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, 21 February 2017

And then, the petals opened...

It didn't come to me as I had first thought it would: that day, all those years ago, when I took my first tentative step along the road leading up the steep, steep mountain.

It came slowly, gradually, softly. As gentle as a soft summer breeze; one which drifts its way across the heathery slopes of the mountains; rustling tender green shoots and saplings, delicately touching flower and leaf and stem.

It didn't come to me with the speed of a lightning bolt, hurtling down out of a cloudless sky to charge me with the fiery strength of the sun.

It didn't crash into me like a wave, hurtling against the stony outcrops of the windswept cliff face; showering me with foamy droplets of resilience; cleansing me, wholly and completely, of my fears of the unknown deep.

But it came.

It came to me like the tentative first few rays of the early morning sun of the dawn, rays which run their probing fingers gently over the contours of the land.

It came to me like the delicate first touch of spring: a touch which loosens the frozen soil of the ground, gently touching and caressing, calling to the buried seeds to awaken and grow.

That something being a true willingness to recover: a tangible, perceptible, vibrant burning to break free from the illness that became such an innate and seemingly inseparable part of me. It's more than just a feeling. It is a pulse that I can feel deep within me, right to the very depths of the innermost part of my soul. It bludgeons like a beautiful heartbeat, thrumming and pulsating like the rhythmic hoofbeats of a galloping wild horse.

It's more than just a flimsy little wish; floating, like a wispy strip of fine, filmy cloth; across the landscape of my dreams and whimsical fantasies: perceived only in my mind's eye, never to be seen, or felt, and impossible to realise.

But no, I want to recover. Right here, right now: regardless of the fear, regardless of the anxiety; regardless of the discomfort and uncertainty which I know will inevitably be involved. Because the previous times I know that I was never quite strong enough. The flower did grow, but it did not grow enough; for its roots became entangled in the tough, rope-like stems of the choking weeds which have so long pinned it down to the earth. Weeds that wrap their thick tendrils around that flower's tender, newly forming stalks; encircling the buds and pressing them closed, forcing that flower to bend backwards into the ground.

An ED is like that weed.

Stifling and twisting and suffocating, depriving of life and light. Enmeshing us in its vines; its vice like grip; a grip of pain and despair and wretchedness, a grip equatable to that of the predator's jaws upon the throat of its helpless, bleeding victim,

A grasp of death.

And for so long I remained locked within the cold, hard grasp of ED, entrapped and unable to grow.

Because the petals are opening and the newly formed buds are reaching towards the glorious sun. And like that sun casts its rays upon the land, illuminating it in the dusky glow of early morning, so too did the realization dawn upon me; gradually and gently, softly and slowly.

That now my own sun is rising...
That now, my petals are opening, and blossoming.
Now it is time for me to grow,
and to become the person that I truly want to be. 💜

And I know that this renewed sense of motivation does not mean that there will be no more tough times ahead. But. It is a feeling I have not felt for such a long, long time: and I can tell you now that that feeling is so, so incredible.

I realise now that there is no limit to my strength. That I can be as brave as a lioness, streaking after her prey: or as strong and as powerful as an eagle taking flight; beating her snowy wings together to soar and glide across the endless stretches of the soaring, white-tipped mountains of her home.

I feel like that eagle now. An eagle who has so long been a captive with a fetter upon her leg, tying her down.

Each time she tried to raise her wings and fly, that chain would drag at her, pulling her back down to the familiar, hated perch to which she had remained for so so long.

And so all escape seemed so impossible....

until the day she realised that she did have the power to break free from her chains.

It is time for me to soar to new heights. It is time for me to spread my wings and fly away from the clutches of Ed, forever. It is time for me to reach out my petals and grow. Now, not later. Right here, right now, right today. I will not put recovery off till college is over. I have made my decision, now. I can feel the palpability of my new strength coursing through my wings.

I write this post with tears of gratitude in my eyes. Gratitude for the amazing people in my life - they might or night not know who they are! - and to you, my readers..all of you, who have helped me so, so much in my battle against the illness which very nearly destroyed me and all that I loved, that I hold dear. You helped me to see the light and reach out to it with renewed strength in my soul; you helped me to find the path which I have sought and fallen away from so many, many times over the four years.You helped me to step onto that path with the knowledge in my heart that it is the right thing to do: that no, recovery is not something to be casually parceled and put away to one side, to a time when I am ready for it...because no, that time will never come. None of us will ever be truly ready to recover. There is no such thing as that perfect time. As a dear friend told me today, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of our lives. 

Now is the time to recover. Now is the time to give this battle our 100% of every minute of every day. Nothing is more important or as valuable than a healthy, functioning body. Getting a college degree should never be prioritised over health; for health, ultimately, is a precious and infinitely fragile thing.

 And you all helped me to see that, and realise it: and here, I just want to thank you; thank you with every part of my heart and my soul.💙


  1. Go, Emily, go! It's your persistence that's brought this pulse to life. The constant effort might seem futile sometimes, but it's like a stream of water slowly carving a groove into rock. Rooting for you.

    1. <3 such a beautiful metaphor, thank you so, so much!! Your support means the world to me; I really do mean it when I say my readers have helped me so much in my journey..thank you so much for reaching out and thinking of me! I can't even begin to thank you all enough!xxx

  2. Beautiful words. I send you all the best.

    1. <3 thank you so, so much <3 Your kind thoughts and words mean more than the world to me. I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for my wonderful readers! Thank you so, so much, again and again! <3 xxx

  3. Hi Emily, I want you to know we are all behind you 100%. I'm proud of you and the way you always pick yourself up and keep pushing forward. Can you imagine what you can achieve once you've kicked ED out of your life forever. It's done nothing but lie to you and tell you that your're unworthy etc. But you are so worth it and a beautiful, strong and courageous young lady. You have blessed us readers by being so truthful with your feelings and sharing your inner most personal feelings. Thank you Emily for that. All your readers are here to support you. So proud of you. I know you can do this xx

    1. <3 Dear Sonya, thank you so, so much..your comment really touched my heart so much today <3 I mean every word I wrote.I could never have got so far in my journey without all the support, encouragement and help I have received on her since beginning my blog. This newfound feeling of motivation and determination feels so,so incredible. I could never thank you all enough. Thank you so, so much! <3 xxx (And it's so lovely to hear from you again hun :) <3 xxx)