The shitty thing about eating disorders is that they are the ultimate self-absorption. You become so convinced that your body is unacceptable that you have to create a whole narrative framework to make yourself okay. And you become so attached to that framework that anything that doesn't reinforce it feels like a threat. You lose sight of people you like, people you care about, in the process of feathering that odious nest, of building walls around yourself brick by brick.
It came to my attention today that I'd been a schmuck to one of my friends. Rather than building a fortress of fragile self-righteousness to protect myself from the pain of being wrong, I've decided to examine where I went off the rails and open myself up to that discomfort.
I was dismissive and judgmental of this friend because what she wanted to do in her own fitness journey contrasted strongly with mine and I perceived that as a threat.
Not competition, as I think would be easy to assume. I know other people are thinner and prettier than I am - after all, there's always someone better looking and more fit than you, isn't there? But more because it felt like if she went that direction, she would no longer be one of us, part of Team Finish. And that felt sad and scary. I felt a little abandoned, concerned that the support network I'd tried so hard to build would crumble.
I also felt a bit lost, because the tack she was taking was something she'd warned me off in the past. It took me awhile to remember that just because one path is right for one woman, it may not be right for another, and that that is always okay.
You may not know what it's like for someone in recovery from an Eating Disorder to be exposed to someone else's restrictive eating plan, no matter how awesome or well-intentioned it may be. This article from Choosing Raw really helped me get some clarity about what I was feeling.
Ultimately, I want to be the best friend I can be. That is hard, sometimes, as I grapple with my own insecurity about my recovering body. It can be hard to figure out what is right for me, independent of everyone else, especially if that person is someone I look up to.
It also just goes to show that you're always at the bottom of one mountain, even if you've just scaled another. I'm always learning. This is still new to me, and that's okay.
I feel badly that I hurt my friend's feelings by being unsupportive. I've apologized, and I hope she accepts. After all, we all need a little support when things are hard. I think I'm ready to be there for her now, even as I honor where I am right now.