I just had an amazing conversation with the ever so lovely Abigail. My heart aches for Remuda. Treatment was one of the hardest things, if not the hardest, I had to do. I had to test myself every day, challenging my core beliefs, learning how to communicate effectively and eating foods that I believed would label me a worthless. I don’t ever want to go back to were I was in January but the woman that I met were some of the most genuine, kind and understanding ladies I have ever had the privilege of meeting.
There is something very special about being in a community of women who share the same disorder as you do. Any illness, whether mental or physical, can make you feel alone because on the outside world, those who share your symptoms are few and far between. So when you meet people like you or have to live in a treatment setting with people like you, you create such a special bond with them. For me, I could talk about the horrors of my fear foods without getting the ‘just eat in moderation’ response like I did before. Or I could share the nightmares of my days living in Anorexia and know that there were people who thought and acted just like me. I grew with these ladies. I knew their stories, their hardships and their heartaches and I allowed myself to let them hear mine. We evolved from our sickness into strong woman who had the tool belt of recovery.
But then we left. We packed our bags, we booked a flight and we spent our last nights anxiously awaiting the world, ready to reenter it with a new mindset on life. We knew that we were strong, we knew that we were worthy of a life without our disorder and we had a list of phone numbers and emails of our treatment family who promised that when the time came where their were moments of weakness, we always had each others back. And just like that, we were back into the world.
Although I have alot of numbers to call, I mainly keep up with my Remuda friends on Facebook. We have a private little group where we share our struggles and victories. As time goes on and more posts are adding to our group, there are more and more woman who were once doing so well in recovery only to now fall back into their eating disorder. These woman who I once saw weeping when they realized how much ED had taken away from them go back into it’s arms. It’s devastating.
We all left with the same intentions but returning with separate realities. Reading this posts make me feel like my relapse is inevitable because you literally see your friends do a 180. Two months ago their Facebook was filled with fear foods that they had conquered and now they are dying from their eating disorder. I have had to distance myself from so many of the women who I once called family because I have to protect myself and my recovery.
It’s a beautiful and special bond that I have had with these ladies but with distancing myself I am at a horrible place of not being around the people who understand me but still not feeling comfortable with being in the real world where starvation is a feeling that so many people will never have to go through.
With my eating disorder, my isolation was perfectly calculated and planned. I refused to go out with anyone with the fear of having to eat with them at the forefront of my mind. I locked my own door, I ignored texts and I didnt allow myself to believe that I deserved a friend. Now, my isolation is situational. I lost a lot of people because of my eating disorder and now I have to lose people because of theirs.
I am very lonely here. It’s heartbreaking knowing that there are people who think and feel just like me but also having to do what is best for me. I have one friend here and since most people my age have already established their friend groups, it’s hard for me to suddenly come back expecting the friendships that I once denied myself. And the long list of Remuda and renfrew friends that used to be my only sense of community has dwindled down to two of my three roommates.
I am hoping that this is a temporary issue. When I feel down, I like to remind myself that the times I have felt so alone have blossomed into the parts of my life with the most people. Until then, I am taking as many applicants for friendship and whimsy as I can.