View Full Version : So...I Have This Friend...

12-15-2011, 08:33 AM
Well, I guess I wouldn't call her a friend at this point. See, the thing is that I met her at an eating disorder support group a while back. She is really nice and giving sometimes...well, she is really nice as long as you don't disagree with her...or as long as you can read her mind when she wants you to. And, I've been there...I've been at that place where I've acted that way and I've lashed out at people I knew were "safe" people and not talked to the people I should have been talking to because I was scared to talk to them. Unfortunately, I am recovering too, and I can't take the brunt of what she throws at me when we get in these situations anymore. She gets real nasty with emails and facebook sometimes...she'll get into my business and interrupt my safe places just to try and get a rise out of me because she wants to argue, I guess. But, I don't want to argue with her...and I wasn't even arguing with her to begin with. So, I guess the questions I pose are: How okay is it to have close friendships with people who have eating disorders too when you are all recovering at a different rate and in different ways? AND...How do you close off a friendship that is damaging to you without causing more problems for either of you?


12-15-2011, 09:47 AM
Hmmm. Your friend's behavior doesn't sound very helpful or healthy. I wouldn't want to spend much time with someone who behaves that way, recovery or no. I am no great shakes at negotiating relationships, but I do know when something is not good for me. I am not sure the best way to go about creating distance and a safe place for oneself. I do know that if a friendship just can't go on, I need to put myself first. I can't tip-toe around, enable other people, accept poor treatment etc. And if it comes down to it and I can think of no other resolution to my relationship problems with someone unhealthy, I know I must harden my heart a bit and end things in an assertive but compassionate way. If the other person reacts badly, well, that is their stuff. That sounds pretty harsh, but the fact is some people can neither let go nor change in a healthy way. That doesn't leave a whole lot of choices for you.

I don't have any suggestions as far as determining if the friendship can go on in a more limited way, what to try to explore all options before giving up, that sort of thing. I need help in those areas myself. But i am sure that if it comes down to it, I must put myself first, even if that means the other person will react badly. Some things are just not salvageable, and some situations will be painful no matter how one goes about it.

I am sorry you're having this problem. It sounds very difficult.

:gimmehug :gimmehug :gimmehug

12-15-2011, 10:08 AM
Hi Daffodil,

As to your first question, I think that's different. Truthfully, none of my friends have active EDs, so I'm not sure how to answer that. I think it depends on the people involved and their personalities. As to your second question, I think there are two main schools of thought. The first one is to let the friendship die quietly--don't return messages or emails, don't respond or engage, if you see each other out socially, just be cordial. The other is to actually talk to her about it. I would say, choose what will allow you to move on with the least amount of grief.

12-16-2011, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the replies. It looks like I don't have to make a final decision on how to end the friendship in a nice way. She sent me a very nasty, abusive email yesterday evening (I think...didn't get it until today) that pretty much attacked everything that I am sensitive about right now...things about my job, etc...so I had to block her from my email and my social networking accounts.

I'm sad that she felt she needed to attack my character to taunt me into arguing with her. I am not arguing with her, but it did solidify my decision to not continue the relationship on any level...not as retaliation, but just for my own sanity. I'm not going to announce it...I'm just not going to say anything. My heart is heavy today, as I trusted her with a lot of my personal thoughts and feelings. I also did a lot for her, which she ignored.

I hope that through this experience, I will make better choices for friendships in the future.

12-16-2011, 12:10 PM
Hi DRun,

I know that it's hard to lose a friendship, but she truly doesn't sound like she's a friend. As much as it hurts, I'm glad that you decided to move on.

12-17-2011, 06:44 AM
DaffodilRun, I made some of the closest friends I've ever had whilst I was sick with an ED, but not one of those friendships was healthy or stable. I certainly had BPD traits and so did many of my friends. Coming out into the healthy "real world" is a shock -- people behave very differently when there's no mental health issues involved.

12-29-2011, 08:33 AM
Thanks ladies...I think you're both right.

I think I made a lot of my friends while ill...and even though I am not "recovered", I am well on my way...especially with my thoughts and actions towards others. It's hard to move on while some of your friends are still in it. I hope she is able to get better for herself at some point...the earlier the better! But, for myself, our friendship has passed.

I am trying to get involved with more people that don't have an ED past...not because I am prejudiced...but because I want to see how people without EDs handle relationships. AND, I want to have a friendship that I can truly be myself with the person. I will still be friends with my ED friends...but to have at least one person who won't ignore me when they are isolating, eye my food when I am eating my meal plan, lash out at me because I am safe, etc etc...

Hmmmm...it's not even that they HAVE EDs...it's that they aren't recovering. I guess I just figured that out. Definitely something to think about.

01-06-2012, 10:32 AM
I have had quite a few relationships with others from ED treatment. From personal experience I found them to unhealthy. Not in the moment though as it was helpful for both parties to have someone to lend an ear. The problem came when we almost started to feed off each other behaviours/emotions. I didn't have a relationship where they were argumentative or abusive. But by having those relationships we were enabling each other. We all agreed (about five years ago) to put ED discussions behind our relationships and continue being friends otherwise. Not always easy to do but for me a lot of my friends were in another city- where I travelled to for treatment.
I think you did a fantastic job identifying the problem. You were being kind to yourself and looking out for your over all well-being. Way to go.
Even though you lost a friend, I think there is more room for healthy relationships that can help you continue growing.
I found once I was out of treatment (still going to therapy) I was able to transition into healthy relationships because I was surrounded by ppl of various backgrounds.
Stay well!

01-09-2012, 11:42 AM
Thanks, nursespeedy! I actually have been feeling better since the relationship ended and have been attempting to get out there and meet new people. Hopefully that will pay off in the longrun...right now it's a bit tough...the meeting new people part. But, I feel like I am well on the way! :gimmehug