My friend told me she has been suffering with anorexia and has struggled in college from it. Should I keep this between us and private?
How do I be supportive and a safe place for her to come to? She doesn’t open up to anyone.
- Anonymous9 months agoFavorite Answer
Keep it private, and be a source of friendship and support. But never bring it up first, never nag, and never try to pretend like you understand, and never under ANY circumstances, tell her what she could or should do to fix it. I've had an eating disorder for years, and nothing p*sses me off more than someone who pities me, babies me, tries to find some common ground to convince me they understand, and offers unsolicited advice on what I could do that would help. Someone once told me to eat then go for a drive to distract me from the anxiety, and take my mind off the situation. Are you f*cking kidding me? That would be exactly the same as me telling an alcoholic having DTs to have a lemonade and go for a nice stroll in the park. It isn't going to happen, and that's not the way it works. Eating disorders are somewhat similar to addictions. We are self centered, we do not care how our disorders effect others who care for us, we are master manipulators, and we hate being lectured. It's not personal, that's just the way we have learned to cope. While we are sorry for the pain we have caused others, we are just not sorry enough to stop, but we also don't know how to stop. And if we don't know how to stop, then someone who has never been there is DAMN sure not going to have the answers either, so please don't try to pretend like you do. That is the worst thing you can do. Again, offer friendship, not advice. If you can tolerate being friends with someone who is self centered and manipulative, that is. My disorder has cost me plenty of friends, but I am at least grounded enough to know that it isn't there fault, and I hold no ill feelings or animosity toward them at all. I chose my disorder. For me, my disorder is more safe and secure. I willingly made the sacrifice, and still do to this day. I own it, and put nothing whatsoever on those I have driven away.
I once recovered temporarily. I was at a healthy weight for about three years, but I relapsed. If this happens to your friend, do not act disappointed. Relapses are inevitable, and to be totally honest, she may never get better. She may struggle with an eating disorder for the rest of her life, God knows I've reached the point in my life where I've accepted that this is just a part of who I will always be. If I get better, fine. If not, I'm used to it by now, so no big deal. I've done this long enough that I know when my blood sugar is bottoming out, and when I need to take a tablespoon of sugar. I know when I am experiencing hypokalemia, and I need to go take a handful of potassium supplements. It's become such a normal part of my life, I know when something is going wrong, and I know exactly what part of my body it is happening to. Don't get me wrong, it's not fun. I don't enjoy living this way. The point I'm making is that it isn't easy to change, especially when something has more or less become a part of your identity and you are so use to it. Like I said, she may never get better. I hope she does, but it may not happen. I'm not trying to discourage you, I'm just being realistic. Eating disorders are some seriously f*cked up sh*t, and unless you have been there, you have no idea just how much of a way of life it can be. So again, be there. Be her friend. But don't bring up her eating disorder. If she wants to talk about it, trust me, she'll bring it up.
- PearlLv 79 months ago
i would just suggest counseling to her and keep it private
- PAMELALv 79 months ago
You do not tell anyone else, that would be a betrayal,you can get details of a support group for people with eating disorders, look it up online for her.
- bluebellbkkLv 79 months ago
Reported for endless repetition.