Eating Disorders and Friendships

Months ago, when I first opened up to Ginny about my eating disorder, I expressed my fear that she’d eventually distance herself because I was too stressful. I’ve lost many friends over the years because of mental illness. I am too exhausting for them. It hurts and perpetuates the thought that I’m not good enough, I’m a burden to loved ones, and they’d all be better off without me.

I knew that inevitable process started and that is why I created this blog. I frequent a few eating disorder related sites and I even felt burdensome on them.

Last night Ginny finally addressed her increasing distance. She noticed the practically constant self-injury over the past 2 days or at least, she noticed the increased self-inflicted injuries on my arms. I think that caused her to address the relational shift. The self-injury bothered her a lot. She said she is concerned about my deterioration and can’t compartmentalize. Awhile ago she said she didn’t want to talk about the eating disorder just to talk bout the eating disorder. In other words, if I wasn’t trying to get better, she didn’t want to talk about it. That seems fair. So, I started making an effort not to talk about it. It is difficult because my mind is almost exclusively consumed with self-loathing and eating disordered thoughts. However, I thought I was doing much better not bringing it all up. She admitted it is difficult for her not to bring it up too because she sees me getting worse and can’t ignore it. Talking about other things feels superficial to her. Therefore, despite my efforts to talk about other things, she pulls away.

Maybe it is easier just to not let anyone in_Buffy

So, as I see it, we’re kind of screwed. I’m not getting better and I’m not trying. I don’t particularly feel like trying.

She asked that I don’t use behaviors in front of her. I’m 90% sure I can stop self-injuring in front of people. I can also hide it better by self-injuring on my legs instead of my upper arms. Those are usually hidden, but often when I reach for something, my sleeve rides up and my injuries are visible.

I said I could definitely do it last night. However, this morning I’m not so confident. It is an addictive process because it is automatically reinforcing. It works, immediately. Despite telling kids everyday to use their coping skills instead of maladaptive behavior, coping skills don’t work as well as self-injury or binge/purging. That leaves me sitting with negative emotions. Actually, I could leave every time I feel upset. I suppose that is what I will have to do when the anger/ sadness/ jealousy become overwhelming. I don’t know if that is good enough for her though. I suggested wearing sweatshirts again, but she said that didn’t matter because she isn’t oblivious and would know the injuries were there.

I don’t know why I’m refusing treatment. I don’t enjoy feeling like crap, hurting the people I care about, screaming at my mom, and destroying my few friendships.

Do you think I chose to be like this. Do you have any idea how lonely it is_Buffy_mark_Small.gif

I’d still be in therapy if my therapist hadn’t left private practice. I have abandonment issues and her job change did not help! Every time I try to get back in treatment and something goes wrong, I feel more hopeless. The first therapist I tried wasn’t taking new patients. The second therapist I tried cost too much and the study rejected me.

If I could not use behaviors AND not feel miserable, I’d do it is a heartbeat. I don’t trust my ability to do that.When I really want to I can control whether or not to use behaviors, but it is painful! I’ve tried in the past and failed. Healthy coping skills make me more miserable on a day to day basis, even though they make relationships easier. When I’m not in an active eating disorder relapse, either my self-injury or unhealthy BDSM behaviors increase (Ex. not using a safe word, meeting strangers in private locations without telling anyone). I guess the truth is not that I want to stay sick, but that I feel hopeless.

 

Back to relationships and behaviors…

I don’t understand how some people can maintain friendships and romantic relationships while engaging in eating disordered behaviors. I never could and apparently, I still can’t. I see people from treatment or online go out with friends or getting married and I’m sitting here ruining all my relationships. I am so jealous of those people! Seeing people succeed in friendships and love blows my mind. It is just another way I don’t measure up. At least I can be thin.

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