eating disorder recovery: what people don’t talk about

I’m sorry about this morbid post on a Saturday, but it needs to be said at the moment.

There is one thing no one tells you about when you’re in recovery. It’s the feeling of complete loss when you’re getting better. Ultimately, I believe this is the feeling which causes most to relapse.

It’s scary.

I know… because it’s happening right now.

I’m not going to tip toe around this topic. It’s hard and it hurts you to the core. You’re getting better and wanting to get out there, but you look around and everything is gone. You forget about the relationships you lost because you chose your eating disorder over love. You forget about the friendships you have ruined because you cancelled plans in fear of food *eye roll*. You forget how much you isolated yourself and turned yourself into… a living, walking eating disorder advertisement.

I reached out to a guy friend of mine I have known for years. I have been through a lot of stuff with this guy (most people would be pissed I still talk to him) and for some reason I never could have bad feelings towards him. He’s the most honest and genuine person in the world. Not once did he ever pretend to like something just to appease me. As an example, think of the girls who pretend to like sports on a first date. Yeah, there was never a fake moment. For this reason, I miss him a lot and it’s unfortunate things just won’t work out to have any type of friendship. However, after I reached out to this guy… the cold, eerie silence was left around me. He wasn’t saying, “I feel this way, too” or anything reciprocating what I said to him (which is a-okay, mind you), but it left me with an unfortunate truth. The truth of my eating disorder stripping me of every relationship in my life.

How did it strip me of relationships? Well, the minute you succumb to an eating disorder you are giving away your soul. Think I am joking? Well, I am not at all. Your entire day is devoted to your one and only love: food. The only thoughts you have are about food. If someone asks you to do something? Oh HELL no! There might be food involved, are you crazy?! Family dinners? PAH, yeah right like I would eat anything fried or made with butter.

Believe me. The only relationship you have when you get an eating disorder is the one between your food and your mouth.

Back to my story. In the dark of night (literally, it was 11pm), I broke down in sobs of tears. It was an ugly cry, if you know what I mean.  The thoughts in my head centered around the fact I have no single person who would say to me what I said to this guy. No one. Not one. Not even him. And it’s sad. It’s a sad truth. The fact I have stripped myself of all love and friendship and giggling and happiness is just ten times worse when you’re at a recovery point of things. Your left with wanting to explore life but realizing you’re in your mid-20s, friendless, and have nothing to talk about to people besides your on-going knee surgery recovery. It’s a low point, my internet friends.

I wish I could tell you how to fight this, but I don’t know. I don’t know and, to be bluntly honest, I’m trying to find out before all of my hard work goes to shit. I do know one thing, though. I will be damned if I’m going to go back to being 95 pounds of skin and bones. No way. No way.

xo Laur

PS. Elmo does count as a friend, but I am pretty sure he would have some choice words for me, as well.

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15 thoughts on “eating disorder recovery: what people don’t talk about

    • I know!!! You have NO idea how much I want to meet you! I have been following you and commenting for SO long. I can’t believe it’s like 3+ years since I’ve stumbled across your internet mind (lol).

  1. I can only imagine what you’re going through. You have a huge communal support in blogland and I know you know that!! It’s not the same, but it’s something and honestly I appreciate most of my blog friends more than real life friends anyway!! Hang in there girl!

    • I’m starting to realize the importance of putting my thoughts into words. Blogging really helps me get input and just feel relieved to tell SOMEONE what is going on. I realize internet friends CAN be closer than real life friends because there’s no filter. Most times, you know more about people through the internet than in real life convos. It’s sad, but really true!

  2. Thank you for such an honest post Laur! I know how hard this stage is – I remember being active in my recovery, but being in my third year of university feeling friendless and alone. It makes you question why you bother. ED’s rob you of literally everything – not only your own health, but your relationships with everyone around you. It sucks so much. My only advice is to keep pushing – as you get further into recovery you meet more people who only know you as your fun-loving, recovered self, and not the ED-riddled girl you once were. And you KNOW that the internet has your back! Just keep hanging in there, keep fighting, and remember that it does get better. Shoot me an email if you need to talk! ❤

    • This is true. Although I’ve given up many friendships, I have the ability to start over. I just have to get to the place where I let it all go. Constantly, I come up with excuses to never let myself FULLY heal. I admire you for moving across the country to live with someone else. I would never do this now because, sadly, I would feel they would be “judging” my eating habits… This alone tells me I know my eating habits are not correct for my activity level/lifestyle. I like reading posts for this reason because it really lets me see where my mind is at in terms of recovery. I know I have a lot to work on and thank you for being there for me! ❤

  3. I feel like you are inside my mind. I literally relate to and am going through all the same things and it just plain sucks. I feel incredibly stuck and miserable and loney and yea it’s just not fun. But know you’re not alone and I’ll be your friend 🙋🙋🙋

  4. Regaining trust and rebuilding relationships after an eating disorder is one of the hardest things to do. However, just know that once you are healthy again, MAKING friends becomes a whole lot easier. For me I find that I don’t say “no” to nearly as many things, I’m more open with them, I laugh and joke around (I’m actually pretty funny when I’m not in the throws of ED).

    I know how hard it is for you right now, and I applaud you for all the hard work you are putting in to your recovery, and how open and honest you are being with not only us…but with yourself. Keep going…things will get better. ❤

    • Thank you, Laura! I know for a fact the mindset I have when I am not under ED is just… so happy and carefree. I think back to the old days when I could spend continuous days with the same person with NO anxiety or care in the world. Now, I overthink just a two hour get-together. It’s ridiculous! I want to get back to THAT girl. The fun one. Not the one with a disorder which only leaves me alone and sad. Oof! ❤

  5. The only thing sadder than the things we lose because of an eating disorder is the things that we CONTINUE to lose if we choose to hang on to it. Yes. It’s extremely heartbreaking to “wake up” and realize that we have nothing, but life doesn’t end at 25, 30, 35, 40, etc… There’s still PLENTY of time to right what we wronged, and speaking from experience, I can tell you that the life only gets better. The only thing is that you have to let go of what’s robbing you of happiness and get healthier. Things become a whole lot easier when we have both a healthy body AND mind.

    And girl, if you ever need someone to talk to, hit me up. I know we live a ways away, but there’s always Skype 🙂

    • The truth is… I know you are exactly right. I know I am not recovered and keep lingering in the awkward recovery limbo. It’s like I’m holding on to a dear ‘ole friend. Pfft. I know the more I let go, the better life becomes as far as recovery. I feel like I am holding on as a cushion because of my knee issues. It’s almost like I get more… medical attention? the thinner I am which puts a HORRIBLE idea in my head. It’s the sad, embarrassing truth.

      And I have an iphone now (!!!) so I think I might be able to text you?!?!! Plus, I think T-Mobile switched to unlimited international text messaging!!! I know you’re really busy, though, because of having two jobs PLUS school. Crazy girl! So let me know!

  6. I am sending you so much love right now. I know how hard it is to be in the position you’re in right now. Well, partly because I’m in the midway phase of what you’re going through. I feel that isolation from past friends, etc…and totally regret choosing my ED over friends/love/family even. It’s definitely an undeniable sense of loss when we do realize this, but it’s even more sad to keep continuing the same ED behaviour and continue with those bad habits of ditching friends for food.
    I totally get what you’re going through and sometimes do feel in the same place…I feel behind more so than people my own age since I was robbed 5+ years of on deaths door and now am trying to catch up. I promise it does get better.
    You can always chat with me over e-mail or anything because I 110% relate.

    • EXACTLY. I know I screwed up for so many years and think back while wincing at my decisions; yet, I see myself still feeling awkward around food situations and thinking twice about anything which might involve having to go around my “schedule”. While I am in SUCH a better place than the worst times, I know I have some serious work to do as well. I feel like the more I admit it, the more I can really get the help I need to overcome it. Thanks, Lisa! ❤

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