Life Without Ed® (with Jenni!) discussion

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Life Without Ed - Short Sections > Disagree and Disobey (pg 9-11)

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message 1: by Jenni (last edited Oct 02, 2017 04:35PM) (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
Sara just brought this topic up in another thread, so I wanted to include this book section in our discussion. Separating from Ed takes time. In the beginning, we often agree with whatever Ed says; we do whatever he tells us to do. The next phase in recovery can include disagreeing with Ed but still obeying him. This can be so frustrating! Later on, we can begin to disagree with Ed as well as disobey him. For me, this process was difficult...and SLOW.

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Here is a what I am talking about...

Ed: Binge after work.
Me: Okay

I agreed with Ed; I obeyed him.

Later, sometimes, I disagreed, but I still obeyed...

Ed: Binge after work.
Me: I know binge eating won't help my recovery. But, I will do it anyway.

Even though the above scenario might not sound helpful, this was an incredibly powerful part of my recovery. I was starting to become aware of what Ed says...vs what I think.

Eventually, with lots of time, practice, and support, the conversation went like this...

Ed: Binge after work.
Me: No, bingeing won't help my recovery. I am going to call a friend for support instead.

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Importantly, in the early days, I couldn't even remember to separate from Ed. I had to hang up post-it notes all over my house: "Separate" -- a reminder to question... "Who is talking? Is it Ed or me?" I couldn't have worked through this without help from my treatment team. Please take a look at this section in Life Without Ed. Then, share any helpful tips here.

How did you remember to separate from your eating disorder? How did you learn to disobey Ed even if you agreed with him? How did you find yourself separate from your eating disorder? Maybe, you used other techniques in addition to the Ed metaphor, or possibly you used a completely different approach. Please share!

** Please remember to keep your posts non-triggering. Per the rules of the group, no numbers (e.g., weights, calories, clothing sizes). Also, please refrain from posting specific eating disordered behaviors. We want to keep this group non-triggering and focused on the solution. Triggering posts will be deleted in order to protect our special group. **


message 2: by Sara (new)

Sara Leopold | 68 comments THis is great Jenni!


message 3: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "THis is great Jenni!"

Thank you for the idea!!


message 4: by Sara (new)

Sara Leopold | 68 comments Jenni, did you go to EDA meetings or just read the book?


message 5: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
I went to a meeting, too. I was lucky: at the end of my recovery, there was one meeting in Nashville. EDA has online meetings as well. Check it out: http://www.eatingdisordersanonymous.o...


message 6: by Sara (new)

Sara Leopold | 68 comments Oh great! You are a wealth of information Jenni!


message 7: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "Oh great! You are a wealth of information Jenni!"

I am getting old! And, I really like it. :)


message 8: by Sara (new)

Sara Leopold | 68 comments haha


message 9: by Casey (new)

Casey | 3 comments I am still working on the stage of separating from and disobeying Ed. The times I don't talk back at all are becoming less and less. Many times I do still find myself giving into behaviors in the end, but I'm working with my therapist to break down the times I'm most vulnerable to those situations.

Driving to and from places, particularly after work, is a time when Ed thoughts really get loud. I'm working on making my car as much of a positive, recovery focused place as I can. I have post-its and things that make me feel calm and happy when I see them. I have a recovery playlist full of empowering songs, and I recently downloaded an app that allows me to record myself talking out loud. It gives me a chance to vent without holding back what I want to say, and while I usually don't listen to them again, sometimes I'll come to realizations I'm happy to have recorded. It's good practice for talking back to Ed too. :)

There are certainly days when I feel too tired or disheartened to disobey the thoughts, but everyday I'm building up ways to feel stronger and more uplifted. This forum feels like it will be a great resource to help feel supported against Ed too!


message 10: by Kelli (new)

Kelli Evans | 13 comments Jenni,
This is such a great thread to have for discussions. I've been in recovery for 8.5 years and one of the very hardest parts early in my recovery was finding a way to separate myself from Ed. It had become my identity for so many many years. The concept of the Ed not being me was so very foreign in the beginning. One of the things that was important was to talk about Ed as separate from me with my therapist. Rather than saying "I want to....." I began to use the words, "The Ed wants me to....." It was strange in the beginning but became a very powerful tool in seeing myself as separate. I began to define what I valued and voiced those out loud separating myself from what the values were of the Ed. Again, it was all in how I spoke out loud and to myself in my head. It was very hard at first and my therapist helped point out to me when I was speaking for Ed and not for my values. I then would rephrase what I said assigning the values of Ed to it and my values to me........Just something that was instrumental to me early on!!!


message 11: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
Casey wrote: "I am still working on the stage of separating from and disobeying Ed. The times I don't talk back at all are becoming less and less. Many times I do still find myself giving into behaviors in the e..."

Thanks for sharing this, Casey! I love how you describe your recovery car. Sounds awesome. We have a whole thread in the book group devoted to songs! So, please feel free to share some of your favorites: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

That app sounds cool, too. What is it called? Thanks again for posting such an inspirational message!


message 12: by Jenni (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
Kelli wrote: "Jenni,
This is such a great thread to have for discussions. I've been in recovery for 8.5 years and one of the very hardest parts early in my recovery was finding a way to separate myself from Ed. ..."


Thanks for bringing up Ed's values versus our own. Such a key, Kelli! I will probably start a new thread on that, so I appreciate the reminder. There is a section in Life Without Ed devoted to just that (True Value System, page 25). I always love hearing from you, Kelli!


message 13: by Melody (new)

Melody | 212 comments I think this is especially helpful to recognize that this is also a baby steps process. I tend to get really frustrated with myself when I give in to the eating disorder, but maybe it's just learning how to say no gradually.

I also can really appreciate the comment about recovery values vs. ed values. My therapist encourages me to use this tool when I'm struggling and it's been super helpful! Makes me think it would be a good idea to sketch or write about!


message 14: by Christina (new)

Christina | 92 comments Baby steps is what helps me tremendously...I find that even in things unrelated to ed (reorganizing my room for example), I tend to make it a big project instead of doing a little at a time. I find when I make a big project I get overwhelmed and stressed. Then have to take more breaks and want to give up in a sense.
When working on recovery, I do things very slowly and my teams knows to do that with me. That way I don't get as discouraged and will hopefully have little successes along the way, which makes continuing recover more helpful.


message 15: by Sara (new)

Sara Leopold | 68 comments Kelli wrote: "Jenni,
This is such a great thread to have for discussions. I've been in recovery for 8.5 years and one of the very hardest parts early in my recovery was finding a way to separate myself from Ed. ..."


This is a really great tool Kelli. I'm going to start doing that. Thanks for sharing that.


message 16: by Jenni (last edited Oct 09, 2017 09:36AM) (new)

Jenni Schaefer (jennischaefer) | 416 comments Mod
Thanks for all of your recent comments! In case you missed it, I created a values thread, as a result of the chat here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Appreciate those who have already shared. It is an inspiring new thread, for sure!


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