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.:)

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Let the Flame become a Fire...

Every day, in both our natural and human worlds, change unfolds itself in striking, dazzling colours.

Trees don their lush green summer foliage as the detritus from the previous year decays beneath their roots, absorbing into the forest floor to nourish the new generation of the most minute forms of animal life. Young fledglings spread their wings and take that crucial leap from nest into air, finally stretching those tender wings, feeling the wind against their feathers and learning what it is to be able to fly. And then there are the human changes; changes in the lives of human kind. A baby is born and is cradled in its mother's protective arms. The young girl grows up to be a woman and feels sensations beginning to awaken inside her; sensations which are strange and overwhelming and yet irresistible in their potency.

But for years I felt as if all these changes were set apart from me; that I occupied a world in which everything remained still and static. Yet this world in which I remained entrapped in, like a limpet in its shell, rested tantalisingly close to that other world of change and progress and maturing. Every day I would peek out of my shell and look upon it, watching, seeing, witnessing, this universe from which I had been inevitably excluded. All those changes flickered past my eyes like moonshadows upon the surface of a rippling sea: beautiful, aesthetic, almost fantastical in their exquisiteness.

I watched my friends and loved ones grow, grow like the fragile new shoot growing upwards to sprout leaves and tender buds, buds which open to reveal the most breathtaking flowers which shine and glow like scattered diamonds against black silk. And seeing these changes would always strike me to the very heart. Because everyone, everything, was changing; yet I remained the same. The only change that had happened to me seemed to be that one, long over a decade ago, when what had been a young, innocent, blissfully happy little girl left behind the untainted landscape of her childhood, entering a realm in which innocence was corrupted and which all sense of self-worth which she possessed was smashed into tiny fragments, like a delicate fluted glass being shattered upon a hard stone floor.

And in that realm a darkness awaited, to which she duly advanced, submitted, and was lost.

And for years that's how things remained. No flickering candle burning in that darkness; no glimmer of rosy pink light, paling the permanently shadowed horizon.

But then upon one day a tiny spark was alighted. A spark which tentatively, weakly, gradually became a flame.

That single flame burned steadily, diminishing and strengthening alternatively by turns.

But never once did the flame surpass a certain attained level of brightness. It was a flame, not a fire.

But then something changed.

For me, 2017 has been different. 2017 has seen, for me, some concrete, palpable, tangible changes.

But yet despite the progress that I have made, I know there are still so many things that remain unchanged, and which I want to change. And even though I yearn for this change like the flower longs for the sun's warm kiss upon its outstretched petals, I fear it, greatly, too. I am afraid of being scorched by those rays which have to power to let me grow. The cold and the damp have been all I've ever known and I'm terrified to break free from it.

I'm afraid of letting go of the compulsion to exercise the set amount.
I'm afraid to totally let go of ED.
I'm afraid to leave my home, to be an adult. Afraid to be out in the real working world and to feel the judging eyes of others upon me.
I'm afraid to eat just that little bit more, and get my bmi up to the place where I know it needs to be.
I'm afraid of the change. It looks so beautiful, like a prancing golden lion, shaking his long, flowing mane.

But that lion roars and I flee from him, shaking out of fear and terror.

How do I embrace the change, if I am so afraid of it?

In a week and a half, it is Barcelona. And already I can feel the nervousness building up inside me. Layer upon layer, like a many-ringed onion, ready to burst out at the slightest tentative prick.

Words cannot describe the elation that soared through me when I realised I had been accepted for this job. Needless to say, however, that unsurpassed feeling of pure, raw joy didn't last very long. It was soon replaced by nervousness; and fear. Real, palpable fear that rages inside me like violent ocean currents, threatening to drown me, consume me if I were to let it.

There's so many fears revolving around my fast-approaching placement. A fear of being judged; a fear of being left out, of being unaccepted. A fear of being the loner again who treads the path of solitude. A fear of the challenges which will be posed by this total change of place and routine.

Most of all I guess it's the unfamiliarity; what is will be like, what they will be like, how I will cope with ED and whether he will win out in this strange new environment.

Over the first part of this year I have overcome so, so much. But now I have reached that certain point; the point at which the flame has never burned any brighter. Can I overcome my fear of this change? Will I be able to go out there and shine in the sun; or will ED creep in again, dragging me down into his shadows?

I have to be strong.
I have to realise and acknowledge the changes that I have faced in the past, and overcome. I never once believed I'd cope with hospital, or would conquer my fears to gain weight at home all by myself. Or that I would possibly get through college while maintaining a progressive and evolving recovery.

But I did it.

In each and every one of us there is the strength of the rising sun and the courage of the golden-maned lion.We can burn as bright as any crimson flame.

And I hope that come next Thursday I will take my own words of strength to heart. I hope that I will be able to walk towards a beautiful new horizon with an open and courageous heart, instead of wrapping myself in the protective, yet suffocating covers of my own fear.

For it is time for me to change.

Early February this year. And now I look at that picture and think, jeez, I'm surprised that the sea winds didn't blow me away in one puff!! 😖

Over the past few months, I have changed so much and travelled so far. And I know I just can't let the fear and doubt stop me now. 💚xxx


  1. Your writing is beautiful. Your vocabulary is stunning and breathtaking, the way you describe things just makes my heart beat in thrills. You have a talent, don't you think of becoming a writer one day?
    And yes, I've been struggling with the fear of change too. But here I am, actually thrilled to take risks regarding my health. I am letting go of the ED. I'm liberating myself to the life out there, with all its happiness and sorrow. It's so difficult, but it will get better as we go on the right track.
    Keep writing. :)

    1. Awww thank you ever so much - I'm genuinely so touched by what you wrote! You see I don's see it for myself I never thought my writing was anything special.I used to dream about being a writer but never believed I was good enough.

      You have such a good approach to this. I will strive too to adopt your attitude towards these enormous changes! You are so right..challenging ourselves WILL be so worth it. Thanks so much for sharing your insight with me. And oh yes I most definitely will! <3 x

  2. Change is scary Emmy - no doubt about it. But try to see this as a positive - do you really want to be stuck in the rut of your ED for ever? Do you really want to live the constant daily life of exercise compulsion and fear of food? No, of course you don`t! Make up your mind that all this has to stop, you need it out of your life to make way for better things - new opportunities, new friends, a happier life. See Barcelona as your starting point - an ideal time and place to start afresh. No one knows you, no one knows of your past, you can start again as YOU, not the girl struggling to overcome ED, not the girl who is compelled to exercise. See this as a fresh start and prove to yourself that you CAN do this - you can have fun,make new friends, be accepted.
    I think you will have an amazing time if you only let yourself give it a go. Try to stop the self doubts and believe in yourself - you have overcome so much this past year especially and done so well, throw caution to the wind and go for it! Forget the trappings and anxiety of ED - he just wants to drag you back down again, he doesn't want you to be free. You can do this, believe in yourself just as the people who okayed your application obviously must believe in you too.
    And although I hate to add this, but maybe it will help calm your anxieties, there is always an earlier plane home again if things really don`t work out and you are unable to cope .....but it won`t come to that, I`m sure.
    Relax and have a fun time in the sunshine - look forward to hearing all about it when you get back xxxxx

    1. Thank you so much for your message - I can't stress enough how much each comment on my blog means to me - I'm really, really grateful. <3
      That's exactly it - I WANT this change but at the same time I don't as it is so frightening and scary! But this is recovery, I was never going to be easy, and staying in my comfort zone won't make me better or freer. To truly recover I need to destroy every last trace of ED..and you are so so right, this is the ideal opportunity to start anew!

      Aww thank you so much again for your advice, support, encouragement and reminder..they really help me to put things into perspective and helped make me feel much better! Thank you so very much...I will be sure to keep you updated! xxx

  3. just a short note, Emmy, but i do want to say good luck in Barcelona; i hope you have a wonderful, liberating time, reassuring you in how far you've come, and how much fun life can be as you grow into it more and more,
    take care, thinking of you, <3

    1. aww thank you so very much for thinking of me! It's so kind of you and I really appreciate it so much <3 so sorry for my late reply, my computer crashed this morning :( thanks so much again and I am writing an update which I hope to publish tomorrow about everything. :) <3 xxx

  4. Hi Emmy - hope you are well and trying to "enjoy" this sunshine - isn't it sooo hot??? I keep telling myself to make the most of it, our summers are so brief but I admit this heat (30 c +) is beginning to get me down ...looking forward to the weekend when its supposed to be a bit cooler!
    When are you off on your adventures? Not long now xxx

    1. Hello!! Oh my goodness yes I can totally sympathise with you - much as I hate to admit it I am struggling in this heat too it's very oppressive here in Laois today :/ I love the sunshine but when it gets very very hot I do struggle - i hope I cope with it in Spain! Between you and me I actually prefer spring time in Ireland when it's nice and fresh and not so sticky ;) I'm off on so, so nervous :( I wil post an update soon, thanks so much for your comment <3 ! xxx

  5. OOOOMG Emmy I can´t believe it ;) you really are going to Barcelona? OMG I was there last week for 5 days on holiday ;) and it was so special ;) such a coincidence we both choose this beautiful, amazing, sunny city ;) i can assure you it is a magical special place, which i will never forget ;) it was so cool ;) the city really welcomes you in her special way ;) and i made my first little tattoo there meaning "love urself" ;) which will always make me remember this wonderful trip ;) i saw so many things, met new people and i knooooow so certain how scary change is , but without change you always have Miss Mager right behind you and this is what Emmy and Ange neeeever want again ;) I am so happy for you hun you won´t believe it ;) I wish you the best days in your life now ;) you earn them so much ;) xxxxxxx Always in my heart ;) xxxx ANGE *_* Oh and Nutella is in barcelona available as well ;) hheheeeee <3

    1. Hey huni!!! <3 aw Ange I am so so sorry for my late reply, I have not had the time to blog at all mo chroí :( but your comment brought me so much joy, thank you ever so much hun :*

      Oh my goodness what a coincidence huni!! I am here in Barcelona now..It was the hardest thing I have eveer done Ange, I was so, so scared to leave Ireland and do this job :'( but do you know what, I am so glad I took that massive leap - the people here are so nice hun, I will write more about it when I get a chance but I am doing ok and I have no regrets choosing to come <3 Oh Ange, I love the meaning behind your tattoo my dear - so beautiful <3 and what you say about change is SO true <3 I love you loads huni, thank you so much for this, I treasure every single one of your comments! <3 All my love and oh yes Nutella and hot choc forever hun ;) <3 xxxxxxxx