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.:)

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

This is the Choice...the Choice which I have to make...

Choices. Something I have never exactly, been very good at. To say that I am indecisive, and that I struggle to make definite or concrete decisions regardless of what their context may be, would pretty much me an understatement. Especially, over the past few years. When it was possible, I would do my best to wriggle out of any kind of situation which would involve me making a choice or important decision, furtively hoping that someone else would do the deciding for me. Immature and irresponsible on my part, I know. But decision making made me afraid; for, no matter how hard I tried, I could not view the act of making a conscious choice as detached from the negative of damaging consequences which would be evoked through taking the wrong path or option. And then, of course, as was typical of me, I convinced myself, in my head, that I would always, without fail, be the one to make the wrong decision, and then those damaging consequences which I so greatly feared would come crashing down upon my head in their unbridled and terrible fury.

That much hasn't changed, for the past few years. Mallorca last year, going back to Trinity, deciding on whether or not to open up about my struggles or not. So many different decisions and choices, most of which involved alot of stress, alot of worry, alot of tears, even pain, because choosing, was just so, so hard.
So many, many decisions, so many choices...each and every one, which have impacted, in their own individual ways, upon my life.

But none of them, not one of them, can be equated to the one which faces me now.

It is the one which I know I cannot afford to hide from; one which I essentially cannot put off for another single day. And I know that there is no escaping it: or the hard, cold truth, of this one single fact. That this is the choice, the choice of which is going to have the biggest and most fundamental effect upon my future, my body, my life. Not just for short term. For years and years to come. For the rest of the days which I spend upon this earth as a living, breathing human being.

Late last night, when the rest of my loved ones had long retired to bed, I found myself still sitting up by the hearth in the front room, staring motionlessly into the weakly glowing, dying embers of the fire; a fire which had been so beautiful, so warm, so powerful in its former fiery vividness, with its golden-orange flames of liquid amber which leapt and danced upon the smoking logs. but yet now those flames had disintegrated into nothing but smoky, weakly glowing embers and sooty ashes; ashes which gave off as little heat as they did of light. A gradual chill began to descend upon the room, a chill which was pronounced and augmented by the now bare, empty corner where only just a day ago, the Christmas tree had stood in all of its regal glory, brightly lit and glowing, with as much warmth and radiance as that which had blossomed and bloomed in the fireplace, hours before the chill had began to tighten its hold.

But now there was no tree, no warm and blazing flames. My body suddenly felt so unprotected, vulnerable, fragile. I hugged my arms to my chest, feeling chilled to the very marrow of every bone.

But there was something else that was haunting me, then, freezing the blood in every vein,  I felt as if an ice cold, cruelly hand had tightened itself around my heart in one crushing, bloodless grip.

Because I know that, essentially, I have a  choice to make, now. A decision which I cannot put off for any longer; a choice, which can be made by no single other person but me.

Because this...this is it.

This is the choice I have to make. Right here, right now.

i can choose to recover, and reach, an accept, a healthy weight for my body.

Or...I can stay the same.

To stay the same. Entrapped, within the prison created by my eating disorder. To remain at a weight which isn't healthy for my body. To remain...sick.

And deep down, I know. I know what the consequences will be, if I were to take that path.

Depression, and despair, and isolation.
Ruined bones. A fragile, delicate, unhealthy body, damaged beyond repair. Too weak and broken to do the things that I love.
Dry, cracked skin. hair loss.
Exhaustion, fatigue, no energy to do anything.
Inability to focus, concentrate. Unable to think about anything, anything but those consuming, terrible, self-destructive thoughts.

And some of these, I have already experienced, for myself. Am experiencing. The days when I do not have this thick, heavy, suffocating black cloud of fogginess hanging over me, blocking out the light and enveloping me in darkness, are few and far between. I smile and try to put on a cheery face, not wanting my loved ones to see the pain that I conceal inside, locked away in the deepest and darkest part of my heart. Because of my eating disorder, I have become an extremely negative, self-conscious, lonely girl who is dependent on others to look out for her. College, once again, has proven to be a complete and utter disaster for me. I'm due to start next term on the 18th of this month, but to be brutally honest, I think it's highly unlikely that I have actually passed the first term. I have two essays to hand in next week...two essays, and to just look at them breaks my heart, because I know that they are not enough. Not enough, to reach the high standards demanded by Trinity.

And then...then, there is the loneliness. The isolation that my eating disorder has brought me...this is one of the hardest parts. Being in such a big, bustling university, surrounded by dozens upon dozens of bright-eyed, intelligent, sophisticated young people who appear to have the world at their feet. They go around in their groups of friends, talking and laughing and conversing, planning their next night out, arguing over where the best place is to go for lunch. But me...I am removed, from all that. To me, Trinity is a place of loneliness and bitter memories.

And it's true that ED is very good, at making me close my eyes to it. It'll be ok, Emmy. Sure of course being underweight has its negatives. But it's better than weight gain, right? I mean, look how ugly you looked over the summer..!

Because of ED...I couldn't accept this new, strange, different body..

And even if I were to make it manageable....a life, a life with an eating disorder. But what is to stop me, from falling, falling down, down and down into that yawning abyss, to hit the terrible, razor sharp rocks at the very bottom?

Do I want to live my life on a precipice?

And to go along that wrong path now...
Like the dying remnants of that fire,
I know that I will lose all my strength, all my light, everything that I have.

I am so, so glad that I finally found that inner strength deep within me, to make that decision back in November to fight for my recovery once again and prevent my relapse from deteriorating into something far, far more serious. Because that, after all, is exactly what could have happened.

I hope...I hope that through my recovery, I will be able to forge myself a new life path. One upon which I will be free from this loneliness, this feeling of inadequacy, of self-hate. One in which I will feel accepted by others as well as myself. One upon which...I will experience some kind of..freedom.

But I know that none of that will ever be possible, if I choose to remain the same, and not change. i don't know where I am really going right now, what 2016 is going to bring me. I might well fail college, and have to drop out. The loneliness might never truly leave me. Maybe I will be forever lost in these foggy, dark clouds. But all I know is...I am the one who has to make this choice. And I choose to give this recovery all I have got. I have made my choice and I have embarked upon that path, once again. The one which leads up this long, steep, hard, lonely mountain. And though the top of that mountain is distant, unknown, unfamiliar...I am prepared now to do what it takes, to get there. Because I know, without one shard of uncertainty, what a wrong choice right now will bring me. So I am going to stumble on right now, through the darkness and the fog...because I have made my choice, right now, and I am committed to it. because this, essentially, is a choice between life and death.

I have made my decision...
And this time, I will, no matter what, be turned back. <3 xxx


  1. Emily, you so remind me of me! The difference is you can recognise these feelings. I never could till much later on life. I waa ao broken and had horrible thinga happen to me that my ED was a way out. You are where I currently am. I'm challenging these thought patterns. Enough. Don't I deserve myself and family to be happy. My husband and kids are so wonderful. I forget how much it worries them. Try to put all evil thoughts aside. It's hard. Everytime pne thought pops up don't think on it. This is my new way of trying to overcome. If I don't think on it, it has no power. Wish you could see yourself through my eyes. How much more beautiful and kind spirited could anyone be. You can do this Emily!!!! One day, one meal at a time. My special prayer for you is the peace of God flow over you and encourage you and show you how lovely you really are. Love and hugs xo

    1. <3 thank you so much again hun for your wise and kind words!! They mean so, so much to me dear <3 and you are so, so right. You DESERVE to be happy and free Sonya. And your approach is really good. Over the past few days I have felt so much stronger, more motivated. I definitely have got better at identifying the Voice. We need to stop it right in its tracks, fight against it with every single ounce of strength that we have when it tries to pull us in the wrong direction. Please stay strong hun. I am right here beside you always. Thank you so, so much for your words hun <3 they really touch my heart. Please take care Sonya dear I'm thinking of you <3 xxx

  2. I can completely and totally relate to the inability to make a decision. I feel your pain. You have to somehow to learn to have more confidence in yourself, and hey, what does it matter if you make a 'wrong' decision, you'll learn a lesson from it! A precious lesson that will allow you to move forward in life. Thinking of you so very much xxx

    1. <3 thank you so, so much hun for your sweet words <3 I am really hoping that through recovery hun I will learn to accept myself and distance myself from this strong feeling of self-hatred. All my love to you dear hugs :* xxxxxx

    2. You will, the more you recover, the more you'll learn to accept yourself and like yourself and then love yourself. Recovery will bring you inner peace so that you can move forwards and live your life to your fullest potential. You're so bright, don't waste your future on anorexia. You have to take one little step at a time, baby steps all the way to recovery and beyond. xxxxxxxxxx

    3. <3 thank you so, so much hun, that means so much, you are so honest and sincere and I believe every word you say. Recovery is worth the fight hun, that much I know without one shadow of a doubt. I will keep on taking my little steps hun. Today was a good day and I intend tomorrow to be jjust as good, if not even better. <3 all my love hun <3 xxxxxxx

  3. Dear Emmy,
    I am so sure that you will win! But please, my dear friend, don't be too hard on yourself, you out yourself under pressure, and I feel so sad about that. I was so sad on New Year's Eve because I wanted to get rid of my eating disorder in 2015, but I realised that I couldn't make it. I need more time and the more I force myself to change old routines or behaviours the less I have success to make any progress. So please, take care, I deeply believe in you, and I will always be there for you.
    Kindest Maria

    1. Oh my dear, I truly feel for you...for this time last year I was promising myself the exact same thing, that 2015 would be "The year"! But no, recovery does not always quite work out the way we plan hun, we just have to take it a day at a time, recovery can't be rushed...we just have to give it 100% of our time, effort, energy,,make it your priority hun, you deserve to live a life of freedom, happiness and health, something which can never be achieved if we were to remain with this Voice attached to our hearts and minds. I am always here for you too hun! Love and best wishes to you xxx