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.:)

Sunday, 11 December 2016

The Flames...

Wipe away those tears, Em. They aren't going to change anything.
They're not going to write this essay for you. They're not going to change the fact that you seem to have become a complete and utter imbecile...

A typical day in the life of Emmy, Trying to write her English essays.

So I stood up then and rubbed furiously at my cheeks, angrily chastising myself for letting those tears fall from my eyes. Then, I reread the sentence again, pulling my jumper tightly around me, gripping the soft material with my fingers. The words float around in my head, echoing mockingly; grating together like knives being scratched across a steel plate.

there's that queasy, all to familiar sensation bludgeoning in my head; the subtle reminder that yes, I have been here before. The past few years have been all but the same.

What is wrong with me?

Have I become completely...stupid? Inept?

 I almost feel like reaching out with trembling fingers to scratch those hateful words upon the screen with my very fingernails. Fingernails which are short and worn, on fingers with skin the texture of sandpaper. How I am ashamed of them. Just like I am of everything about my own body.

It seems like forever since I wrote in my beloved blog; though college, of course, did not permit me to do so for the past few weeks, months, of the latter part of 2016. After such a beautiful summer, autumn took on a more darker shade for me. I became weaker and started to restrict again, reestablishing a familiar pattern which seems to be set in motion every fall of every year.

But then, at long last, came the crucial moment of realisation.

Not sure exactly when and where this little moment actually happened. Perhaps it was when I was walking with mam and she said to me, very tenderly, that I was looking just "a bit too thin" again, and I saw the pain in her dark green eyes. Perhaps it was when we picked up our new rescue dog Daisy, four weeks ago, and I took her out on the bog with Benny for her very first walk. I called her by name and she ran to me, placing her head in my lap as I crouched down to enclose her in my arms; wanting her to know that she was now safe, and loved. Noone will harm you here, I whispered. But her big brown eyes were penetrating into my own, as if she, too, was trying to convey to me an unspoken message.

I know that, Emmy. But you have to be well enough to look after me.


Daisy is right. I have to keep myself well, to look after her. She is a two year old, jet black collie cross; and is, as the saying goes, as mad as a hatter. Daisy will need lots of long walks. She loves having someone to run and play with, to throw her sticks and then chase after them with her. All things that I want more than anything else to do with her. And which I have been, over the past few weeks. She has already stolen my heart.

But if I were to choose to give up now - to relapse, wholly and completely - than I know all too well that my health and energy will fall, and shrivel, like the fallen winter leaves lying dead upon the cold, hard earth.

My osteoporosis will worsen. the slightest fall or trip might well break an arm, a wrist, a leg.

And this second - or maybe not second; my weight has gone up and down on the scales now for as long as I can remember - has taught me a vital lesson about a fear which Ed had for me established as an undeniable reality.

I realise now that my fears about my "damaged metabolism" were, after all, just that. Fears. All these convictions that I would not stop gaining and that once I was weight restored I would have to revert to restrictive amounts in order to maintain and stabilise my weight. They were lies. Nothing more. From this weight loss I have been able to establish a fact.


I can eat what I want.

Yesterday evening I sat by the open fire in the sitting room, watching the golden orange flames leap and dance in the hearth. Transfixed by their beauty, I pushed myself slightly forwards. The delicious heat of those flames drew me ever nearer  I stretched out my legs and wriggled my ice-cold toes. As I gently eased off my socks, though, intent upon feeling that warmth upon the bare skin of my feet, an icy shudder passed involuntarily through my body, brought on by what lay beneath the soft wool. Dry, cracked, broken skin; flaky to the touch, rubbed red raw on the edges of some of the toes.  I hate my feet, I had whispered to myself despondently, and had swiftly pulled back on the socks, so my eyes could no longer look. They are ugly, so ugly. Just like the rest of my body...

But this is Ed. This is Ed and what he has done to me. One thing he cannot touch is my strength and power of resistance. One thing he cannot take away is my resolve to carry on, no matter how many times I may fall.

Though on the outside, in the eyes of the world I was a "healthy", normal girl...
They could not see what I hid behind my smile, behind my healthy, weight restored body.
And that thing which was inside me made me despise what I saw in the mirror.

The storm continues to build. The thunder roils, the clouds bunching together into one thick, inter-penetrable mass. The noise drowns out everything. I cannot think. I sit in class and I cannot hear what the lecturer is saying. I drift in and out of the conversation, a tiny bloodless smile fixed rigidly upon my lips. I don't really understand what is being said. Psychoanalysis. Koros. Something about linear and cyclical time in children's literature. The words float above my head like pollen grains suspended in a summer wind.

There is just so much... noise, in my head. A crashing cymbal and a raging thundercloud. A tornado which keeps on revolving and revolving, threatening to destroy everything in its path.

But though the storm may continue to rage, I know I have to continue to fight on, Despite that bitterly cold wind which cuts into me like a blade; despite that icy rain running in rivulets down my face.

I said I'd do it in 2016. I will make a full recovery. I'll find the real Emmy. Not some twisted, skeletal version of myself. Not a girl who feels like she is dying inside. I'll make it there in 2016. That;s what I said, this time last year, as I desperately fought to pull myself from the wreck of my first major relapse.

But those sentences by this time sound so familiar; because I know I have said them to myself several times before.
In 2014.
And 2015. And now it's the end of yet another year.

I know alot has changed, since this time last year...

But yet, at the same time, one crucial fact remains unaltered.

I am no freer than before..
 This will be my twelfth year, with Ed.

You might as well give up, Emmy, that voice whispers to me. Give up. So much easier. So much more simple. You know you'll never get there...

In a way I suppose, succumbing to that voice will be like drawing so close to those flames in the blazing fireplace, so close that my skin is set alight and I am consumed and completely destroyed by the flames...

As that is what Ed has the power to do, ultimately. Unless I consume the food that my body will, quite remorselessly, consume me.

Unless I break free. But yet this is the thing that I yearn for so desperately, at the same time..there is that part of me which remains terrified, which wants to remain subordinate to this malignant thing which resides inside my head. And so. Breaking free. It will be no less as painful as reaching out and closing my open hand around one of the bright and beautiful flames in the roaring fireplace; before then proceeding to crush it, crush the hot flame within my clenched fingers. It will burn. It will singe the skin to the very bone.The pain, the sheer terror, will be unlike anything that I have ever before known.But I know here lies the ultimate, defining decision. I can choose to let it win; or I can choose to extinguish it. To destroy that thing which will destroy me if I do not take action first.

Every day...

just need to remind myself...

that recovery, not college, is my new priority now.

I must feed myself and destroy this illness...

Not feed this illness and destroy myself. 


  1. So lovely to see back. I know only too well about making promises every year that next year will be my breakthrough. Please don't give up. There is so much ahead of you. Ed is such a liar. Everyone can see you are a beautiful young woman. As people tell me, if only you could see what others see, I'd be surprised. My love comes with a big Christmas hug. Take small steps, everyday do something for you. It doesnt have to be anything massive or expensive. Dont be ashamed to admit you are struggling. Help is there when you open up. Love the young woman you are. We all do. There is only one Emily and that makes you special xxx

    1. Dearest Sonya <3, I am so so sorry dear - I checked my spam comments today (I only do this once in a blue moon ) and for some reason blogger had put your comment in there!! I am so mad at it for doing so and annoyed with myself for only having seen it now!! I really was so happy to hear from you and did wonder how you were doing - as always, reading your comment gave me so much joy and hope, thank you so, so much dear <3 <3 I hope you had a loverly Christmas and new year, I am sending you all my love..thank you so, so much for your support, as always <3 all my love dear <3 xxxx

  2. You have only one body and one life. Your only obligation is to live well- without ED. You've avoided relapses before, so there's no reason why you can't do it again this time. The only thing stopping you is fear. Fear of the unknown and who you will be without ED. It helps to live in the present as much as possible. Have you ever tried meditating? Sometimes feeling, rather than seeing your body can help because all you become aware of are sensations & thought- without judgement.
    There is life beyond ED, but you have to want it more than you want to remain chained to ED

    I don't think you are an imbecile. That's just your mind playing tricks on you. Thoughts are not facts. The essay does not need to be perfect- regardless of how much you think it does. Just do your best. Write your arguement first, then find sources to back it up If it helps. Write one paragraph at a time- out if order if need be and try not to edit too much. You can do it! :)

    1. Thank you so, so much for your comment <3 it really meant so much to me today! I have never tried meditating but I would really like to. I am quite a spiritual person at heart and so in a way it's funny that I haven't tried it before now! :)

      You really are so right though - essentially, the thing that I really have to conquer IS fear, for that is , after all, what ED is made of. Fear. A fear thatis all in my head!

      Thank you so much too for your advice about the essay, I really do appreciate it so, so much at this time! Thank you again and sending you my best wishes and :)

  3. Sorry to read of your struggles. I have recently relapsed right back to where I was before I began recovery so I can understand how you feel. Right now I am trying to claw my way back up, fighting ED and its restrictions day by day. Its not easy but I simply cannot stay where I am now, its slowly killing me, my body has been pushed to its limits and is failing me. You must fight this too and stay strong. You have done it before and you can do it again. Don`t let ED win. Life without ED will be so much happier, free`er and positive, don`t listen to it telling you you will be nothing without it - that's a lie. You can live your life and be your own person, believe in yourself. Take one day at a time - baby steps add up.
    I believe in you and know you can do it. Good luck xx

  4. <3 Thank you so, so much for your comment, it really did brighten my day so much <3 It means more than you can imagine to me, to know that I am not alone in my struggles! Thank you so much for reaching out to me and sharing your advice and strength. My thoughts are really with you too as I think we both know how difficult it is to pull oneself from a relapse. I can totally relate to what you say. I want to talk a bit more about this in another post but I guess over the past few weeks I recognised and acknowledged the extent to how much my body is damaged. Essentially it is a race against time for both of us now; to fight back against ED, before it can cause our bodies irreparable damage. I try to tell myself this every day and it does help me to feel stronger.

    I am sending you so much strength and best wishes and all the luck in the world. Thank you so much again for writing. I cannot stress how much every comment on my blog means to me and how grateful I am to you, my readers! xxx