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, 17 January 2018

No More Tears

And once again I drifted off topic, a tendency which I always seem to succumb to when blogging, I do apologise for that. πŸ’—

What I really wanted to reflect upon in my last post (and ermm...well, that post before that originally, too, actually) was the factors which played a role in my transition from relapse to recovery once again. Because it's true to say that I was trapped, that I felt like I was drowning. That the world was moving on, without me, hurrying along in its usual bustling, breathless pace, one which I could not keep up with if I tried.

Better to stay where I was, enmeshed within that enormous hole that ED had dug for me. He then coaxed me into it and left me there for dead. Just like he always does, and has done in the past. Countless times of tripping and falling, tripping and falling. And I remember thinking last year, When I was back at Trinity and sitting in a lecture. The words cast upon the board glowed luminously in the sickly fluorescent light, but I could only stare at them, seeing nothing and understanding even less. What was she talking about...? American Noir Fiction, of course. Focus, Emmy, focus. But no sooner had I weakly attempted to fix my brain on a certain point, that very point seemed to collapse, to disintegrate into nothingness. Leaving me suspended again, forever floating in an endless, deathly void.

Is this really it?
Is this really all life has to offer me?

I was so exhausted of it all.

The endless sways of failed recovery, and then relapse. The rows with mam over how I'd lost weight; over how I never changed anything, despite all my claims that Iwas trying so hard to get better. All those bitter words and accusations which cut me right to to the bone. The feelings of worthlessness, utter uselessness, and above all, the guilt. Guilt over being the failure daughter, guilt over being the cause of so much discord and unhappiness.

And there was a point when I very almost gave up; gave up this long and lonely fight which I had been engaged in for so long, I could not remember what it really felt like; to be able to lay down my weapons.

But something changed that month that enabled me to turn things around. To pick up my weapons once again and grasp their handles with renewed vigour and strength. To ignite the few sparks of defieance shooting upwards in my breast, causing them to amplify into palpable, red-hot flames.

Ed, this is war..

Fly free, Emmy.
It's time for you to fly free.

Janauary/February, 2017.

It wasn't just by chance that the tiny spark was initially kindled. A few things happened, looking back at it now, which caused that flame to take light. It's fairly possible that I'm forgetting something here, but these are the reasons that stick out in my mind. And the first is the one which is very much still of relevance to me now: the fact that, at that time of the year when goals are made and potential changes are recognised, it was long, long past time for me to change and change for good. Or to let this year be the same once again, spent in ED's arms. Arms which cling and fondle and grope in all the wrong places. Arms which pinch and won't let go when you struggle to break away.

It's a deadly embrace; more so more because it is so seductive. You're seduced as well as repulsed and horrified, but because of that seduction it's so hard to pull yourself away from it. Like a reluctant lover trying weakly to withdraw from the bed. So much of you is screaming in defiance, telling you to remain where you are, to not move. It's easy and more pleasurable if you stay right here with me, Emmy.

But we all know that courting ED is a act that might bring one benefits, for a certain time, anyway. But then the marks of abuse begin to show.

For too long had I subjected myself to that abuse without fight. Right until that day in May almost four years ago. And since then I had fought back, but looking back now I know it was not with every fibre of my heart and soul and mind. I want that to be my new goal for 2018. To give my recovery every single thing I have got. 

I want to be a changed girl in 2018...

The closest I ever got to being "healthy".

And another moment of  beauty came to me, drifted timidly into my line of vision as if it were nothing of consequence. But yet despite its modesty I was transfixed, in both the eyes and the heart. Last night, following a spell of heavy rain, the temperature had dropped below freezing, meaning that the bog was like something of a frozen sponge, still soft and swampy but yet with thin sheets of ice lining the ground. And, on every quivering branch and twig of the dew-laden trees, suspended droplets of frozen rainwater; hanging like glassy tears poised on the rim of an eyelid. It was as if the trees had donned their own jewellery in order to honour the beauty of this crystal clear morning.

And, as I have been inclined to do of late, it seems, I found myself pausing to gaze upon the delicate beauty of this scene; and, in doing so, reflect upon the ways in which an indiscernible similarity could be made with my own life path. And it came to me almost instantly: No more tears, Em. It was time to let my sadness, my melancholy go. Not to force it out; or to hold back the tears if, for whatever treason, they come - as for all we know, that never works - but to actively work on it, to make a conscious effort to drive those clouds away, and work on being positive, more confident. To foster belief in myself that I am able to do this, and to let go of all the fears and anxieties that, for so long, have held me back, kept me hanging in the same place, much like the frozen raindrops on the branches.

So here's what I'm going to let go in moving forward, in this brand new year, of hope and promise and change.

Let go of the fear of eating too much, because I know, all to well, I still need to gain a bit more weight.
Let go of the fear of the stomach distension. It's normal and expected in recovery and will only get better if I don't restrict and keep on eating well.
Let go of the belief that it's "okay" that I'm still technically a bit underweight. A bit underweight is not good enough for someone who has had anorexia for as long as I have. My body is too fragile to be eternally locked in a state of even slight malnutrition. No. It's time to say goodbye to that part of me that says I have to be "skinny Emmy" for eternity. I know now what is best for my body and I am going to take active measures in order to achieve it.πŸ’•

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sunlight through the Rain

The golden haze appearing through the falling rain seemed indistinct at first, but then, slowly but surely, became clearer, more pronounced. And then, it transcends beyond being something simply eye-catching, transforming into a thing of an extraordinary and powerful beauty, arresting the eye and beguile the quickening heart, captivating the mind with its sublimity . Every raindrop becomes illuminated, shining and glowing with all seven of the rainbow's colours; beyond, through the grey rags of the clouds, stands the sun, a disc of molten gold and glowing amber. Its ferocity is enough to chase the clouds away, sending them scurrying across the sky's infinite dancefloor, clutching their trailing skirts.

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. πŸ’—

Friday, 29 December 2017

Changing Skies.. xxx

Walking through the snow towards the canteen the other night, a flash of moving light to the east caught my eye. I swiftly glanced upwards, and a tingle passed over my skin. A shooting star, leaping down from the heavens, descending towards the earth in a tiny orb of silver radiance.

But that was only the start of the show. As I watched, transfixed, allowing what I had just seen to sink into my consciousness, I suddenly realised that the whole sky was aglow. Given the clearness of the night sky that particular evening, the Northern Lights were given the opportunity to manifest their full sublimity. Pulsing riverlets of soft, glowing colours - aqua green, predominantly; interspersed with rose pink and mauvey-purple - snaked themselves across the sky's infinite expanses, some of them fading and diminishing as I watched, others growing stronger, throbbing like the artery of a quickening heartbeat. It was minus thirty, but at that moment I was totally oblivious to the cold. All other perceptions fell away and retreated from me as I stood absorbed in my spectating of this wonder.

My experience last night stirred many different sentiments in my breast. Awe at the natural beauty existent in nature, in this frozen wilderness so far from my home in which the aesthetic was palpably present despite its raw harshness. appreciation of the moment of being here and now; terror, at the recognition of my own smallness and insignificance as a human being, in the face of nature's omnipotence. But also there was a feeling of enormous and powerful transition. Standing there, I could physically feel the potency of the change unfolding in the skies above me.

It turned my thoughts toward myself, my own life; toward the changes that had occurred within the own sphere of my existence, this year. In 2017, my life path had passed through so many new and unfamiliar landscapes; had taken me to places in which I had I had been challenged and tested and forced to confront my deepest and most paralysing of fears. There had been moments of sheer terror, of discomfort, of deafening and crippling anxiety. There had been times when it seemed all my hope had receded, like the final few dregs of water in a sun-baked desert. There had been times when I had told myself that I could not physically go on.

But 2017 has been a year of a change. And just like those dancing lights in that breathtaking northern sky, these changes have ultimately, been as exquisite as they have been terrifying.

And I, ultimately and crucially, have been altered and fundamentally changed as a result of all these struggles.

And now I know it is time for me to look forwards towards the new year, and reflect upon the other ways in which I can nurture positive progress and personal change. To look back on the year that seems to have slipped by me now so quickly, like darting troat in a stream. And in doing so to recognise what I have achieved and what I have overcome, and to use that recognition of my own strength to power me forwards now in my ongoing journey up the long and steep mountain.

And that is of what my posts over the new year are going to consist. Looking back and looking forwards. Acknowledging the changes I have already made and reflecting upon the ways in which further changes need to be made.

2018 has the potential to be just like the beautiful Aurora. Bright and beautiful and full of glowing colour. And changing. Ever changing. And this time I know I am ready. I am ready to embrace the change. πŸ’—

2017 πŸ’š

I do apologise if some of the details of this are inaccurate...I will have to scoop deep into my memories in order to write these posts ;) and though in many ways last Janaury seems less than a heartbeat ago...simultaneously, it seems like a whole millennium has passed since then. And so much has changed and varied since that very month!

Anyway, time to focus on the task in hand.  πŸ’•πŸ’•


The new year often marks a new beginning for many; a time of potential renewal and change, of new beginnings and fresh starts.

And since Janaury 2017 represented the beginning of what was my eleventh year with my eating disorder, it was with some great earnestness that I regarded the new year and its associations of renewal. And perhaps with some urgency. A new year meant I was another year older. Another year closer to hitting that crucial 30s mark; when peak bone mass would be achieved. Seven years remained for me to get my period and make my own oestrogen, and enable my irreversibly brittle bones to stengthen themselves as much as was possible. For once I hit that tirty mark, there would be no other chances.

Following my relapse in September, I found myself in that familiar state of ambivalence once again. There was that part of me which longed to recover, and was trying to make me turn onto the path of recovery, to commit myself to the painful and difficult process of gaining weight once again. And then there was that part of me which recoiled from doing so. And everytime I made a half-hearted attempt at grasping the reins and taking control of my recovery once again, it wouldn't be long before I found myself wavering, losing grip, and then dropping them onto the ground once again.

But in the early days of 2017 I could feel something builidng up inside me again. Something I had been lacking for what seemed like such a long time.

That being that raw, vehement  determination to beat anorexia; and find that beautiful place in which I could blossom like a new bluebell in a meadow. πŸ’—

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.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Beautiful horizons... xxx

So long since I last wrote, here on my beloved blog. The blog which has always been more than a blog; more like something of a place of refuge and sanctuary, a place in which I could open the concealed door to my heart and lay bare all my heavy and crippling secrets.

 But the past couple of months passed me by in a swift, streaking blur, seeming to move through the sphere of my existence like a meteorite hurtling at lightning speed through a frozen winter sky. And what a meteorite it was.  It blazed  bright before my eyes like a fragment of molten rock chipped off from the surface of the sun, a rock which had been to be cast by some giant hand towards the earth, and which, on having reached its final destination, had lost not a fraction of its sublimity.

It was vibrant and it was beautiful. But it was also frightening in its intensity.

For me, that was what the latter part of 2017 has been really like. There have been some incredible, unforgettable moments. Moments of such beauty that to look back at them brings happy tears of gratitude to my eyes. There was fear there too and there was uncertainty, but these were intricately balanced by a sense of renewal and change.

For a changed girl I have become. And not only just changed, but changing.

I am writing to you from my shared accomodation in the heart of Finnish Lapland. Yes, I actually got here; and I'm not going to lie by saying that it has been easy.

For by god it has been hard.

The first week I spent here was one of the toughest of my life. It's been a totally and wholly different experience to Barcelona; and one which I would like to talk about in detail very shortly. But today I actaually can hold my head up and say I feel proud. Proud for being brave enough to come out here and once again face the most malignant of all my demons. Because ED wanted to come for the ride, of course. As he always does. I got on that plane and ED was right beside me in the next passenger seat. He was furious. What the hell do you think you are doing? So you think you are strong enough for this, do you? You pathetic girl. I am going to make your life a misery. Of course, the main reason why ED had such a bee in his bonnet, was because he knew that here I would be removed from all familiarity. And one thing ED doesn't like is a change in routine. He likes to know exactly what he is going to do and how he is going to do it.

And I had no clue as to what was going to by lying in wait for us in this frozen, snow-shrouded landscape. No idea as to what the food would be like, what sort of lifestyle I was going to lead there, for the four weeks of my contract with a winter holiday tour specialist here in Finland.

No idea as to whether Id be able to do any sort of exercise, whether I would be able to eat the foods that I usually did eat - or the controlled amounts that I would usually choose to have, back at home - and ED hadnt a clue either. And so you can imagine as to why he was kicking up such a fuss.

But here I am now and one thing I can say is that I am beating back ED. I am coping - more than coping. Im doing well.

There's so much more I want to write on here, but I'll try to all space it out over the course of the next few days so my posts dont get too long.

But one thing I want to say is..I am so happy to be alive. I realise now that it really was worth all the struggles. All the tears I cried and the pain that was so strong, it almost seemed like my heart had been cracked in two. All the anxiety that I put myself through, all the hardship, and all the times that my spirit was nearly broken. So many times were my hopes reduced to nothing more than pieces of chipped, shattered glass; but with each and every time I picked the m up again and doggedly pieced them back together. I suppose that is what got me this far, all along. No matter how many times the little candle flickered and nearly went out, I did not let it die. Instead I nursed it tenderly, no matter how hard the cruel raw wind tore at the  little flame.

And I can sense that change in the air around me now, like the delicate scents of the budding garden in mid spring, when new life springs forth and soft blossoms adorn the swaying branches of the rustling trees.

And with my heart overflowing with hope like sweet water splashing out from a crystal fountain, I look toward the horizon now and think about how beautiful it is. And realise that mine can be just like that too. πŸ’›

A beautiful future could well await me, and I think now I have everything I need to make it so. πŸ’š

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Breaking the Law

The Gospel according to ED.

You shalt not have more than you normally do.
You shalt not say thank you for your food, or that you are hungry or that a food looks delicious.
You shalt not do any less exercise than xx amount.

etc. etc. etc.

signed, by Emmy, and also signed and authorised; by ED.

For as long as I can remember, I have lived by certain laws, certain rules. Certain codes of behaviour that I went out of my way to obey, at all times. And God forbid if I ever dared to disobey them. The repercussions of even contemplating doing so were always positively hideous.

Ed would do more than kick up a little fuss. Oh no, it was always alot worse than that. He would scream and shout and tear at me with cruel sharp talons. The channels of my brain would suddenly be overflowing with garbled, tormenting comments. You are fat. Eating that will make you fatter. Oh my God Em!! What are you doing??!! You are going to blow up! Don't you dare even consider it, girl!! 

It was sort of like the equivalent of being imprisoned in a high walled jail. Every failed attempt at escape would be met with torture, and threats of further barbarity if resistance did not cease. For a very long time I simply stopped trying to object. ED would nod, suitably satisfied, as his captive became weaker and more submissive with every passing year. She became too weak and too withdrawn to even think about escaping, again. The walls of the prison stretched higher and ever higher.

So that's why I suppose, upon that day three years ago, when I first made that first crucial, tentative step, onto the road up the mountain which we all know as recovery. That the anxiety, that horrible, screeching Voice, as loud and as piercing as a siren that can not be terminated, was enough to cause me to crumple to my knees with agony, if I had let it. But. There was something there that was just as strong as the anxiety. That being the pain of the guilt I had felt, when I had looked into Mam's eyes and told her I had been lying to her, for so long, about everything.

And that guilt and pain then were enough to drive me forward. Along with the love that I felt for my Mam, and the knowledge that if for nothing else, I could do this, for her.

Years later and I'm a different girl to the one I was those three years ago. A different girl, but in some ways, unchanged. And one of those ways in which I have remained the same is that I still abide by ED's many rules.

To fling wide the gates
and escape from Ed's prison,
once represented, for me, an impossible dream...

And as I walked tentatively forwards in recovery - choosing to gain weight, being admitted to hospital; allowing myself to tell those I loved that I had an eating disorder - I in time began to recognise and question ED's rules; and then - slowly but surely - I began to disobey them. It was not easy. By God, it was hard. But I knew that I had to do it. Whenever I found myself faltering and afraid, I closed my eyes and thought back to that day, the feel of Mam's warm hand on my shoulder. And I used that to drive me on. Because I knew that Mam would forever blame herself, if I died.

But now back to the half-recovered ED girl. Yes, she has broken many, many of ED's rules. She is no longer in medical danger. Some might think that she is recovered.

But she isn't.

Rather, this girl has a good long way to go, yet. And still many of ED's rules are still in place, and fully intact. She's escaped Ed's gaol but the oppressor is following her trial, coming after her. He steals in front of her and throws bricks directly across her footpath, blocks that collaborate to form obstructive grey walls and block the winding road up the steep sided mountain.

She knows that if she is to have any chance of ascending that mountain, she is going to have to break and destroy every single one of those walls.

But how?

Well I have some tools. These are my weapons of choice for chipping away at the cracks in ED's wall. I will use my own hammer and chisel to prise away the building blocks of ED's walls.

If I could leap straight over them, I would. But this time instead of wringing my hands and hanging my head in defeat, telling myself that I can't get over them...

Instead I approach them with my tools at the ready. Ready to start working on these walls. It's going to require time and patience and effort, and strength. And bravery. Yes, because the gaoler that initially constructed these walls is a fucking scary thing.


I've figured that I have all these things.

I've figured that I've got what it takes. I've figured that I am capable of breaking the Law, and making my escape from custody.

ED's custody.

And I've got something now that I did not have before. Something that has given me extra strength. I'm doing this for me, as well as for mam and all those I love. That crucial, crucial recognition; the actual acknowledgement of which  I have been unable to make for so, so long.

For now I have began to realise that the real Emmy wants to escape from custody, too.

She's now willing and ready to break ED's Law.

What it would be to be flying free,
like those bubbles..πŸ’™

ED's rules...

  • You can only have the amount set by me of any particular food. 
  • At breakfast: no more than 100 ml of milk, less than 30 g of cheese, etc. And minimise everything as much as possible.
  • Always take the smallest/thinnest part of everything. The thinnest slice of bread off the sliced pan. The smallest potatoes in the serving bowl. The smallest crumpet in the packet. etc. etc.
  • At dinner if I think you have too much on your plate then put some back in the serving dish when noone is looking.
  • You must always pick bits or crusts of bread, potatoes, etc.
The rules extend to how I act around food and how I speak about food too. For example.

  • You're not allowed to say that looks lovely I'm hungry thanks Mam that was really nice, I enjoyed that etc.
  • When you eat you always have to appear as if it's a chore. Show total lack of interest in what you're eating and push the food around the plate. 
  • You also have to eat as slowly as possible and cut food into tiny pieces.
  • You're forbidden to clean your plate, your bowl, your mug. You have to always leave something behind.
And to top it all off...some more general rules..

  • I have to do at least xx amount of exercise a day, and the more the better.
  • At all costs you must not gain anymore weight.

I could go on. And on. And on. Because Ed's rules are endless so long as I remain with him.

What Ed says...
I have to do the opposite.

It's time to break His Law.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

I Can.

And so in my mind sprung a new sense of purpose; one which was as fresh and as bright as the first ebony-white snowdrop of the early spring.

And now that I've finally found it - after months of searching and sifting and digging deep inside myself - I now eagerly seek to nourish it, to let it grow. To let it spread its roots and anchor itself firmly in the ground; to let it sprout leaves and buds and drink in the sunlight's liquid gold. Ever growing and ever strengthening is what I am aiming towards now. Harsh winds may batter at the slender stems and tiny bell-like heads of this little plant that I have sown, but behind that seemingly fragile appearance lies a deep and hidden strength.

It must grow then despite the odds. Despite the harshness of its hostile exterior environment and the force of those bitter winds that seek to rip it clean from its foundation roots. Despite the cruel frosts that shackle it in white-tipped bindings; despite the cold and the wet and the rain that lashes down upon those nodding heads, soaking and saturating and weighing down each stem; forcing them to bend and bow.

Yet bow flat to the ground my flower will not do. For after every battering and every bending and every storm, the flower will straighten itself upwards again, letting the rain droplets roll off it, letting the frost's fingers melt and slip silently to the ground like the tears I have lost and now, forgotten.

I recognise now that there's been a number of different elements which have been hindering my growth for quite some time, now. And to let my snowdrop grow, I thought it past time that I recognise these elements for myself.

I find it hard to talk about the reasons why I have not "succeeded" at recovery when I should have, could have done; and that's partly why I felt the need to identify these reasons and look more closely at them. I'm trying to learn to be more gentle with myself and not to feel shame for being weaker than Ed in the past.

The Elements that have impeded my growth...

  • For a very long time I always find an excuse to to "put off" a true commitment to recovery. It was always a case of I'll get through college first or I'll wait until I'm ready, or for when someone else tells me that I need to gain a bit more weight.                                                          Now, though, I have recognised that I can't afford to wait any longer. And it's no good waiting for that longed for statement that at one time I would not have beared being able to hear. I've made my own decision to gain weight. Because I know that this is the only way which I will enable my body to fully heal and recover, from all the damage, internal and external, caused by Ed.
  • Wanting to please others, not wanting others to think I am being lazy/selfish/self-absorbed by seeking therapy. For a very long time this was a core belief of mine: that to do therapy was a selfish thing for me to do or alternatively, that others would think me selfish by doing so. And isn't it weird how, if someone I knew were to approach me and say they were considering seeking help, I wouldn't hesitate to urge them towards taking the necessary steps in doing so. But no. For myself, it's different. It's like I've made myself my own greatest enemy. The most important thing for so long for me has been pleasing others.
  • Similarly, a great deal of it comes down to what other thinks/say about my body and appearance. So they say you look well, the Voice whispers. Well. Hmm. So if you look well now, what will they think or say if you gain any more weight? By God! You will look hideous. You will be hideous and all those people will be thinking to themselves how ugly you look. This for me has caused alot of difficulty in the past, and has reinforced my belief that I should try and maintain on the lowest possible healthy bmi.
  • And alot of it came down to fear. Fear, as raw and as sharp as the most bitter of winter nights. Fear of being bloated and for my already distended stomach to "balloon up" even more than it already has. Fear of not doing exercise and having to listen to the screaming voice inside my head. But the other day I made a crucial recognition. So many of these fears are illogical.
So now I need to focus on my goals which will help me this sprouting seed to strengthen and grow.

I'm not going to settle for just leaves and shoots. Now, I want flowers. I want to grow to the very best that I can be. This time, I am determined to not allow myself to be trampled back down into the earth.

There is a feeling burning inside my heart that feels akin to that which I felt upon that day that seems so long ago, now, on that sun-soaked day in early May this year, when I left Trinity for the final time and hurried back through the streets of Dublin. The memory of that day will always stay with me, lingering at the corners of my mind like the fragrant scent of a room bedecked in flowers.

There was sunlight in my hair and on my cheeks, but not quite as bright as the beautiful flames that burned in my heartupon that particular day. I had felt, then, that I truly could conquer anything. I had got through the five years of Trinity and had sat my final exams. I had faced my biggest fears and had charged right at them, cutting through them like a prow through the grey waters of a rough sea.

So instead of saying I want to do this, I say, I can.

I can.

I can gain the final bit of weight I need.
I can beat the depression, the anxiety, the fear.
I can defy the Voice in my Head. I can recognise him what it is. A thieving, cheating, manipulative liar.
I can go to England and try out my new job. And if it doesn't work out, I can make the mature decision that it's not for me, and look for something else.
I can be the person that I want to be.
I can beat anorexia.               

Since my last post, I've been putting into place a few alterations to my meal plan. It's been far from easy, of course - needless to say, I feel as if my head at present is the site of a very violent shouting match between Ed and Me. But. I've actually been coping relatively well.

Everytime I approach eating food, every time I feel too afraid to eat more, every time I find myself the bloating is so bad I feel as if I want to push away my plate and refuse to eat for the remainder of the day. That's when I say - often aloud - that I can do this Ed . I remind myself of what I wrote on here, the advice of my readers. And most of all. What will happen if I choose to embrace Ed.

I can do this Ed. It has become one of my many new mottos. And there's nothing you can do or say which is going to stop me, this time.

  1. Let's make the milk victory a bit more of a regular thing. So I'm going to have the 125ml as a minimum from now onwards and as much cereal as I want.
  2. As a general rule: the meal plan is a minimum and I can eat extra or more of anything if I can. No, cross out "if": I can eat extra of anything BECAUSE I can!!
  3. I've decided to up my protein a bit more too in a way which isn't too scaryπŸ’ͺ                        Since mornings are definitely still my munchies time, it made sense to add in something extra here. So for early morning snack, instead of my usual one egg with a round of bagel and seeds, I thought I'd up this a bit more, mainly..                                                                                         - having 2 scrambled eggs, 2 poached eggs or 2 boiled eggs, or even a yummy omelette (haha well they're all yummy - I LOVE eggs!! <3                                                                                    - or having 1 egg and 1/3 can of baked beans                                                                                -- or 1 egg and half a can of sardines/mackeral. And being generous with those seeds on the bagel, as they are both yummy and nutritious.                                                                                    Sunday morning was a rare proud moment for me, when I actually made myself scrambled eggs for the first time in what felt like an age. And I REALLY enjoyed them!! I love eggs in all forms, but up till now have never had the courage to eat this particular concoction of yellow fluffy loveliness, given that, of course, it consists of two eggs rather than one. But I've done it now and proved to myself that I can, and I know that I can do it again and again and again, from now on. 
  4. No more meagre bowls or portions of anything!! Having BIGGER handfuls of nuts, BIGGER bowls of cereal, and not minmising on my protein portion at lunch - just little things like that which I think will make all the difference.
  5. I'm going to focus in particular, on my protein intake at lunch and dinner as this is something that, for some reason, I have always fallen down on in the past.
  6. And I'm going to throw into the mix another few easy ways of getting more energy for my body. A tablespoon of wheat germ on my cereal, extra nuts, be more generous with my salad dressing, lots of nut butter, etc.
  7. And last but not least, to follow my new rules which are the reverse of ED's, and more on this in my next post, in which I am going to talk about just some of Ed's many, many rules and regulations which I am now going to break. πŸ’ͺπŸ’—πŸ’–