Time to cut Ed loose!

During National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I attended a presentation at Marquette University by Jenni Schaefer, the author of "Life without Ed."

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 
came along.

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?

Read more here;
Life Without Ed
Jenni Schaefer Site
Jenni Schafer Blog

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6 Responses to Time to cut Ed loose!

  1. kay says:

    mama v,
    this post is right on time, actually a little bitter sweet for me. I lost one of my best friends on tuesday to anorexia, and i wonder how did i survive and make it and she didn’t? so i now committed more than ever to not only health, but preventing another life from being lost to this insidious disease.
    *rest in peace lauren*

  2. PTC says:

    I read that book and thought it was good, but it absolutely drove me insane that she referred to her eating disorder as “Ed.” I mean, I get her point, but it drives me insane when people personify it.

  3. mamaV says:

    Hi Kay: You are still here for a reason. You still have a chance to recover. I hope you will find strength to start down the recovery past.
    I would like to add Lauren to the memorial section of the site. If you like this idea, please tell me about her, send a picture optional, to mamavision@gmail.com

  4. Melissa says:

    So sorry to hear about your loss, Kay. MamaV, I am so glad you had the opportunity to see her speak — I’d like to check this book out, myself. I’ve heard a lot about it.

  5. Always happy to hear of Jenni’s work, spreading the good news of recovery. Thom Rutledge

  6. joanne says:

    hi kay
    my heart aches for you and your friend. i am so glad to see your words of hope and optimism. you give me hope. my thoughts and prayers are with you today as you walk down your path to recovery. rest easy lauren, your suffering is over.

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