Tea Time with Robyn - Letting Go of Control: A Chat with Jenni Schaefer
Tea Time with Robyn with guest Jenni Schaefer:
Robyn: Hi everyone and welcome to Tea time with Robyn. I am here with the wonderful and very talented, Jenni Schaefer. Hello!
Jenni: Hello. I’m so excited to be here with the wonderful Robyn Cruze, and tea!
Robyn: Oh thank you. Cheers to that. So, Jenni, you are the author of; Life without Ed, Hello Ed, Goodbye Me and Almost Anorexic (with the wonderful Dr. Jennifer Thomas.) Is that correct?
Jenni: Right, right. Almost perfect. The second book is, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me.
Robyn: Oh no!
Jenni: But hey, hey, wait. In my recovery I have learned “perfectly imperfect” is the way. So I love that.
Robyn: Thank you. Speaking of which, letting go of imperfections and not having to be so perfect (looking directly act the camera)—Which I am sure none of you know anything about—We wanted to talk about how we let go of control, in our recovery process. Because I don’t know about you, but letting go of control can be such a scary thing in recovery. What is your experience with that?
Jenni: Well for me, I mean, letting go of control ultimately required tons of support, and it required having people believe in me. It almost felt to me, that part of recovery was like jumping out of an airplane. So in many ways, it was like, I had all these recovery tools, I’d been to therapy, and I’d read the books, and I was in this recovery airplane. Then my treatment team said, “jump. That’s where life is. Life is out there. Jump out of the plane” But for so long I held onto the plane. Like, “I’m not willing to jump.” But to jump, I needed people to support me to make that decision to change my commitment to recovery. I had to make a different kind of decision to recover; that would actually propel me out of that plane and into life. But that took people. I mean, a key, key, to my recovery was support, support, support.
Robyn: Right. You also talk about faith, which is something we don’t really talk about much because I think we get scared about it, right? It becomes this kind of, “I don’t want people to think that I’m religious.” But the truth is that the faith that we have can sometimes be such a powerful tool in our recovery. So how did you use that?
Jenni: Right, well in the beginning, I had faith in my eating disorder. Right? So many of us put almost all of our faith in the illness. So slowly over time, it was taking parts of that faith and putting it into other things. So, in the beginning, it was in people, it was in my eating disorder support group. It became a twelve step group I went to. And ultimately, it was about letting go and having faith and jumping out of that airplane, like I talked about earlier. And it was hard. I mean the serenity prayer became a huge part of my recovery.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.
And I would repeat that over in my head, over and over again. While I was trying to eat. While I was trying not to binge. While I was trying not to purge. And having faith in something else—And as we’ve talked about—it doesn’t have to be “God” or a “Higher Power.” It can be the ocean or nature. For some people, it is good to start there.
Robyn: Oh Jenni, thank you so much for being here.
Jenni: I’m so excited to be here. You’re the only person who ever gives me tea on camera.
Robyn: Oh really?
Robyn: I love tea. You are so inspiring.
Jenni: I love talking to you.
Robyn: I’m glad to have you.
Jenni: Thanks for my cup of tea.
Robyn: Thank you. [To camera] Thanks everybody for being here. And remember, if you have a question you want to find answers to, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and together we will discuss the answers over a cup of tea.