Another new year! Time to make ourselves promises we don't intend to keep.
Lastyear's New Years mantra-thing never came true as far as 2011 not sucking as bad as 2010. If anything, I think 2011 was worse. So let's hope 2012 is a bit better, eh? And the only way to ensure that this year is a bit better than last is to MAKE IT better than last. We are the only ones who can make ourselves and our own lives better or worse, and this year, I want my life to be a little better.
I am determined to make myself a better person. I want to love myself as I am. I want to try and get back some semblance of who I used to be before the ED and this depression, and to do that I am not going to focus solely on my relationship with food; I'm going to focus on everything else.
I am going to make more of an effort to go out and do things with friends and acquaintances, because this whole hermit thing is unhealthy. I want to do activities on weekends that do NOT involve going to the gym.
I shall also stop the unrealistic fantasies about running away, and instead turn that into something doable--starting this week, I shall deposit as much as I can spare from each paycheck into the Maine Fund. No epic plans, no unrealistic goals; just saving. When I have enough money that moving to Maine is actually feasible, then I will decide if it's something I really want to do.
My internal well-being will no longer be a giant pile of decaying sludge. It WON'T, dammit. I want the Old Mich back--the fearless (often reckless) Mich who scoffed at dangerous things like foul weather,
and poor body image.
That last one continues to be an ongoing effort, but it's actually going pretty well. I'm defeating each small obstacle (eating out, knowing if/when I'm full or hungry, not bingeing, etc.) as I encounter them. I have, however, just encountered an obstacle that is proving the most difficult one yet....
(...be warned, lengthy blather ahead...)
The bonds of friendship should be strong ones, right? Especially with people you've called friends for over a decade. Doesn't that make them practically like family?
A year ago I might have said yes without hesitation, until certain events cast shadows of doubt on that concept. After that, I would have said yes, but only perhaps for the CLOSEST close friends. Now after last night, I am doubting even that notion.
I've had more or less the same group of friends since the second half of high school. We gained and lost members of our group over the years, and we're not as close to some of the others as we used to be, but as for the two friends I've known longer than most of the other people in my life, we're still very close. I've known one of them for ::omgIfeelsoold:: 22 years, and though we probably could not be more different in personality/interests/etc if we tried, we will be friends until the day one of us dies. The other I have known now for 12 years, and even though there have been some rough patches, he's probably my closest friend ever. Out of all the friends I've ever had, he is the only one I would say is more or less, at this point, part of the family.
.....and by now I'm sure you sense the BUT coming...
M and I have survived as bff's this long because we are so alike in our interests, in our dysfunctional family histories, and in our numerous hang-ups. We're not so much alike in personality, but our natures complement each other, so that when we're together we just kind of bounce off of each other like Eddie &Patsy, and the differences don't matter. (For the record, I've always been Eddie.) We've had rough patches--M can be equally unreasonable and quick to anger, and I'm a stubborn mule who will not give in, apologize, or back down EVER--so there have been times in which we stopped speaking for months over something completely retarded. But we always went back to the way things were after a while. (Usually with no mention of the fight--we would just go back to being bff's while pretending the latest fight never happened.)
Among our shared hang-ups are the issues with eating and weight.
Our ED-behaviors are pretty similar: most of the time keeping a "healthy" weight as a result of the never-ending binge-starve-exercise cycles, with ocasional extremes. M tends to reach those extremes more often because he is that sort of person--he does everything in extremes, never with a happy medium or any kind of moderation. It's all or nothing.
So almost a year ago, M had lap-band surgery. He had been in a nasty binge cycle for a really long time and finally reached a weight that his doctor said was "medically" obese, and so I think his insurance covered the surgery. I didn't think M was anywhere near obese, but then he is 6' 5" and so he could probably weigh up to 400 pounds without ever looking obese.
After the surgery, his eating didn't really improve. Yeah he couldn't binge like he used to and he couldn't eat a lot of the binge foods he used to without the lap band forcing him to throw up, but he found that he COULD binge on certain things (like ice cream) and so after the initial weight loss, he was really just maintaining a healthy weight.
And then a few months ago, he stopped eating. I didn't see him for a good while what with the holidays and me being a hermit because I've been in an epic funk, and then just before Christmas when I saw him again, he looked EMACIATED. On a 6' 5" frame, that looks kind of alarming. He's also--I have only very recently discovered--been seriously abusing vitamins*. But unlike me (only using them when I work out) M is using them all the time. And I'm pretty sure he's been using them for a really long time. Like long enough that he has stopped paying his credit cards and his car was repossessed for non-payment, and M is now filing for bankruptcy. I also heard hints that he's not paying his phone and his dad was helping with the car insurance. And since he only moved into his apartment a couple months ago, I would imagine that at least most of his money has been going towards the vitamin* habit.
I am in no position to tell anyone they should eat. I am also in no position to tell someone they have a drug problem and should seek help. It would obviously be hypocritical of me.
On Sunday night, M showed up at my house completely off his face on vitamins*. He informed me that he had just come from the hospital, and that he had snuck out of the hospital because they wouldn't let him drive. M had surgery on an ulcer a few weeks ago, and he said he went to the hospital Sunday night because he was in pain.
I'm not sure I believe this, because our vitamin*-friend decided to quit the vitamins* last week (>:O) and so is no longer selling them. M was getting desperate when I spoke to him on Friday, and then lo and behold, he comes over Sunday night fresh out of the hospital hopped up on dilaudid and with a prescription for 20 percocets.
I want to help M, I really do. But he doesn't want help. He wants to be thinner still, and he sees no reason in quitting the vitamins* (whereas I Officially Stopped on Saturday because my supply ran out and I am not looking for more). I've also been doing ok in the eating department as well--not perfect, but ok.
As much as I hate to admit weakness, I have to say that it's REALLY FRIGGING HARD to remain hell-bent on this recovery when M is deep in the madness of anorexia. I see him looking gaunt and sick and I would be a total liar if I didn't admit that I feel jealous beyond words. I see him looking like a chemo patient and I want it too--I want to not eat, I want to lose 20+ pounds, I want to look half-dead--and the more time I spend with him the more my carefully constructed foundations of healthy eating start to crumble.
The part of me that wants to be free of this hell--the part of me knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that being that thin, aside from being unhealthy, IS NOT ATTRACTIVE IN ANY WAY--that part of me is saying OMG RUN. That part of me wants to distance myself from M so that I don't sink as well, because I have come way too far to let the same old demons sink me now.
But I feel like a coward, and a bad friend. Running from someone else's problems has destroyed some of my past friendships. I don't want to destroy this one. I don't know what to do.
The only thing I can think of to save myself is sitting M down and telling him that, while I don't want to tell him how he should live his life, I cannot continue to be around him if he's planning to stay on this path of starvation and drug abuse. But that feels cowardly, and bad-friend-ish.
What do y'all think? If you've kept reading this far, that is... I'm scared for M, but I'm twice as scared for myself.