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Emmy reflects on the theme of #EDAW2024 ‘Eating Disorder Recovery and Beyond: Respecting Invidividuality and Identity’

Hi there❤️my name is Emmy. I’m a twenty-nine year old Ashbourne girl, but whose heart

remains in her native Laois and its mountains and woodlands.

I’m a writer, an avid baker; intrepid hiker; a mountain walker of both the literal and figurative

kinds. Nature lover, crazy extrovert; and quite possibly the world’s biggest fan of Butler’s hot

chocolate to date. I’m the proud and doting mammy of four mischievous guinea pigs, whose

sweet and yet vulnerable presences in my life allow me to channel the maternal and caring

sides to my personality. These are just some of the things that make up my identity. These are

just some of the things that make me Emmy.

But there’s also a side to my identity that the world may not see, but which has, quite possibly,

been most influential in shaping me as I am.

I’m a warrior and a fighter, of a resilience and a bravery that I know sets me apart. I suffered

from anorexia nervosa for a total of sixteen years. The illness was strong, striking hard with a

vehemence. It worked softly in the background for the entirety of my adolescence, disguised as

friend and ally; wrecking havoc upon my body and mind while I, oblivious, nurtured it closely and

shut the rest of the world tightly out.

But ten years ago, when my eating disorder was finally diagnosed, the realisation of the

devastation the illness had wrought upon my life was brought into vivid and horrifying clarity.

Mortality flashed before my eyes and death looked at me right in the face. It would have been all

too easy…and oh, so peaceful…to clasp even more firmly to my eating disorder’s hand; to allow

it to drag me onwards towards an endless sleep where my pain would finally reach its end.

My pain would end. But, so too, would all that was and could have been, me.

Something deep inside me screamed defiance. A shard of my true identity remained, a spark

that I knew, if I could only just nurture it and nourish it…could leap into a roaring and all-powerful


I lit the flame of resistance. And thus began my pathway of recovery; the most difficult and

excruciating journey of my life; the bravest and most worthwhile decision I know I have ever

made or will ever make. And now no longer do I identify as a girl with anorexia. Now, I possess

a new and beautiful identity that fills me with gratitude, wonder, and pride.

For I am a survivor, of a bravery and inner strength which changed my life forever, and which

has shaped me into the person who I was always destined to be.

Respecting Identity and Individuality: a key component in reaching true recovery

I believe having respect for yourself and your identity – and all the unique and beautiful traits that

constitute it – is crucially important in developing a strong and robust recovery.

I think respect for oneself is at the heart of a solid recovery. Having respect for oneself, the

uniqueness of the person that is you; of developing a sense of self-worth and realising that you –

yes, you – really and truly do matter, and are worthy.

Without those, it may well feel like we are a lost ship in a stormy and hostile sea. With no light to

guide us, it’s often impossible to find a way.

But it’s hard to find something that never seemed to be there in the first place. How to plant a

tree, after all, if you don’t even possess the seed; let alone the soil? So how, I might well hear

you asking, can I grow and nourish respect – if there is no place for it within me to germinate and

take root, or if I don’t even have anything from it to grow from, anyway?

For me, recovery did not truly begin, until I gradually made a crucial realisation and connection.

That I was worthy and I deserved life and to live. That my presence, my identity mattered. It was

only then that the true fight began. It was only then that I was able to light my fire.

An eating disorder can alter our true identity. Recovery, on the other hand, can bring it

back to life.

In the early years of my illness, my loved ones witnessed a strange and drastic change in my

personality. Gone was the happy, carefree, bubbly and jubilant girl with her ready smiles and

easy laughter and endless, brimming positivity and energy. All of that was slowly diminished as I

became sicker and sicker, to be replaced with a mere shadow of a girl: a wraithlike Emmy who

was present only in body and never in mind.

For my mind was in constant captivity by my eating disorder; my identity, once so big and bright

and beautiful, had been reduced to a ghostly shade of what it had once been.

Time passed and years began to flit by me, and gradually, the reality of this tragedy of my own

existence presented itself before my eyes. I looked at my life and wanted to weep, for it was like

I was looking back upon a life lived by someone entirely else; a stranger. That irritable, snappy,

shivering girl who shut out everyone and hid herself away…was me? The reality was like a dark

winter’s night: merciless and raw and bitterly, bitterly cold. My eating disorder had taken so

much away from me. And it seemed that I was powerless to take so much of it back.

And so it can be incredibly hard to build upon something if you feel you don’t even have the

basic foundations. This was certainly the case for me. Years and years of having been enslaved

to the illness’ beck and call meant that it felt like there was very little left of my original, true self.

I felt like I had fed the illness every single piece of who and what I was. A sort of warped identity,

a mere shadow of the Emmy I once was, was who I presented to the world. I was ashamed. So,

so ashamed. Though my skinny body barely took up much space as it was, I wanted to shrink

myself further and further, to the size of a mite, to the size of a grain of dust. I placed no value

on myself as a person. The only respect I could feel for myself was when I restricted my intake

of food, giving me some sort of sick and twisted sense of pride.

Realisation didn’t just hit me one day in a sudden and glorious moment of inspiration. It didn’t

come, suddenly and dramatically, as a sudden blast of lightning from the heavens, to stun me

clean out of my depression and self hatred. Rather, realisation and acceptance descended upon

me slowly, and gently. Like the early morning sunlight starts to trickle upon the skin as the sun

lifts itself up above the horizon and begins to flood the sky with colour.

You stole so much from me,

But you cannot and will not take away who I am and who I am going to be.

I realised I had the power to reclaim my identity. And that, with recovery, I would be able to

reclaim the true person that was me.

It was a gradual process and a frustrating and disheartening one, at times. I wanted to simply

“snap out” of that scared and frightened child who I had become. But I forced myself to be

patient, with myself. I will foster respect for the identity I have now, I thought, in order to allow

my true identity to grow and flourish, and establish itself.

I looked at myself right in the eye and asked – demanded! – of myself why. Why do I hate

myself? Why do I possess not one paper-thin shard of respect for myself? The ED voice loved

rushing in to fill in that answer: Because you are weak. Because you are good at nothing. The

only reason you have to respect youyself is when you possess the willpower to deprive yourself

of what you really want.

It was time for me to call ED’s answers out for what they were.

Senseless, unfounded, meaningless lies.

I had to, essentially, replace that sick feeling of satisfaction that I derived from restriction – an

ED-generated feeling that lured me into a momentary and false sense of respect for myself –

with something else. Because that’s the thing. That’s the irony, isn’t it? Restriction and following

the dictations of ED only allow you to respect yourself for a sweet but oh so cruelly, short, while.

And then we are back to the criticism and self-scathing. Then we are back to the shame and

misery. And then we restrict, again, and thus the cycle continues.

I realised I needed to get out of that.

I wanted to live, not live my life a slave of the ED; no dignity, no agency, no respect.

And so I forced myself to look at myself with a detached and constructive eye.

I say I am weak. Weak! For wanting to eat more food?

No. The only reason I am weak is because I give into my ED every time.

Gradually the light fell upon me, trickling in through the walls of this cell of shame and

oppression. A beautiful and golden realisation.

I have the power to change that.

I thought about the madness of it all. How my identity was all so enmeshed…in pleasing ED,

following ED, everything and anything ED; nothing of myself.

I knew the real Emmy was a different person. She is brave. She is fearless. She is the one

dancing in a sundress upon the summit of a mountain, while thunder rolls and rain lashes down.

She just throws up her head and laughs.

That is the real me! I cried. I awoke, I arose; and turned my trembling yet resolved body towards

the light.

Your identity is that of a hero’s.

You were made to beat your eating disorder!

It can feel like, in this struggle, the odds are completely and utterly unfair. It can feel like you’re

not equipped with anything to fight back against ED. Particularly given the illness seems to have

snaked its way so deeply into your identity.

The cruel irony of having an eating disorder is that all too often what would help us to recover

appears to be taken away by the illness. This can certainly be said for having respect for

oneself. An eating disorder can erode or completely diminish a person’s sense of self worth and

self esteem. It can leave us feeling powerless, pathetic, and worthless. It can convince us to feel

we are not worthy or deserving of recovery, and that our identity is only to be valued for

engaging in disordered and destructive behaviours.

It can feel massively overwhelming, then, to set out on the recovery road and make a stand

against an eating disorder, when one does not feel they possess a scrap of dignity or a shred of

respect for oneself. It may feel as daunting as climbing a rock face without a harness; or indeed

as impossible as trying to swim a rough sea with one’s hands tied. But I want to make sufferers

realise that recovery is possible. That we CAN foster respect for ourselves again; and nourish a

sense of self belief and self worth. It is about being brave, of remembering who we are and

always have been, and who we are destined to be. It is about holding on to our values. It is

about looking deep within ourselves and embracing our true identity. For me, it was examining,

with curiosity and honesty, the traits which make me who I am – and using them in fighting and

actively defying the illness.

Never forget that beneath those stifling layers of depression and anxiety, of constant fear and

resentment…there is still you. You, and all of the amazing, unique, and wonderful traits and

characteristics that make you who you are.

No matter how powerful or long established an eating disorder may be, you yourself are never

fully gone.

And that means that you do, in fact, possess a very formidable and powerful weapon to use

against your ED. That being your own individual and unique traits, strengths, and qualities.

I have always considered myself as a brave and fearless person – and not just because I was

born under the sign of Aries🐏. As a girl, I was the intrepid long-haired rascal always climbing

trees and digging for worms – and the odd maggot – to bring on fishing trips with her dad. I was

the fearless princess with the shining and proud eyes, always stepping forward unhesitatingly at

our school shows without one single baulk at the watching crowd. I was the adrenaline junkie

fearlessly legging it for all the scariest rollercoasters at the theme park, heedless and uncaring

of their hour-long queues. But most striking of all to all who met me was a beautiful and

impregnable confidence. A confidence in myself and my own abilities. A confidence to be able

to handle anything life hurled at me.

When my eating disorder took over, this confidence and courageousness was massively

undermined, of course. My identity as the fearless, sunny girl with her endless store of positivity

and energy seemed to dwindle and wane; to be replaced by a wholly opposing one – victim,

martyr, prisoner. Needless to say, this new identity didn’t give me much reason to respect

myself. And thus when I started taking the tentative first few steps of my recovery journey, I was

filled with a sickening sense of foreboding. I felt vulnerable and unequipped. I’ve nothing to fight

with! I thought. What chance do I have in this battle? ED will strike me down with one single

blow. I’m a nothing and a nobody.

But as I floundered and struggled, wrestling doggedly with the voice of doubt which was trying to

drag me back down into the depths of mental immobility, a fundamental thought occurred to me

and broke through the ED’s harsh mutterings. What if there was some part of the “real” Emmy

left? The fact that I had decided to even try to recover was an incredibly brave and valiant

choice. I had, in a sense, taken the seemingly forbidden, terrifying, but crucial first step. What if

my courage and strength were still within me, hidden, somewhere? What if, after all this time, I

had something to fight with, after all..?

I didn’t know where this was going to go, but I knew I had to give it a try. And this leads onto my

next important point; of how one can build respect for one’s identity again, by being brave and

courageous in their recovery.

Recovery Pride – how pride in my own recovery endeavours enabled me to start building

respect for myself.

One of the crucial actions I took in building respect for my identity was developing what I refer to

as “recovery pride”.

This is taking pride in the courageous actions you take to defy your eating disorder; the brave

and anixety-provoking decisions you choose to make.

Let me tell you something that I want you to believe and know with your whole mind and heart. I

want you to know that when you made, or contemplated making, the conscious and daring

decision to be brave in your recovery – know that you have reason to be so, so proud. You are a

warrior. It takes enormous courage and mental discipline to do that. People like you, who

choose to fight their eating disorder and face their deepest and most dreadful fears every

day…are the bravest and most courageous sort of people, on this earth.

What, I ask of you now, is more worthy of your respect, than making the terrifying, daunting, and

incredibly brave decision of facing your greatest fears and the most overwhelming of your


But that is you, everytime you face your eating disorder down. That is you. You embody and

define the identity of a hero.

I remember how it felt for me, the first few times I started, in my half recovery phase, to do the

things that REALLY terrified me. I let my fears lead me to what I knew I really needed to do. I

donned the role of recovery detective. Eating a single dry rice cake for snack and increasing my

intake by a single grape was no longer enough. Err, no, Em. Awareness of my fears pointed in

another direction. At the hard, scary, proper hardcore stuff. Strong hot chocolate? Tick. Toasted

sandwiches oozing with mature cheddar cheese? Also tick. Oh, what about a hot chocolate

AND a slice of homemade cheesecake on the side? The thought of that was enough to make

me wet myself. Ah, Eureka!! – That’s exactly what I need to do, then.

One day, being the baker that I am, I decided to make my boyfriend and his mammy a

cheesecake. My boyfriend and I drove round to his mam’s house to give her her half, but

discovered that she wasn’t home. We headed back via the shopping mall and Eddie bought me

my beloved Butlers hot chocolate, before disappearing to hunt for some other bits he needed in

Halfords and beyond. I remained in our car, sipping my chocolate and watching the world go by.

As I finished the delightful, silky liquid, a soft longing in the back of my head wishfully yearned

that my treat wasn’t finished; that I could just keep sipping away, forever. That I could eat

something…else. I quashed the thought ruthlessly, appalled by such a shocking notion.

Hot chocolate and an accompaniment?? Impossible!

But as I bent down to place my empty keep-cup in my bag, my eye involuntarily settled upon the

untouched tub of cheesecake. I looked away again, feeling suddenly nervous, unsettled, edgy.

My hands were itching to open that lid. My mouth was watering at the thought of that creamy,

silky cheesecake filling and the crumbly biscuit crust upon my palate. What!! Ed screamed in

horror. Don’t you dare have a single spoonful! That’s not your cheesecake, it’s Marina’s. You

don’t eat cheesecake, you don’t “like” cheesecake(complete and utter lies, of course)…and

besides, you just had hot chocolate!! Don’t you dare, don’t you dare; I will bring this car roof

down on your head; I will tear your mind up into shreds before your very eyes…

But deep down I knew what the right thing to do was. The bravest, most petrifying, but most

daring and liberating action I could take. Was to listen to the real me, the brave real Emmy who

respected herself, her desires, her cravings, her recovery – to listen to her and look the terror

straight in the eye, and have some darned cheesecake. Oh yes!

My armpits were slick with cold sweat. My head was spinning as if I had been picked up by

some gigantic hand and sent careening down some depthless, gaping hole. But, yet, I knew I

had to do it. I had to try. I was sick of being the weak and subordinate girl. I wanted my old

identity back; to respect myself again. But I wasn’t going to achieve that by simply sitting there

and doing nothing.

I took hold of my hot chocolate spoon…

Opened the lid of the cheesecake tub…

And let the battle commence.

Holy Moly, the fear! It roared at me, as loud and as vehement as the mightiest of thunderstorms;

a fire-breathing dragon with its jaws outstretched and knife-like fangs poised to impale

themselves. And that’s how it felt like facing that fear. I felt like I was going to be drowned by

those drenching rains, blasted down by that storm’s lightnings. I felt like I was going to be

devoured by that dragon, be seared to ashes by its fires, be rendered a broken victim in its

pitiless, terrible eyes.


I faced that fear, anyway, and smiled. Suddenly my little stainless steel spoon with its bent

handle from when I had stepped on it once…became a weapon. A jewel engraved sword. A

spear which I gripped with all my strength, and struck right into the eating disorder’s black heart.

I took another spoonful. And another. The ED screamed and writhed and set fires burning within

my brain; I could feel the heat upon my skin, feel its pressure threatening to burst my head

apart. But the real me fought back with ferocity, setting fires of her own that blazed as fiercely as

that of my eating disorder. Invisible to the world as it may have been, within that small Hyundai

i30 on that drizzly November morning, a battle of fire and blood raged and surged. But I wasn’t

going to lose this time. I couldn’t. I could and would, not.

I am brave. I always was and always will be. ED took so much away from me. But it will never

be able to take away my spirit. It will never be able to take away my fire. It will never be able to

take away my bravery; everything that makes me, me. It cannot and will not take away Me, and

everything which makes me who I am and am destined to be!

And suddenly I realised the fires were abating. I had won. I had won this one. I noticed that

suddenly every motion of the spoon from cheesecake to my mouth was no longer a shaky,

tortuous effort; that my spoon no longer felt as heavy as a lever made of lead. I realised…that …

.I was even beginning to enjoy this! I realised I could have as much as i wanted!!! I attacked that

cheesecake with as much zeal as I had faced down the ED. By the time my boyfriend returned

to the car, he found me slumped in an exhausted but wholly exuberant state of disbelief.

Disbelief at the fact I had won. Disbelief at the fact that despite the sheer and excruciating

agony of facing the ED down…the real me, had won. Ha! And I knew that if I had done it this

time, I could do it..again and again. The real me – the brave, perseverant, determined girl that

the illness had suppressed – had reemerged, once again. And she was armed and ready to do


I found it really helpful to draw up a little chart of sorts; a physical and proud presentation of my

recovery triumphs thus far. My creative side derived great satisfaction from doing this up and

decorating it with all manner of hand drawn doodlings and pretty colours. On it, I planned,

monitored and chartered my recovery progress. I recorded significant triumphs and recovery

wins which I then built upon by adding another more scary, greater challenge.

On my bad days, it brought me great comfort looking back upon my chart, and reminding myself

of how brave I could really be. EDs are very good at making us forget just how capable we

really are, and causing us to focus solely on our weaknesses. This was why I felt it was

important for me to have a physical reminder of my own strength, and motivate myself when I

wasn’t feeling so courageous or sure of myself.

The hard thing about building recovery pride is that you have to accept that others around you

may not quite be able to grasp just how challenging and often completely terrifying these actions

are for you. But that’s ok. In recovery, we have to recognise that not all our loved ones will be

able to understand what we are going through. But realise that you do not need the

understanding of everyone in your life in order to recover. It’s essential that you learn to be ok

with that. Because guess what – you don’t need the approval or praise of others in order to be

proud, and to develop respect for yourself.

As a recovered individual, it’s true to say, like all human beings, I have my bad days too. Days

when work leaves me feeling like a wrung out dishcloth; days when nothing seems to fall into

place or a misinterpreted message leave me wondering what I did wrong this time. Days when I

start to feel those old feelings of shame and self disgust, reminiscent of those so prevalent in my

head in my years of anorexia. But then, I remind myself of all I have been through. I remind

myself of my own individuality – a complex blend of bravery, strength, determination and

rock-solid perseverance. I remind myself I have every right to respect myself and my identity.

And know that for you it is no different. You deserve respect. You deserve respect from others.

You deserve respect from yourself. And no one has the right to take that respect away from you

– especially not that destructive voice in your head.

The role of detachment in allowing your true voice to speak

I think what was also part of establishing respect for myself was the conscious decision to try to

detach myself somewhat from my struggles, and look at myself, the place I was at, and my

illness and its workings from a more detached and less emotional viewpoint. This was important

because in doing so, I was able to grasp for myself what it was my eating disorder was actually

making me feel ashamed for, or what it was provoking fear in me for. And when I took myself out

of my own head and tried to look at my struggling self with the eyes of an slowly

started to hit me just how ridiculous it was, that my ED would make me cry in shame over eating

more than one cookie, or calling myself a loser for daring not to measure milk for cereal. I had to

come up with a new philosophy, of sorts. I’m not the one who’s pathetic, I talked back to the

voice firmly in such situations, you are. You want me to cry and have a meltdown for wanting to

have a slice of toast? For wanting to be human for once and actually give myself the food my

body has been crying out for?

It can be really, really hard, but…you have to replace those harsh, consistently darned nasty,

shaming voices of criticism with a voice of your own – one that has dignity, respect, and pride in

yourself. You should be PROUD of the fact you are choosing to eat – well and truly proud!!

There’s not a single reason in the world you should feel shame. Remember, always, if you can –

that the only thing holding you back from being proud of yourself, for gaining respect and dignity

once again for yourself and your recovery, is a voice in your head. And that voice, no matter

how tangible it may seem…doesn’t really exist. And you have the power, the strength, and the

bravery to defy it.

And so, when you try to eat, or take on a recovery challenge. Try to notice the different emotions

you feel right now – give them names. Fear, guilt, shame, self-disgust? Try to realise and grasp

the fact that they are purely ED generated emotions. The real you would not feel them simply for

wanting to fulfil such a basic and vitally crucial need – that of feeding yourself! And with this in

mind, try to detach yourself from those emotions, if you can…I’m not practised in the art of

meditation, by any means, but the tools one learns in meditation can be helpful here. But for me,

I tried to look at myself through the lens of a recovered Emmy, or of one of my key support

people. And, having adopted that perspective, I would think to myself…Jeepers Creepers! Look

at myself, this poor, bogged down girl! She’s feeling as much shame contemplating eating that

plate of Fries as she would have if she had just spilt catfood down someone’s prom dress! Why

should you feel so much shame for yourself, Emmy? Can’t you see just how ridiculous that is –

that something that only exists in your own head should make you feel shame for simply

wanting to eat? You, of all people; who deprived yourself of adequate food for so long and

starved your body and mind? You, who knows full well that you have to eat in order to


In adopting a more detached perspective, I was able to draw myself out of these heightened

emotions that the ED threw up everytime I tried to take on a recovery challenge. I was able to

ground myself, remind myself of why I needed to do this; and ultimately, allow the voice of my

real, true self to speak over that of ED’s. The ED voice wanted me to feel shame and disgust in

myself for taking actions that would help me recover; my real voice was one of pride, respect

and dignity for myself; my current and future identity. My real voice was the one I needed to

listen to; for it spoke the ultimate truth – that in choosing to eat, I was being incredibly brave and

strong; and that strength and bravery were intrinsic parts to my identity. I had every reason to

respect myself, and allow my recovery to grow.

Reconnection with your world

I think mental illnesses like eating disorders and depression are cruel in that they can cause us

to become extremely preoccupied with our own suffering, our own sadness. It is all that we

begin to think about and we become further and further entrenched in our own melancholy as

we start to forget the beautiful and wonderful things about life.

Recovery demanded of me that I let go of this preoccupation. Forming respect for the person

that was me and, ultimately, wanting to recover for myself, would only be made possible if I

essentially drew myself out of these patterns of thinking that were all centred on my own

suffering. And in doing so I found I was able to develop respect for myself; for I came to realise

that, as opposed to the depressed, self-resentful mutterings that I, trapped in that web of

melancholy, had allowed myself to believe…as opposed to that, I was not in the slightest weak,

or useless, or incapable, or pathetic. That I was bad at everything, inept at making conversation;

a complete and utter imbecile. No. When I forced myself to be brave, and curious, and oppose

those thoughts, I began to discover that I was in fact the complete opposite of what these

thoughts were telling me.

And so alongside being brave and defiant in my recovery choices, it was important for me to

start looking outward as opposed to inward all the time, and become reconnected once again

with my world. I thought about what was important to me, what interested me. And let my heart

and soul guide me, instead of my doubting, self-critical mind.

I realised that nothing made me feel more fulfilled than being around other people and

particularly, helping other people. Bringing a smile and a bit of brightness to people’s days. And

that’s when I started volunteering, working with children, writing my blog, and baking yummy

things as gifts for my loved ones. Reconnecting with old friends and making the effort to see and

do things with them. And putting myself out there and trying new things, and trusting the blind

faith that I would make new friends along the way by doing so.

Doing these things, even though I felt reluctant and nervous to do so at first, were really helpful

in helping me to pull myself free of depression’s heavy, stifling blanket, and develop respect for

myself and the unique person who was me. I began to see myself for who I truly was – not

anorexia’s helpless, meek, vulnerable victim; but a happy, confident, bright and spirited

individual, whose natural energy and bubbly, warm personality was enough to bring smiles and

laughter to everyone in her presence.

Respecting identity and individuality: recognise that your recovery is individual, and

personal, to the unique person who you are.

A recovery journey is as unique and as individual as every single person who chooses to tread

its winding, challenging paths.

Thus your needs in your own recovery journey will be unique and personal to you. In recovery,

it’s important to figure out what it is you, in practical and realistic terms, need to achieve your

goals. To devise your own personalised care plan, of sorts; that is in line with your needs,

values, experiences and motivations.

It took a long time for me to grasp and understand fully that what I needed in my recovery was

not the same as everyone else’s.

As someone who is very much a people person, I noticed I never really tended to do well when I

was on my own. And yes, this did mean wasting a good bit of money travelling back and forth to

my boyfriend’s apartment, and spending an annoyingly large chunk of my time staring out of a

bus window…but, do you know what? It was one hundred percent worth it. I accepted the fact I

needed support and company in order to do best in my recovery. I had also noticed how it was

when I was with my boyfriend that I felt at my most brave, confident, and willing to take on

difficult challenges. He was able to truly bring out the best in me, gently encouraging me to see

through the challenges I would have chickened out of doing if I had been by myself. (And, might

I add…the ice cream parlour adjacent to his house certainly was influential in helping me

rediscover my love of ferrero rocher sauce sundaes.🙉)

Recovery: Reclaiming and Rediscovering our true and beautiful identities

Recovery has brought me more joy, more peace, and more happiness than I could ever have

imagined. Out of the countless things which I am now truly grateful for, is the emergence over

the past year of what I see as my true and real identity: an identity completely separate to that of

my eating disorder’s; an identity which is solely me and only me. My struggles have, essentially,

shaped me into the person who I am today.

She is both the Emmy of old; but yet also the Emmy of the new. She is both the same person as

she was; but she is different, too – in the most beautiful and extraordinary of ways. I have more

respect and self acceptance for myself than ever before. I possess great tolerance, a deeper

level of understanding for others in my world: this is something which I am truly proud of, and

which I know comes directly from my experiences of mental hardship and how I overcame such

struggles. I’ve reclaimed my former confidence and enthusiasm, and love nothing more now

than hanging out with my friends or dancing my heart out – whether that be on a sparkly dance

floor, or on the tiles of my kitchen at home with my guinea pigs looking on. And alongside all of

this; a store of endless, boundless, uncontainable energy which many a friend and colleague of

mine has remarked upon. My response is usually a beam of pride and an avid declaration that it

must be all the hot chocolate I consume.🙈

On our honeymoon in the UK, not only did I get to discover the wonders of the Snowdonia mountains and

the beauty of the Cotswold Downs, but also the delights of Mrs Potts chocolate house and the

phenomenon otherwise known as cookie sandwiches…

All that I went through, in those harrowing years of pain and loss, taught me alot about myself. I

realise now just how brave I was, am, and always, always will be. I realise just how tough I

actually am and how much mental strength I possess. And it is the same for every sufferer out

there going through what I did, no matter at what stage of life you find yourself at, no matter how

“sick” you are or don’t think you are; no matter how many times you have told yourself you can’t

or won’t recover. Know this. You are brave and you are strong; so very, very strong. It is time to

stop belittling yourself, and take action. Take action today. And one of the first steps you can

take is to respect yourself. To respect the person that you are today, and to look towards the

future and the person you are to become.



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