I am Emma, I was born with a muscle weakness called spinal muscular atrophy which I was diagnosed with at the age of 3. It is a progressive muscle weakness where my muscles get weak over time. I was able to walk unaided and could do most things by myself, including personal care, toileting, getting myself dressed and doing all aspects of my care without assistance.. until the age of 13 when I had to undergo back surgery for curvature of the spine. I then needed the use of a wheelchair and became reliant on someone to do all these things for me. It was very hard to get used to and is something I still struggle with now. I have lived on my own since the age of 19 when my mum wanted to put me into care but fortunately my step Nan took me in and managed to get me a bungalow that I live in now and have the support of carers that look after me with all aspects of my care. I am so grateful for this, as I can live independently with my assistance dog Xaver who helps me when the carers are not here- he pick things up, turns on lights and opens and closes the door or me. I have suffered with anorexia and depression since my back surgery due to family problems and for some kind of control over my body. It hasn't been easy and I have been hospitalized a few times but I am now 34 and for the past two years have been in recovery which I am still in pursuit of.. it is a daily struggle and sometimes I fail.. but fighting is something I want to inspire others to be able to choose, by sharing my story..I know that recovery is possible for each and every one of us as long as we truly believe and refuse to give up- it is something I strive to achieve one day!
Recovery definitely isn't easy and is full of ups and downs.. but my aspiration for the future is to be fully recovered one day.. I think tennis definitely puts me into a better frame of mind and makes it a bit easier to focus on that goal. Spending time with Xaver helps me a lot also and he gives me inspiration to get better, he is always there for me and we do everything together! We attend a dance group on a Thursday for people with mental health difficulties which is very encouraging and something we both look forward to as he is part of the group as well- it always feels quite uplifting when we are able to go there. I think it's an important aspect in the recovery process to do things you enjoy to feel more positive and I think that gives me an incentive to keep fighting and choosing recovery, because when I am focused on other things it makes me feel like I am listening to my own thoughts, rather than engaging in eating disorder behaviours- so much so it gives me hope that I can achieve a life without this disease one day!
I hope and pray for your wellness this Christmas, and know that you’re not alone ❤️