Lending My Support

I have been incredibly triggered lately. And a part of this may be that I’ve put the people in my life first. I have so many wonderful friends that I’m thankful for every day. And they are dealing with a lot.

One of my best friends, we’ll call her K, lost her job recently. We both worked at the same place. I quit, focused on my studies for a few months, and then recently found something new. The business just shut down. That was her only source of income, and she yet she doesn’t qualify for unemployment. She in a mad scramble to find a new job. She’s 20 and on her own financially. Her food stamps for the month ran out. Last week, she confessed to me she’d only eaten a hot pocket that day, I panicked, cleaned out my fridge, and sent her home with the majority of my food. Hopefully I can convince you all this is unrelated to my eating disorder. My dad helps me out a great deal financially. I’m a full-time student, have a part-time job, and a college meal plan. (The fact I’ve skipped those pre-paid meals lately has been completely beside the point.) I knew I would be returning home for easter soon and the food would just be sitting in my room, untouched.

G is a new friend of mine in the residence hall. I would have never guessed she was struggling with many of the same things I do- anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts. (Thankfully, she does not have an ED.) She’s facing the possibility of an obsessive compulsive and/or bipolar disorder diagnosis. Through her being so open with me, I was able to open up her and find a confidant on campus.

Sure, I talk to my friends and occasionally my RA about things that bother me. But stuff relating to my ED I keep under wraps.If I do speak about my ED with my friends, I do so in the past tense. And my ever-present anxiety is on need-to-know basis.

I suppose what’s really caused ,me to open up about my ED recently was M, my gay best friend’s boyfriend. He deals with so many of the things I have dealt with  continue to deal with. Mainly, the eating disorder stuff. I’ve known M such a short time, but I trust him more than I trust anyone else right now with my ED stuff. But I think both of us are really concerned about triggering each other.

I’ve done the recovery thing, the treatment thing, and to be frank, I weigh a lot more than he does. People who see him on the street are far more likely to know what he’s dealing with. When people see me, they probably think I sit on my fat ass all day and stuff my face. No matter what I do to my body, thinness is damn near impossible. But most people would probably tell me, “you’re not trying too hard.” But for reasons beyond the superficial, M is a worse place than I am right now with ED. Fortunately, he wants to get better, which is phenomenal because it’s near impossible for me to befriend someone eating disordered that doesn’t want recovery.

My childhood friend, S, has been dealing with bulimia for a while. Myself and her family often feel responsible for protecting her from herself. She’s trying to recover, but I really feel like she needs more professional help than she’s getting.

A staff member on campus confided in myself as well as other students that her husband was having an extra marital affair.The same week she learned this, she found out her 15-year-old daughter was engaging in self-injury. The girl entered a day program.

For months, I’ve wished I could do more to help two of my classmates at risk for homelessness come May. One of which deals with mental illness, and has attempted suicide in the past. One is graduating. The other has one year left, but may be forced to complete it while living in a homeless shelter.

Self-care is something I need to work on. I can’t do as much for these people as I would like to. But I can do even less if I’m not looking after myself.

“And where will I go where I can feel safe
When my family sells this place and we all split up and move away?

I’m trying to be brave cause when I’m brave other people feel brave
But I feel like my heart is caving in

I’m trying to be brave cause when I’m brave other people feel brave
But I feel like my heart is caving in

I’m trying to be brave cause when I’m brave other people feel brave
But I feel like my heart is caving in”

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Aside | This entry was posted in Purging Thoughts Instead of Food. Bookmark the permalink.

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