As I walked to the presentation room, I caught a glimpse of the cool window art created by Marquette students, and I was impressed!
Schaefer presented to a group of about 200 people, a mixed crowd of students, parents, and press.
I would describe her style as soothing.
As she spoke, her soft, genuine expression, lit up the room, even as she held up a yellow, dance tutu that she wore at age 4…the age in which Ed
Ed, in this case, is not an abbreviation for Eating Disorders. "Ed" is what Schaefer named her disorder. She admitted that when her therapist first brought up this idea, it seemed a bit nutty, but she gave it a try. Opening herself up to the concept of treating her eating disorder as a relationship rather than an illness or condition, started her on the road to recovery after
decades of struggling.
"Ed and I lived together for more than twenty years. He was abusive,
controlling, and never hesitated to
tell me what he thought, how I was
doing it wrong, and what I should be doing instead. . . Ed is not a
high school sweetheart. Ed is not some creep that I started dating in
college. . . Ed's name comes from the initials E.D. —as in eating
disorder. Ed is my eating disorder. —from the introduction of Life Without Ed.
If Schaefer is anything, she is a shining example of hope for full and total recovery. Here are the four main points I noted from her presentation;
Ed was a tool she used to recover and made her realize;
1) I am not an illness. The concept as Ed as a relationship created separation in her mind.
2) Ed gave her something to fight for- fight Ed not herself!
3) Responsibility was now on her shoulders, excuses were no longer possible.
4) Gave the hope she desparately needed to recover.
Perhaps this is a concept you have never considered for yourself as you go through recovery or consider recovery?