Castor Girl asked a question of me in a post on May 8 regarding our loneliness and what was causing it. She asked, “Do you know what’s happened to you to make you feel so lonely?”
Several events have taken place that explain the recent onset of loneliness.
First, I started reading a book called Beating Ana, and in this book the author asserts that relationships replace eating disorders. We began to think about this idea and began to see the trueness of the words. For so long we’ve turned down offers to see movies, go shopping, or have lunch because we were too caught up in our eating disorder. Several girls from treatment have tried to befriend us, and, except for one girl, we ignored them. We cultivated a friendship with our eating disorder rather than people. It was more important to us to skip a meal than dine with someone. We didn’t have time for relationships because we were too busy exercising and calorie counting. Restricting food was restricting friendships.
Which brings us to the second event: what’s important to us is shifting. Being alone may be safe, but it’s not very fun or rewarding. Every now and then we get glimpses of what life could be like without an eating disorder. We see ladies at our EDA meetings and A.N.A.D meetings who all sit and chat and laugh before and after the meetings. We want that.
We sit by ourselves while the rooms fill up with people and chatter. We watch and feel jealous of other girls and the friendships they appear to have. It’s a good jealousy, though. It’s a motivator for us to do the work we need to in order to be one of those girls who is friendly and chatty with everybody.
While we want friends and see the benefit of having friendships in our life, it is also exhausting trying to like and be liked. There is so much baggage that comes with us that we don’t think a friendship is possible. There are too many declarations that need to be made. Too much background, too much get-to-know-you information. It’s just overwhelming. And how much work do you have to do before you begin to relax with that person and let your guard down? Sometimes I think it’s not worth it.
But I digress. We feel lonely because we recognize we are alone, and it is now on the radar as something we want to change. We’ve felt the heart of being lonely and it’s not good enough for us. Being alone is not an option.