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.:)

Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Task

The writer in me is frustrated and irritable. And has been the past few weeks, ever since I got that little urge, that sudden and unexpected desire to write Morokia again. Come on, Em, let's get back into it. Or the story will never be told.

But it's not good enough, another voice answered it, sadly, to be followed swiftly by another. And we need to focus on the job search.

That's your priority right now, Em. Get a job!! Earn some money!! Too long have you been here relying on mam and dad to provide for you!! Lazy, hopeless girl...

Like a blaring siren the sentences repeated themselves, over and over, in the cramped confinements of the chamber of my brain.

And it was only a matter of time before the siren became too unbearably, painfully loud.

Since I came back from Lapland, trying to find a job has proven to be a source of purpose and direction to me, in the sense that I, as a writer, have always liked to have had a little writing project to focus on - a project which satisfied that occasional need to dabble in the artistry of the written word. And the more I felt that "project" was of some sort of practical use - was going to be of benefit to someone, was going to contribute towards some significant cause - the better. And to that guilty, niggling part of my brain which was squirming in guilt and indignation at the fact that I was still unemployed, the task of finding a job was certainly the most significant task I could possibly commit myself to at this point in my life.

So I turned away from Morokia's unexplored landscapes; the epic battles raging between good and evil, the characters who I had come to know so well that they seemed real, breathing people, with minds and hearts and stories of their own. I turned away from that fantastical landscape, and concentrated all my energies on something which I knew was much more imperative: finding a job. I say "concentrated all my energies"  because doing job applications to someone like me is no straightforward task. The perfectionist streak of me demanded everything to be immaculate and without flaw. Any mistake on my part would result in a fury-filled inner berating which would then in turn leave me edgy and disconcerted for days. But I continued with my teeth set firmly together, as if I was making myself walk through a storm of drenching icy rain.

And so it comes as no surprise that equally my self-set job of finding a job has been a cause of misery, frustration, and more often than not, despair. A procedure so torturous and painful, it seems almost equatable to having the skin torn, shred by little shred, by a toothed bramble enmeshed around the legs, impeding movement, disabling you from moving on: yet biting into you, too, if you remain still and cease to move. At each little tear I would bleed that little bit more. Yet another unanswered email; yet another application which has been ignored, rejected, dismissed straight out of hand? Oh, you're useless, Em. Clearly no one wants to employ you. Save the place in Shrewsbury which you no longer want, and were to weak to take on. Now you've let it go and you're doomed, Em!! No one else will employ you. Ever. You're a complete and utter worthless piece of sh**!!

The other day I could not take it anymore. I shut the laptop with a snap and just cried. Was there really nothing out there? It certainly seemed so. I felt so afraid that it seemed every scrap of my courage had been stretched and wrung out to dry in a harsh, baking sun. That they had been stretched to the point of being snapped apart, leaving me with nothing but untraceable, indistinct fibres.

And that's when mam came and reminded me ofsomething which I, in the chilling depeths of my despairing, had inevitably lost sight of in my mind. Wave upon wave of heavy black misery had washed over me, but when mam reached out and took my hand to pull me from the water again, I could just perceive fthrough the mist and the fog that path through the choppy seas which I know I cannot afford to fall away from.

And mam reminded me of the most important truth of all. That yes, it is important that I try to find a job. But as important as my recovery? As important as beating ED? Not so.

Just don't get so stressed that you fall back into bad habits, Emmy. And right then her words filled me with strength. And even more so that I can attest to the fact that it is not "falling backwards" is not the danger here. No. For despite how stressed and desperate I have felt, I am still eating. Eating well and good. Eating the same amounts every day. But that's where the problem lies. The same amounts. My stress and anxiety hasn't impacted me in a way which has made me go backwards; no. I am strong enough to inhibit that from happening, now.

Rather, it has taken a toll in so far as I haven't quitepossessed the motivation to increase my meal plan that wee bit more, as I know I need to do, to gain the final bit of weight.

And, on reflecting on it all later, I realised that no, I was not quite right in asserting that finding a job as quickly as possible is the most important and critical task for me to accomplish right now. It's important, yes; but I just need to pause now and ask myself a crucial question. Is successfully fulfilling this task going to play any major part in contributing towards my health, my physical and mental recovery? Is bending over backwards to obtain employment going to help me save the most important and valuable asset that I will ever, ever own?

My body?

The answer is to all these questions of course, is no. No, finding a job as urgently as possible isn't going to heal all the damage done inside, or make my periods come. No, getting that job isn't going to help improve my osteoporosis, or increase my chances of recovery.

And this is what I have to remind myself now. My principal task is recovery. I'll carry out all the other tasks alongside that one, job-hunting included. But this one takes priority.


  1. Finding a job these days and more so at this time of year is incredibly hard. Its good that you are putting your recovery first - when you are feeling better in yourself you will be more able to cope with the stresses and demands of having a job. The right job opportunity will come your way eventually - don`t give up!

    1. aww thank you <3 <3 I really appreciate your words so much. And that's what I want to believe too; that if I put my recovery first and focus really hard on getting better, than everything will fall into place <3

  2. Happy Easter, Emily. I hope you are doing well and enjoying the springtime.

    1. aww thank you so much for your lovely message <3 and happy easter to you too (I know thats a ridiculously late easter greeting, I do apologise!) I know I've been absent for a while.. had a two week easter job which has been extremely hectic but Im done now so normal blogging should resume soon!! <3 xxx

  3. Dear Emily, as I am not sure if you received either my message on fb or my mail, I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you a lot and hoping that you are ok...!
    I think I really am hitting "rock bottom" ( in many aspects) atm and I have decided to really try again with all the power I have to at least fight the evil ed...!Pain wise I have no control and i just feel that there is not much life left, so why not try "something new"...It is so easily written....
    Hope, dear, that nothing bad has happened!!

    YOu are in my very thoughts, all my love,