At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Friday, 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


  1. Dearest friend, i follow your posts and try to achieve my goals. There is one thing i really have a problem with: i can't eat if my husband is not there, I have so much stress if I have to eat alone, so I have to wait till he comes home. For me it is not fair if i have something to eat and he doesn't, even if i know that he had his meal abroad. My voice says, no, bad girl, don't be so selfish, you greedy pig, wait! So I sometimes have to wait more than 12 hours if he leaves in the morning. It will be a hard fight, but I don't give up.
    Stay strong, love, Maria

    1. Dear Maria hun, I can really, really relate to you hun. I struggle with the EXACT same thing. You must fight that voice hun!! Know that is is PERFECTLY acceptable and normal to eat alone; it is a necessary part of life and something everyone has to do from time to time. I am sure that your husband would be so upset if he knew that you felt like this. Stay strong hun. Remember food is our medicine and our bodies need as much of it as possible right now. I try to tell myself this too. I am with you always hun <3 all my love xxx

  2. Emily! I'm so proud of you! You're working so hard on your recovery and you're being so honest with yourself over what you are/aren't managing etc. It's so inspiring.

    But I also want to say that I think you are putting too much pressure on yourself. The posts you write demonstrate how strong your ED is (and this is NOT your fault!). You are fighting against such a strong voice and you are trying to do it all alone. Like I said in my e-mail, this is only my perspective but personally I find that having to make the decisions is just as (if not more) stressful than actually doing them. If you talked to your parents (or someone else you trust, a sister, a friend, whatever) and told them your goals. Tell them you want to clean your plate, tell them you need help having a scone etc. then find a way for them to keep you accountable. That way you don't have to fight so hard. If you have no choice but to do things they become easier (like when you were inpatient and control was taken away from you). Trust me, this will make everything so much easier for you. Obviously at some point in the future you will have to be independent, but you are not there yet (and that is PERFECTLY OK!). This is ESPECIALLY important for weighing and meal plan changes. If you aren't seeing a dietician or treatment team, can you ask your Mum to weight you (and not tell you the number) so you don't have to see it and get triggered. Same with your meal plan. Figure out where you should be weight-wise, then let your Mum control your food (adding whenever needed based on weight etc.). That way you don't have to know the numbers or make changes yourself (and therefore you take that added pressure off yourself)

    Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to chat about it more. It is breaking my heart to see you having to fight so hard and having to make all these decisions and things all by yourself. I know it's scary to give up control, but trust me, it'll help.

    I'm sorry if this comment came across as negative. It wasn't meant to be at all. I'm so impressed with how hard you're fighting and I just want to see you thrive so so much. You're incredible and you deserve all the freedom and happiness in the World.


    -N xx

    1. oh hun, thank you so so much for your sweet comment it really touched my heart hun <3 oh hun, could I email you about this it would really help me I think. Yousee my problem hun is..I would love to give over control completely to my loved ones but I feel as if I cannot as to ask for their help, would mean that they would be fully aware of how much I slipped back :'( it's so tough hun, as honestly, if I can honestly say I think to have absolutely no control at all would be the best thing in the world for me.
      I will email you soon hun anyway <3 all my love and take care dear <3 xxx

    2. I totally understand Emily. There is also the added difficulty of knowing that when you tell your parents they will stop you using behaviours and hold you to your goals which can be so so challenging (but in a good way). It took my three weeks to work up the nerve to tell my parents that I was running behind their backs and I was so worried they would be disappointed in me. But my parents are attending family therapy sessions with my psychologist who has helped them to understand how loud the ED voice is and that things like that are not my fault. Instead of being disappointed, they were very supportive. My psychologist then decided I wasn't allowed to run at all and so my parents took away my running shoes/clothes (and locked them in my Dad's office at work which is on the other side of the city!). It's obviously so hard not to run, but at the same time now I feel safe and I CAN'T engage in an ED behaviour no matter how much I wanted to. And it makes the ED voice quieter because now it can't say "just run, just a short one, no one will notice" because there is no way I physically could. It means that I don't have the pressure to stop myself heaped on me.

      Maybe you could start with telling one person, then get them to help you tell others. My psychologist is wonderful and I usually tell her things first then she helps me tell my parents. If there is someone you trust more (sister? mom? aunt?) maybe start with them and then get them to help you work with everyone else.

      Please feel free to e-mail me anytime. I'm always here to help!

      And never forget: you're important, your story is important, you're worth it.

      -N xx

    3. Ahhh hun, such wise words!! I now realise, when I left the hospital, why my care team urged me to try and get some family therapy sorted, but my response , time and time again, would always be that it was unlikely that I ever would take up any kind of therapy, due to our financial situation. It is a great pity though hun as from what you are telling me it sounds really helpful.

      Thank you so much dear <3 I really appreciate that. I will email you asap hun! Take care all my love <3 xxx

  3. Oh, Emily,the struggle you go through... it is so hard, I can so relate...:( But you ( and me too) CAN do more...!Try not to compensate ( e.g. I sometimes eat a fear food and afterwards eat less)-
    I mean, it is good to break bad habbits, but also THE RESULT- so the weight- is important...
    it is so easy to cheat a little bit all the time...
    We REALLY have to decide for recovery!It is for you, for us, this scone...when I used to life at home, food I hadn`t eaten in front of others was, I always eat alone, but sometimes I have the urge to tell my mother what I have eaten ...and SO is sort of embarrising!
    I `ve never been at a normal weight since I was about 13 years old, but I know I will have to be to become healthy...
    Dear dear Emiliy, hope so much you stay strong and we can fight together...really fight..not a little bit...(sonds a little pathetic what I have written, sorry).
    Alwyas love to read of you,
    my best wishes and hugs and lots of love,

    1. <3 your comments mean so so much to me hun , you must never think they are pathetic or silly they really matter so so much to me <3 recovery is a decision we must make every single day it is not something we choose once but over and over again. We will fight together dear I am always here for you. Please stay strong.
      all my love, emmy xxxx