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


  1. I deeply understand your feelings, I always felt like an alien among my classmates, I never fit in, I felt wrong, strange, alone. At school, I was hungry, but I didn't allow myself to eat. I craved for a roll, but no, I had to resist this temptation. I had to be stronger. It is hard to learn that I am worth to live a wonderful life, and you deserve the best life on earth. You are such a wonderful person, your words are so helpful, please write your book, I know that it will be great! You are talented! Please believe me!
    I will try to start a new life too, with new hobbies and try to find out who I am and what I really want and like.
    I will always be there for you, love and the best wishes for 2016.
    Kindest Maria

    1. <3 oh hun, thank you so, so much, your words really brought a smile to my face today!! <3 no, you must resist that Voice dear, as I must too, as it will be our ruin if we give in to it. Instead, try to smile and find happiness and the positives in every day, don't dismiss compliments from your loved ones, and don't downplay your own successes!! You are such a lovely person hun; think about it this way - both you and I could no doubt spend a long time praising one another's gifts and talents, but yet when we come to ourselves, we would struggle to write a single thing!! But this is what we both need to work on, and realise we are both so worth recovery, and a happy and healthy life. xxxx

  2. I can also relate to this, I know its so hard to be kind to yourself, I am still the same way, I think it takes a lot of time to build self esteem and learn to love yourself, keep doing all the things your good at, you seem to be very talented.
    Wish you all the best for the New year! take care xx

    1. happy new year to you too dear <3 thank you so, so much for your comment. It is always such a comfort I find, to know that I am not alone in feeling like this. I think it will take me a very, very long time dear, and I acknowledge that I might not get there, completely. But I just want to get to a level with it so that my low self esteem doesnt interfere with my health and enjoying life. As at the moment I think this is what is happening.
      Oh thank you so much dear, I can't honestly say I agree with you about being talented .. but maybe thats the low self esteem voice making me say that..? Its just so hard to fight it, but fight it we must! happy new year to you too dear Liberty, all my love and best wishes! xxx