Thursday, January 8, 2009


My name is Emma Wiseman.
Actually, it's not. Emma was my elementary school nickname, and Wiseman is my mother's Maiden name, which I used to go by when my parents first got divorced.. I want to be able to post as myself without reservations, so i'm not going to post my full name. Just call me Emma. :)
I'm 19. I am a certified phlebotomist, but I currently work as an Elementary School Coach. I LOVE my job. Those kids are so amazing, I just don't know what I'd do without them!

I was born in Moscow, and lived there until I was two. We then moved around for a while, mostly in California and NV (Las Vegas area). I've lived in Magna, UT for almost eleven years now, and I just love Utah I grew up being the third of six siblings, then at about age 12, I got six step-siblings as well. I converted to the LDS church at age fourteen, which my family still reserves issues about.
The gospel has helped me out SO much in my recovery, there are just no words to describe it. I truly love my church.

I think my ED developed differently than most. When I was in Elementary, I was very small, in both height and weight. When I finally started growing in about fifth grade, I was still fairly low in weight. Teachers and the school counselor were convinced that I had an Eating Disorder, when in fact I had absolutely no problem with food- after all, food tastes good AND gives me energy to run around and play! What could possibly be bad about FOOD??
The school counselor decided to help me overcome this non-existent "Eating Disorder". She called my mother multiple times, but my mother rightfully denied it. The counselor started taking me out of class a few times a week to visit, in an attempt to help. She showed me pictures of severely anorexic girls, and asked me if I wanted to look like THAT. Nope, I sure didn't. That was gross.
She would explain that thin girls are so much more miserable, and how, like cars need gas, WE need FOOD to keep running.
How could this be? I thought happiness had nothing to do with weight!
After a little while, I started looking at people, trying to see if people ever really looked that way. I started to notice that I was thinner than most other people- and I knew I didn't look like those gross looking girls that the counselor had shown me.. Was everyone fat? I started noticing that the "bigger" people seemed a lot more sad than the thin ones. How could this be? I was just told by an ADULT that skinny people are sad. Needless to say, I was quite confused at this point.
My mother had always stated how she used to be cute and tiny like me when she was young and could eat whatever she wanted without worry, and how one of these days I'm going to start getting a tummy and flabby arms like her. This suddenly started to bother me greatly. 'I don't want to be fat and sad!'
And it was true. I didn't.
I started to be frightened of getting fat, and trying to eat less than I wanted, since I usually ate more than everyone else anyway.

In seventh grade I passed out on the side of the road while running because I hadn't eaten in so long. In eighth grade, a teacher was telling me how her old roommate would purge and how she would always say "I can hear you throwing up in the bathroom!"
I acted interested in her old friend, and inquired
"She can make herself throw up on command? That's not even possible, is it? Does she have some sort of disease?"
(As I truly did not understand how that was possible)
"No, she just stuck her fingers down her throat like a normal person. She wasn't sick, she just MADE herself throw up." (or something to that effect)
That night I purged for the first time.

It just kept going from there. In ninth grade I had a "bad experience with a boy" as I like to call it-- the worst kind, if out get my meaning. After that it all went rapidly downhill, and I turned to purging and eating (or the lack, thereof) whenever anything went wrong.

By 10th grade, I was using laxatives, green tea & hoodia pills, and every other weight loss pill you could think of-- excessively. It got to the point where I would go days without sleep, and be exercising 9 hours a day, on top of school. My straight A's turned into straight D's & F's. My passion for playing cello began to fade, as I didn't have time to practice or energy to play. My love of theatre suffered, as I didn't have the stamina to act in such roles as I used to.
12th grade I started adding this weight-loss gum and mass amounts of diuretics to my diet of five diet Mountain Dews a day.

In October of my senior year, I overdosed on Asprin. I wasn't trying to kill myself, I just wanted to FEEL something. Everything was a blur, and I wanted to make SOMETHING change-- ANYTHING.
I was rushed to the hospital and was in multi-organ failure. I was soon sent up to the ICU, where the doctors had me say goodbye to my family. There was about a "1 in 100 chance" that I was going to make it through the night.
I stayed in the ICU for a week, then I was sent HOME.
Now, normally the crisis worker will send overdoses to inpatient. This was not the case with me. I was supposed to fly out to Boston for my father's wedding the very next day, so my mother convinced the crisis worker to let me go.

A few days after I got home from Boston, I was admitted the University of Utah Neuropsychiatric Unit, where I stayed for a month. The average stay is four days.
The rest is history. I've been trying for recovery for almost two years now. Sometimes I feel like I'm in the same place I was two years ago.. but when I think about it, I realize how far I've truly come.
And I can't help but feel proud of myself.


  1. I see from only a few posts that you have written, that you are a very strong person who happened to encounter some horrible situations. It's so important to have a support team, connections (like your church), and ways to express yourself. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts. Stay strong!!!

  2. You should be proud of yourself. You've been through a lot and you're still fighting to recover which is definetely something to be proud of :)

  3. Despite being a little younger than me, I think that we have a lot in common - in terms of life happenings, etc.

    God bless and hold strong!



  4. You have a powerful story. Thanks for sharing. I believe you can recover if you never give up.

  5. I know Melissa I was at Renfrew with her...and I just want to say your writings are good and I can understand everything you have written about. We need to fight this together to bring victory and to do it for Melissa!

    Take Care

  6. I have been complaining about how bad my life was for a LONG time... but reading youur story makes me see how lucky I am. I think that you can a WILL recover as long as people pray for you... I am going to be one of those people. I will tell my friends about your inspiring story and ask them to pray for you... your story is inspiring to many other people.