Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Media & Speaking Requests:

To request an interview with Jenni, contact Amber McGinty at media@jennischaefer.com. (Please only use this email if you are a member of media.)

For speaking inquiries, please visit the Speaking page to complete the inquiry form.

Jenni's Mailing Address:

PO Box 40806
Austin, TX 78704
United States

Contact

Do you have a reason for recovery? My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Michael E. Berrett, shares below about how finding a reason—any reason—can help you to find recovery. This month, Dr. Berrett and I will have the chance to present together in Greenville, South Carolina—where we will certainly mention the power of reasons. Please join us on Thursday, October 22nd, for a free evening community event. Then, on Friday morning, October 23rd, Dr. Berrett and I will present a free clinical training for professionals. To register for the clinical training and for more information about these Center for Change-sponsored events, click here.

For a chance to win a signed book, see information at the bottom of this post!

Find a Reason, Find Recovery: Nurture a Reason, Live Recovery
by Michael E. Berrett, Ph.D., Co-author of Spiritual Approaches in the Treatment of Women with Eating Disorders

I always get a kick out of three or four year old children. When you ask them to do something, they say Why? With teenagers, that Why is usually silent, and then acted out in some way. I get an occasional verbal Why and an almost universal silent Why from my eating disorder clients when I ask them to “fight for recovery more than you’ve fought for anything in your life!”

A Why is a common internal response.

Excellent Clinical Book by Michael E. Berrett, Scott Richards, and Randy K. Hardman
For professionals: for a chance to win a signed copy of Dr. Berrett’s book, post a comment below including one reason why you work to help people recover from their eating disorders.

I believe that for the child, the Why is a challenge—a stake in the ground in claiming a big step in independence and separation. This is necessary for ongoing development of confidence in the world. For an employee, friend, or spouse—the Why might represent the questioning of others wisdom, to be followed by their own “better” way, soon to be announced.

For one suffering from an eating disorder, the Why may represent deeper concerns difficult to express straightforwardly, such as I’m scared, I don’t believe I am capable of recovery, or I’m unworthy of the good life anyway.

Why recovery and Why have a reason for recovery?

A reason is a beginning point—both in a long journey, and in any moment of the present. It is my belief from personal and clinical experience, that any reason is a good reason when it comes to recovery. Rather than waiting for a “better” or “the best” reason, we can best serve the worthy goal of recovery by starting with any reason we can find, and then increasing the breadth and depth of those reasons as we go along. Embrace not just any reason, but every reason, since reasons, meaning, passion, purpose, and vision can push or pull us up the path towards recovery.

A personal story might illustrate my belief.

More than a couple decades ago, I was a very young father, with a beautiful and supportive wife, and an innocent and magnificent newborn son. I also, however, had an intruder in my new young family. I had a drug and alcohol problem. One night, after indulging in my addictive and self-absorbed substance abuse, I had a spiritual experience which is too difficult to describe here, except to say that I learned that my infant son deserved better than a father loyal to and absorbed in an addiction, and also that my wife, having grown up in a home plagued by alcoholism, deserved better than a repeat in marriage of her difficult childhood. This understanding in that moment seems miraculous to me, because these realizations became reasons, and my starting point and a cornerstone towards recovery. I didn’t think I was worth it; in fact I was almost absolutely positive that I was not worth the effort of recovery. But I had a reason—a couple of great reasons!

I now have more than a few decades of sobriety under my belt, and I have something else—I have a new reason. Some would call it the best reason, but I’m not sure about “better” or “best.” That new reason is that I now know that I also am worth it.

Click here to download a flier about the free Greenville, South Carolina, community event sponsored by Center for Change.
Click here to download a flier about a free community event with Dr. Berrett and me in Greenville, SC. Sponsored by Center for Change.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or another addictive process, and you often say, or wonder silently Why, then search for a reason. Search both outside, and inside. Any reason and every reason will do. Don’t wait to find a “best” reason, although better reasons or refined motives may eventually come. Start where you are. Grab onto a reason and hold it tight. Write it down and refer to it often, and start a growing list. As the reasons grow, let the list grow, and remind yourself often, especially in those rough times—there is a reason—a very good reason.

If you are a loved one of someone suffering from an eating disorder, then seek opportunities to hold up some windows and some mirrors, and help your loved one see a reason or two.

Full recovery is possible. There are reasons to recover. Freedom comes from taking the scary walk away from the miserable familiar. Hope and joy come from walking towards something better. One of the great reasons, which you may not know about yet, is that you are worth it. You are deserving of giving yourself the very best that life has to offer.

To enter to win a signed copy of Jenni's book, post a comment including one reason why you fight for recovery.
For those whose lives have been touched by Ed: enter a drawing to win a signed copy of my book by posting a comment below describing one reason for recovery.

Book Giveaway: With this post, Dr. Berrett and I are both giving away signed books! To enter to win my book, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me, just comment below with one reason for recovery. If you are an eating disorders professional, enter to win Dr. Berrett’s book, Spiritual Approaches in the Treatment of Women with Eating Disorders, by posting one reason why you dedicate your lives to helping people heal. One winner for each book will be chosen randomly among all of the commenters.

 

, ,

  • Natasha

    One reason for recovery is so I can go back to college so I can become a therapist to help people overcome eating disorders

  • Julie Koch

    I have been battling eating disorders for over 23 years and lost all those years that could have been spent creating memories instead isolated with ED. I want to recover so I can spend the rest of my years taking care of my aging parents and loving and supporting them as much as they have loved and supported me. I also am on disability and would love to be able to work again but for now I am volunteering at the local hospital with the elderly. I would love to win a book as I can not afford to buy one. I read your first book and it was wonderful. I also want to recover because I want the rest of my life to be filled with happy memories and not obsessions over food, weight, calories and exercise. Most importantly, I want ME back like when I was a kid. Carefree and had energy.

    • Thanks for sharing your wonderful reasons, Julie. You absolutely CAN get you back! One step at a time: choose recovery in each moment.

  • Gina

    One reason for recovery would be so i can be here and enjoy my nephews. and also be the artist i have wanted to be since i was a kid.

    • I’m holding my new little nephew right now! Thanks for sharing your beautiful reasons, Gina.

    • I’m holding my new little nephew right now! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful reasons, Gina.

      • Carissa Gerro

        My reason was because I was tired of losing people in my life due to ED. I also found that recovery felt so much better than feeling sick all the time. I want to give back and slowly I am.

        • That is great that you are giving back, Carissa. Thank you.

      • Gina

        so cute! my baby nephew is about that small, he’s 2 months.

  • Lilred Ann

    My reason for recovery was my first daughter…I did not want to be the reason she could grow up hating herself as much as I hated myself then. I now have three beautiful daughters who love themselves and recognize how amazing their bodies really are! Now I help others heal because I was given a second chance at life, and I’m not going to waste it! Something good has come from such a dark time in my life! Jenni, Iowa & all of us at EDCI miss you and are so proud of the work you are doing!?

    • Thanks for posting! It is always so great to hear from you!

  • Raya Lasiewski

    I chose recovery becuase I want to be able to help others! I chose recovery becuase I wanted to go to school for social work and psychology.

  • Jennie

    One reason I have for recovery is to finish nursing school and be able to work at the treatment center that saved my life, and be an inspiration to the girls there, to show them that recovery is possible.

  • Tammy Mormino

    I want to Recover so I can help others and be an example of those who suffer from an Eating Disorder. As that is my Goal when I get my degree to help others with Eating Disorders. Recovery Rocks!!

    • You will do it, Tammy! I loved meeting you in Chicago.

  • Melissa Ann

    My reason’s to recovery is 1. For myself so that I can go back to medical school and help other people out. 2. For my Mother she isn’t getting any younger and I want to be able to take care of her when she can no longer work or walk. 3. For my fur-babies because they need me just as much as I need them. Mostly because my body needs more nutrition and I don’t deserve to punish myself like others punished me with food. There’s life outside of an eating disorder and I have not yet lived it. Although I have been in recovery and have had slips and have had major issues because of it and I fear social situations because they are mostly based in a food situation and I want to be able to be present in the situation and not feel I have to escape and numb out.

    • Thank you for sharing your awesome reasons, Melissa. You can do it; you can fully recover!

      • Melissa Ann

        Thank you also I gave My book I use to own to a friend who was struggling so this would be a blessing.

  • Liz Stark

    One reason for recovery is to fully take advantage of the life that I am so grateful and blessed to have. I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities or any quality time with family, by not recovering.

  • Krista ‘Vix’ Romer-Mccarthy

    My reason to strive for recovery is my 4 year old daughter, Rylee. She’s my world and deserves to have a happy, healthy, energetic mommy.

    • What a beautiful reason, Krista! She is lucky to have you as a mom.

  • Claire

    My reason for recovery is so I am strong enough to keep training and hopefully inspire someone else as much as my instructors have inspired me.

  • Linda Bonanno Cipoletti

    my reason is to live not just exist

  • Dianna

    My reasons for recovery are first and foremost my family and second I won’t let the demons of my past take hold of me anymore. I deserve better.

    • Hey Dianna – Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, you do deserve better. And you will get there. Never, never, never give up!

  • Cristyn Rohloff Smith

    My reason for continued recovery is my husband of 5 months and the dream of having a family.

    My reason for helping others is knowing I’ve been there and healing is possible. Those patients are a reminder for me to stay in recovery.
    – Cristyn Smith, NCC, LPC

    • Congrats, Cristyn! You are the winner of Dr. Berrett’s book! Just send your snail mail address to jenni@jennischaefer.com. Center for Change will send a signed book your way! Thanks so much for your wonderful comments.

  • Emma

    Thank you so much for this post, it came at a time when I need it. I struggle to find major, big reasons to recover, but I have discovered even small ones help. My reasons are that I was given this life to live to the fullest, not to waste on an eating disorder. No-one (including me) deserves to continue living in the half-life that an eating disorder gives you. Even if I don’t achieve major things in my life, at least I will have the knowledge and pride that I have beaten this illness.
    Emma x

    • Hi Emma – Thanks so much for posting here. You make such a great point re the “half-life that an eating disorder gives you.” Although, it seems to me that it might be more like a 1 percent life…or even less! I am so glad to hear that you are moving in the direction of LIFE. You can do it.

  • Carissa

    I want to recover to be present in all life has to offer. I do not want to take anything for granted. In addition, I love my fiancé and want to be healthy so that we can eventually have a baby.

  • Megan

    I want to recover to regain a life. To feel like a 28 year old, sit and eat a meal with my family, make new friends, open my own florist shop and to laugh. It feels like it has been such a long time since I simply laughed and felt warm.

  • Lisa Miller

    I want recovery again (had it for 12 years but have been in a relapse since May, unfortunately) because ED has ALREADY taken WAY TOO MANY YEARS and COUNTLESS precious experiences from me, where I was either unable to be there physically, or wasn’t fully present mentally. It has already taken my fertility and ensured early disability due to osteoporosis, neither of which I can ever fix. And I REFUSE to let it cause any more problems, take any more years, experiences, relationships, etc etc. Only in recovery can I reclaim the joy I had from being free of it and fully present in REAL life, be able to return to work as a nurse, be depression-free, enjoy food and friends fully, and countless other things I’m already missing. And I can realize that I’m STILL AS TOUGH AS HELL and can do the hard things it takes to recovery like I did before.

  • sarah

    I am struggling big time. I’m in treatment right now but it’s so strong it’s hard to break away from. I want to recover so I can live a normal life and not put so much stress on my family. I can’t remeber what it felt like without ed but I’m hoping one day I will remeber

  • Amy J

    To clear some of the fear clutter from my find in order to allow greater space for moments of joy, gratitude, appreciation, beauty, hope and peace. To allow some more space to just BE and have that being be enough <3

  • Carol

    For me, it’s the example I am showing to my adult children.
    I need hope so they can be encouraged that a messed up life can change and flourish and thrive and not be consumed and overtaken by ED for me . For them, to not be consumed by their problems. For me to lead the way to overcome my terrible downward spiral that my Eating disorder has control over me when all along I thought I was in control. I want to make wise choices.
    I’m taking the Ed glasses off and praying for real and lasting victory.