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.:)

Monday, 18 April 2016


Not far now. The one sentence which I keep repeating to myself, over and over again: sometimes spoken outloud, softly so no one else can hear; sometimes over and over in my head, so that the three words echo and reverberate through the tunnels and passages of my mind.

I am referring, of course, to college. It's the final stretch now of what has proven, once again, to be a difficult and painful year for me. The essays are all done, now. All that remains are the exams, which i now lok towards with fear, dread, and apprehension. But behind all that fear and the doubt and the uncertainty, there burns this one small, barely distinguishable, but fervent light. I fix that light in my mind's eye, now, protecting it as I would a fragile little candle with its tiny, flickering flame.

Summer. The season of warmth and colour and sunlight. The season of long, sun-soaked days of sublimity and cloudless skies, when the blazing orb of the sun casts down its rays of gold and liquid amber to caress the shimmering face of the earth. The season, that can be seen to revive each and every part of that world. The idyllic country garden or the pebbly, windswept beach; the lonely  mountain top or the bustling city. The season....the season of freedom.

But I chose not to go away this summer. Mam and Dad will be going to Mallorca again; but this time, I will not be going with them. And it is not because I do not want to. With every inch of my heart and soul I wish that I too will be sitting in the car with them, with my battered sunhat and faded flipflops and mucky runners wrapped up in an unsightly plastic bag. But when mam and dad were arranging the holiday and finalising their decision about whether theywere going or not, I was in the depths of my relapse. When Mam asked me that anticipated, dreadful question, on that bleak rainy day last October - that being, of course, if I would like to come with them to our long-established favourite holiday spot - my immediate reaction was one in which I experienced an assortment painful, conflicted feelings. Sadness and longing, fear, anxiety, desperation. But, most of all, the sharp, throbbing ache of regret.

I desperately yearned to reach out to her, then. To make her realise…just how badly, I wanted to go with them. Mallorca. Beautiful, untainted, unforgettable  Mallorca: that little gem of an island set in the sapphire blue waters of the Mediterranean . But I can no longer hear that picturesque island’s name, without feeling the hot and bitter tears of remorse fill my eyes; without reflecting, with a heavy heart, upon the extent to which that single word evokes for me a series of painful and memories. Memories of tears and anger and pain, where there should have only been joy and laughter and happiness. Of the chill, the chill that had encased my heart in ice and stole the glow of pure, blissful happiness from my cheeks ; a chill which into even the glorious radiance of that Mediterranean sun could not eradicate; or even touch. Because every single time that I went to Mallorca, i know that Ed was there with me. With me, every time I sat with my family in our favourite restaurant in the little square, whispering into my ear and filling my head with its lies. Lies, of what was going to happen to me; if I dared to order that meal which sounded so scrumptious; if I dared to even attempt to break through the unfathomable spell of its fear. With me, each and every time I would slip off my top and shorts and immerse my body in the cool, rippling waters of the pool outside the villa. I was its ever obedient subject, its most unquestioning and piteously compliant servant, completely and helplessly subordinated to the force of its will and the strength of its malevolent power. One lap would swiftly lead to another; each stroke, becoming faster and more vigorous with every breath that I managed to take. On and on I would go, surging through that water until my lungs felt like they were going to burst and I would be left gasping and floundering like a fish entrapped in a net. 

I hope with all my heart though that this summer will be long and golden and beautiful. But there is something which I want to...I want to feel this summer, which I have never, for the past ten summers of my life, have been permitted I want this Summer to be different...this time, I want something to change.

Because yesterday I turned twenty two and I realise that I don't want to remain entrapped, no more. I have been entrapped for almost half of my life... This Summer I want to be free.

i was not free, the first time i went to Mallorca, all those years ago in 2009. Neither was I when I returned back to that special island, several years later in 2014. Then,in 2015, last year, I went back to Mallorca for the third time, with a new, "recovered", body..
2014- start of my recovery journey


And even though people would look at me, and think, there's a happy, healthy, "normal" girl...
They couldn't see the storm that raged deep inside...

They couldn't see the chains that bound my heart and soul and mind.
For then, even then...I was anything but free.

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