I confessed to two close friends - both of whom are overweight and one who used to be severely anorexic - that I am a binge eater/compulsive overeater. I thought they wouldn't judge me because I've never judged the one friend for having food issues or the other one for being a recovering anorexic. After I told them, they both got really quiet and just didn't say much beyond, "Oh, that's too bad."
I'm really embarrassed. Apparently, it's okay to be a recovering anorexic, but if I admit to anything, then suddenly, everything is awkward. I tried to explain how it's not the quantity of food as much as it's a mental state, but I don't think they were listening.
I feel so alone sometimes. I've often felt like if I could just lose this weight, I'll find my confidence and be more outgoing - that maybe I won't feel like the third wheel all the time.
It could have been a misunderstanding. If your friends are close, they might have cared a lot more than you perceived and didn't know what to say or do. Most people will falter when faced with a problem that they want to fix, but aren't sure how. If it bothers you a lot, tell them how you feel. Life is too short to consider people as "close friends" if they truly are just judgemental.
Also, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. You have an problem you are coping with.. You wouldn't be embarrassed if you had a cold (at least you shouldn't be). Friends are an important part of support through life and if you're always feeling like the third wheel, maybe it's time to re-evaluate your friendship. It can be hard to find people who really give a damn about you, but when you finally find someone, it's worth all the searching.
Feel free to pm me if you need someone to talk to, I have been through my share of "fair weather" friends and wouldn't mind someone to chat with myself.
Hey sasha, don't worry, maybe they weren't judging you perhaps they didn't know what to say. I know sometimes i do that but its usually because i'm flicking through my head files to see if theres anything in there that could provide advice, suggestions or comfort.
Do you know what you were hoping for when you told them? Sometimes we do something expecting a certain result but when it comes to people you can't always predict what they will say and we get disappointed.
I can understand how sharing something like that can be incredibly difficult. Binge eating doesnt seem to be viewed with the same understanding or sympathy as other ED which is frankly shameful.
Perhaps you should look elsewhere for support, maybe they just dont get it or have trouble with getting their heads around it. To be honest i didnt get it untill i read a blog where someone struggled with their weight and fell into binges. I didnt realise how devastating it could be and how "just eat less" wasnt helpful. The binging i read about was more akin to self harm than anything to do with food at all! Perhaps you could try pointing them to some blogs like that to see if it may help them to understand you better?
I wouldn't take their not commenting to heart, neither would I be embarrassed. Whenever it comes to weight, people are afraid of commenting because society has taught them that there is more of a chance someone may take offence over a weight comment. (It's been nearly 7 months and no one has told me to my face that I'm looking great--they tell my partner when I'm not around. Sure, it's frustrating because you wanted their support, but they might show it in other ways (telling you if you are eating the wrong things or ask how your progress is going, etc).
Embrace who you are and don't let anyone bring you down. If someone says anything negative, just remember that they are the one with the problem and not you! No one knows you better than you know yourself.
2013:80.9kgs-64.5kgs. 2014, 64.2kgs-55.5kgs March, Day 445 60kgs, GOAL achieved!
Running distance goals: 4.4km (30min) achieved 7 May 2013. 6 km (45min) 4 September 2013. 10 km (1hr 12min) achieved achieved 18 October 2013.
Competitions: Round the Bridges, Nov 17 2013 completed, 44min 07secs.
You aren't a freak. I think sometimes people have a hard time talking about eating disorders, whether recovering or otherwise. I was bulimic for many years and sadly managed to work my whole living situation and social life around it. I could not have faced talking about it to anyone except a counselor. Even to people who would have supported and helped me.
In my situation with the bulimia, I don't know if I could have commented to a friend on anorexia, because it seems so different, even though it is an eating disorder as well. Maybe they thought it might be better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing.
I hope you know that you aren't alone here. Hugs to you.
Shin: A device for finding furniture in the dark.
I know it hurts, I've felt the same response from friends and loved ones I've told. At the end of the day, nobody faces the challenges of this particular eating disorder but me and so nobody can relate to me. My mother is a "normal" eater and she minimizes it down to being unmotivated and lacking willpower. I've received the same blank stares. My friends and family love me and support me but they will never understand what this eating disorder feels like just like I can never understand what anorexia feels like.
"If you pay attention to when you are hungry, what your body wants, what you are eating, when you've had enough, you end the obsession because obsession and awareness cannot coexist." - Geneen Roth
No you are not a freak. It is precisely because the binging is often done "in the closet" that bingers think they are alone and that nobody else does this "weird stuff". I think there is a huge portion of the overweight population that suffers. But they are viewed as weak or piglets or crazy - having no "will power". Addiction is like that. A common term used is "terminally unique". You think you are different from everyone and you suffer in silence; cutting yourself off from the very help you need. You are taking a positive step by posting here. Reaching out rather than isolating is a big deal.
you are not a freak. you are in the same boat that all of us are in. losing weight does not make you more vital as a person. you are awesome now. you are just as valid as you will be at a lower weight. losing weight should be for you and your comfort, endurance, and overall health. give you friends the benefit of the doubt. they understand what you are going through and feel the same pangs of self doubt. we all need reassurance but sometimes don't know how to express sympathy/empathy to other people as it causes us to dredge up our own emotions. just know you are loved now.
The awkward silence may have had nothing to do with judgement or lack of empathy. It's quite possible tha your friends knew all too well what you were going through but weren't comfortable talking about it. Perhaps they weren't comfortable or ready to talk about your confession because they didn't want to talk or think about their own ED issues.
Not everyone can communicate effectively or compassionately on topics that are personal and painful.
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Thank you for your wonderful, kind responses. I still don't know what was behind their lack of a response, but I've let it go. In the end, while support from friends would be nice, I do need to work on building up the inner strength to support myself.
I have been reading Cynthia Bulik's book, Crave, and it has been really helpful. I have been trying to get to the bottom of what triggers my binges. I've always believed that when I figured that out, I could figure out how to prevent it. I've read other books on binge eating, but this is the first one I've really connected with. Depression and anxiety are major factors for me. Stress or a bad day can trigger a binge.
It may sound like a simple thing, but I also realized how much skipping breakfast affects me. I never eat breakfast. I may have coffee, but most of the time, I don't even get that. By lunch, I'm starving, and dinner is even worse. I think I set myself up for failure just by not eating breakfast!
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