Before I begin, I just want to stress again how incredibly touched I am over the responses I have been receiving here on My Cocoa Stained Apron since I resumed blogging. I really do mean it when I say it means more than the world to me. It may not seem like much when you decide to write and post a comment on here, but, to me, every single message and response is worth so, so much more than just a few words upon a screen.
It makes me feel so glad that I decided to return to this little thing which is my blog; a little world in which I know I can truly be myself. It's here where I know I can pour out my heart if I want to; it's here where I am free to expose my biggest fears and anxieties and try and shape them into coherent words and forms.
It's here where I can reach out to others in the knowledge that I will not be judged for who I am and from what I have been suffering since childhood. It is here where I can be just Emmy. A girl with an eating disorder, yes: but also, one who has hopes and dreams and passions; a girl who is just trying to find her way along the slippy crags and lonely moors of a mountain known as Recovery.
Christmas. For me, Christmas has always been a special time, being synonymous with being at home surrounded by my loved ones, and the joyous act of buying, wrapping, and giving a gift; and the excitement evoked on receiving one. It is a time when I suppose the love I perceive human beings have for each other is brought into patent expression. And that in itself is a beautiful, beautiful thing; more beautiful than any diamond wrought star glittering high upon its sparkling Christmas tree.
Though it's true to say, over the past four years or so, each one which passed me was marked by intense and palpable sadness; and a joy wehich was always bittersweet. I guess, now that I am older, I have become more sharply aware of how quickly the time is flitting by me.
How these precious moments we spend together as a family, might well be the very last of these times. Or how many Christmases I have spent with Ed. How many months, years, that U have done. It's now been well over a decade.
Ten Christmases, which essentially have been the same:the same fears and the same anxieties; the same desperate longing to be totally and completely happy; to not dwell, for one single moment, about the portions at Christmas dinner or the difference in the eating times. To not think for a single instant about weight and shape and what I will eat that day.
And I know that the greatest gift that I could give me loved ones is to choose to recover. To dedicate my heart and soul and every last drop of my energy towards recovery. And this isn't just true for me; it holds true for everyone.
So if you, like me, have suffered for any given length of time, choose to make your new year's resolution this year to be one which ultimately will prove to be the scariest, most daunting, most terrifying decision of your life...but also one which give you back hope, and life, and freedom once again. The one which will ultimately save your life. The one which will allow us to break away from this harsh, cold, disparate world created for you by your eating disorder. Because it is a different world; a world in which there is only pain and suffering and hurting; and, inevitably, one which is overshadowed by death.
On the outside that world might appear so aesthetic, so ideal. Before you entered it, it was like you were standing looking across a great river, to a world lying upon the other side which, in comparison to your own, appears so attractive, so vivid, so ideal. It's a world of snow-white glaciers and glittering skyscrapers; so appealing to your hopeful eyes.
You are drawn to that world like a bee to a lily's golden nectar. Because it seems like in there, all your problems will be solved; all your needs and desires instantly fullfilled. It offers you things that your own world does not provide for you, you believe. This was how I felt, anyway. I thought that, leaving behind my old world...I would find what I - that young, naive, innocent version of myself - truly wanted. What was it? Many things. Confidence. Beauty. Control. To make myself different. I thought that I was a boring, plain, ugly thing and that Ed's world was the only route through which I would be transformed.
But I could not be more wrong.
Ed's world did change me, alright: but to a shadow of the person I once was. And I now realise fully just what his world really is like.
The glaciers there are of ice so sharp and cruel that my skin was torn to shreds on stepping upon them.
I thought that on climbing those towers, I would be on top of the world. Id feel more in control, more capable, than ever before.
But I - just like so many, many others - became a prisoner in those towers. And now everything that you value falls away, separated by a hundred billion miles. All there is is...you, and the other sole occupier of this cold, sterile, barren world.
Because that is what the world of the eating disorder really is like. And this is what it can do. It separates; creates a seemingly impassable gulf between you and the world and the people you care for; everything . It isolates, distances, and destroys.
But we remain there; entrapped in this cold, harsh, inanimate world of pain and suffering. Because it's our new normality; it's as if we never knew anything different. And the river separating our two worlds now seems as deep and as vast as the infinite expanses of the ocean.
It might seem an impossible thing to achieve...to close your eyes, feel your way through the dark, then realise the river is there right in front of you. Right in front of you and all you need to do is take that one massive leap.
But I'm here - I'm HERE, at the bank of this river; I know what I need to do...
but it's just...taking..that massive, massive jump, and then, starting to swim...I won't be able to do it...I'm not strong enough...!
Believe you can, and you will.
And I will repeat this to myself every day, because deep down I know ir is the truth. And though ED might try to make us believe otherwsie,
there is enormous strength deep down in every single one of us.
Enough strength to cross that river...
Enough strength to reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
Make this year the one in which you give your loved ones the greatest gift...
And the one in which you take the greatest and most bravest leap that you ever will take in your life.
Why fear drowning in the river...
when we are already drowning in the depths of ED's world?
Thank you so, so much for taking the time to read my blog in 2016.
I really hope 2017 will be the one in which we conquer our fears and achieve our greatest dreams.
And so for the latter part of this year I want to talk a little more about the particular challenges I face and my endeavours to overcome them; and also, posts which I hope, in composing, will set in stone for me how imperative it is that I make recovery, this year, my priority.
I really hope that through the words of my writing, I will be able to reach out and help others in their struggles too; and make a true difference to someone's life.
But I know that, ultimately, I will never be able to help anyone unless I rescue myself.
You know what you have to do, Em.