When your eating disorder makes you a crap friend

A friend of mine went through a bad break up last year. Due to stress she lost a fair bit of weight. She then started focusing more on her running due to needing a distraction. As a result she is now teeny tiny and a much faster runner than me.

I am so ashamed to admit this but I am really struggling with it. I can’t help but compare myself and be jealous of her. She is one of the sweetest loveliest people who has done nothing wrong and yet I’m finding it really hard to be around her. I want to be thin. I want to be fast. But I know that takes more willpower and dedication than I have right now. And I know for me it means being ill. I’m not sure if she is being healthy with it all, she claims she is but I haven’t spent enough time with her to really know as I am avoiding her.

I feel like it’s lose lose for me – if she is ill then she’s done better at her eating disorder than I have as she is thinner than I have ever been – and if she isn’t ill then she has managed to be thinner than me without needing to have an eating disorder.

I recognise what I’m saying is awful – I am fully aware of it- and I know I am being a terrible terrible friend by avoiding her – but it’s hard to explain how crap I feel around her.

It just strikes to my deepest darkest parts of my soul and the fire of shame that I have spent years with disordered eating and never ever been really really thin. I can read all the quotes and post about different bodies but I just feel like mine failed me, and I failed at anorexia. I feel like I won’t ever be able to move on if I can’t get to that point just one time, but I also don’t think it’s possible for me.

If it’s that hard for me to lose weight then I can’t have anorexia, my ‘voice’ just mustn’t be strong enough and maybe I’ve just been pretending all this time. Maybe I’m just an example of years of failed dieting rather than restriction and recovery.

All I know is I just hate my body right now and hate how crap a friend I am being all because of the size of a waist and the speed of a mile.

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What I think about when people talk about calories

Two people separately today talked to me about calories. It wasn’t the usual ‘oh no so many calories in that we better not eat it conversations’, they were both conversations about how it’s best not to focus on calories and how it’s a shame people do and how it’s easy to get caught up in it. They were kind of conversations about how some people can obsess too much and complaining about how calorie labelling in places can be off putting etc. and that we should just be thinking about how all types of food can make us feel good.

So, quite healthy talk about being healthy really. All fine there.

Except all my brain was thinking is that I look healthy enough for you to think it’s acceptable to have a conversation with me about calories and food choices. These aren’t the kind of conversations that people have with people with anorexia. Previously people never would have talked so easily about food with me because I conveyed (through body and attitude) that I was not easy about food.

The fact that they do now think this is okay could be a good thing, maybe I come across as sorted and okay and yeah I can breezily discuss the calories in the snacks provided, but all my brain is thinking is ‘i am no longer thin enough for you not to avoid a food conversation with me’ and man it really sucks. It shouldn’t but it does. Because actually I’m not breezy about the calories, I know exactly how many are it in and how many I can have and where it fits in my allowance and what I’ll be burning off and when and why I’m allowed this and please ED brain just be quiet for one moment….

I moved these conversations on as soon as I could but the thoughts have stuck and I had to try really hard to not let it ruin my day, but amazingly I did manage it.

The ED is still fighting, and I am still learning. Recovery continues.