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.:)

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Final Autumn.

How I have always loved this time of year.

Walking in the forest through carpets of leaves; carpets which are richer and more breathtakingly beautiful than anything ever devised by the human hand. A treasure trove of natural, unspoiled beauty; ripened and matured like a perfect mellow peach fruit in high summer.  Coppery leaves interspersed with gold. Blood red berries and primrose yellow needles upon every sprig of the larch tree. Autumn swirls around like a twirling dancer, bringing vibrance and colour to everywhere she touches.

But she's a different dancer to Spring. Spring lingers to gently nourish her craft, to tend the delicate buds and make them open, to caress the dew-soaked ground in order to make the sweet new flowers grow. Autumn, though, does not pause for a breath. She breezes through those woods to the tune of the winds that she makes blow, winds which are no longer warm and raise a goosebump upon unprotected skin, or which make the scraggly flowers that remain upon the ground shiver and curl further in on themselves, as if striving to protect those petals that remain. Delicate. Oh so delicate, like me. Like the flowers I watch and wait for the inevitable. The transition which is long awaited and dreaded at the same time.

By and by the last leaf will drop; branches, once so bountifully adorned, will be bare and skeletal, clawing a clay-coloured sky with their bony, outstretched fingers. The rich copper carpet will become brown and dull, littered with tiny, broken flower petals and stems. The Change had to come. It was already here. And now Winter has solidified that change, meaning that what was once so beautiful and sweet, is now gone.

And now that is how I feel now as I prepare for the Inevitable Change.

For what was beautiful and sweet to me will now soon be gone. The life at home which I loved; the life at home, which I knew one day must end.

But maybe this is for the best.
I knew that, one day, I would have to leave my beautiful, sweet home.
The home where the conifers grow closely together, their branches forming a tunnel of jade-green branches.
The home where the ebony blackbirds call their sweet songs.
The home where the leaves of the maple tree fall and grow. Grow and fall, in an endless cycle of change.

And for so long, this was me.

I'd grow a little, but every time I'd always fall down.
Over and over and over again I'd repeat this endless cycle.

Home. The home that I loved. But it was here where I did something wrong.

For home is exactly where, for years,
Instead of noursihing my body and allowing myself to grow,

I nourished and sustained a monster.

I've made my decision, for now.

I'm going to go to Shropshire in February. I'm going to go there with an open heart and an open mind because I know - deep down- that there's a good chance that this is going to be a job I love. And if I get there and find I'm really struggling, then I can always come back home. At this point in my recovery, I know myself well enough by now to be able to tell when I'm relapsing.

I've also decided that I'm going to seek therapy once I've started earning. Last night I googled therapists in the nearest big town where I will be based (Shrewsbury). I was pleasantly surprised at the availability of counselors in the area there. And I felt an unfamiliar sense of power and control. To know that once I was there I would be taking steps to tackle ED right where he stands. To know that this time, I would not be alone, and would be given further tools to help me win this fight.

But, even until then, I know that it is imperative that I give this battle every single thing that I have.

I've got a few ideas about how I'm going to do this...

  • Talk to Mam about how I'm trying to gain a bit more weight, because I know then she will help me and give me a boost of support when I need it.
  • As of yesterday I started my beautiful new recovery journal, which I am going to set aside a designated time each day to write in. Opening up the brand new hardback yesterday to examine page upon page of unblemished, unmarked whiteness gave me a refreshing sense of renewal. It seemed to signal the beginning of something new; the rekindling of renewed motivation. With a few things. Motivation to gain weight and motivation to recover. To get myself fully and completely back on track. And to have courage and be more positive, and fight the depression as hard as I am going to tackle ED.
  • And of course..I am going to blog a bit more regularly and write out all my thoughts, goals and endeavours on here (regardless of whether they're successful or not.) Hearing from my readers has always been a source of enormous help and comfort to me. I can't even begin to thank you enough for all the comments over the past few weeks. You might not think that they were of any great significance, but I can honestly say that your comments and support mean the whole world and have got me where Im standing today. <3 
  • I also am going to try out some other forms of self-help, namely meditation, which I have never properly done before and really want to try out for myself, and also reading recovery-focused self-help books. I've a list of a few which I really want to try out. I'll make sure to post my thoughts about them on here about each one.

So now I have to look forwards, beyond the winter, beyond the cold and icy pain.

Because beyond the pain and sorrow at having to leave my home behind, I know that there is a new chance, of a new and beautiful beginning. A chance to find myself in a new place. A chance to grow. Like the tiny flowers laid down by the winter's cold, I know that I can grow upwards. I just need to seek out the sunlight, let it pour over me, allow myself to be strong and whole.

And like the darting swallows that return every Spring, I know that I will come back here. The good bye need not be forever.

But I have to give this new seed a chance. A chance to grow, and blossom.


  1. I’m so proud of you. Meditation will help.. and also keeping a gratitude journal. Develop yourself a care routine in which you take care of your body at night by brushing your teeth.. flossing.. combing your hair.. adding moisturiser.. it will all slowly then swiftly help. Trust me. (:

    1. <3 thank you so much for your advice as always <3 I appreciate it so much. Please could I ask you something - do you practice meditation yourself, could you recommend a good way of starting off? I have never done it in my life properly before and sort of don't knnow where to begin with it. <3 xxxx

  2. I hope it doesn't matter what I think, but for the record, I think this sounds wonderful. I am so glad you are getting a sense of your own calling, and responding to it with such depth and wisdom, and embracing the opportunities for growth and flourishing, and navigating the challenges with such courage and insight.

    1. thank you so so much for your words they mean so much to me they really do. <3 thank you!!! I truly do mean it when I say I am blessed to have such supportive and thoughtful readers <3 xxxx

  3. Good luck with your new job Emmy, I`m sure you will love it once you get settled. With regards to therapy, you don`t have to go private. When you move to Shropshire and register with your new GP why not make an appointment and discuss the possibility of therapy with them? They likely have a therapist attached to the surgery and can refer you to them.
    I think you are so brave leaving home and taking up the challenges of a new job, and a new chapter of your life! I`m sure you will go from strength to strength and it will be the making of you. Yes it will be scary at first but you can rise to the challenges that it gives you and you will grow not only in confidence but as a person too. Sometimes we have to step outside our "comfort zone" and embrace the new and unknown. You will be fine. Believe in yourself and have faith in your abilities - and enjoy the opportunities you are being given. You can do this! xxx

    1. <3 thank you so so much for your lovely words and advice, I really appreciate it and fully intend to follow it, that sounds like such a great idea! :) I am really looking forward to starting therapy as I truly believe this will be such an important factor in allowing me to beat ed for good.

      Thank you so much for this - knowing people believe in me and that they are cheering me on means an awful lot to me right now - thank you so so much <3 !! xxx

  4. Dearest Emmy,
    Wishing you the best of luck with the big move and new job. I think the idea of combining the big grown up decision of moving out and starting a paid job alongside therapy is a fantastic idea and offers you the perfect solution to the conundrum you were facing. With regards to meditation, you could try downloading the "Smiling Mind" app on your phone. It's an Australian app but it gives a good introduction to meditation and mindfulness.
    I hope you enjoy and make the most of the time left at home but I also can't wait to hear about all the new experiences in the new chapter of your life that is about to begin.
    Sending you much love and luck,
    Megan xx

    1. <3 aw Megan thank you so much dear as always <3 !! And I will definitely give the app you recommended a go.

      I will be sure to keep posting updates the next few months and keep you informed of what happens <3 thank you so much for all your support dear, it really means so much. xxxx

  5. Dear Emmy, I applied for jobs never thinking I would actually get them - so it came as a huge surprise (shock) when one application was successful. Although I wanted the job I had not realistically thought it through - it involved me having to leave home and move to a different area to be closer to my place of work - so I was rather afraid of making the change 3when it actually came down to it. But I did it and I can honestly say it was the best thing I had ever done. I learnt to be independent and a complete change of scene/routine and people made me grow in confidence and really find out who I was as a person.
    I just wanted to say this so that you know that you`re not alone in feeling the way that you do. Yes it will be a big change for you but I`m sure it will become one that you too are glad you made.

    1. oh my goodness reading your story was really just like reading an exact replica of my own!! This is EXACTLY how I felt and what I experienced. I never in a million years thought these companies would ever consider me. But to my amazement one did.

      thank you so much for sharing your story. It gave me so much hope and reassurance. Take care and thank you. <3 xxx