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.:)
Wednesday, 10 January 2018
Sunlight through the Rain
This has aways been the way in which I have perceived the first few glimmers of the sun following a heavy fall of rain. To me, such a scene is just as beautiful as the Aurora; yet in a very different kind of way; a way which it is only since arriving home I have taken a pause to consider. The Aurora derives alot of its majesty from the brilliance of those pulsating, thick ribbons of glowing colour; ribbons which are, by their very own nature, fleeting and transitory. Those glowing lights will appear, streaking across the Northern Sky; then, they will fade again. To gaze upon the lights of the Aurora is to know that one has been graced with being lucky enough to witness such a wonder.
The sunlight through the rain, on the other hand, is a natural phenemona that most of us will be much more familiar with, and which we might well take for granted as a result. This, however, was not quite the case for me, having spent four weeks in a landscape in which not a single droplet of rain fell to moisten my skin or settle in tiny beads upon my hair. There, there was only snow; pure, white snow. Not a puddle of rainwater staining the endless whiteness; not one flowing river or trickling stream snaking across the earth. Everything was as still, as peaceful, as silent as the unmarked grave locked up by the frozen fingers of winter.
But yet here I am, back home again, back to the volatile and ever-changing climate of the island which long ago became more beloved to me than any other place upon this earth. And walking the doggies yesterday endowed me with the perfect opportunity to indulge every one of my senses in the Irish winter's natural wonders. Sights and sounds which might seem utterly unextraordinary and banal to some; but which to me were every bit as aesthetic as the unblemished purity and fairytale-like picturesqueness of the ice-locked realms of Lapland. The indignant ticking of the robin redbreast, fluffing his feathers and puffing out his orange-red chest plumage; interspersed with the soft coos of the collared doves, having made their temporary roost upon the naked branches of the silvery birch trees. And then, to see this; the sun making its majestical appearance. And then the rain-soaked bogland took on an almost fairy-like quality: every fern, tipped with tiny pearls of glowing moisture, every tree branch and every grass blade illuminated with this soft golden light.
But alongside the simple beauty of this scene, it was the sentiments that it inspired, too, that I suppose made the moment so significant for me. It was witnessing that light, so weak at first, becoming stronger. To amplify into something beautiful and powerful. Because it made me think of my own recovery: how I, back at this time last year, turned something so small and seemingly insubstantial into something vibrant and palpable. What started initially as a weak attempt of resistance against my relapse gradually evolved into what could only be described as a rebellion. A rebellion in which I would fight fire with fire, and would go forth into battle with a courageous spirit and a heart blazing in defiance.
I'm going back, now, back to beginning of 2017. And I'm recalling what happened then, and what it was that helped me nourish what was a weak and guttering candle flame into a burning, dancing light, a light which would scald Ed's clutching fingers and guide me back towards the path which ultimately will lead to my freedom.
It was around this time last year...
The Christmas festivities were over, and January had spread itself like a sodden cloth all over the land, dampening spirits and laying down heavy on people's minds. Many had overspent and overindulged over the festive season, and now consequently were feeling the squeeze. i did, too. But in a different sort of way to many. Not the squeeze in the sense with which most people would use the term.Rather, I was feeling the squeeze, of ED's twisting hands, once again. Christmas had been like all the others that I ever recalled: me holding back from really enjoying myself, taking the extra chocolate from the box, making conversation at Christmas dinner, having a Christmas brunch like everyone else. It was always, always the same.
And here I was, stuck in the muddy ruts of relapse, unable to simply find the strength to throw my hands out and cry for help, let alone make some feeble attempt to pull myself out, and stand upright once again. I had fallen off the road of recovery, back into ED's engulfing embrace. It felt just like being sucked into a swamp's murky depths. Impossible to see; equally as impossible, to breathe. Like drowning in thick, stagnant water.
But then...January came.
And, as the sun breaks through the rain cloud, probing through a crack to fill the misty sky with a soft, mellow light, so too did I suddenly force open a gap in ed's stifling walls. In my suffocating lungs I suddenly found a desire to breath again. And though my limbs were numb and my body weak, there was still something there; that tiny flicker of hope.
Perhaps this is why more than anything I am so drawn towards the sight of emerging sunlight through rainfall; am so fascinated and entranced by its beauty.
It's because it is not perfect or flawless. It's slow and gradual and takes time and patience before the beauteous end result is achieved. I guess there are those who flee from the grim rainclouds, having long since dismissed the notion that that tiny glimmer of light would be enough to banish this soaking, driving rain.
But for those who remain - who keep on going, on and on, no matter how bleak things may appear - something truly beautiful is waiting to be seen, to be experienced.
In the very same way as the journey of recovery.
I have to be patient, I have to persist, and have faith.
And one day the sun will break right through these clouds. 💗