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 Post subject: Living with friend with ED
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:25 pm 
stranger in an orange land

Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:21 pm
Posts: 1
Thank you so much in advance to anyone who reads all of this and can offer guidance.

I’m going to be sharing an apartment with one of my best friends this year who has a long history of ED.

Some context: I’ve known this friend for almost 10 years. We met freshman year of college and were best friends all through school. Truly, she was and still is one of my very best friends. I knew she had a problem when I first met her and she eventually opened up and spilled everything to me sophomore year. Her behaviors are feeling compelled to over-exercise, strict rules about what foods she can eat when, and I have known her to occasionally binge/not be in control of how much she eats in one sitting. I think a lot of her struggles could be related to her parents, who expect perfection out of her and can be really irrational/cruel. To complicate things, she also has a medical condition that can cause her to gain lots of weight quickly when she becomes stressed out. When this happens, she gets really depressed and is unable to lose weight through exercise or restricting food. All that to say: she has moments when she is honest about what’s happening, but her baseline is to deny that anything is wrong/downplay the seriousness of things.

Fast forward to now. We are both in our late 20’s, I just moved a few months ago to the city she’s been living in for the past few years, and we’re going to be roommates this lease cycle. Since we graduated/before I moved here, we’ve had seasons when we’ve talked a lot and seasons when we’ve been out of touch. A couple of years ago, she got really, really skinny again and had to go home/take time off from her graduate program. I know she spent at least a night or two in the hospital (which she downplayed) and she is now on an antidepressant which she’s told me has helped. When I moved here a few months ago she seemed to be doing really well and was at a healthy weight. She still exercises religiously but I don’t get the sense that it’s way too much. Since being here though, I’ve noticed she is going straight to the bathroom after any meal she eats. Doesn’t matter if it’s at a restaurant or at somebody’s house. I haven’t approached her about my worry that she’s throwing up her meals. A couple of weeks ago, she lost her grandmother (who was like a mother to her) and it has sent her into a downward spiral of guilt/grief/pushing everyone away. She has lost a lot of weight in a matter of weeks. Add into the mix that she’s taking a really stressful class this summer and trying to find a job that pays well. She has acknowledged that she has unhealthy ways of coping and needs to go to a therapist, but that’s not super realistic at this point, as her budget is really tight right now.

I am moving into her apartment next weekend and am really worried about her/how to best support her.

ANY suggestions or guidance from someone who has struggled with an ED personally or has tried to support a friend in a similar situation would be so appreciated. I don’t want to do anything that would make her feel guilty, defensive, or like she can’t confide in me!

Thank you so much.

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