By Her Side: Eating Disorders and the Joy of Recovery for Young Women

By Her Side: Eating Disorders and the Joy of Recovery for Young Women

by Deborah P. Schone, Shelby L. Evans



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938301964
Publisher: Familius
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Deborah P. Schone is one of eight children and has experienced the pain that is brought on through the chains of addiction. Through rearing her own eight children, two of whom are adopted, she has opened her heart and home to many who have struggled through life-altering choices. She and her family currently reside in St. George, Utah.

Shelby L. Evans is a Licensed Substance Use Disorder Counselor who has always taken an interest in helping others. Originally from Washington State, she completed her undergraduate studies at Western Washington University in psychology and communication. She later went on to complete the certification program for substance abuse counseling at the University of Utah. Her perspective is based on professional experience in the field of mental illness. Over a ten year period, Shelby worked in a therapeutic treatment center for women who struggle with eating disorders and other addictions. She has experience providing both individual and group counseling for those with concurrent eating disorders and substance use disorders. She understands first-hand the heartache and hopelessness that comes with watching a loved one trapped in the cycle of addiction. She has a desire to offer hope and healing to those impacted by these disorders.

Shelby enjoys traveling, golfing, yoga, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She currently lives in Saratoga Springs, Utah with her husband and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

Bittersweet Love

Eating Disorders and the Joy and Path to Recovery
By Deborah P. Schone


Copyright © 2013 Deborah P. Schone
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781938301964

In many ways, eating disorders are just like any other addiction.  For someone with an eating disorder, it serves an immediate purpose and offers comfort for them during their most difficult and desperate hours.  As with other addictions, eating disorders become the negative, go-to coping skill. Self-destructive behaviors that help the person suffering cope with life.  Since 2004, I have had the opportunity to work in a residential treatment center for women struggling with eating disorders and other addictions.  It has been an amazing and life changing experience to help these beautiful women along their very difficult journey to recovery. I wholeheartedly believe that people can learn, grow and make changes in their life.  People can get well and be set free from the grasps of addiction if they choose to. 

There is much to be learned as well as valuable insight to gain from reading Kristin’s story.  A story of how easily missed the warning signs and red flags can be until sadly, it is too late.  There is also a lot to learn from stories of those who have been tangled in the turmoil of this illness and been fortunate enough to live to see a better, happy, healthier life.  A life freed from the eating disorder!  Thankfully, not every story has to end as Kristin’s did.  Our hope is to generate some basic awareness of this mental illness and shed some light on the fact that there is hope! Healing can be found! And recovery is possible for those who genuinely want it!

Throughout the years, I have been asked by many people what I do for a living.  I learned very early on that my response would generate a mixture of admiration, appreciation, questions, and great conversation. Whether I’m speaking with a man or a woman of any age, just the mention of eating disorders seems to pique their interest.  As soon as I describe the population I work with they want to know everything there is to know about eating disorders in a nutshell. If you ask anyone who has suffered from this illness; or who has worked closely around it, they will tell you that there isn’t a nutshell big enough to even begin to educate someone on the topic!  It is far too complex and often times too confusing to simply “get it” in one short conversation.  Most people would say…”it’s easy, they just need to eat”.   Obviously, they don’t get it!  Nevertheless, people are curious and want to know more about the mysterious illness they rarely hear specific details about.  

Along with the questions and conversations that come from my response, it also produces some very ignorant and uneducated comments.  Again, from both men and woman who have inquired about what I do for a living.  I’m always surprised by how many people; jokingly or not, will say to me “I wish I had an eating disorder” or “I have one of those…I eat everything in sight”.  They laugh about their comment as if it’s the first time anyone has ever said that to me and then carry on with their day.  In their minds, they are equating an eating disorder to those extra 10 pounds they want to lose or having an extra piece of pie for dessert.  The truth is that eating disorders are so much more complicated than that.  For the person with an eating disorder it is a way of life, an obsession, an addiction, a driving force that controls their every thought and behavior day in and day out.  It’s as if they are constantly swimming in a sea of self-doubt, insecurities, shame and guilt.  If having an eating disorder sounds exhausting and a bit overwhelming…that’s because it is!

For the person inquiring about what I do, our conversation comes and goes. In reality, they have no idea what they are referring to and “wishing” for.  I smile and end the conversation, all the while knowing the seriousness of the illness they are so misinformed about. It’s easier to laugh with them; or sometimes at them, than it is to explain the severity of what they are so light heartedly joking about.  People would never even consider making jokes about cancer or “wish” to be diagnosed with it.  Nothing about that would be funny because they are very aware of the tragedy it can bring to so many people. The harsh realities of cancer are well-known, often talked about and prevalent in our society. 

Unfortunately, the same wide-spread knowledge and understanding doesn’t apply as much to eating disorders.  And for whatever reason, people feel comfortable to laugh and joke about the things they don’t understand or know very much about.  If people truly understood the severity of the impact that eating disorders have on the lives of those affected, they might be surprised to learn that they are certainly nothing to joke about.  A review of nearly fifty years of research confirms that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder (Arcelus, Mitchell, Wales, & Nielsen, 2011).  Definitely not something to “wish” for! That’s a pretty alarming and unsettling statistic when you consider the vast array of mental illness present in our society today.  We are in need of a population better informed and able to support those who struggle with this illness.  

To give you a tiny glimpse into the mentality of an eating disorder, let us consider a scenario that could take place for anyone.  I want you to imagine for a minute that you hear your phone ringing. You pick up your phone and see that one of your best friends is calling.  You are very excited because this is a good friend whom you haven’t been able to connect with in awhile. You answer the phone call and begin the normal chit chat that most people do.  You might talk about how you’ve been, what your family is up to, the latest trip you went on or some other part of your day to day life.  It’s an easy conversation that you can only have with your closest friend.  You know the kind of friend… where you pick up right where you left off regardless of how much time has actually passed.  It’s as if you just talked on the phone yesterday!

 However, as the conversation continues you learn that your friend didn’t only call to chit chat and catch up.  Your friend called to invite you to attend a work event.  It would be a night out for dinner at one of the greatest restaurants in town.  And the best part is that the entire evening is going to be paid for by your friend’s employer!  For most of us, we would welcome the invitation, graciously accept and look forward to the event with excitement.  Some might even consider going shopping to find a new outfit to wear for the occasion.  For someone with an eating disorder, they might act as though they are happy to be invited, hesitantly accept the invitation, and hang up the phone only to experience shear dread and panic.  This scenario sounds dramatic but sadly isn’t too far from the truth.  Once they hang up the phone it’s highly likely that the eating disorder takes over and their mind begins to race.  In the moments to follow, it might sound something like this inside of their head…
How am I supposed to eat in front of people at a nice restaurant?  What if everyone at the table listens to what I order and then watches me eat…or not eat?  What if there is a buffet and I can’t control myself?  I would feel so bad wasting someone else’s money on an expensive meal that I know I’m just going to throw up!  I would hate to binge and purge at a fancy restaurant or have my friend find out what I’m doing! I don’t have anything to wear that won’t make me stand out and look fat! I would be so scared and so uncomfortable in that setting. There are way too many triggers for me around people and food! I just don’t trust that I could act normal, I’m sure I can get out of going to it somehow…


Excerpted from Bittersweet Love by Deborah P. Schone Copyright © 2013 by Deborah P. Schone. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Baking Soda
Chapter Two: Friendship and Purge
Chapter Three: Parents Perspective
Chapter Four: Journal Entries
Chapter Five: Impact
Chapter Six: Moving On with Hope
Chapter Seven: Eating Disorders 101
Chapter Eight: Why?
Chapter Nine: Learning How to Cope
Chapter Ten: Taking Care vs. Caretaking
Chapter Eleven: Beauty from the Inside Out
Chapter Twelve: There Is Hope

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