White Cotton Peonies

moving forwards

That’s the hardest part, right? That is what they say at least. I care to disagree.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re riddled with anxiety about what others will think about you, let alone the guilt that you feel you’re somehow failing at life. But the love, support and visible relief of others is something that lifts you onto a cloud, giving you a sense of being invincible – able to take on the world let a lone a little ED shaped blip.

Then the hard works commences, draining your prematurely fragile body of every ounce of energy that it can muster. The balloon of optimism slowly deflates, lowering you into a dark hole surrounded by the reality of the situation that you find yourself in. Your loved ones throw ropes of love, hope and encouragement but the only way out is for you to scramble. To turn your back on ED, and to pull yourself away.

You can see the end goal, you can see that shining pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…. but right in front of that rainbow is the ‘Bank of ED’ where endless amounts of gold are available for withdrawal 24/7. The Bank of ED has some seriously appealing promotions going on and a world class marketing team to encourage you to stay.

Onlookers assume that you’re on the road to recovery, that things are about to get better. You’ve admitted that you have a problem and now it can only be a matter of time before you’re freed, right? They can’t understand why you’d want to remain safe in the grip of what they consider to be a monster, but they haven’t seen his softer side.

You see, ED reassures you that when everybody tires and gets angry with frustration, he will always be there for us, loving and warm… he won’t ever show frustration. He picks on perfectionists and taunts us with our weaknesses before encouraging us that he can lead us to perfection, we just need to follow him. He gives us feelings of power, control and acceptance. When others discourage us, he reassures that its due to their own insecurities. When they look at ED with looks of hatred, he tells us that those looks are meant for us, he persuades us that it’s him and us against the world.

He cuts us deep, before soothing us, pulling us in against his beating heart. He wipes away our tears. He blackmails us, telling us that if we betray him, he will out us to the world as undeserving, unpopular, unattractive human beings, before reassuring us that he loves us despite those flaws.

He understands that not every day is good days – he never questions how we feel – he just gets us. For everything that he takes away, he provides us with something safe, something very hard to give away. Can you imagine waving goodbye to the very existence that you’ve been living for years… for something we’re promised will be better but have no first hand experience of? The torment? The torture?

I know that the road to recovery is the right one, the only one to live the future that I dream of living. Whilst it’s incomprehensible to so many though, waving goodbye to the cocoon that’s kept me ‘safe’ is harder than I ever could have imagined. I’ve stepped aboard the recovery train and with that comes expectations when the reality is that life is lived from day to day.

M xox

Melanie Kentish

Hi! My name's Mel and I'm a 30 something blogger living in Windsor, UK with my two ginger cats and a rather handsome husband. White Cotton Peonies is the place where you'll find my ramblings on health, fashion, beauty, food and my random adventures as a soon-to-be mum. Enjoy.


  1. Christine Gioia


    Meli, I also have a relationship with ED. When I lived in NL I saw an amazing counselor who I worked through things with and finally also admitted that I had an ED of my own. Although I was never obese or anorexic, it’s the relationship with food as reward and my low self worth that suffered tremendously my entire life, to the point that I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror, I really disliked myself. I’d been on every diet under the sun with varying degrees of success, but it was never good enough, it had a grip on my life that was pretty strong and I’m not going to lie, is still there, but is more manageable. With counselling and journalling and active interceptino of my thoughts aka becoming aware of my triggers ,I was able to slowly change my behaviour, and to a degree accepted that i’m more than a number on a scale. But you’re right there is the security of ‘the way we’ve been doing things is easier than change, the unknown’ – it almost seems impossible- BUT I think at least from the glimpses I’ve had of success in terms of beating ED with the help of really implementing new thought patterns and intercepting old ones (even when i didn’t believe it myself I still tried), and with that, the tenderness and comfort ED gives pales/d in comparison to the freedom without him. (I see ED as a him). Living in the fullness is real, it really is and it’s amazing. But yes my friend, it’s a journey and there are big bumps along the way. If you ever need a chat about it let me know, I’m not saying I’m ‘there’ and I’m a ‘success’ because it’s an ebb and flow, as with all things in life. All I know is that I feel my best when I love myself, and that means, being truly healthy, and not even thinking about food or how I might look to others… funnily enough in those times I end up getting most complements and results, but that’s me and it’s not always like that. Ed is such a sneaky motherf*cker, excuse the profanity but he really is. I’m so so so impressed that you’re bringing this darkness into the light, and all I can say is don’t’ be fooled by the marketing team. You’re way way smarter than that, and when that moment hits, when the cycle is stopped, you’re going to be reborn in a way, a fresh start and you’ll look back and be like, OMG, ED is powerless. Love Xc

    • Mel Kirk


      Aw angel, if you were here, I would give you the biggest hug! I had no idea that you’d been through such a similar situation and you’ve always been such an inspiration to me, so thank you so much for sharing! Let’s be warriors together! Sending so much love xx

  2. Glenn


    Hi Mel,
    I’m not one of your close friends but I am a friend and have been since 2011, ive witnessed your ups and your downs and have to say I have so much admiration for you and for everything you’ve achieved, from the jump you took from your old job to start on your own and how no obstacles were going to get in your way, you are a strong woman and (ED) will not get the better of you.
    I dont imagine it’s going to be a speedy recovery but with so many friends and loved ones around you it must help.

    I am not going to pretend I fully understand what’s going on with you but your words are enlightening me and I hope they are an inspiration to others as well.

    Stay strong and kick (ED)’s ass, we know you can do it and we are all with you.

    • Mel Kirk


      Thank you so much! I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean when you’re in a state of self-doubt! I really, truly appreciate it! :) x

  3. George roach


    Hi Mel

    You might not remember me but I helped teach you to scuba dive a few years back and since then have followed your random Mel blogs and you success with branching out to start up your own. I can’t begin to understand what you are going through with ED, but I do understand some of the anxiety and worry that you feel. You see I lost my wife 18 months ago and went through a terrible time with depression and anxiety plaguing me ever step. The reason I bring this up is that reading your posts and blogs actually had a huge impact on me during this time and I helped me to move forward in my life. You are an amazing successful person and always seem to see and look for the beautiful things in life. I hope that this post is some form of encouragement to you and I pray for your success in this next chapter of your life.

    Stay strong and keep being an encouragement to all those around you.

    • Mel Kirk


      George!!!! I had no idea that you had followed my blog and it’s beyond lovely to hear from you. I might need you to teach me again (my ex kept the paperwork and didn’t send it off but that’s another story).

      I can’t begin to imagine the pain that you’ve been through and I feel incredibly guilty for wallowing in self pity when it pails in significance with what you’ve been through. Thank you so so much for reaching out and please do know that I’m always here if you want to talk. I hope that I can help in some way, regardless of how insignificant that might be.

      Sending so much love your way x

  4. Angela


    Mel, I’ve followed you for a long time now and although I don’t know you personally it’s painful to see you suffer the way I once did. I could never put the struggle into words the way you just have but every word spoke to me. Even now after years free of ED I still have some days where I have to fight off what was ‘normal’ for me for so long, thankfully now I usually always make the right choice. Good days bad days, bad weeks, good days I know you can do this and live the beautiful, happy life you truly deserve xo

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