The ones who said they’ll always be there walk away when you’re finally recovering.
Let’s face it. Eating disorders are not fun. They aren’t fun for the person suffering, nor the friends and family seeing someone they love so sick.
I get it. It’s hard watching someone you love destroy themselves. It’s frustrating when you can’t help. It is not easy to just simply “be there for support” when you so desperately want to shake them out of their distorted thoughts of themselves.
It’s hard for the one suffering, too. We can’t handle someone telling us to “just eat.” After all, eating disorders are absolutely not about the food. They are much deeper, and more complex than that.
When I came home from treatment after a month, I lost nearly everyone close to me. But guess what? That’s okay.
So, to the friends who wanted nothing to do with me anymore, I understand.
When all of your friends want to do nothing but party and go out on the weekends, it makes sense that they walk away. No one wants to deal with that friend in recovery who finally knows how to assert herself. Party friends don’t turn into support system friends. It just doesn’t work.
I came home and could finally talk about my eating disorder. I was comfortable telling anyone and everyone to not talk about my body, food, calories, diets, or weight. This is what I learned to do. I quickly watched my friends drop like flies.
“All you do is brag about your eating disorder” was one of the first things I heard when I came home.
One of the skills I learned at treatment, was to get comfortable with asking for help. This was one of the most difficult aspects for me. In order to get control over your distorted thoughts, you must reach out. This did not fly with my friends.
Although I was hurt at first, I am pleased about it now. I am empowered. My eating disorder showed me who was truly there for support and who refused to leave my side. It is so amazing to watch yourself get sick, and slowly see the ones you loved walk away from you one by one.
With each friend that left, I gained a better one. The girls I have met on my journey to recovery are the strongest, bravest, most uplifting women I have ever met. I am so glad to have met each and every one of them, and lucky to call some of them friends.
Check out more of Amanda’s articles on The Odyssey Online Self Love Beauty community.