Food Tore One Friendship Apart but Rekindled Another


How does food play a role in your friendship?

Two girls enjoying a drink. Unsplash: Kal Visuals

Here are 2 types of friendships I’ve experienced recently.

First, we have a friendship that has evolved over 10+ years with severe eating disorders, disordered eating pasts, and recovery.

This friendship although both are in “recovered” no one currently struggles with either and these two people are able to fall back and support one another when one or the other is struggling. This is a friendship where both parties are willing to listen to the concerns the other may have about them.

Then there’s the other broken friendship.

The one where both enjoyed eating and planning social events and gatherings around food.

Where one individual has now fallen into disordered eating and is consumed only with how she looks. Trading in nights of ice cream and movies with countless hours at the gym and pulling away from her current friend to develop new friendships with girls that allow her to believe what she is doing is normal.

So what about the one with previous eating disorder problems?

She’s faced with a difficult decision as she has learned to enjoy life and stop stressing about food and the scale but can see her friend withering away before her eyes as their friendship does the same.

As she tries to step in and help, her friend does not listen to her or the concern of others. She is entangled deep in the trenches with the idea that the only way to achieve what she wants physically is by restriction and extreme exercise. Her new lifestyle has led her to decline all invitations from her old pal, anything involving that glass of wine after work or the slice of birthday cake in celebration.

Girl measuring herslef with a tape measure

This was never like her.

So where are we with these two different friendships?

One is built on support and trust. A true bond and relationship where both know when they fall off the horse, they have someone to help them back on.

Recovery is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and both understand the endurance and bumps in the road that come along with the process. Both have let go of friendships that do not serve them or their disordered eating pasts.

The other friendship has been put on pause, not to say it cannot be re-kindled down the road but the recognition that is is important to always do what’s right for yourself and mental well being, no matter how hard it may be.

The main take away?

You may have to be selfish in order to make sure that your own mental health and overall health is in order.

No matter where you are on your health journey there can always be triggers. Do what you can to surround yourself with those who help you overcome those, not fall back into them.

Two friends hugging each other.

As for me? This is my story.

I know my past and how easy it is to fall back into those old patterns. I know that I need the support of a friend when times get hard. I know the importance and memories that as a culture we place around gatherings with food.

This is my life and I do not want to miss out on the simple joys to obtain a certain size on a tag or a number on a scale. I am on the other side and can recognize that just because someone else deems their behavior as normal leaving you to question your own, it does not mean that is true.

Choose the people that serve you not only mentally but also serve you that piece of cake at the celebration. Because as cheesy as it may sound, life is too short, enjoy and savor it.

An anonymous collaborative piece.

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