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Breaking the Silence

Posted on Jul 10, 2017 by in Food addiction recovery | 38 comments

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Today, I’m breaking the silence.

I was a weekly blogger for Joel Fuhrman, M.D. for nearly five years; and then in 2014, I just couldn’t write or speak publicly anymore.

I had hit a wall.

On Memorial Day, 2012, my 21-year-old son had died by suicide, and I was trying my best to be strong and keep going as if nothing had happened.

In fact, the day after the funeral I was back to blogging every week — to thousands of readers — and two months later I was traveling and speaking again. I wanted to prove my resilience

. . . until I couldn’t do it anymore.

I had fallen apart on the inside and wearing makeup and a smile on my face could no longer conceal the pain.

And, that’s where I’ll begin this new blog . . . my blog.

In a nutshell, in the summer of 2008 I began a journey to get my health back. I never intended to be an inspirational blogger or speaker. In fact, I didn’t even know what a blog was back then.

I had been busy in the trenches of rearing five children for nearly two decades and didn’t have a portable device or laptop. I had a PC and knew how to use Word document and connect to the Internet, and that was about it. I didn’t even know how to cut and paste.

I had lost 100 pounds that year, and soon afterward, Dr. Fuhrman asked me to write 500 words about my favorite vegetable for his blog. I submitted my writing and his audience of readers enjoyed it.

Then he asked if I could submit more writings, and once again, his readers enjoyed them.

It was fun, but I didn’t consider myself to be a blogger — until an Internet troll entered the picture.

The troll was disguised as four males and five females and began posting mean and nasty comments about my posts. This continued for three months, and I almost quit several times throughout that period of time.

I think readers started following my posts just to view the nasty comments! This one person created the nine false names and used them to criticize me. All nine identities were traced to the same Internet address.

Eventually, the troll was exposed and the derogatory comments immediately stopped.

What started out as a simple writing about my favorite vegetable snowballed into writing a weekly post on Dr. Fuhrman’s public blog for more than four years.

With Dr. Fuhrman as my editor to make sure the scientific part of my writings were accurate, I wrote about everything related to food addiction recovery.

I consider him to be my mentor — not only in teaching me everything I know about nutrition, achieving optimal health, and food addiction recovery — but he is also the one responsible for throwing me into the deep end of the blogging world to learn how to swim.

I’m a blogger today because of him.

I also interviewed many individuals who had gotten their health back. My favorite part of those interviews were sharing their success tips with the readers.

Then I started traveling and speaking at Dr. Fuhrman’s health retreats, in churches, on TV, and anywhere I was invited to share my story and inspire others — until I smashed into that wall I mentioned above.

 

 

I gradually lost my voice as anguish and sorrow seeped in and paralyzed my brain.

Trauma, grief, and incredible loss will do that to a person.

But, thankfully, it didn’t last forever.

I did get through it — eventually — but at the time it seemed like the searing pain and confusion would last forever.

My son’s death was more than five years ago now.

My broken heart has healed considerably in that span of time.

Now I am ready to share what I’ve learned; not only about escaping food addiction and emotional eating, but what I’ve learned concerning the impact of trauma and grief on addiction recovery as well.

(One doesn’t have to experience the traumatic death of a loved one in order to experience deep, emotional pain. Any profound loss: loss of a job, loss of financial security, loss of health, or marriage, or a close relationship can impact one’s emotional health.)

And, of course, I will be sharing other parts of my life with you too . . . everything from my current art projects to my two furry grandogs, Libby and Fern.

Whoever you are, whether you are struggling to hold life together in the midst of addiction or you’re a concerned person wanting to know how to help someone you care about . . . let me offer my experience, guidance, hope, and motivation as we journey through this blog together.

Peace to you.

Sincerely,

Emily

 

 

Disclaimer: Although I am an alumna of Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Education Institute and have passed the certificate programs in Basic Nutrition and The Science of the Nutritarian Diet — I am not a physician. A health care professional should be consulted if you are requiring medical attention. 

38 Comments

  1. So glad to hear from you. Journaling helped me after Justin died. I looking forward to reading more of your writings and see some more of you artwork.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Caring much,
    Sharon

    • Thank you for helping many people, Sharon. You are greatly appreciated.

  2. This is good and I am sure will minister to many.

    • Thank you, Angie.

  3. I look forward to you sharing your gifts and insight. I know that it has been a long slow and painful process but you are loved and you are truly more than an overcomer in every way. Thanks Emily. Ron

    • Thank you, Ron, for your steadfast support through the journey.

  4. Emily, thank you for opening your life and sharing your journey–everything you have experienced gives validity to your voice. You are deeply valued, and your story needs to both be told and heard. You have touched my life, and I appreciate you.

    • Thank you, Lenetta. It’s a difficult story but one that needs to be told.

  5. Bravo my friend! Thank you for sharing yourself, a real, dynamic, warrior woman! The battles have made you stronger. When I think of you, I think about Jesus’ comment about Peter- upon this rock I’ll build my church.
    May His kingdom be strengthened through your words!

    • Thank you, Claudia.

    • I appreciate your positive affirmation, Dr. Rediger.

  6. So sorry for your loss.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us – – – It is inspiring.

    • Thank you for the kind note.

  7. Inspirational!

  8. It is wonderful to read everything that you write! 🙂

    If you have ever gained weight back, what did you do to relose the weight?

    • Thank you, Pam.

      I gained some weight back after the death of my son.

      At one point in the grieving process, I hit a wall and couldn’t even get out of bed — let alone focus on my health.

      Apathy set in, and it became a very dark season for me.

      It took professional grief counseling and the support of The Compassionate Friends (a support group for grieving parents) to help me recover.

      Basically, I got back to carefully following The Six Week Plan in Eat to Live again. I wrote about it in my book (that has not been released yet).

      Hard times happen to all of us at times. The best thing to do is gently care for your body during those seasons. And, seek the help of others to help you through them.

  9. Hi Emily,
    I have missed your writings, I’m so glad you are back. Your words have always managed to touch my heart. I’m looking forward to reading your blog again.

    • Thank you, Carrie. It’s good to be back writing again!

  10. Hi Emily,
    This is a courageous and important step for you, and I look forward to reading and learning from you in the months ahead. Thank you and please persevere!

    • Thank you, Lisa, for all of your support. Your kindness to me and my family has been greatly appreciated.

  11. Hi Emily,
    Thank you so much for your clear understanding of food addiction, and your open-hearted sharing of your own experiences, including regaining your health! As someone who is still struggling with food addiction, I am grateful to have someone like you, ahead of me on the health journey, helping me find my own way.
    Gratefully,
    Suz

    • You are welcome, Suz.

      You are doing the right thing by not quitting and persevering onward. I believe in you and pray that God will strengthen you for the journey to freedom.

  12. Emily, Only people who have experienced extreme suffering and come through it, forever changed, can minister to those in similar circumstances. As a “Wounded Healer”, your deep compassion for others
    will touch and help so many others who are suffering. Bravo.

    • Thank you very much, Alice for those profound words of encouragement. I never thought of myself as a “Wounded Healer” — what an amazing way to describe it.

  13. Even though we only met face to face one time, I have considered you a friend for a good many years now. I have always enjoyed your writing, whether serious or lighthearted subjects, you just have a knack with words. I know you have helped a good many people over the years and will continue to do so. But….always remember to take care of yourself first!!

    • Thank you, Lynne. You were one of my first cheering buddies! You have always been very supportive of me. Yes, I will always remember to take good care of myself first–I need my oxygen mask on first! Blessings to you always!

  14. Dear Emily, you are an inspiration to me and I’ve seen you speak at Dr. Fuhrman’s Immersion Weekends in NJ. I have also spoken with you afterwards and was looking forward to your book. I was wondering what happened to you! Welcome back, and sincere condolences on the untimely passing of your son.

    • Thank you, Mary. The book is still in the making–I just got a bit sidetracked with working through grief–but that is behind me now. Hopefully, I will be able to get it out there soon! Blessings.

  15. it is good to hear your voice again. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Kris. It’s good to be back.

  16. So glad to hear from you again Emily. You are authentic! I often think back on that day we traveled together on our “art” adventure. I am so glad to have met you on this journey and delight in hearing about your transformation or maybe perhaps more of an evolution for I believe we are always changing in life. I look forward to connecting more with you through your writings. Love.

    • Thank you, Diane. I remember that art trip! I look forward to connecting with the readers again. Thanks for stopping by with your comment!

  17. Emily…You are a rockstar! You are my ETL sister and I’m so glad we were able to spend a whirlwind 24 hours together. I’ve got tears in my eyes and I appreciate your honesty and openness! Sending you a big, big hug!!

    • Hi Isa, I will always remember that day! Thank you for your precious comment–sending a big hug your way too!

  18. Emily! So happy to hear you are blogging again, I have always been inspired by your writing! God has taken you through some deep valleys, but He never let go of your hand. He will use your stories to bless many!
    Love you,
    Susie

    • Thank you, Susie. The deep valley has been where my Good Shepherd has taught me the most–thankfully, he walked me safely through it.

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