I Understand Now—I'm Sorry My Eating Disorder Tore Us Apart
To my former best friend... I'm so sorry for how my behaviors and emotions hurt you. I was too busy burying myself in my eating disorder to see how it was affecting you. When I started developing my eating disorder we had only been friends for 2 years, but you stayed for another 4 long ones.
We were both too young to understand what was happening, but while you were trying to come to terms with your identity, I was doing everything I could to extinguish mine.
Sometimes, I think about how things might have been different, if I had told you why everything started in the first place earlier. I did tell you, but what feels to me like 3 years too late.
I know now that it's naive to think like that because it wouldn't have changed everything. I was consumed, and with no way out you got stuck bearing the load of my problems.
I used you in the worst way possible, I truly don't know if I was aware I was manipulating you throughout our friendship, but I was. I didn't mean to, but I did.
It started the minute you caught me throwing up in your bathroom but I said you couldn't tell my parents or they would send me away. You protected my dangerous secret up until the end of our friendship.
There are so many things I wish I could change, but I know that what happened was for the best. It hurts to admit that, and although we tried to reconcile things at the beginning of the pandemic, we just can't go back to being us.
For a long time it hadn't been just us anymore, it was you and me and my eating disorder, the third wheel that wanted the relationship to end so it could have me for it's own.
Now that I'm in recovery and we're approaching the one year mark since our friendship ended, I have a different perspective.
I can see the consequences of my actions. I'm glad that you finally left because you didn't deserve what I was putting you through. Yes, I was struggling, but it should never have been on you to fix me or take care of me.
I know we went through many traumatic events together, and maybe we would have been strong enough to overcome them if my ED hadn't gotten so bad. But it did get so bad and our bond couldn't stretch far enough to last.
Even saying this it feels so methodical in my head, as though this is how I always intended things to be. But that's a lie. I never intended or even anticipated this.
I will always be sorry for the things I did, but I wish you well wherever you end up in life, and losing you helped me realize I needed to recover.
It was an accident, a terrible miscalculation that started with my actions but continued with yours; you motivated me to stay sick. It sounds terrible, but it wasn't your fault in any way.
You gave me love and care like most would when a loved one was faced with a fatal illness, but I wasn't used to love.
My parents were alcoholics for most of my life, and when you seemed to care so much more than you had before (everything felt deeper and more intense during this time), I thought the only way anyone would give me love or attention was if I was starving myself.
I'm having a hard time writing this because I can feel my ED romanticizing things and making you out to be the bad guy. You were never the bad guy.
I am no longer my eating disorder, but it is still a vile part of me that I am trying to beat. I'm beating it with the proper help that I thought you would be able to give me. I wanted a knight in shining armor, I didn't want the responsibility of caring for or saving myself.
I understand why you left, and I thank you for it.
It was the most painful thing I've experienced, but it was the catalyst that motivated me to save myself. In a way you were able to do what I had always wanted, but losing you was the price.
My eating disorder destroyed our friendship, but you still beat it because you saved my life. You were putting me first even when I couldn't see that. You deserve to put yourself first, please take care of yourself.
Most of me longs to talk to you again, to have you intertwined through my life again. Maybe we can, maybe things will change.
I know this is wishful thinking. We both deserve better.
We were young and we did the best we possibly could at the time, and it wasn't enough. And that's okay. I forgive you, and I hope one day you forgive me too.
But I get it now.
You don't need to keep reaching out and then disappearing, I know it's too much. There's too much history and pain. It's okay. It's okay and I still love you even if I shouldn't.
Goodbye old friend,