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.:)

Monday, 5 June 2017

With hope in your'll never walk alone... xxx

So having reflected on this alot over the course of the past few days, I've identified a number of factors which are essentially hindering me from attaining full recovery - both in physical and mental terms - from my eating disorder.

These are, as outlined further in previous posts...

1. Obsession with/compulsion to exercise.
2. Loneliness and isolation leading to depression.
3. My relationship with food as it is now. Because, if I was being really, really honest. Do I eat as a normal person does? No restriction, no holding back, no food rules whatsoever?                      
No, of course I do not. I still hold back when I should not. I still have fears about eating too much. I still have set amounts that I do not permit myself to exceed; certain rules which I go out of my way to follow. For example...this morning. I had my usual handful of nuts. I wanted, having finished them, to dip back into the bag of cashews and take out a few more. But I couldn't make myself do it. Same kind of situation last night: I made myself a gorgeous omelette with my favourite roasted baby potatoes and lots of veggies on side. Having munched on a few of these potatoes, relishing their golden crispiness, I realised that I really did want to have a few more. But no. I could not do it. One might lead to another, the voice whispered hurriedly, intent on warding the desire to have more safely away.

4. Uncertainty as to how and what to eat. Being unable to distinguish what is being sensible as regard food choices and what is essentially giving in to my eating disorder. Same goes for the exercise really: I'm unable to figure out what's healthy and ok for me right now.

5. And a sneaking reluctance - yes, I am going to admit it right now, as this is a very important one. To allow my body to reach its healthy set point, whatever that is. I'm at the minimum healthy bmi now, and I am, needless to say, terrified at the thought of gaining any more weight.

6. Feeling very much at the mercy of the constant deluges of the media and the internet about on obesity and healthy eating. It's everywhere and impossible to escape, and very, very hard to ignore.
And Im not saying one should ignore it. The trick is I guess to be aware of it, but not to be so heavily influenced by it to the extent you're sent down the path of self-destruction again. But how to balance healthy eating with non-restriction? It's something I've never managed to do successfully before; everytime I tried to do so resulted in me just losing weight and restricting all over again.

So first things first..the loneliness, something I reflected on in a post from last week.

And before I begin, I just wanted to offer my sincere thanks, to everyone who posted on here and gave me advice regarding my loneliness and my struggles with extreme hunger. Your comments really meant alot to me and I am forever grateful to youπŸ’—πŸ’™πŸ’•

So this is my plan - the first, of many!! 😊- to overcome this old demon which has been haunting me for so long. And too long. I want 2017 to be the year of the change. A change in my world and a change in my life. A change in both my soul and body. The change that will allow me to reach that beautiful pinnacle of full recovery.

Because it's true to say that permanent feelings of isolation and depression served to form a most effective pithole in my struggle along the path of recovery. In a way, it all acted as a vicious cycle. Giving into ED in the first place made me isolate myself, which then in turn made me depressed, and more inclined to give into my eating disorder. This was because I convinced myself that life was not worth living, and that I might as well starve myself. Disturbingly, I know, looking back now, I also clung to ED in the hope that thinness would help me make more friends. Completely distorted thinking, yes, I know. I can see it all now, as clear and as sharp as a glassy glacier, as certainly as the firmness of the ground beneath my feet.

Why are you eating? There's no point in eating. You're a loner, Em. Noone else in the world cares about you.

But now I have the strength to shake my head, whereas before I would just have nodded in submission. I would have pushed all thoughts of eating away from me, ignoring my stomach's desperate, wretched groans.

But I ignored every signal that my body tried to give me. Back then, I was too depressed and broken to eat. I would creep away with my books and papers, staring at endless sentences and words that were as meaningless to me as the intricate patterns of a Chinese puzzle, seeing, but not reading, or understanding. All I could feel was the hunger and that cold, bitter sense of being alone.

But now it is a different picture.

I no longer see not eating as a way to comfort myself in my loneliness. Neither do I see loneliness as a reason not to recover. In fact, quite the opposite.

I know that if I recover - mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually - I will be able to bring about the change that I desire. And the change has already begun, unfolding in shimmering, golden waves around me, trickling its warmth into my heart and very soul.

So HERE is my plan - informed by my own ideas on how to tackle this loneliness, and of course those of you, my wonderful readers! πŸ˜πŸ’š

1. One of the first things that I know I really NEED to start doing is...dispense with the whole I am going to bother her by messaging her line of thinking.                                                            

I do this ALL of the time. With everyone. It doesn't matter if that person is someone who I KNOW could never be irritated simply because I decided to shoot her a message. It doesn't matter if that person is one of my closest friends; or even, my own mam. It's a familiar scenario: I write someone a little message on Facebook, asking them how they are and would they like to meet up for catch up sometime. Then, a few hours later - particularly if the person doesn't respond, or has seen the message but doesn't answer straightaway - I get anxious, fidgety, even afraid.I open up my laptop again, check the Facebook in a state of fretful agitation, clinging to the desperate hope that there will be a little red number above the messenger symbol at the top of the screen. Oh, God, why did I do it? I would groan, furious with myself. Now look at what you've done, you idiot! You just had to send her another stupid pathetic message, didn't you? No wonder she hasn't answered. Why would anyone want to spend time with the likes of you?                                                                                                       So it's true to say situations like this in the past have not done much to help me tackle my loneliness. In recent months, I've often put off messaging other people consequently. The loneliness was enough to kill me, but the fear of "upsetting" others was more than I could possibly bear. I convinced myself, at the time, that stewing in my own isolation was more preferable. 
But now I am saying in a voice as firm as the steel-hard determination building itself up deep inside me. Now it is time to stop thinking like this. To realise that I'm not being pathetic and weak by messaging, in fact, quite the opposite. It's a similar kind of thing, really, in choosing whether to believe ED or not when he's telling you that you're weak and lazy in choosing to eat more and exercise less during weight restoration. But no. You are being the exact opposite. By choosing to defy the Voice and to nourish yourself and rest your are being not weak, but STRONG. And I know that the same could be said for me, in overcoming my demons and developing a sense of my own-self worth.
2.And so with this in mind, I am going to try my utmost best to not hold back from messaging people, trying to organise meet ups and catch ups, or to suggest doing something fun together. I admit, I know I will find this pretty hard. I know there's a very good chance people won't just decide to start answering my messages, just because I've decided to be a bit more resolute and confident in myself. It's true, I can't change that side of things. But there is one thing in my power, to change. That being the way I choose to respond to those no responses.                        
Instead of just jumping to the automatic conclusion that she doesn't care or she's annoyed with me, I know I need to stop taking people's silences so much to heart, and accept that the person in question is just busy. Because I mean, honestly, who would get annoyed simply for getting a message from someone? I know that the people I know would not. As with all my anxieties revolving round food and weight gain, the fear is, really and truly, all just in our heads.

3.I know that it's also important that I work on distracting myself from the loneliness when I feel as if it has become overwhelming. Instead of sitting around letting myself be consumed by the thoughts when they creep in, I know that I'd be much better off actively doing something. Whether that be going out for a blast with my furry friends, ringing my Gran, writing notes for Morokia, or digging out my cocoa stained apron. 

4.Get more involved in stuff in my community. And I'm pleased to say I've made inroads with this: a couple of weeks ago, I commenced my volunteering with my local Brownie (Girl Guides) Unit in Portlaoise. Unfortunately, they're finished for the summer now, but they start up again in September.

5.After the summer, I am hoping to be able to start doing some proper therapy, both for the anorexia and the depression. I know deep down that if I really want to achieve full and complete recovery, I am going to need to seek some professional help. Much as I hate to admit it, my consultant was right all along (as she was about everything!!😑)

6.And last, but by no means least; there is something that I really wanted to tell you about, and which might well need an entire blog post to itself so that I can give you the full details. It's something which, I know, has the potential to be something of a life-changing experience for me, and which I hope with all my heart will help me to further conquer my loneliness and change me, and my outlook on life, for the better.                                                                          
That being....the Ganache Elf finally has a job. A job?? Yes, of sorts. Just a temporary thing - five weeks this July - in the sun-soaked city known as Barcelona....😲

The title of this post is taken from the lyrics of the most beautiful little song that my dear friend Ange quoted in her post comment...thank you mo chroΓ­ πŸ’šπŸ’œπŸ’›


  1. I think you are doing really well to come up with solutions to your troubles - I`m sure you will overcome them because from what I have read you are feeling strong and determined! No longer are you going to let them bury you so you feel helpless to their demands - and this takes courage. I wish you so much luck xx
    Fantastic news about Barcelona - you will have a great time! Maybe if you get chance you could write a bit more about it?
    You are definitely on the "up" now and the skys your limit. I am so pleased for you!

    1. Oh thank you so incredibly much! <3 That's just it though, you're right. A positive mindset truly is the key and has the power to change anything. I'm not a firm believer in the belief the saying that if you believe you can, you will! <3

      Oh definitely I will update you a.s.a.p about Barcelona I was going to write a wee post about it so I can fill you in on all the details!
      Thanks ever so much again for your support! It's amazing and I'm so very grateful <3 xxx

  2. Awwwwww hun wow such a wiiiise comment ;) OH i am so proud of you huuuuuuun :) <3 and using my little quote as a topic is suuuuuch an amazing honor for meee ;) Oh this feels so special *_* Hun keep up the great t work and we stay together ;) all we as a united family ;) xxxxxx

    1. aww huni thank you so so much and you are such an inspiration to me huni, i just had to include your little quote as a special thank you to you <3 thanks ever so much hun you help me to get back up every time! Love you <3 xxxxx