Sunday, October 6, 2013

No Jealousy

I've gotten friendly with this girl from school. She is very thin. I try not to notice/pay attention to that kind of thing, but unfortunately it still stands out to me. I also try not to project my own neuroses onto other people, but I had suspected from early on that this girl was not, um, naturally that thin. It's hard to describe or articulate, but she just has that kind of sick, sunken-in look, you know?

Anyways, she recently friended me on Facebook and I just got around to gettin' my creep on and looking through her old pictures this morning and......yeah. Up until about 2010 or so, she looks like a completely different person. Full face, bright eyes, glowing skin, curvy, and healthy. Sometime that year she took up running—lots of pictures of her posing in a singlet, number clipped to her chest, Nike shorts, hair pulled back. And then her body starts melting away.

I was starting to drive myself crazy by looking at her pictures, so I decided to head out for a short run to clear my mind. And guess who I passed doing her own run? Yeah.

Not very long ago, I would have been sick with jealousy over this girl. I would have spent the morning sobbing in front of the mirror, swearing to start restricting again, trying on and ripping off clothes, agonizing over how the hell I let myself get so fat. I would have thought: If she can do it, I can too.

But instead, today, it didn't make me jealous at all. It made me incredibly depressed. This poor girl. She is beautiful and smart and sweet, and she must be absolutely miserable. She has been obviously struggling for about three years, but who knows how long before then, before it showed up in her appearance? She is a couple of years older than me, and I wonder how long she will be stuck in this thing. I feel myself pulled in two directions: wanting to give her a hug and tell her that it's okay, and that it's not worth it, and that she can beat this; and on the other hand, wanting to run as far away from her as possible.

I find myself thinking: If I could get better, she can too. Why won't she?

Knowing me, I'll just continue to be friendly with her and not go near the ED stuff with a 10-foot pole. Not my style to insert myself like that. I don't talk about it, especially with people I've just met, and I wouldn't know what to say anyway.


  1. I'm really proud of you for having such a different reaction; one of empathy for her struggle, and of hope that she can work towards recovery. That says so much about what a good headspace you're in and how solid your own recovery is. And I think it's a great strategy to just keep up the friendship and leave out the ED stuff. In my experience (on both sides), that just never goes well. Awesome that you're noticing such amazing differences in your mindset!

  2. Man, I love your train of thought on this one. What amazing progress you have made - not just to be able to see your recovery as the better option, but to feel sad for her in her struggle. Empathy is a beautiful thing and so needed in the healing process. I'm so proud of you for the great work you continue to do!