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There’s Help. There’s Hope! The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues. This blog is a place for us to share the latest happenings at The Emily Program, as well as helpful tidbits from the broader eating disorder community. Subscribe via RSS to receive automatic updates. We want to hear your story. Email us (blog@emilyprogram.com) and ask how you can become a contributor!

Staff Spotlight, Jenna Daugherty

Jenna Daugherty

TEP: Tell us about yourself!

Jenna: My name is Jenna Daugherty, and I’ve been working at The Emily Program since 2015. I started as a dietitian at the Cleveland residential site when it opened, then moved to the Cleveland outpatient site in 2016. My current role is as a program dietitian for our adult standard program. I also recently became a clinical manager and am enjoying working more closely with employees in addition to clients!

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Episode 26: Eating Disorders During Coronavirus with Thom Rutledge

Woman working at home

Episode description:

Author and psychotherapist Thom Rutledge joins Peace Meal to discuss how people with eating disorders can prioritize recovery during the coronavirus pandemic. While “Ed”—the eating disorder—may try to co-opt the current cultural anxiety and changes in food, exercise, and environment for his purposes, Thom explains how we can intervene. With the support of others, we can reclaim our power and use the situation as an opportunity to strengthen our recovery efforts.

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Christmas Morning for Ed

Woman talking on phone in front of laptop

**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 Bev T.

I’ve been dealing with chronic anorexia for many years. I have periods of time when I do well in my recovery battle and times when I feel like I’m back at the beginning. When dealing with an eating disorder, as you well know, it’s not just about meal plans and food intake. It’s about isolation, anxiety, panic, and all the noise you are hearing in your head from the entire committee, not just Ed. The Noise, as I call it, is overwhelming at times. Right now being one of those times, that noise can be devastating and in some ways deadly.

Everyone is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic causing widespread panic and anxiety. Dealing with everything being shut down and told over and over to stay home and self-isolate. No contact with people, and keeping 6 feet away from those you do come in contact with. Let me make this really clear: To someone with an eating disorder or those who have an entire committee in your head, as I do, this is like CHRISTMAS MORNING for the eating disorder.

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Episode 25: Eating Disorders and the Family with Chrissy Cahill

White bird flying through blue sky

Episode description:

In this episode, author Chrissy Cahill recounts her daughter Alexandra’s battle with anorexia. Alex struggled with the eating disorder for 18 years and ultimately died from it at the age of 33. Following Alex’s death, Chrissy gained entry into her daughter’s private, painful world through Alex’s writings. Chrissy published these writings to educate others about life with an eating disorder, weaving them into a book called Fatal Reflection. Chrissy chronicles her experience of writing the book, describes the loving, strong person Alex was, and shares how the eating disorder affected the different members of her family.

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How to Separate Yourself from Your Eating Disorder

A person writing on a notepad

Written in partnership with Thom Rutledge

Thom Rutledge, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, author, speaker, and workshop facilitator based in Nashville, Tennessee. He wrote Life without Ed (with co-author Jenni Schaefer), as well as Embracing Fear, The Self-Forgiveness Handbook, The Greater Possibilities, and others. Learn more about Thom and his work at thomrutledge.com, and find him on Facebook and Instagram.

If there were an eating disorder canon, Jenni Schaefer and Thom Rutledge’s Life Without Ed would surely be in it. We see the bestseller often and with praise in reading lists and recovery stories, its lessons evoked whenever we refer to the eating disorder’s “voice.” The book demonstrates how to view your eating disorder, “Ed,” as an entity with its own values, interests, and beliefs. There is Ed, and then there is you.

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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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