View Full Version : Any lost relationships b/c of Recovery?

01-14-2012, 01:29 AM
It feels like it's the recovery that caused me to lose my #**** support. But mabe it was the eating disorder itself? IDK.

Basically my long-term, biggest support has just acknowledged that she is done supporting me. She doesn't want/can't do it anymore. She wants to keep ME around but she is done supporting me ED Recovery-wise.

I feel so responsible for this. Like I burnt her out. I drove her away. I am trying to remind myself not to own her decision, she is also going through a lot of emotional changes as she goes through GRAD School for Psych. And doing her own therapy. Maybe we just hit the wall- the support she use to provide doesn't function anymore. And it's time to move on, seek other support.

I'm just super bummed out & feeling betrayed, like she promised that she'd be there until the end and now she's checking out. And will just show up to "recovered day" in the mean time she wants nothing to do with me.

That's basically how I feel. Though she made it REALLY clear that she cares about me and that she hopes that we still stay connected in life but just at a different stage...

Has this happened to you guys?? How has your situations played out??

01-14-2012, 09:10 AM
I have lost friendships because I was at a bad place in recover and just couldn't nurture them, but I haven't had anyone say that they couldn't support me anymore.

I think that if you were leaning on her heavily for support, it's natural that she would get burnt out. I know it stings, but she may just not have the resources to give right now.

01-14-2012, 09:19 AM
Yes, I had this happen and I had to realize I was putting an unfair burden on my friends as well allowing a very uneven friendship. I have actually had to do the same to some friends of mine.

I don't know how long this friend has been offering support but it gets old offering support and encouragement over and over again and seeing little change. Its get tiring for the conversation to alway end up rotating around the other person's behaviors or issues.

Some of my friendships survived, some did not. Some I walked away from some walked away from me. There are no hard feelings with any of this people change, friendships change and people change but when one person stays stuck while another continues to move forward with their life it can be hard.

01-14-2012, 09:20 AM
Think about how exhausting and consuming recovery is...and imagine how it must feel for someone else to support us. I think it depends on how much you focus on talking about recovery vs. how much the friendship is easy going and fun. No one wants to have a friend that is a dramatic drain. When I've gone through serious breakups and all I talk about is the ex, I can only imagine my best friend wants to (and probably has) ignore my calls. Other people need as much support, love and nurturing as we do, whether they are going through something or not. Our friends are not our therapists. She isn't betraying you, she is telling you that she can't give right now, that her bucket is full.

Relationships require give and take. Sometimes one person can't give and the other person has to either accept it or lose the friend. Some people (whether in recovery or going through a rough spot) can't do anything but focus on themselves and in those times yes...they will lose some friends. But...when you are ready to give more of yourself, she will be there.

if you need support for recovery, then perhaps a group for ED recovery would really help.

01-14-2012, 10:10 AM

I agree with what's already been said. I'd like to add that I hope you don't use this as a reason to not seek support. This is an example of why it is important to seek multiple levels of support. One person cannot do it all. I know that it can be upsetting to be in your position, but it sounds like your friend is doing what she needs to do to keep herself and her life on track.

01-14-2012, 10:30 PM
I have lost some friendships along the way while doing recovery. I think that some were because we were just friends because all we had in common was the eating disorder, or that the only reason we met was because we met in treatment. Having an e.d. in common is a poor reason for friendship. We quickly outgrew each other when doing recovery.
Now that I am recovered, I have friends who have never had an e.d. And my relationships are so much deeper, so much richer, and have so much more life.

01-14-2012, 11:13 PM
I lost almost every significant friendship I had because none of my friends could stand watching me struggle. They got tired of the constant anxiety they felt because I wasn't getting well... tired of watching me in an out of treatment. The helplessness and frustration they felt was the undoing of our friendship.

You didn't wear your friend out - and in fact she's told you she still wants YOU around - the eating disorder wore her out. She can't deal with the ED any more. That's what she's saying to you. It's not recovery that is the problem.... it's the ED.

I know it hurts to have friends walk away.... but keep reminding yourself that she's very specifically told you she is not leaving YOU.... she's just had enough of the ED.


01-16-2012, 12:28 AM
try not to take it too personally-she is human just like everybody else and sometimes cant be the super person who is going to be there til the end. It's a very romantic and nice thought to think you have a friend who is strong enough and selfless enough to be there for you no matter what, but it is unrealistic. i dont want to sound cynical; i hope she still is there for you in some ways when you need her. But try not to rely too much on one person-they can mess up too, or have different needs or priorities, etc. You have to stay focused on what's most important-you and your recovery before anything else. Other things are going to continue to happen that are tough to get though with an ed in life but you got to put you and your recovery before what others do. I've had a lot of relationships ended thanks to ed. most were my fault- i just ed them purposefully because i can't take them and recovery, but then I'm a major loner by nature and cant take a lot of people at a time, it's just too overwhelming and always has been even before an ed was ever in the picture. I've had a few guys just totally run the opposite direction after a couple months-they just couldn't take it.I feel guilty I can't be a normal person without baggage to others have a normal relationship but i guess ed just makes it more difficult. I try now not to let ed get in the way of what relationships i have left but at the same time, i dont really have that many that are close enough that ed would be able to mess up now.

01-16-2012, 05:36 PM
I am afraid I am going to lose my best friend through all of this mess. I am not burdening her at all, but she doesn't seem to want to be around me all that much any more... I'm not sure why. ):

My boyfriend, however, is so far phenomenal. He is so supporting and kind to me. He is understanding (not rationalizing with the ED, but understanding when I need to talk or just feel down/crappy).

01-16-2012, 11:09 PM
Awww guys thanks sooo much for all the replies. I was out for the weekend and forgot that I had posted. I am feeling so much better after reading all your replies though!

rafferty: yes, you are absolutely right. in fact she used those words, "I cannot take any more of the ED. I cannot support you in that way." "I'd like to keep the friendship but I can't do the ed support anymore."

I need to remind myself that this is a consequence from an ed and a should be taken as a motivator to recover so that I dont ever have to lose a friendship...

Everyone else- thanks for your feedback and yes, I need to step away, think of her needs too and accept that things are changing. it is hard b/c as mentioned above- it is hard when one person is stuck while the other moves forward. And I am soooo fearful that this can happen to me- I get stuck. That's why I am talking to everyone I can about this situation so that I can feel my emotions, understand it as much as I can and then accept what happens.

A little background: I met my friend aka godmother when she was my counselor (I was ********years old.) almost **** years later and I have spent **** years (in & out) living with her and her family. They consider me like their niece and we call eachother "godmother" or "goddaughter"

Due to the blurry bounderies, our relationship has always been hard to define. she was ************% committed the first time I tried recovery but it wasn't a successful outcome. This time around, we were both ************% committed and she was with me every step of the way. I almost felt like she was doing recovery with me. Which says a lot. And probably the reason why she got burnt out.

Towards the middle of my recovery I began branching out to others but kept my godmom as my #one support. Our relationship wasn't always about the ED- the first **** years I refused to talk about it. But it has always been a bit unbalanced- her giving a lot more emotional support. =/