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.:)

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Above, and beyond, that halfway mark...

The half-way line. A point , upon the road leading up the mountain: a certain little milestone on the path of recovery, at which I have come to know more than just a little well.

Because basically this is as far as I have ever managed to go. It's not recovery. True, getting here in itself was a hard and gruelling battle. One in which stinging wounds were inflicted and blood and tears were shed.

True, also, that this place is a far outcry from that which I initially started this journey.That being the cold, dark abyss in which I remained wholly immersed in the depths of my anorexia.

But this place is not recovery.
And I am not recovered.

How I long to go further, now: to keep on striding forwards, with the heart of a lion and the spirit of a prancing gazelle.

But the thing is...

I can.

It took enormous strength to get this far up the road.
Yet I remember the time when I stood at the very bottom of the mountain, staring upwards with fear and despair in my eyes. And I remember believing that I would never make it. Even taking that very first step, and then the second. I believed, with all my heart, that I would not be able to do it.

But yet, I did.

And so my journey began.

Me and Benny 💜

After a difficult week - one which was filled with the usual bloating, anxiety over exercise, and persistent feelings of depression and loneliness, yesterday felt that one bit different.

There was..
travelling home from university and watching the sunlight dance upon the glistening rivers and streams of the sweet, dew-soaked countryside.

Sitting and drinking hot chocolate with Mam, running my fingers through Daisy's soft, jet-black coat, and laughing till my sides ached at Mam's raucous Cap'n Poldark impersonations.

And then talking to my sister on Facebook; sharing with her my current, newfound feelings of motivation; as well as my fears that it will ultimately not last. My beloved sister's furiously typed reply brought a spontaneous smile to my face and a warm tears of gratitude and love to my eyes.

When you feel your motivation going, Em, tell that f***er ED that Lizzy is going to kick its ass if it even tries to creep back in. 

Me and Lizzy 💜

  It was over Christmas when the loneliness really hit me hard; like a sharp, jagged stone being thrust into my body. Despite the twinkling lights and the happy scenes all around me, I had never felt quite so alone. And then, looking up at that lonely, solitary path which seemed to stretch on endlessly in front of me, there was many a time when I felt a desolate sense of utter despair and desperation.

I'll never get there..
Why does this has to be lonely? 

But today reminded me that I am not alone. There are people who I know, no matter what, are here for me. Even if I cannot see them, or feel their hands physically touching my own. Even if I cannot literally hear their voices. I know what they are saying to me. Don't give up, Em. Carry on.

Carry on. Past the halfway mark. Up the mountain, scrambling over sharp-tipped rocks and pebbly slopes. Over yawning abysses and coal-black caverns. Towards the valley. The valley where beautiful flowers grow wild and free; reaching towards the sunlight above: sunlight which spills upon every leaf and every vein and makes their petals shimmer with dancing, sublime beauty.

As that is how I envisage true recovery...
A place in which I feel totally alive, and free, like a budding, blossoming flower.

A place in which I feel totally at peace with myself: a feeling, which I have never felt for so, so long, not since I was that small girl with the long blonde hair who danced and laughed and lived a life that she loved.

And this is how I am going to do it...
By taking small little steps which are also known as goals.

Goal 1.
Follow my meal plan and get to a healthy weight. 
And by a healthy weight, I do not mean simply just the minimum healthy bmi.

Goal 2.
Write down all the eating disorder habits and behaviours and work on picking them out.
It's quite an enlightening activity to do this - to actually sit down and have a really, hard look at just what it is your eating disorder makes you do day in, day out. I can literally think of dozens, and so this is going to take up a whole blog post in itself so I won't blah on about it too much here.

Goal 3.
Compose my reasons to recover list and read over it constantly, reminding myself of just what it is I am fighting for.

Goal 4.
Go to a few counselling sessions at Trinity, while I try to finish off the last semester of my degree. Then, when all this is over, I will hopefully have the time to dedicate myself to proper eating disorder therapy, probably at Marino in Dublin or somewhere more local.
I proved to myself in the past that I can manage to get myself physically well, witht the help and support of my family, friends and readers. But deep down I know that, in order to make the full and complete recovery from an mental illness that has already claimed half of my life and the entirety of my teenage years, that I will need to seek some extra support in the form of cognitive behaviour therapy. When I am finished at Trinity (Hopefully :/) I am going to do some proper research and take stock of all the options which are available to me.

Goal 5.
Facing fears and anxieties.
These include specific foods, meals, and also - yes, the exercise thing, which I still regard as one of the hardest things that I am yet to achieve in recovery.

Goal 6.
Start making plans - both short and long term - so that I have something to work towards and keep my mind focused on why it is so important now that I do not waste any more of my life drowning in an eating disorder's depths.


  1. I think you are incredibly brave not only reaching as far as you have but now for also taking stock of your situation and choosing to push on regardless of how hard it may be.
    You have clearly worked out a "plan of action" to enable you to become fully recovered, you have the mindset and the "tools" all in place and I wish you so much luck that you will succeed.
    I`m sure you will. Keep fighting, stay strong and never give up, even when you feel despondant. You have so much going for you and I believe you will reach that beautiful place you long for.
    Baby steps add up to become toddler steps and before you know it you`ll be striding along.

    1. <3 Thank you so so much <3 I think having a firm plan always helps so much, something concrete to focus on. Thank you ever so much for your support and advice. It always helps me so much to know there are others there for me, cheering me along! Thank you again and have a lovely day! :) xxx

  2. Whenever I've been in a similar place to where you are now, I create a goal that I want to achieve and imagine how it would manifest as if I were living it right now- using all my senses.

    How would it look?
    How does it smell?
    How am I feeling emotionally?
    If it had a taste, what would it be?
    What things do I need to do to make it a reality?

    The details may not come straight away, but with patience, the picture will build. Stay open to possibilities and seize as many opportunities as possible. It feels scary, but exciting to create a new life for yourself, but whenever you feel alone, remember, you've got support around you. I'm sure your mum and sister would love to share the journey with you. It's a lot of fun if you have people to share it with and can go a long way towards healing relationships. Let us know how you go

    1. <3 thank you so, so much for sharing such amazing advice with me <3 I think this is a wonderful technique and I really am definitely going to give it a try! I feel so much more motivated having read these comments and knowing there are people behind me all the way <3 thank you so, so much again! Have a lovely day! :) xxx

  3. Keep in touch Emmy - know that there are people on here that support you and care about how you are doing.
    One meal at a time, one day at a time.
    stay strong and fighting!
    All the best xxxx

    1. <3 aww, thank you! This really means so much and you know, having that knowledge in my head - that there are people here for me and cheering me on - makes so much of a difference, you can't imagine. Thank you so so much for this <3 have a lovely day <3 xxx