17. Life Without Ed by Jenni Schaefer
Many books that I have read about recovery end up triggering me. However, Life Without Ed tells Jenni Schaefer’s honest life story without triggering details. Composed of short tales, this book has helped me to understand my eating disorder. Even better, it gives hope of recovery despite the painful struggle. When my mother first suggested I read this book, I was wary. But I found it to be very helpful once I started so I wanted to share it with you.
Synopsis: A singer with many dreams, Jenni Schaefer found that her eating disorder began to consume her life. In this book, she tells of different struggles, triumphs, and discoveries concerning her illness. In it, Schaefer likens her eating disorder to a boyfriend and names him “Ed.” Slowly, she begins to break off her abusive relationship with Ed and find herself.
Recovery Pluses: Full of wisdom and honesty, Life Without Ed is often read in eating disorder treatment. This is because it handles the subject of this illness with compassion and hope. Also, this is one of the few books I have read about eating disorders that has not triggered me. The author goes into detail but not about her symptoms. This makes the reader feel understood without becoming inclined to follow specific actions.
Another great aspect about this book is that it can help not only those struggling with eating disorders but also their families and loved ones. My mother read this book and found it very helpful for caring for me. Reading this opens peoples’ eyes to what an eating disorder is like. However it also offers them hope that recovery is possible.
Cautions: This book deals with eating disorders which might be above the head of very young children. However, it has nothing objectionable and, as mentioned before, is not triggering. Thus, I think this movie is great for those struggling with an eating disorder as well as their family, friends, and care team.
Life Without Ed achieves what many books about eating disorders have attempted: to tell the truth honestly about the painful struggle without triggering vulnerable readers. Another wonderful aspect of this book is that each chapter consists of a short but poignant story or message. This makes it easy to pick up and put down at any point throughout it. I would recommend this book to all who have eating disorders and those who are caring for them. However I think that even those who are not affected by an eating disorder right now should pick up this novel to skim at least. Having awareness of this awful illness is important because so many are struggling from it. You will not be disappointed in this inspiring, raw, and powerful book.
Jenni Schaefer’s Website
Life Without Ed on Jenni Schaefer’s Website
Life without Ed on Amazon