Archive for March, 2020

Carrie’s Story

People walking on road against buildings in city

**Content warning: Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

By Carrie Hammer 

For most of my life, I felt like I was drowning. Suffocating under the weight of every bad thing that had ever happened. Sometimes, still, I feel like someone else is leading my life.

The most profound relationship I’ve had is the one with my eating disorder. This relationship has made me feel guilty for putting any kind of food in my body. It has tried to draw me in every time something stressful happens. There is some comfort in the pain of it, a comfort in thinking I had control over something in my life. The somber truth is that you do not have control when you have an eating disorder.

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Advice for those struggling with an eating disorder during COVID-19

Woman holding face mask

Give voice to your feelings

“I’m struggling.”

If you’re struggling with your eating disorder right now, say that out loud. Say it so others can hear it and so you can hear it. Say, “Maybe I’m not okay. Maybe this situation is affecting me more than I care to admit. It’s hard—really hard—and I’m terrified it will always be.”

If your eating disorder feels silly, insignificant, or selfish in the wake of the coronavirus, you can say that. If you’re afraid the crisis will ruin the progress you’ve made in recovery, say that. If you’re hurt or annoyed by jokes about quarantine binges. . . or convinced you should “save” food for the uncertain future. . . or, frankly, more worried about weight gain than about contracting the virus itself. . . say these things.

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Introducing Telehealth for Intensive Outpatient and IDP/PHP Programs

Woman on couch with laptop

We’re pleased to share that The Emily Program now offers intensive eating disorder treatment (IOP and IDP/PHP) via telehealth. Telehealth services will allow you to access eating disorder care from your own home so that you can stay on the path to recovery.

Telehealth uses technology to deliver care virtually. It allows you to connect to your treatment team by video in order to receive the structured support you would typically receive in person.

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“Finally I Am Able to Breathe”

Sunlight behind silhouette of trees

**Content warning: Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Scarlet Freese struggled with anorexia from a young age. She wrote this poem to illustrate the contrast between the darkness of an eating disorder and the light of recovery. She wants others to know “it is so possible to recover.”

There is no light in this forest,
No candle or shining star
No map to guide me through this dark night

I am alone,
Completely alone

The wolves move in, surrounding me
I get pulled apart, piece by piece
Until all I am left with is a spark of hope

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Episode 24: Eating Disorder Advocacy with Kitty Westin

Kitty Westin and President Barack Obama

Episode description:

Kitty Westin is an internationally known advocate for those with eating disorders. Since losing her daughter Anna to anorexia in 2000, she has worked tirelessly and tenaciously to improve access to eating disorder care.

In this episode Kitty reflects on two decades of advocacy, including her role in creating treatment centers, a non-profit organization, and the historic Anna Westin Act, the first eating disorders legislation passed into federal law. Honoring Anna’s spirit throughout, she encourages others to voice their own experiences to create change.

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The Emily Program – Columbus Opens Its Doors!

The Emily Program - Columbus

We’re thrilled to announce that The Emily Program – Columbus is now open! This location offers individual and group outpatient therapy and intensive programs for all ages, genders, and eating disorder diagnoses.

The opening comes after The Center for Balanced Living transitioned its services to The Emily Program to improve and sustain access to quality eating disorder care in Central Ohio. The Center for Balanced Living will continue as a non-profit with the mission of community education and advocacy aimed at raising awareness and reducing the stigma of eating disorders. Both The Center and The Emily Program will now be housed at the Columbus location.

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