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.:)

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


  1. I can relate to you...I always have to eat alone no matter what it is. It's a rule that u=just gets in the way of life so much so I can understand your upset. Good luck with your Christmassy Goals. Lots of love from me and Benji and Mali xxxxxxxxx

    1. <3 thank you so, so much hun, that means so much to me <3 I hope you had a lovely christmas too and give my love to all your wee animals <3 take care hun <3 xxx

  2. Oh Emily, today was a very bad day for me... well, sometimes I feel that I failded kind of too often...
    So much "acting" today, feeling so distant, so many sad people around me, at the moment don`tknow how it will be go on... hope it will, thank you for this post, love, Theresa

    1. Dearest Theresa, please don't give up dear, I hope this post gave you the strength to fight on, I know exactly how you feel and when bad things happen it might seem like the end of everything and that you will never feel happy again, but it is at times like that hun when you just need to keep strong and believe that things will work they do hun, as long as you don't give up and be prepared to try anything to change things..hope you are feeling much better hun, all my love to you <3 xxx

  3. You inspire me Emily, you keep getting up and moving forward. Proud that you can acknowledge how you felt in circumstances that were overwhelming but you kept going and you can hold your head high. The first step is to recognise these behaviours and it gives you something to work on. You've got the strength to keep going, if you can get through Christmas day that's absolutely a step forward. We (those that struggle with anED are strong minded individuals) we just need to be able to turn these qualities to stand up to this disorder and tell these thoughts where to go. Emily you are so hard on yourself, this is not easy and you are definitely not alone in your feelings. I'm proud to say my Christmas day I did ok - it's taken years to get my head in the right frame. I knew the day would be challenging but every time I started having a thought i!d fight against it. In saying that I didn't have as much as everyone else but the best I've ever done. That's a step. This journey isn't easy, but the result will be worth it. To not have these voices telling me how stupid I am etc. I'm hear anytime Emily. Keep looking to the future and don't look back at where you were. Someone told me that the other day. There are times I look back and say see how far I've come and I take my eyes off where I need to go and that distracts me. You are so talented and definitely intuitive. You will go so far in life, you don't need anorexia to go with you. Take every day one at a time. By owning how you feel it's moving ahead. Xxoo

    1. Sonya thank you so so much for your comment and I am so so proud of you too for achieving so much over the past few days. I'm really glad that you can see for yourself just how much progress you have made as it is so important to acknowledge that as we both know!! And that is so true, we are all stubborn in our own ways but in the past its more than likely we used this as a way to maintain our eating we have to reverse things around. Your wisdom and insight really inspire me dear, you have helped me so much and I really can't express how grateful I am to you for your advice. I wish you al the luck in the world Sonya for keeping strong and focused over the final days of Christmas, andbeyond. Let's make 2016 the year we beat this monster for good. All my love to you dear. Take care. xxx