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, 31 July 2017

The last and final sunset, heralding a beautiful new dawn...

And so it was time for me to go home. After an incredible five weeks full of sunshine, smiles, laughter and unforgettable experiences, the sun was finally setting for me, on my time in beautiful Catalonia. But each sunset marks a time of change, a new beginning. For with the darkening of that lilac blue sky comes the night, a night which in turn will inevitably pale and wane as an orb of soft brightness appears upon the eastern horizon.

Sunrise at Mas Banyereres 

For me, that was how everything felt like, on that final evening as I gazed out of the small window of my plane with the massive engines humming and singing as we became airborne. Far below me, lay the city of Barcelona; its lights glittering like hundreds of scattered diamonds flung from the sky; its shore flanked by the ever moving sea which pulsed and ebbed as it kept its own ceaseless beat.  A scene of such beauty and finality - nothing could possibly have befitted more a way to end such an unforgettable trip - that tears automatically sprang into my eyes and coursed down my cheeks, moistening the pages of my book which lay forgotten on my knee. But I did not wipe them away. I merely kept looking, absorbing every detail of that view in all its sublimity. Soon the city began to fall away, being replaced by the soaring mountains with their thick covering of shrubby trees. Two different and inevitably contrasting landscapes; both contained within Catalonia itself; a land which once had been a stranger to me, but which now had become known, and loved.

But there was another stimulant behind my tears, tears which were of both sadness and joy. Sadness, at leaving such a beautiful place; in which I had so welcome, so accepted. Joy at being able to go home; home to where my family and friends waited for me with outstretched arms. No, but there was another recognition. A recognition that this night was not the end. Not an end; but a beginning. This night was a new dawn.

A new dawn which would mean that my adventure in Catalonia was only the start of what was a whole new journey for me. A journey of discovery and acceptance; a journey of learning, and new experience. A journey which would involve doing things I had never thought possible before; a journey, in which I would find myself, and nourish the real person who I really wanted to be.

That was how it felt like; in that bittersweet moment of exquisite joy, tinged by the droplets of poignant and tangible sadness. I had realised that this end was not a night or even a sunset. On the contrary, it was a new dawn: a sunrise, to something new and even more beautiful.

My time in Barcelona has been so significant to me in many ways. But above all else it has made me realise that I can in fact do anything. There are no limits to what I can achieve; now, it is time for me to leap upwards, upwards into the sky, and to dance amongst the stars.

I did it! I'm home! I got back to Ireland in one piece on Sunday morning and am now once again ensconced in my cosy little chair in the sun room here at Derryguile. And needless to say the post I had planned to write in the final week at Mas Banyeres just did not happen..I was as busy as ever meaning that unfortunately I didn't get a chance to update :'( but hey, it doesn't matter, because I can do it here, instead😉 I really want to talk more about my experiences, and what I learned from them, and their relevance to my recovery. 💚xxxx


  1. So happy for you! I`m glad you had such an exciting, positive experience in Barcelona - the only way is onwards and upwards for you now - you have proved to yourself that you can conquer your deepest fears and anxieties and emerge stronger and fulfilled as a result. So what happens now? Are you going to follow up your experience with a new career in teaching? You have so much to look forward to and I wish you all the best in this exciting new phase of your life xxx

    1. Thank you so much! This really means alot <3 Haha yes, that's the big question...I am not a hundred percent sure. I definitely want to work with children, I just need to decide now whether it is going to be primary teaching, montessori, or TEFL..I think I am going to try and find a little parttime job here in Laois and work for a while, and take time to consider all of my options. Thank you ever so much for your well wishes, they really do mean so