I want to send out a HUGE congratulations to Emily Siederer for her 1 Year Anniversary in recovery from her Eating Disorder. It is a great honor to be able to share a bit about her, her struggle, her successes, and ultimately what she has learned and gained in recovery. Thank you Emily for sharing!
Who is Emily Siederer?
Name: Emily Siederer
Email: EmilyAnastacia@hotmail.com (feel free to email me if you want to read my poetry!)
Hobbies: Anything creative
3 random things about me:
1. I can make my therapist cry (You’ll see the poem here that made her cry!)
2. I can do an impeccable British accent.
3. My favorite color is pink and always has been.
Saddest thing to happen to me in the past year: I lost my Grandmother (expectedly, heart disease) and my Great Uncle (unexpectedly, heart disease)
This is my dog, aka the best thing to ever happen to me:
Background on Emily:
When I was born at 25 weeks, and a very low birth weight, the doctors said I wouldn’t live. When I did, they said I wouldn’t function properly. I challenged them. They also said I wouldn’t walk. I didn’t walk, I danced.
At age 2 I began ballet, got along with people very easily, did well in dance class. Then reality hit. The “nice girl” was too nice, too much of a pushover.
At age 10 I began puberty, I gained weight and was shunned by all my peers. My friends didn’t want to play with me anymore, shows you how cruel children can be.
I then began to take on different “characters”. At age 12 I was a cheerleader, at age 14 I was a Wiccan, at age 16 I was an anorexic, at 17 I was a bulimic, by age 18 all I was, was an eating disorder. It had taken over, kept me stuck at age 16.
By age 18 (which I don’t even remember most of) I was bingeing, purging, restricting, over-exercising, blacking out when I stood up, and I wasn’t even underweight.
At age 19, I went for help, I went to outpatient treatment. I encouraged others in group therapy. I completed all my meals, but I was not filling out my food journal for my nutritionist. Consequently I was kicked out.
I stayed with my therapist from treatment, who is basically the only reason I am staying in recovery. She believed in me. Sometimes all it takes is that one person who you really connect with to make you believe in yourself.
Now at age 20, I am pre-diabetic, and struggling with body image and health. Everyday I remind myself how far I have come in life and how much I deserve recovery, and how strong I am and have always been.
We all deserve this, we are all strong. I had to talk to myself in a mirror to realize that, which we all know is hard to do. But if we believe in that person in the mirror, if the person in the mirror deserves recovery, WE deserve recovery.
On Recovery in the last Year:
Last year, I purged the day after my 20th birthday, I then decided I need help NOW.
I started looking for doctors that could help me find a place to go for my bulimia.
By May, was admitted to an ED Unit at a hospital and then left a month later.
Over the summer, there were MANY times I wanted to purge after what I thought was a binge.
I went back to school in September, and almost everyday I wanted to purge.
But I always reminded myself of what I was saving.
My throat, my gums, my teeth, my mouth, my electrolytes, my RECOVERY.
Keeping all that in mind, the dentist told me that my teeth look AMAZING.
Yes, there have been many days where I have to sit with myself so I do not purge.
But I always think of how it could affect me, and how I care about myself too much to start doing that again.
I always remember how lucky I am and how much I deserve recovery, and that is what keeps me going.
A Brief Q & A with Emily:
- What has been your largest struggle over the last year?
- my largest struggle was when I lost my great uncle and one of my friends unexpectedly, but it mad me want to live life more and fuller!!
- What are your healthy coping skills that have helped you with cravings/urges/struggles, etc?
- Some of my coping skills are definitely verbalizing that I am struggling, sitting with it, writing, singing, and drawing
- What have been your greatest successes?
- Some of my greatest successes are that I have begun writing more and am hopefully getting a children’s self esteem book published!
- What do you want to tell those in the first year of your recovery?
- There will be days where you will hate it, but the outcome is so amazing, recovery changes the way you look at yourself, your ED and the world, it has really opened my eyes and it is YOU are worth more than anything because there is only one of you.
- How has your body image changed over this last year?
- I used to really over analyze my body, but I have no learned to accept my genes and what I have right now.
- What or who keeps you motivated in recovery
- Some things that keep me in recovery are definitely my best friends, my family, my dog, and most importantly, myself.
- How important is a support system in the first year of recovery
- A support system is a MUST in recovery in m personal opinion, whether it be family, friends, your therapist, or online.
- What treatment, if any, have you been involved in this first year?
- I went to Somerset Medical Center EDU, I was in Intensive OutPatient, I got the best therapist I have ever has from there and I have been seeing her since last May.
- What is a myth or misperception about recovery in the media?
- Most people seem to think, “if they just eat and get a healthy body they’ll be better, and if they get therapy they’ll be fixed in no time.” truth is, recovery, like being in recovery for alcoholism, is a lifelong battle, there will be easy days and there will be hard days, but all those days are so much better than being in your disease for the rest of your life
Poem by Emily:
When I was a kitten in a crowd of lions,
I felt lost and alone,
Many lions approached me,
I was terrified,
Then an ocelot approached me.
She was kind and seemed to understand,
Why I was afraid,
She made me feel like it was alright for me to be there,
She was the one I trusted fully,
When the lions saw I was a mere kitten,
They threw me out into the wild,
The ocelot and I continued to stay in touch,
I learned many survival techniques from her,
Week after week we would talk and laugh,
And the ocelot would teach me many great things.
I started seeing the ocelot as a great friend,
Though the ocelot helped me grow and learn,
The ocelot soon grew overwhelmed and tired,
After dealing with lions all day,
She had other cats she taught,
And she needed to let us go.
I felt as if I wanted to hiss at the ocelot instead of purr,
But I realized that I had become too dependent on the ocelot,
I needed to accept that she was the one who taught me how to hiss when appropriate,
and without her, I may never have learned.
The ocelot and I will part ways soon,
And in my heart I will feel sad,
But I always must remember what I learned from the ocelot,
For I knew she would not always physically be there for me,
But her lessons would always be there,
And for that, I thank her.
For without her, I would still be a kitten in a cat’s body,
And would have never learned how to roar,
How to stand with pride,
How to command a room of lions,
How much I was capable of,
And that just because my spots are different,
Does not mean I am not as capable as any other cat.