of my tenth Christmas, with ED.

Because I know, after all, that for me, Christmas has always been different in many ways, then it might be for a happy, healthy person. Then it might have been if I was Emmy, not Emmy with an eating disorder.

But I am absolutely determined, this give me all into making this the Christmas as special and as precious, as I have always wanted it to be. <3

I wish with all my heart that I knew, that I wasn't going to struggle with anything and that I would experience, during this magical and infinitely precious time of the year, that pure and untarnished happiness which I remember feeling deep within my heart, all those years ago when I was little more than a child.
But I am not a child, anymore...though there is a sharp, aching longing deep inside me, wishing that I could go back to that time. Wishing that I had never left those happy, blissful days of my childhood, and that everything had just stayed, the same.

But I know, that this is not a fairy tale, and that I am not a princess, and that the deepest and most longed for wish of my heart will never, of course, be granted.

But I know that by wishing and regretting, I will achieve nothing. All I can do now is to face this fear, this storm, head on. But it is hard. I do not, in any way, feel any way more mature then I did all that time ago, when ED first came into my life. I still feel as small, as afraid, as lost.  and unsure of where to go. So...confused. It as if I am walking around in a fog.

I want to recover...but not for myself.
I know that I should gain weight...but the thought of that terrifies me..
I want to let go of ED, for ever...I want to be free, so badly...
but I don't know, if I can...because every single attempt I have made, every single time that I tried, it remained with me, dragging me down. ED and I, me and ED...tied together by strings of iron; a bond so deeply enmeshed, so , it would seem that they were never, or will never, be broken...

But I just want this all to be over. I sometimes catch tiny, fleeting glimpses...of what it was like, when I was free. What it could be like, to not have this storm inside my not have these chains across my heart, pulling me down. Nothing could ever possibly be as heavy, as the weight of that sorrow, that pain, that despair that ED brought to me, with its snares.

I want 2016 to be the year...the year that I make that change.

But even as I write these words, my eyes become prickly with unshed tears, because I know, that this time last year...I promised myself the exact same thing. I thought 2015 would be, my year...the year when I freed myself, from ED. I truly believed that the...hospitalisation was going to end everything. that i would go in, and it would be hard, and horrible, and painful  But...but it would be worth it, in the end: because, it was going to heal me. I would come out...recovered. A new Emmy. But months later and here I am, and, though its pains me more than anything to say so, I know I am not recovered...that that all those months I spent there, did nothing, really, to heal me. That I am still Emmy with an eating disorder, and that, as I gaze upon the road of recovery which is now stretched out in front of me...I know that I still have a long, long way to go.

But I can't afford to lose hope...

Because even if life isnt a fairytale...that does not mean, that dreams can't ever come true.

And I know that I have everything I need to make this change and make 2016 my year..the year when I can prove to my eating disorder...that our time together is well and truly over. I know I have everything that I need, to do this. I have identified and recognised the branches of my recovery. And now I know, I need to put everything which I have learned, all of my insight and my strength and every shard of my determination...into beating, into defeating, once and for all, this monster which has long since stolen away so many individual parts and segments of my life: which has taken away, without remorse, so many years and so much happiness so many and has gave me nothing in return, but a broken heart, a broken body, and a broken soul.

But now it's time for me, to be the one who does the breaking.

For now has come the time for me to break those chains and cast them away forever...

And I know that with the destruction of those chains..those snares which have held me down for so, so long...I will be able to realise my dreams, become the person I want to be. And even though right now the dreams that I have, seem so tiny, so impossible, so far away..I know, that there are within my reach...but my hands have always been held back, by these chains...

But I know that we can, and will, break them...

We are stronger then we might think...

It is time to break the chain...

Another of my favourite memories from the year which was 2015...
me and Benny, free together in the daisies. <3 xxx

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

fate loves the

A fight to the death...a battle in which there can only ever be, one loser...
I battled my way through the storm, endured the pain and the agony of hospitalisation...I fought my way this far....
But I know that my battle can't just end, here. I know that in this fight for my life, I need to be fearless...

This picture is, for me, symbolical of one of my most special and treasured moments, of the year which was 2015...

It was some time not long before I was discharged from inpatient care at the hospital, probably my nineth or tenth weekend home with my family. I had received the osteoporosis diagnosis several months before, back in February...but, on having been referred to a rheumatologist by my consultant, I had a new sense of hope shining in my heart and filling my body with its glow. For his view on my condition was crucially different to that of my consultant's, in that he had been assertive in his conviction that I had not, by any means, reason to despair on account of the current state of my bones. Rather, he had maintained that there was much I could do to improve things: that I still had time, being only in my early twenties, to improve the delicate structure of my skeleton, and prevent the osteoporosis from getting significantly worse. As long as you maintained your recovery, he had told me. I had smiled eagerly and had promised that I certainly would.

And as we climbed those beautiful mountains, surrounded on all sides by rolling dale and lush green valley, with the majestic forms of spruce and cypress and pine tipping their needle laden branches gently in a breeze which carried with it the warm caress of early spring, I had felt, for the first time in what seemed like an eternity, so, so a kestrel on the wing which has finally learned how to stretch its beautiful wings, to soar above the clopuds and embrace the infinite sublimity of an endless, cornflower blue sky.

And just like that kestrel, I felt, at that moment...almost, weightless. my weight meant nothing to me. It didnt matter what my weight was...that number, or the knowledge of that number, did not hinder me in any way, from ascending higher and higher into that beautiful endless sky...did not stop me, from spreading my wings...

But then the winds changed and the spring merged into the summer; summer's light and golden warmth finally being replaced, by the darkening horizon of autumn. and as the days became colder and the flowers and buds began to shrivel and die, so too did that short, transitory sense of happiness that I had found; that fleeting sense of true and pure freedom. And, like the leaves being carried away by the autumn gusts, so too did my willingless to recover, slipping through my fingers to be borne away by that cruel, harsh, pitiless wind, to be cast down mercilessly to the cold, hard earth.

It's so true to say, that recovery is something which we have to choose...not once, not twice, but again and again and again, every single minute of every single hour, of every single day...

It's a fight which we cannot afford to falter in; a for it is, I now recognise now, a battle in which there can only ever be one loser. Us, or ED. A fight which is, as some of us know all too well, ultimately a fight to the death.

because, even if I (I use myself here, as representative of anyone suffering from an eating disorder.) were to "survive" living with an ED (if you could call a life with an ED actually living. There's a big difference, after all, between the two terms...surviving does not necessarily have the same meaning as living in this context.). But what I say to you now is this. Surviving, with my eating more or less equatable to a living death. Because even though you are alive, it is as if you are dying inside...the person who people knew and loved you as, has been cruelly and maliciously taken away, murdered by the bloodstained hands of the eating disorder. And all that is left is the ghost of the person who used to be.

I often ask myself... how much of me, is there actually left? And, if I do not choose make that concscious, difficult, terrifying, but absolutely crucial decision to recover, every minute of every hour of every day...will there be any of the real emmy left, at all? Or will there just be left a hollow, empty, inanimate shell, a shell wholly in the possession of the demonic thing which is my eating disorder...

Looking back now, I know that I didn't truly realise...
that I had become little more than a shadow, of the girl that I used to be...

A healthy body which I loved and respected, and treated with the care that it deserved...
Strong and healthy bones..
A smile which was genuine, not feigned...
my happy, carefree, bubbly personality...
a love of life and of everything it contained...
hope in my future and belief in myself...

all of this, ED either twisted, corrupted with its taint, or simply destroyed and broke it completely..or took it all away from me...

in exchange for nothing, but this...

self hatred and loathing, self disgust...the deepest and strongest hatred, for the most precious posssion I will ever body...
which drove me to abuse and neglect my body to the brink of its existence.
weak, brittle, fragile bones which could snap with one single fal or stumble...
a smile which hid behind it a hundred tears, untellable pain, and a silent, unspoken, soundless longing, that if only they knew, if only they knew, what really lies deep inside me. If only I could just reach out to them, but it was as if separated from them by the vastest and most deepest of abysses; a massive and unbridgeable divide which I would never be able to cross... 
Despair, isolation, depression and loneliness... shutting myself away from the world...
I lost all my passions for the things which I loved, that fervent enthusiasm for life which I once had, evaporated like thin wisps of smoke. 
A desire to end my life...because in my darkest hour you made me believe that I did not deserve to live.

I have wasted, so many, many years...
There has been so many tears, so much agony, so much heartache and suffering and pain...
I know that it is time to stop...being afraid, and letting the fear of the voice hold me back.

Because I have proven that I can be strong, and brave, and fearless... I wouldn't have got this far, if I had simply spent all that time since recognising that I had an eating disorder, cowering in a corner, allowing the fear to pin me down. There is something we all need to realise now...each and every one of us, including myself.

That we all have the strength and the courage and the determination, deep inside us, to overcome any obstacle, surpass any barrier, achieve anything that we set our heart and minds to.

That is why it is so important, to have belief that there is a recovery. That you, and not your eating disorder, will be the one who wins that fight in the end.

Yesterday I came up with some more Christnmassy sort of goals too, as there are a few things which I really hope to achieve over the Christmas period...more details on this tomorrow!! <3

Thank you so, so much, for always being there for me...
I wish you all a truly special and beautiful Christmas...

Remember...fate loves the fearless...
be brave and stand against your ED!! <3 xxx

Sunday, 20 December 2015

The maze and the mountain.

For me, one of the most difficult obstacles in my struggles against the Voice of my Eating Disorder has always been my lack of motivation to recover, on account that, aside from the love I bear for those in my life who are closest to me, that I always felt as if I had nothing to recover for.

This type of thinking got significantly worse when I started at Trinity. When I was at school, my eating disorder was kept in a state of semi-containment: i had a goal, a specific aim, in my head the whole time, which kept me off, to some extent, that bloodstained path of self-destruction upon which I suddenly found myself stumbling upon, that day when I left my home in September 2012. the day when I was all set to embark upon a new chapter in my life, away from the insular, warm, safe world of my home.

I have to eat as little as possible, now. Because being skinny is the only one thing, that I have left.
I am not smart, intelligent, beautiful, funny, athletic, studious, talented in any kind of way...

And now, you have lost that one thing that you did have...
you're no longer the grade a student...everyone here is a hundred times better than you. 

being thin, being the skinny one...that's all that I have left.

This was the kind of thing...that I told myself every day. And which I fully believed, heart and soul...which I recognised and acknowledged as the ultimate truth.

And so the two years dragged on, two difficult and painful years full of panic, anxiety, tears and relentless restriction. Because by this time it came so naturally to me; and not once did I stop to consider just what the consequences of my actions could be; stop, to contemplate for one instant, just how much damage I was wrecking upon my own body. And I no longer had that goal, that drive to propel me onwards. I looked no further than the present day, and perhaps, the day following that. And for one single, abominable purpose. my mind was wholly bent, on how, each day, I was would go about eating as little as possible; and how I would conceal my actions from the eyes of the world, and my loved ones. It fills me with shame to write this, but I know that it is the truth; that, for me, was my reality, every hour of every day. Whereas other girls my age in Trinity spent their time planning their future career prospects, perhaps, or where they would choose to go for their getogether on Saturday night... every thought, every priority, every motivation that ever really occured to wasn't my own, it was Ed's. I didn't think about my future; as far as I was concerned, there was nothing really there, anyway. I didn't see where I was going. I didn't realise where this path of self-destruction really led.

Now, things are different. But yet, in a way, some things remain the same.

It's true to say that the realisation of just how much damage I actually caused my body...

What remains unchanged, though, is the fact that I still don't really know where I am going; I still dont really know what I am recovering for...

Because I still see myself, as a lost cause. I feel like a little scrubby dandelion weed, growing precariously upon the steep, barren slope of  some beautiful yet cruelly hostile mountain. The dandelion struggles desperately to grow; but the elements are too harsh, the ground too hard, for it to grow. Further away from the slope grow the other beautiful mountain flowers: tall red poppies and glorious purple foxgloves, regal and exquisite, dainty bluebells. They are strong and successful and flourishing. But I am not, and never will be, one of them.

                                          At times, it feels like as if my life has become as lonely and as heavy as a mountain...

Perhaps, in another time and another place, I would have blossomed; but this is the modern world, and it breaks my heart to say it, but...I will never be like the others. I'm 21 now, and have been for several months, but to be honest, you would not know, if you were to attach a camera to me, and monitor what I do and how I conduct myself on a daily basis.

I still need mam, to look out for me. If it was not for her, i don't even think I would really be here, right now. She was, and still is, to a great extent, the backbone to my recovery... without her, I know it would have crumbled long ago.
I still need mam to sit with me at dinner, because I know that without her I wouldn't have enough and that i would stop eating before I was full. And though I don't really think she is aware of it,in that I haven't really told her...but it is for her and through her that I manage to beat off the Voice and win my little victories with my meal plan. When I had my scone last Sunday, for example...I don't think I would have managed it, if it wasn't for Mam being there. And at that moment I was so, so torn...I wanted to have that scone, but even more than that, I wanted her to get it for me - I didn't want to have to be the one to perform that one simple thing...that simple thing, as small and as insignificant as a speck of dust on a windswept plateau...but yet, at the same time, as huge and as vast and as overwhelming, as the massive gulf that surrounds it on all sides.

Why am I so dependent on others...
Why am I so immature...
What am I really recovering for? Will I ever be able to find my way, in life? or will I just get lost along the way?

Because that's how I feel, at the moment. Just so lost...lost in a never-ending, disorientating maze. A maze which I see others passing through, from time to time. But they, unlike me, manage to find their way out. Some might struggle and some might falter, but in the end, they succeed. But I just stumble on, and on, and on, trying desperately to follow them out...not wanting to be, the little girl who got left behind.

All I know is...I have to keep searching, trying, and struggling up this long and lonely mountain. For my recovery journey is proving very long, and lonely, and hard. But I know I have to keep going. I know that I have to try.

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Branches of Recovery: Fear Foods

Now, I am going to make a big statement here and you may or may not believe me, but anyway, here goes!! ;) That being, I actually don't have many fear foods. I used to, of course; in fact, I had alot. The period of my life before I started fighting for my recovery (prior to May 2014), my list of banned or forbidden foods was as lengthy as my mam's shopping list at Christmas time. I usually pretended to not like a certain food so that I would never be expected to eat it, and this usually worked as up to that point, people had always regarded me as a fussy eater, and the general consensus was that everyone else would eat that, but emmy won't touch it, as she doesn't like it and she's picky. But I am not a fussy eater, to be honest. I dislike red meat, offal and such like, and my love of animals has always made my relationship with any kind of meat a bit offish, and I am not a huge lover of cream, fruit juice, certain kinds of cake, watercress, fennel, or gravy. Off the top of my head, they are the foods I don't particularly like. But apart from that, really, I am not so selective as many might have perceived.

However, following that day whihch will forever be engraved in my mind, back in May, a year and a half ago...when I made that crucial and life-changing decision, to give myself to recovery. Since that day, I made a conscious effort to incorporate a more varied range of foods into my diet. And I openly acknowledged to myself thaat there was, indeed, many foods which I - or should that be, ED  - had purposely banned me from eating, but which secretly, I did not dislike. And overall, my endeavors were successful. I always think the best thing to come out my exertions here...was discovering my love for two foods which I nowadays simply could NOT live without...those being, of course, CHEESE and PEANUT BUTTER. I absolutely adore both of these, and it seems so strange to me now to think that at one time, I did not eat them, at all: I denied myself of them, as I did of many other foods.

But there remain - particularly since my relapse - certain foods which I know, if I was 100 % honest with myself, I purposely avoid or feign dislike of , but which, in reality, I do not dislike or find unappealing. Together, they constitute my fear food list, which I am going to share with you now.

Fear Food List...

  • Savoury tarts like cheese and onion tart...I had these in the hospital and enjoyed them alot, but since then I haven't touched them. We had a buffet a few Saturdays ago for dinner and among all of the other tempting foods set out on the table was a cheese and onion quiche mam had got from tesco. But of course...I didnt have any. So next time, I am realy hoping I will have the courage to do just that. And I will be able to make my own ones then too!! ;)
  • Croissants: wouldn't be a massive fan of them, but there is something mouthwatering about the smell of them, and there have been a few times when I have made these at home and have been tempted to sample one of them, but of course was put off by ED once more. 
  • you know, I am a true chocaholic in every sense of the word..let's just say I am probably one of those people with sweet teeth as opposed to a sweet tooth. ;) so in all honesty, crisps aren't really my thing particularly, but yet, I know deep down I don't dislike them, either, and that it is more ED talking to me when I say to others "oh I dont like crisps, no thank you" on being offered one out of a bowl or a packet.  
  • Chips..I dont know, if they are a proper fear food, as I have eaten them in the past. But I guess I do avoid them, in a way, and I know for a fact that it's not a dislike thing as I think there is something really scrummy about a crispy, salty potato chip.
  • Muesli/Alpen..I love muesli and used to eat it hospital however I unfortunately happened to overhear other patients talking about muesli in a really negative way (we won't go into detail!! :( ) that beame etched in my mind and I have avpided it ever since. Which is stupid, as muesli/granola is not unhealthy and there are no such things as "bad" foods, etc. I know all that. As usual, ED has latched onto justone small tiny little thing and has augmented it into something vast ad terrifying. This has affected my consumption of granola and muesli bars too and I want to change this :'( I really do as I love those sort of things and they make such yummy snacks. 
  • Mashed potatoes, cauliflower cheese. Crepes. Cheese puffs (or wotsits, I think they used to be called? ;) ) and bread with cheese baked on the inside. There are other random things, but these are the ones which are coming to mind now. 
And I know we are on the subject of fear foods, but as you can see from above, this is an area which I don't really have any major issues with. Of course, I think it would be important and good for me to conquer these few fear foods, and that really would be equatable to shaking a fist in Ed's face. But in addition to this, I think that it would be equally important for me to resolve the related issue of certain meals, food combinations, and such as...
  • There are certain lunches which I know that I genuinely love, but which I still have not managed to eat or make for myself. These being things like baked beans on toast, poached or a soft boiled egg on toast, a baked potatoe with cheese and a salad...things which I did have back in my hospital days, but which, since my relapse, i have not touched.
  • Certain snacks with my hot you already know, I have had success in this area as far as scones are concerned. My next objective is to have hot choc and a lovely toasted hot cross bun this week.
  • There are certain meals that I still find very difficult and avoid if I can. Spaghetti bolognaise, fish gratin, fajitas, to name a few. So I need to tackle these in the same way I intend on taking on my lunch challenges. 
  • One thing I absolutely love as a snack, or for part of breakfast...bagels!! Wholemeal, seeded or multigrain, I adore these lovable ring shaped breads, so soft and fluffy on the inside, while still maintaining that distinctive and irresitable chewiness which is part and parcel of their charm. And toasted with spread and peanut butter..? *hearththrob!!* but again, something else that I have been avoiding
  • I love Miller rice (especially the strawberry ones...yummm ;) ) but again, since leaving the hospital...I've studiously avoided them :( and a Miller Rice would be a perfect snack for me to have when i'm on the go or at college or whatever.  
So they are my two wee lists. Not massively long, or anything: but that does not mean by any score whatsoever that it is not something that I need to address. So I think, the approach to take whenever you are planning on tackling your fear food list, is to be persistent and consistent, BUT don't try to take on too much at once!! because then you end up just getting overwhelmed and burnt out.

In recovery, as with many other things in life, it's usually better to take things one little step at a time. Just like getting back onto your meal plan - reintroduce things gradually, rather than causing yourself alot of stress and anxiety by trying to take on everything in the course of one day. Slowly, but surely - you have to persevere and make SURE that you do actually do it!! It's al too easy to fall into the trap, of saying to yourself, yes, tomorrow I will eat that fear food and then tomorrow comes and yep, you're there in the kitchen, the particular food ion question is there in the shelf...but yet you hear that little voice saying, ahh, no, actually, I don't feel ready to face that fear today... Always, always always keep in mind your objectives:stick to your plan, give everything that you have into keeping your goals, and don't let the Voice deter you from growing and nourishing YOUR recovery, starting right here, right now. 

So anyway, I suppose it might be realistic enough for me, to try and tackle two or three of the above in one week(or do you think this is too easy/hard...any comments/feedback greatly appreciated!!) ) and incorporate my efforts into my weekly goals accordingly. So, for this week, I plan to:
  • MAKE HOMEMADE GRANOLA (stilll haven[t got round to doing it..ahh!! :o) and have it for breakfast one day with warm milk AND my toast afterwards of course.
  • On Christmas Eve we will be having cauliflower cheese so I will have the chance to test myself here too.
  • And this weekend have either a scone or a hot cross bun as a snack with hot choc. :) 

Face your fears... <3 xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Branches of Recovery...Overcoming Meal Time Anxiety

Mealtime anxiety...Another thing which represents an enormous obstacle for me to overcome. In terms of sticking to my meal plan, I suppose the ones which I have actually neglected so to speak the past few months, were the snacks and lunch and breakfast, because often I would be eating these on my own or without support. But in terms of actually eating the aforesaid meals/snacks...dinnertimes have always proved much, much more trickier for me.

One of the nights last week was just a prime example of this. Before I sat down I tried to soothe my anxious mindset, telling myself that it will be grand, I can do this, I have nothing to fear, I can do this. Ed is not going to win this battle. Sadly, in this case, Ed did. I was not strong enough.

I had done some of my lovely roast garlicy potatoes, and had heaped them in a large serving dish for everyone to help themselves. I waited nervously for everyone to finish doing their own, before tentatively picking up the spoon. I could feel the colour rising in my face, a prickly, unpleasant sensation creeping along the bumps of my spine. And then...the Voice. You can't - have - more than -

That doesn't look enough, I should have more...

No, you can't, Em. The all too familiar voice of Ed.

I can... Weakly, I try to resist.

You cannot. You CANNOT. You - will - not...

"Emmy, have some more, for God's sake." Mam's voice, sharp and as tight as her face, cut across the dialogue in my head like a fist smashing through thin glass.

"No, no I don't want anymore, that's what I normally have". The words were stuttered and slurred because I knew, deep down, that it was a lie. I felt like my head was spinning at about a hundred miles per hour; as if I were plummeting through some infinite, gaping, dizzying space.

And the evening was ruined, again...because of Ed.
                                         Like the beautiful trees of my garden...we all have the strength deep inside us, to grow, and reach                                                                                                                      for the sky...<3 xxx

I don't ever want that to happen again. Because, after all...coming together as a family to sit down for a meal together...should be a pleasurable and enjoyable occasion, a special time of the day for conversation and laughter and shared stories. Not anxiety, panic, fear. Because that's what Ed does to me, at mealtimes. And I can honestly say, I am sick of it...I don't want to feel like that anymore, ever again. So I am determined to overcome this obstacle, the same way as I am determined to conquer my meal plan mission. And I do feel stronger, now. I know that I am stronger. I realise now that there is nothing that I cannot overcome.

So, here are my current strategies on how to deal with my mealtime anxiety. perhaps you will be able to use them too, if you can relate to my difficulties in any way.

  • Allowing Mam to serve up my dinner portions until I get stronger.
  • When possible have meals with others always.
  • The "fake it until you make it" method. When I was in hospital, the meals were served up for us and we had to eat them: it wasn't something we had a say in, or any agency in whatsoever. So, I am going to put myself in that situation again, when I am sitting having dinner at home and Mam serves up for me. I am just going to say to myself: I have no control or choice in regards to the meals. I have to eat it; I have to stick to my meal plan, I have to eat what is put in front of me...there is no other option.
  • Always remind myself of the bigger picture. Why should I have fear of the food? It is going to make me stronger, healthier, and ED weaker. And when Ed gets weaker...I know that I will get healthier, happier, and strongr. Stronger than ED.
  • Talking back to the Voice...I now have a load of different defence stances at my disposal. My favourite one, as given to me by my dear friend who has helped me so much in regards to recovery. "Ed? you know what? You're just a conniving piece of shit who is trying to bring me down and take away everything that I have. You're trying to convince me that I will be huge, if I eat my dinner and don't restrict like you used to make me do. Well, it's over, Ed. I am not going to listen to you any more...because my eyes have been opened and I can clearly see you for the lying, manipulative, evil little thing that you really are...
  • Ask for support when I need it. I am feeling anxious or panicky, tell my Mam how I am feeling. Distract myself from the food by listening to the others talking and joining in the conversation too.  
I also think I might set aside a bit of time over the next few days to make myself a new recovery folder/journal. And as luck might have ita dear friend of mine got me a gorgeous new notebook for Christmas (oh she knows me too love affair with stationery continues!! ;) ) and I think this will be perfect for such a purpose. More details coming soon <3 Have a lovely Tuesday everyone :) <3 xxx

Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Branches of Recovery: My Meal Plan

The first two of my branches, I suppose, are the ones which I am currently addressing at the moment. These two branches divide out into lots of different little stems, each of which must be tended to individually and with equal importance. Not one little segment of recovery should ever be neglected.

And so how am I going to about making sure that I continue to follow my meal plan correctly...and not shoot off course as I did the last time.

1.)Plan out in food diary: designate a particular time of the week (ie Friday afternoon for me :) to write out what I will eat for each day.

This is important for a number of reasons. Firstly of course because in writing it down I know exactly what I will have and when; there isn't any indecisiveness or uncertainty. As we all know, ED thrives in such situations.
And also, I did make Mam aware that I am keeping a food diary...I didn't ask her directly to check it now and again, which I wish I could do, very much, as I know how much easier it would be for me if I knew that she would be definitely monitoring my food intake.But anyway, i know that she is aware of it...and I have been leaving it around, quite visibly, on top of my piles of college papers and other accumulations of various bits of junk lying in various positions around the house!! So she could very easily look at it, anytime. Now, I know what you are probably thinking now: that by not asking her directly for support, I am listening to my eating disorder as there is nothing more ED hates more than being put out in the open . But I can honestly say, hand on heart, this is not the whole truth. My prolem lies in that I never made my family fully aware of how I completely slipped off track in regards to the meal plan...I was extremely secretive about it, to say the least, and successfully concealed the real truth og things for months on end - and I am, needless to say, still very, very afraid of their reaction if they were to find out the whole truth. :'(
I hope that one day I will have the courage to tell her, and that she will be able to forgive me. I regret the deciet and the concealment with all my heart. Because my Mam, my wonderful, amazing, one in a million Mam...means more than the world to me. More than the universe, more than life itself. All I can do is take that guilt and the deep love I possess for my Mam, my family, my friends, my loved ones...and  use it to drive me on, drive me on when the rain pours down and the clouds gather together to block out the light. But this time, I will not lose hope...this time, I will carry on. orm may rage and the rain may fall...But instead of running from that storm, i will laugh in its face and dance in that rain. Let Ed say what it likes...this time, I will not let it steal away the rainbow that will appear in my sky. <3 xxx

We CAN reach that beautiful horizon... <3 xxx

2.)write out meal plan and stick on noticeboard in the kitchen...yes, as that's where everyone will be able to see it, everyone will know exactly what Emmy is supposed to be having...and there will be nowhere left for ED to hide. 
So that's what I am planning on doing, this evening..wriitng out my lovely, consice, no-nonsesnse meal plan , with lots of colours and smiley faces...and it will be stuck up on that oard by this evening!! Haha I might as well put up a pic of my master piece when its done, right? ;)

3.)Incorporate a number of different foods into my diet, so I never get bored of anything. I want to learn to love food again, see it no longer as an enemy; to be feared and rigidly controlled. No - I want to recognise it as something to be shared, enjoyed, and loved. :)

4.)Keep up my weekly goals in alliance with the meal plan so I am constantly challenging myself.
5.)Always bear in mind, The basic outline of the meal plan:
Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, bedtime snack.
This has to always bbe stuck to every day, no exceptions.

6.)Remember that for now, I cannot rely on hunger cues/intuitive eating.
The body's system gets a bit messed up when we don't eat will take a while for it to settle down and begin to trust its owner once again.

7.) Write out my Golden Rules and Never Forgets...
Currently working on these...more on that to follow!!

                            Allow your recovery to grow...

And to finish off on a positive note. For my afternoon snack yesterday I had one of my blackberry scones(which I had made back in September but again, had not allowed myself to eat) AND...I did it myself. Granted, Mam was there at the same time - she had made teas for everyone and a hot choc for me <3, and said aloud across to her from the kitchen, "Mam, I don't know what to have for my snack..any ideas?" "I thought you were going to have one of those scones!! There's a load of them in the freezer." Seized with sudden bravado, I quickly hurried to the freezer, dug out the bulging bag in question, and before I knew it I was sitting down by the fire with my hot choc in one hand, and my plate with the buttered scone in the other.

One thing I have learnt from today then, I suppose, is that I can get support from those around me, but in a way which doesn't make me completely dependent - just a little helping hand to guide me along. Also, and I will be sure to do this in the future too - take full advantage of people being around and make sure I always eat my snack with everyone else, not sitting in my room or somewhere out of sight - as then,ED isn't given any opportunity to take advantage.

Here's a little quote I found on Facebook yesterday...
just as a reminder for all of us, to realise just how strong we really are... <3

Have the best Sunday ever everyone...good luck, and stay strong... <3 xxx

Friday, 11 December 2015

The Branches of Recovery...

In continuation from my post yesterday, I thought I would share with you the Branches of my Recovery which, as I strive to leave my relapse far behind and move forward with my recovery journey, I now recognise as essential for me to tend to, if I were reach that beautiful horizon. <3

I thought it would also be a good idea for me, to keep on writing little previews perhaps once or twice a week, in order to charter my progress and motivate me into keeping my goals! :)

So: last weekend: didn't fare too badly with my goals: varied lunch each day, had my spelt toast and pb, managed to have more than the paltry 2 tsp...not a great deal more, though, so this is something which I might need to continue working on. But I didn't have a scone on Sunday though - this was the one I didn't get done..I had a handful of salted cashews instead :o now I don't think eating nuts is a bad thing at all you understand; quite the opposite..and I am very partial to salted roasted cashews I must say, nommm ;) but. I still think I may keep an eye on this because a big part of me knows why I had the nuts instead of the scone. That was because mam wasn't there at the time...she wasn't there to do it for me or see that I was doing it myself...tschhhh :(

I know, that is so stupid and immature...that I am perfectly capable of getting a scone out of the freezer, defrosting and buttering it, by myself. And that just because there is no one else there to see and "approve" of my having one, that should not, in anyway, influence whether I choose to have one or not. It's just ED making up excuses, again, I suppose. :(

But well, I am going to have to try harder on this one. I know that I can...I have proven it to myself, now. It's one single little twig, of one of those many, many branches...the branches that make up the beautiful, organic, ever growing shoot which is recovery. A shoot which, like all living things, must be nurtured and tended to allow it to bloom.

And so...the Branches of my are my own.

  • Stick to my meal plan
  • Overcome my fear of being at the normal healthy weight for my body size
  • Overcome my fear foods
  • Overcome fear of eating out
  • Dispense with the anxiety I have at mealtimes.
  • Destroy certain obsessive and compulsive behaviours.
  • Eradicate the ED type immaturity: no longer depend on others to make sure i am eating properly 
There are probably more, which I can't think of at the moment...but if they come to me I will pop them accordingly :)
In my next few posts I am going to talk about these a bit more in detail and reflect on how I can go about tending these branches and allow my recovery to grow.

But anyway, to finish off this wee post for today and to kick off the are My Weekly Goals ;)

  • Cleaning bowl and plate still needs working on...I find I am always leaving custard in the dessert bowl. Feel compelled to pick crusts or crumbs off bread and scones. Its done almost unconsciously: I've just done these things for so long, it's habitual to me. But habits can and will be I have proven to myself over the course of the past few weeks!!
  • To make myself some homemade granola, to have for a breakfast cereal now and again with my toast :) Also, weetabix with warm milk is something which I have always loved, but havent had for some I'm going to try and have those this week :)
  • Make the wholemeal scones!!! I still haven't got round to doing that :o and to have one for my snack at some point during the week ;)
  • To stop trying to push potatoes off my plate... This is abig one for me that I really want to work on. It's like a compulsion at every meal which I have been doing ever since ED got bad again this autumn..ahh!!! But even thinking about it makes me very angry; because I recognise how ridiculous a practice it is, but yet...I also recognise all too well how hard it will be for me to kick it for good. But. I am determined to persevere.

And then, of course, is my decision as regards the meal plan, which I will discuss a little further one of my posts this week.

Like the beautiful little snowdrop, pushing through the rocky soil... <3 xxx

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Nurture it like a flower, let it branch out; let it blossom... Allow your recovery to grow.

 I really cant stress enough how helpful making goals has been for me since beginning to work on my relapse. And if you are in recovery I would strongly recommend you do the same, too. Because recovery is more than just waking up one day and saying to yourself, ok, today I am going to eat and make myself better. No, of course, its never going to be as simple as that.

Recovery can be compared to I suppose, the struggles of a young shoot pushing through a rocky soil. The shoot has to be constantly regenerating and strengthening itself: ever growing, ever renewing, becoming stronger and stronger and branching out as it pushes through the earth, reaching for that beautiful light; the light which represents life and energy and vitality.

But that same shoot can't just rely on one single sprout to keep it moving upwards. It has to branch out, develop a network of stems and shoots and roots, in order for it grow and develop to its full potential. So that little shoot becomes a beautiful flower...a flower which will open its buds and blossom in that beautiful sunlight. <3 xxx

As is the case for recovery. You can't just take one aspect of the recovery process, and spend all your time, energy and focus on that single one branch. "today I am going to work on my recovery: I am going to have a good breakfast". That's good, but...what about lunch? What about your snacks? What about resisting the urges to purge or compensate or overexercise?? When ED takes hold, it takes absolutely no prisoners: it is ruthless in its authority. But so too do we have to be, when confronting it. Though it is probably not in any of our natures not be merciful..we CAN'T afford to be compassionate, when it comes to driving out ED. We cannot afford to show it one scrap or inch of mercy.

I know this. I know this, with every inch of my soul and every beat of my heart...but now, I just need to put that knowledge and awareness into practice. My friend told me that I am clearly not quite angry enough with the Voice yet, the days I allow it to get the better of me. So its time to stop being pitiful and submissive, when it comes to fighting ED. It time to start being angry, and using that anger to my advantage, against my greatest ever enemy.

And so, for my next post, I thought I would  share with you The Branches of Recovery I need to Work on...and how exactly I am going to tackle these. :) <3 xxx

And of course, I thought I might start writing little previews perhaps once or twice a week, in order to charter my progress and motivate me into keeping mygoals, in order for my recovery progress to keep on growing and growing. I hope I have inspired you to give this a go, too, and to nurture your recovery with me, and allowing it to blossom and grow. <3 xxx

Monday, 7 December 2015

Why did I ever allow myself to think...that ED was the one who cared for me...

The Christmas tree is up, the twinkly lights are on and the scents of pine needles and pot-pourris linger in the air. My famous Santa hat (yes, the very same which you saw Benny posing in last year) has emerged from hibernation and has already been donned by me on numerous occasions since yesterday evening.

Our ancient, but much loved FAKE Christmas tree!!! <3

And you know, for once, I was able to put all the worry and upset over college aside, and just allow myself to enjoy being with my family. And to appreciate in life the things that really matter. Not to sound all sentimental, but to me now, what makes Christmas truly special, is just taking that time to perform these sweet little rituals, to just feel the presence of your loved ones around you, see the laughter and love in their eyes.

Deep inside me, embedded in one deep, hard knot of tightly-packed emotion, resides the guilt that never really leaves me, which, even at those times when I begin to feel those beautiful, sublime glimmers of joy and freedom warming the blood of my veins and making my heart feel like as if it could sing and glow, suddenly pushes itself forward, throwing the brightness into shadow, obscuring every trace of that beautiful light. It takes the form of an infinite, vast, dark cloud that engulfs that happiness and drives it away. So that my smile is always holding back the tears, so that that pure, untainted sense of joy, is always tinged with sorrow: the guilt which stems from knowing just how much I have hurt and betrayed and deceived my loved ones: my beloved family, my dear, special friends, from across the world. How could I be so selfish...why, oh why, did I prioritise obeying the Voice in my Head, over everything that I ever truly care for. How could I have put ED first; over my love for them?

And yet, they still have stood by me, as unflinchingly immovable as the rocks upon the seashore, strong and firm and unfaltering, against the fury of the tides which crash around them. And though that shore may be ever changing - that shore being the world that I know; the sea, the inexplicable forces of change at work around me and my loved truth remains the same.

I know that they will never give up on me...

I know that they will never stop caring.

And I know that I can do this, for them. They have been strong for me, for all of these long, hard, stormy years. Now it's my be strong and unfaltering and brave, for them.

Never let yourself forget, what, in this short, transitory little thing that we call life...what really matters.

Does that Voice...does that evil, malign horrible Voice in my Head, does that truly matter??

That voice which makes us starve ourselves, ceaselessly deceive our family and friends, push our bodies to the very brink of its existence, Which drives us into a state of fatigue, exhaustion: of an existence which can barely be termed as survival.

because living with that Voice, making that Voice believe that it is the thing in our lives which matters above everything else...that life, is hardly a real life at all. It is a living hell...and, more often than not, a death sentence.

Because it does hit me sometimes, just how close I got to hitting the rock bottom - how I essentially was balancing on the most narrowest of precipices; and how I only just managed to stop myself from falling. Falling, into an abyss of which there would have been no chance or hope of survival.

I want to leave that Voice behind...cast it away into the abyss; free myself from that belief that it is the Voice whick will make me happy: that it is the one who cares for me.

Yesterday afternoon, at home...the sitting room with the red wallpaper. The sound of the wind whistling softly outside. The reflection of the twinkly lights in the window beginning to become moist and foggy with the cold of the winter night. The warmth of Mam's hand around my own, as we stand together and gaze upon our beautiful, fully adorned, glistening Christmas tree, as bright and as radiant as if it had been scattered with dozen upon dozen of sparkling, radiant jewels.

This is what really matters to me...being with the people that I love.

This is where our relationship has to reach its end, Ed.

Because I no longer care for you. 

Friday, 4 December 2015

The battle rages on..

I'm not going to was hard. God knows why, but from the moment I got up this morning, I felt sluggish and crampy and my stomach was uncomfortably, horribly bloated. And I sort of knew that today was going to be difficult, because of that..and I could feel the anxiety creeping in deep inside me, because I knew then, that sticking to my meal plan would be all the more difficult, now. And by hell, it was.

But I did it.

Finally, I think I have truly found, that inner strength which was hidden deep inside me, all along.

I'm just hoping now that the bloating won't be as bad tomorrow - it completely ruined by appetite today, and I did struggle, I did experience alot of anxiety, even more so than under normal circumstances. There were several instances today when I thought, no, I can't do it. This is too hard, too hard. Surely restriction is easier than this.

But, this time, it was me, not ED, who was the stronger one.

I did indeed draw on my little list of ED fighting tools here as I discussed in a previous post..talking back to the ED voice, reminding myself of the promise I had made to

Now its time for my weekend goals...what are yours??? Feel free to share them with me ;) <3

  1. Sunday is scone day!! ;) so i will have a scone with my hot choc in the afternoon again.
  2. to stick to meal plan 100%, even if the bloating is still bad :( (really, really hoping that it wont be :'( 
  3. for breakfast tomorrow have a slice of my own yummmy spelt bread <3 toasted with 2 tsp peanut butter :)
  4. have ham in my roll on saturday, and thensunday, either egg mayo or tuna mayo
  5. oh..that can be another goal actualy. to increase the amount of pb..because its true, 2 tsp realy isnt that much at all. so i might go for 2 tsp PLUS this weekend..see how i get on. The aim ultimately is to not measure it any more but for now I am just working on erasing my fear about eating it. 
  6. apparently, its going to be gale force winds and heavy rain here, all day tomorrow :'( and so, this will mean I probably won't be able to venture too far with Benny :'( but I am going to try very, very hard to not get anxious about this, and not find myself getting grumpy and panicky about not getting as much walking done as I usually would... Thankfully, I have some useful distractions at hand to help me with this. a.) i am currently knitting a scarf fro my friend's xmas present which needs to e done for monday when i see plenty of clicking and clacking of needles will take place tomorrow. b.) its time for the Ganache-Elf to perform the very elf-befitting tasks of wrapping presents and making mince pies, all of which I intend to perform tomorriow ;) and c.) we are putting up the so excited, its one of my favourite xmas rituals of all <3
                                                          Hard to believe that this was a year ago now...

More about this tomorrow, but I was thinking today. Is it time to up the meal plan? Am I just putting off the inevitable by waiting until next weekend to preview things?
It's a tough one to call, because as expected, making that first crucial step those few weeks ago was as frightening and as daunted as I anticipated it would be..and every day still represents for me, an enormous challenge, a battle. A battle which ensues from the moment I open my eyes in the morning, till when I lie down again to go to sleep at night. A battle which leaves me exhausted, overwhelmed, physically and mentally drained. more often that not, I feel as battered and as bruised at the end of the day as I would if I had just been dragged through a field of gorse bushes.

But at the same time, something's telling me that I should; that I should take the next step forward. Leave not a stone unturned...face Ed head on...

Because I know now, that I have the strength to win this fight - the fight for my freedom, the fight for my life - deep, deep inside me.
and that the only person who can realise that, who can make that change, who can destroy thisVoice, once and forever, is me. <3 xxx

Never have the power to do everything, change anything...
Look inside you and find your inner strength.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Looking around me now...I guess I've been in this place before.

Regrets. Ok, I guess everyone has them. Some, more than others.

for me though, it feels as if, at times, that my regrets number more than my mermories, my joys, my thoughts themselves. So many ifs and buts and whys. So many tears, so much pain, and agony, and sorrow. And that aching, hollow emptiness clawing deep within my heart, it refuses to go away, and is with me, every day, as I look back on my life so far, and think about all the mistakes I have made.

If only I didn't go back to Trinity...
If only I had taken my loved ones advice...
If only I could be that high achiever that I used to be. But now, I'm just a nobody. Now, I have absolutely nothing.

If only I had nourished my body properly, over the past 9 years...9 years of starving and hurting my body...and now I have the skeleton of an old woman...
                                          And that was the year...the year when it all began...

If only I had got help sooner.
If only I had not surrendered to ED's embrace, that day when it first ame into my life, all those years ago. :'(

It's true. I realise now, that this September, I did make a massive mistake, again. I chose to go back to Trinity. The option of taking another year off-books was there for me: so too, of course, was the option of never going back altogether. Once again, however, I let the Voice get the better of inner critical voice. You should go back. You are a failure if you do not. It would be lazy and wrong to take another year out. Go back to coll. What else is there for you? I have to be a Trinity graduate. I have to. I won't go back on myself. I must. I should I have to - 

College comes before recovery.

because deep down, I knew I was not ready, I knew that I was far, far from recovered. I knew that ED was still part of me; I knew that I was not, after all my struggling, free from the Voice in my Head.

Conversation between me and Ed yesterday.

I need to do this reading now...but first, I must eat my snack...
Don't you dare eat your snack. You dont need it. I mean, look at your stomach, its bloated and full. You only had breakfast two hours don't need to eat now, at all.
No..I must stick to my meal plan. Leave me alone... can't eat it...give it an hour and then have to feel hungry to eat... need to eat this...I need to do my reading, Please, for Gods sake, just leave me alone.
I won't ever leave you Em. I am part of you and you are part of me.

The result of this dialogue?

Once again, I just sat there for an hour, book open before me, the words as meaningless and as incomprehensible to me as they would be in they be if they were inscribed in Arabic numerals.

And sitting in that library, surrounded by the silent forms of the other students engrossed in their , I felt that horrible, queasy sense of deja vĂș settle in my stomach. Because looking around me now, I know, I've been in this place before.

Feeling like the dumb, stupid, useless girl.

A little girl lost in a huge, massive, uncaring world.

It's true. Once again, it seems as if I have made a complete and utter mess of college.

But if I can't do college, if I can't pass my degree, if it turns out that I am destined to be the girl who failed.

At least I can say that I tried.
And that if I can't do college, if I can't pass my degree...
 At least I can succeed in my recovery, find the real Emmy.Become the person I want to be, and destroy those feelings of failure, of self-doubt and self-hatred, destroy the Voice which is trying to pull me down, and destroy me.

Only one of us can win this battle.
It's either going to be me, or the Voice.