Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Life Goes On. People Change.

Life after treatment is such a strange place to be in life. Some days I experience all of the joy and freedom associated with no longer being a prisoner to my eating disorder and finally having the opportunity to chase my dreams. Some days, on the other hand, it feels like I am constantly being blindsided with situations and relationships that leave me feeling clueless.

One thing that I have really struggled with since the moment I stepped foot out of treatment was how to deal with the relationships I had developed while I was there. In that moment, those people were not only the best friends I had ever had, but they were also the only friends I really had at the time. 

Eating disorders are extremely manipulative when it comes to friendships; relationships in general, actually. Somehow my eating disorder made me believe that going out with friends automatically meant there would be food involved; which, of course meant I didn't feel comfortable going. My eating disorder was also very good at making me isolate as a way to "protect" myself. In my disordered mind, no one could possibly understand what I was going through, so there was no point in trying to relate to others. Most days I felt so exhausted after putting on a happy face and pretending like I had myself together, that I instantly turned into a couch potato the moment I got home. 

By the time I entered treatment, I had come close to pushing every single person in my life out of it; making the relationships I did develop in treatment feel like the best thing that ever happened to me. Don't get me wrong, at the time, they were such a blessing. Like I said earlier, for the first time in my entire life, I was surrounded by people who understood me. 

After leaving treatment, however, those relationships drastically change. Some therapists even recommend immediately creating distance from those treatment relationships because people go through recovery at different rates.  Over the past few months, unfortunately, I have had my fair share of feuds and have been forced to use my voice in uncomfortable situations.

There is a constant battle between my head and my heart - do I cling to those relationships from treatment even if I feel bogged down by continuous eating disorder talk or do I move on with my life and risk being called selfish? In my heart, the people-pleaser in me wants to make everyone happy; but in my newly found logical brain, however, I know I cannot jeopardize my progress.

As a firm believer in the idea that everyone enters our lives for a reason, I tend to struggle with the part where people leave our lives; but the truth is, relationships constantly change. Although, I still find myself beating myself up, from time to time, for doing what is right for my health when it hurts others, deep down I know it is necessary.

Relationships intrigue me. Each person has their own unique story to tell. Each person has a different twist on life experiences. Whether we realize it or not, the people we surround ourselves with have the ability to greatly impact our daily decisions. My entire outlook changes when I surround myself with positive, uplifting people.

 Life goes on. People change. People are brought into our lives for a reason, only if for a short period of time. And that's okay. Not everyone I meet is meant to be in my life forever. And that's okay, too.

Recovery is all about taking care of ME. After spending years of putting others' feelings in front of my own, in order to heal, it is finally time to take care of my own feelings for a change.



  1. I love what you shared here. For me, the 12 step program has been helping so much in this area. The program is a life long learning place, and we get to see how people change in a long run. I was so desperate at the beginning when I got close to some people, and they started to wave away from my life. We always focus on what is leaving us, but often ignore what's coming. And, it is not personal. I have heard that the only constant thing in life is a constant change. I have learned to welcome anybody who has left but come back, and that often happens especially in the program. People have their own journey, and I have learned to respect them as who they are. And love them unconditionally. Yes, I have an eating disorder, but just treating my food situation is really not changing much in my life. It is about doing life on life's term. xoxo

    1. Definitely, food is one thing that can always be controlled. It's always a tricky situation, huh? <3

  2. This one really hit home for me. In treatment was the first time I also felt understood by others and the friendships I gained were closer than I had ever had before. When I left, I stayed friends with a few (though we are all much more distant both in physical proximation and emotionally) and others drifted by the way side or I lost them completely. The thing that hurt the most for me was feeling like some friends didn't actually want to see me well and couldn't be happy for me and the things going right in my life because they were still stuck in their own pain. And I wanted their approval somehow even more because they would understand how hard it is to get better and make the right choices. But in the end I just have to accept that they are where they are and I am where I am, and I hope they can be happy for themselves one day too.

    1. You have no idea how much this comment meant to me & I can relate to what you just said. It's a really difficult position to be in, but you are spot on when you said "in the end I just have to accept that they are where they are and I am where I am." That's all there really is to. It's all about taking care of yourself when you are in this very moment. Thanks again! <3