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Articles tagged with: Guest Bloggers

The Ballad of a Thin Man with Anorexia

August 14, 2018.
  • Ken Cjpg

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Ken Capobianco is the author of the novel Call Me Anorexic: The Ballad of a Thin Man. He has written about pop music and the arts for over 30 years. He also taught literature and writing at Northeastern University and journalism at Emerson College in Boston. He lives in Long Beach, California with his wife, Ratanan.

    When I shopped my novel about a twenty-something anorexic male to agents, the most common questions I received were, “Did you make this male anorexic aspect up for drama’s sake?” and “Male anorexia is not a thing, is it?” This ignorance or lack of awareness did not surprise me because I’d encountered it throughout my life as a professional journalist and a college professor. You see, I suffered from severe, life-threatening anorexia for 30 years, and if I ever even hinted to people I had anorexia, I always heard, “No you don’t. You’re a guy. Be a man.”

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Fighting the Stigma of Mental Illness

August 07, 2018.
  • Shannon Caswell

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Shannon Caswell resides in Woodbury, MN with her husband and two boys, Declan and Kellen. Recovering from anorexia 21 years ago, Shannon’s mission is to raise awareness around mental illness, to eliminate the stigma and demystify issues that are all too often misunderstood. When Shannon finds time between hockey practices and managing a career, she enjoys writing for her personal blog, Midwestern Mamai, sharing the vulnerabilities and humor of raising a family – and empowering others to do the same. 

    Lately, I’ve found myself imagining a world where we all understood mental illness around us. Embraced the mindset to talk about it. Celebrated those who recognized it in themselves. Associated bravery and courage equally as we do for other medical illnesses, like cancer. And extended empathy and grace to those struggling through it.

    Because the truth is, we are all impacted by mental illness in some way. And the number one reason people don’t seek treatment is because of the stigma. 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience a mental illness

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How Animals Can Aid Eating Disorder Recovery

July 11, 2018.
  •  Cat

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Lisa Whalen, a former Emily Program client, has a Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education, and an M.A. in creative and critical writing. She teaches writing and literature at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Her essays have been featured in An Introvert in an Extrovert World, WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society, and MotherShould? Whalen is working on publishing her memoir, Taking the Reins. In the meantime, she is a regular contributor to The Feisty Writer and maintains a blog called, Writing Unbridled.

    Oh, good, I thought when I saw a recent video on Facebook. Science is finally recognizing what we cat lovers have always sensed. The video summarized research studies showing the benefits cats provide for people’s mental, physical, and emotional health.

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Tips That Helped Me in Eating Disorder Recovery

July 03, 2018.
  •  blythe baird

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Blythe Baird is a spoken word poet, author, actress, and leo. The re-release of her first book, GIVE ME A GOD I CAN RELATE TO, comes out in 2018. Her work has been featured by Glamour, The Huffington Post, Mic, Write Bloody, Button Poetry, EverydayFeminism, and more. Get in touch with Blythe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    1. Personifying my body

    Not long ago, a question bubbled to the surface of my brain: if my body could speak, would she forgive me? Though it sounds strange, it was wildly helpful for me to start thinking of my body as a being separated from myself. This mindset made it easier for me to be gentle and more forgiving with my body, because we are sadly often more willing to be unkind to ourselves than we are to someone else. I began to experience newfound guilt for putting my body through the abuse of my eating disorder, because what did my poor, loyal body do to deserve such violence? The answer is nothing, and the same is true for you, too: your sweet body did nothing to deserve to endure the wrath of you.

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UN-expecting

June 12, 2018.
  • Woman laughing

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    by Katie Monsewicz, an avid writer and practicing journalist who has been through The Emily Program's residential treatment program. She wants to help others who have struggled with eating disorders - and those who are still struggling - through her writing and as an advocate for eating disorder recovery.

    “Are you pregnant?” one woman asks another.

    The other woman replies, “Why, yes, I am! Thank you so much for asking! I just love talking about this little baby bump and gift of life and….”

    Except that isn’t how that conversation went.

    While at work yesterday, I was leaning over the customer service counter wiping down the table top and one of the cashiers at the grocery store I work at puts her hand on her stomach and whispers, “Are you pregnant?”

    ...

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Compassion is Key to My Recovery

May 30, 2018.
  • Sisters

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Lisa Whalen, a former Emily Program client, has a Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education, and an M.A. in creative and critical writing. She teaches writing and literature at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Her essays have been featured in An Introvert in an Extrovert World, WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society, and MotherShould? Whalen is working on publishing her memoir, Taking the Reins. In the meantime, she is a regular contributor to The Feisty Writer and maintains a blog called Writing Unbridled.

    “Who’s your best friend?” my Emily Program therapist asked.

    I paused mid-story, blinked, and stared at her with what I’m sure was a baffled expression.

    The answer was a no-brainer, but I couldn’t imagine why she’d interrupted me (something she never did) to ask a question that had nothing to do with our current topic: a mistake I’d made at work.

    “My sister, Julie.” I replied. “Why?”

    Her response sparked an insight crucial to my eating disorder recovery: “What would you say to Julie if she’d made your mistake?”

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What is Beauty?

May 01, 2018.
  • Mirror and flowers

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Katie Monsewicz is an avid writer and practicing journalist who has been through The Emily Program's residential treatment program. She wants to help others who have struggled with eating disordersand those who are still struggling—through her writing and as an advocate for eating disorder recovery.

    I think a lot of young women these days believe beauty can be bottled. Or fit into little squares of colorful compacted powder. Or melted into a tube of matte wax.

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My Body is Not the Destination

April 20, 2018.
  • cyclists

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    By Joe Kelly, guest blogger

    Ever heard the notion that the body is the temple of the soul? My church taught that idea when we were young, as a way to encourage us to treat our bodies with respect.

    Our teachers also taught us to treat our church building with respect. That’s no surprise—have you ever heard of a faith community that did not treat its place of worship with respect (whether an ornate temple; massive megachurch; or rickety structure hand-build with found materials)?

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Dear Body

April 20, 2018. August 15, 2018.
  • Writing a letter

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    Dear Body,

    It’s time we had a talk. I’m sorry I hurt you in the past. I’m sorry for the negative words, the harsh criticism and hurtful actions. I know you deserve better and I DO/WILL love you exactly as you are. I promise to tell you how beautiful you are to me. To commit to treating you kindly and celebrating all that you do for me. I pledge to view exercise as a source of health and not as a way to fight or control you. When I look at you I will see possibilities and blessings, not problems and shortcomings. I promise to allow you to rest and find balance so that you can reach your full potential. Because I know that, when given the chance, you can do anything. I promise to live by MY standards, not by the standards of society. I am a REAL person not an edited picture in a magazine. And being myself makes me ten times more beautiful than what you see on TV. I realize that the words healthy and skinny do not have the same definition. I promise to stop fat talk and encourage those around me to do the same. I pledge to be a model of confidence and strength for younger generations.

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Fighting My Eating Disorder

April 19, 2018.
  • Sunrise

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    by Mitchell S. Moyer, a man in recovery from anorexia

    When you have an eating disorder, the thoughts that swim in your head are dark and relentless. You ask yourself: Will I ever be the same? Will I ever stop thinking about food? How did I get here, and how do I beat this monster? You rise in the morning. But as the day progresses, your energy wanes and those thoughts continue to weigh you down. You feel adrift in frustration, confusion, and self-doubt.

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Words of Encouragement

April 13, 2018.
  •  Support scrabble pieces

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    by Katie Monsewicz, an avid writer and practicing journalist who has been through The Emily Program's residential treatment program. She wants to help others who have struggled with eating disorders - and those who are still struggling - through her writing and as an advocate for eating disorder recovery.

    I’m an adult now. (Insert image of me shouting from the top of a cliff like in “The Lion King” movie.) Wow. That was tough to get out.

    I just turned 21 last month, marking nine years of the harrowing illness that has taken over much of my life, much of my memory, many of my relationships. An eating disorder is like moss on a rock. Some people think it’s beautiful (which is pretty strange) and most see it as a nuisance, an invasion. But it takes you over and you can’t shake it without any help from an outside force.

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In it for the Long Haul

  • By Maia Polson, guest blogger

    Thoughtful woman

    Eating disorders are known for crafting exceptionalist thinking. Everyone else can follow those standards, but I’m different. Or, Everyone else deserves love and affection, just not me. My eating disorder was, well, no exception. But in recovery, I feel that I have confronted and successfully challenged a good portion of that exceptionalism that my illness thrived on. Even when I take strides in recovery that seem to be faster than expected, I always remember that rule of thumb: “Recovery takes an average of 7-10 years.”

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Recovery for life is possible 888-364-5977

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888-364-5977

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