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.:)

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Through the Rough Waters

I have to keep going, no matter what. Whether the waters be still or rough I know I cannot give up now.

I have all the reasons to in my head, crystal clear and sharply defined. The reasons to eat  and let my body be what it naturally needs to be. The reasons to recover. Te reasons to ignore the screaming demands of the voice and carve my own ilittle path.

I have all the reasons. I have all the infomation and knowledge. If there was one thing that Emmy can claim to be fairly savvy on, it's anorexia. I know all about the different ways in which it can affect the body as well as I do the shape of my own face in the mirror. I can recite the factors which can come into play in developing the disorder, and could easily give you a concise account of the signs and symptoms to look out for. I know it so well, after all. ed and I have been friends for a long, long time.

So now it's time to act and use that knowledge as power.

But with me there is always... a but after the if. If I choose to recover I will help to improve my osteoporosis. but then the sly voice breaks in.

But you've already caused enormous damage. Your bones are already ruined. Your short and titchy and have an abnormal frame. The damage has already been done, Em. It's too late to start making changes now.

And I always tend to listen to the last part more than the first, to fixate on what it's saying. You're already short and ugly. That's the one that repeats itself more recurrently these days.

I guess it's because I'm so constantly reminded of it. Being within a group of thirteen girls in my accomodation here, no prizes for guessing who is the shortest of all of us. I feel it whenever I am stnaidng beside someone else or when we take a picture out in the snow.

This morning downstairs in the little warm room where we dry our clothes, I stood and stared at the mirror for a very long time. My eyes travelled from the short legs to the small torso and then to the head. I particularly studied the roundness of the face. Another thing that I hate. Why do I have a face that is so fat and round? I thought to myself bitterly. Self-loathing swept over me in an icy wave, chilling me to the bone.

I do feel it here; the constant feeling of inferiority. It's not something anyone here has caused through actions or words. Rather, it's just me and my thoughts. The thoughts that have the potential to kill my happiness and rip it to bloody shreds. Im The shortest one, the ugliest one. I compare myself every day to everyone else and ruminate miserably on my own deficiencies. And what makes it worse is knowing that I could have changed this. Well, maybe not the face, but most certainly my height, and perhaps my frame. For to me it is all just so ugly. Repulsive and unattractive. I search and search but I cannot find a fragment of prettiness - let alone beauty- there.

Part of me wonders as to why I care so much. Why this, in the face of everything I've been through, is liable to make me so, so unhappy.
If I could escape these thoughts, I would do so in a heartbeat. But it's not so easy when they've been there for as long as I can remember.

I remember the last time I thought I looked "pretty". Standing in front of the silvery length of glass which we all know as a mirror, but to me, as much an instrument of torture as the hated scales are.

That was a moment in a past life, before the transition that changed everything. I was twelve years old and was performing in a school play. I had on a blue dress that twirled about when I spun and emphasised my then newly budding breasts.

That was the last time I felt pretty. Ever since that day, I slowly sank into self-hatred, a deep and murky sea out of which it is not so easy to pull oneself out of.

If only I could find the way, because I know that these feelings of inferiority are getting in the way of my recovery. All those ifs and buts. If I gain weight I will help myself but...I don't really see the point, because I am ugly, and putting on more will simply serve to augment the ugliness which is already there.

Why has my happiness always been so tied up in how the world sees me? I could so easily sink now but I know I will not let myself. I have to kick hard and fight to stay afloat, as I know that these waters which I have to swim through, are rough.


  1. I think one of the hardest things about recovery is accepting your "new" body - accepting the obvious change in shape that comes through eating properly again. I really struggled with this and I`m ashamed to say that I let it get the better of me and I had a major relapse, undoing all the good work that I had done. I wasn't prepared for the changes that needed to be made mentally, I thought if I just concentrated on eating and weight restoration that was all there was too it. I was wrong. Recovery is about so much more than weight and eating, it is also about a change in mindset and an acceptance of yourself. Now I am in recovery for the second time and I`m a lot better prepared for it this time. But it is tough, scary and horrid at times - but also joyous at others, when you can find peace with yourself and feel optimistic about what you are doing. I guess what I`m saying is its natural to feel at odds with your body and the only way to overcome it is to accept and learn to love yourself for who you are now because I think having anorexia really changes you. Maybe you have reached that point where therapy to help you with your feelings is necessary? Because you do not want to risk a relapse - you are so vulnerable at the moment and I know it is an easy route to take when things overwhelm you. Try to stay positive about yourself and think of all the wonderful things your body is capable of, how it enables you to do things, how it keeps you alive. I know its hard but if you can learn to accept yourself then that is a really big challenge to overcome. Keep thinking positive thoughts and I really hope you can stay strong and see your way through this xxxx

    1. I totally agree with you. Thank you for leaving such a meaningful and true comment..
      I don't always feel so I wrote in my previous post there have been some moments when I have felt so happy and proud of how far I'd come. But what I write of here constitutes such a major obstacle in my recovery road. But I hope to tackle and overcome it like I have done all the other times in the past..
      Yes, definitely, I think therapy might be an important step to take here; Im really hoping that once I finish in Lapland I will be able to find a job at home and finally be able to commit to proper's something I've wanted to do for so long but have never been able to because of the cost. :(
      thank you soso much for your words and wonderful advice...I appreciate it so much! Take care <3 ! xxxx

  2. Dear Emmy,
    I think lots of people struggle with feelings of inferiority - perhaps especially young people, and people who have been through mental illness of one kind or another? I think it is great that you can recognise the feelings for what they are -- *feelings*. Not truths, but feelings, and feelings that are not helping you to grow into who you really are or can be, or into real life beyond all this. What are the best ways for you to manage those feelings? Are there ways of expressing them that help you take hold of them safely (rather than being taken hold of by them) and then let them go? Are there people you can think of or remember who accept you simply for who you are, without question, and can you hold them in your heart rather than focusing on these destructive comparisons? Can you perceive any signs that people around you give you that acceptance, in spite of your misgivings? I don't need answers to these questions, they are just the thoughts or questions that come out of what you write, from my perspective.
    I can tell you from experience that it is possible for thoughts and feelings to change more deeply than one could ever have imagined, and that things that have become ingrained habits of feeling and thought - about self, body, relationships - honestly can simply fade away, and new life lies beyond.
    Love from a reader, but please, always, remember that people like me are *only* readers, and don't let my words take a bigger role than they ought, and don't let them make you more rather than less vulnerable. I am not trained, except in the sense of a bit of experience. And the internet is not always the safest place, and I don't want to make things worse through my responses to your beautiful, moving posts.

    1. thank you so so much for this <3
      I found your suggestions so helpful and the next time that these thoughts and feelings of whichI speak become overbearing, I will be sure to think of what you said.
      I really appreciate you taking the time to write..and you may only be a reader but your words really do mean alot. <3

  3. Good luck over Christmas, Emily. I hope you find your way to enjoying it this year!

    1. aww thank you so so much <3 happy christmas to you and best wishes for the new year <3 <3