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ElsieSoproni's picture

I just realized this weekend that I don't have friends. I mean, I know lots of people and I've dated a lot (till the current relationship, that is), but my boyfriend was taking a test on Friday night and I literally had no one to call, nothing to do. It was demoralizing. I have a seriously difficult time making social commitments that aren't obligatory. Not because I don't want them, but because I assume other people don't. The only people I'm close to are because 1) they're related to me, 2) I've known them since before ED, or 3) circumstance--as in, they live in my apartment or we're dating. Not because we met in class or out dancing or in church or anything else. I don't see any of these people when we aren't practicing or having a study group or in church. I say hello, smile, ask how they are, they ask how I am, we both lie, and life moves on. What kind of life is that? I literally don't even know how to be friends with people. I have an almost paralyzing fear of being a burden on someone and for a very social person, this is kind of hard to handle. Do any of you know how to overcome this? I feel like once we stop having an 'exclusive relationship' with ED we realize how empty our lives have been, but I don't know how to fill the holes!

somethingblooming's picture
I can understand where you're

I can understand where you're coming from Elsie!

I am lucky enough to have a best friend, and she knows about my ED. She recently moved to another city and it was really hard for me, cos suddenly I had no-one other than my boyfriend. Also my younger sister is like a best friend to me, and she moved to the same city as my best friend, like 3 weeks later. I feel pretty lonely now. I am going to try and work on keeping in contact with both of them more. And fixing my relationship with my older sister (we clash a bit).

I noticed in the past few months that my other 2 'closest' friends, who are in medical school with me, are actually really toxic to me. They put me down, make me feel bad, take advantage of me, make me feel small and pathetic. I realised that because I was so wrapped up in my ED over the past 5 years, that I attracted these really toxic, crappy people because I had no self esteem and if I was tearing myself down, I was easy to tear down for others. I have slowly disentangled myself from these people.

Sometimes I feel like I have no-one who really gets me but you guys on here and my boyfriend, and my therapist. But I think that as we get better, we will get more confidence and attract more people into our lives. I've been slowly working on turning one of my less close friends into a close friend. I just text her more often and make plans to catch up. At first I was surprised she was happy to spend time with me (because like you I felt like a burden on everyone, to the point where i spent time with these awful people cos I felt so low in myself), but she really likes me and as my boyfriend said - I am nice and fun and funny and why wouldn't people like me? Its the same with you gorgeous girl, you are lovely, interesting, kind, smart, witty! Maybe pick one person you are sort of friends with, that seems like your kind of person, and try and move towards a friendship - make a plan to catch up with them (even if it feels scary). You are so worth being friends with! xx

"I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it's these things I'd believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”

LeaLea's picture
I've felt the same way for so

I've felt the same way for so long. I turned down meeting up with a friend from work this weekend because I feel so exposed and scared of any private time with people. She wanted to come and see me and let her son see my lizards, which I adore showing to people, but I couldn't bring myself to say yes and made a pathetic excuse about being busy so it didn't happen. I'm so scared of having people in my life, it's frightening sometimes. I do want friends, but I'm so controlling with my ED behaviours that it's hard to commit to something in advance in case I'm having a "fat and bloated" day or something. I ended up staying most the day in bed feeling sorry for myself when I could have had fun showing off my animals. It really sucks.
I'm not sure if I can help by giving you tips on how to make friends, but I do understand that fear, especially after losing so many friends along the way with my eating disorders and I fear they'll leave again if they only knew the truth about me.


ElsieSoproni's picture
I'm glad I'm not the only one

I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way. I think it just hit home pretty hard since my boyfriend and I are having a rough spot and he literally won't talk to me about anything, so I have no idea what the problem is (obviously my mind is running away with all the possibilities). I figure he'll have to talk to me eventually because you can't break up without doing that, but I'm suddenly trying to actually have a social life. It's kind of empowering though. Assuming it actually goes through that is! Haha

rachee08's picture
I have no advice but I can

I have no advice but I can relate! Thanks for posting!

- Rach <3

Belli's picture
Hi friends! Haha this website

Hi friends! Haha this website isn't such a bad place to start practicing friendshiping :)))
There are a fair few ingridienses in friendship:

Minimum one point of shared opinion/ common interest
An interest to keep in contact
The will to give up time to spend with the person instead of doing something else

This needs to be somewhat mutual to work ;)

We can all practice being friends here on the website. One essential thing is consistent communication and to show interest in each other.

I was actually really excited when I realised that the reason I don't have many friends is because I've been to preoccupied with my eating disorder to be able to pay attention to people and to build relationships. It's a relief. I thought I just couldn't make friends. I mean, I haven't really made any friendships for 13 years!

It's of course never too late to make friends Elsie. I think it's essential to put yourself in new environments and to be there consciously looking for friends. You will notice how many other people are looking for the same thing.

Odimelodi's picture
Hi Elsie! I can relate! Ever

Hi Elsie!

I can relate! Ever since I came back after ED treatment abroad I felt I had my life back and am ready to reconnect with my friends and make new ones with my new found bubbly personality and enough time to have other people in my life. well truth is, as soon as I contacted them, they we're either ignoring me, making hateful comments about what a neglecting friend a was, or rejecting me to go somewhere.... and up until now... it has been the hardest thing to make new friends because no-one wants to stay in touch! And it doesn't help that I am in a super possessive relationship and it felt like ever since my boyfriend came into my life (4years ago) I have lost all my friends because all his friends have moved away for work and when he has something coming up I have to go with him or if I do have a long-lost friend contacting me to make plans he gives me every reason why we shouldn't go see them. So I guess that loneliness have contributed to my relapse and it's an awfully painful experience to go through. I feel blessed to find that I'm not the only one struggling with this and that there is also a very friendly-looking, beautiful lady in a relationship and going through the same thing that I do somewhere in the world! :) so it makes me feel a bit more 'normal'! Thanks for accepting my friend request... I believe we have a lot in common :)


meredith.grubbs27's picture
I lost a lot of friends when

I lost a lot of friends when I was in my darkest months with ED, and I didn't even realize it until much later. After months of stress, loneliness, and feelings of betrayal and neglect, I started to accept that my illness was beyond their comprehension and capacity for sympathy. No one else understood that ED really did change my personality. I wasn't myself, and I still get so sad when I think about how I treated my friends during that time. I wish that now that I'm recovering, I could fix those relationships, but a lot of bridges seem to be burned. I'm accepting that that's okay, and that the people who left me in my time of deepest struggle are not people that I need in my life. I am focusing on building and encouraging healthy relationships now. It's so much easier now that ED isn't the focus of every day and every decision!

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