- Keeping in contact but not going into details about behaviors/numbers/etc. It’s going to be different when one friend is more in their eating disorder than the other. Someone who is malnourished and actively listening to the “ED voice” will try and sneak in those topics. Shut it down, instead tell them how much you care about them and want to see them healthy and happy. Remind them of the beautiful life they’re missing out on.
- Temporarily “unfollow” them on social media. Validation of our sickness is a huge trigger, we might seek for it. I’ve been the one to body check and post pictures of myself because sometimes I felt “not sick enough.” Getting that text message from a concerned friend asking, “Hey, are you okay? I saw the picture you just posted..” Was a validation that I indeed was looking ill. When you’re trying to recover yourself, seeing these pictures of emaciation is sadly a trigger. It may remind you of when others would seem to care more, or when you had a sick body. It may remind you of treatment and make you miss the constant support or the safety, it may bring up a lot of things for you. Well, it does for me and that is why distancing yourself from those images is crucial.
- Tune out jealousy and competition, in replacement for compassion and gratefulness. It’s hard giving up your eating disorder, and I’m sure a piece of your identity too. When I hate the way I look, I seem to focus on what I did look like or what others look like. (Usually something emotional is causing that, by the way.) Eating disorders are competitive, “Why does she get to look like that?” or “She’s already lost so much weight and I’ve maintained?” It’s easy to get caught up in comparison of ones eating disorder to someone else’s, which is dangerous. You may begin to lash out on your friend or even slip up in your own recovery. I often romanticize what it was like to be in my eating disorder, I forget the nasty details and focus on the appearance part. What is helpful for me is to remember what I was doing, how I felt physically and mentally when I was at that place. What it took me to get to that place and how it affected others that I loved. Feel bad for them, because you’re in such a better place. Wish for them a better life and be thankful you’re no longer there.
About The Author:
My name is Kristina, I’m 23 and I’m from New York. I’ve suffered with an eating disorder for quite some time and in that time I’ve learnt so much from treatment. I’m trying to use my experiences to help others, give tips and helpful advice that I have had to learn the hard way. Aside from blogging, I enjoy singing, playing the ukulele, and spending time with my amazing boyfriend. I’m a big believer that humor is the best medicine, so I always try and have fun and crack a joke. I’m inspired by others, and I hope others will be inspired by me one day! I truly thank project heal for letting me share a blog entry, its an incredible organization!