Thursday, June 10, 2010

i am my own best friend

That sounds gay, doesn’t it? J

It is a lesson I am trying to learn though. For many years whenever I was having a bad day I would turn to food. It was a quick, dependable and easy way to get some comfort. It was fairly short-lived however, as once the food was eaten, I needed further comfort. More food? Why yes, thank you.

I have always been viewed as a “strong” person, despite actually being quite mentally and emotionally fragile. I have talked about this before. I gave the impression of being strong because I never depended on anyone else. Why did I never depend on anyone? Because I was busy depending on food.

On days where I was feeling sorry for myself (these days still occur you know) I would sometimes feel the desperate need of a friend (of which I have many). Did I ever pick up the phone and ask for help? No. And then when help and support from friends was not forthcoming, I would actually feel angry at them. I’m there for you all the time – where are you when I need someone?! Had I just swallowed my pride and asked for some company, or sent an email, I would have received what I needed. But I never did. I turned to food instead.

A couple of months ago I was having a “black” day. This is the kind of day when the ED seems to consume me. I have been binge-free for a few months now and have not allowed myself to use food as an emotional crutch – only as nourishment. And on this day, it felt (as I have described before) as though there was screaming going on inside me, unrelenting screaming. Pleading for food one moment, forcefully demanding it the next. Thinking back on those days (I haven’t had one to that extreme for a while now) it strikes me that the internal conflict has a demonic edge to it…there’s a good cop/bad cop thing going on. There’s this pathetic voice…Please, please give me a snack. I am so hungry…quickly followed by a complete screaming tantrum…GET IT FOR ME! It is a living torment. I used to quieten it down with food before it ever reached those kinds of proportions. Not anymore.

Anyway, on this black day, I was being beaten black and blue on the inside with this bullshit. And it occurred to me that I needed a friend. And it occurred to me further that perhaps I could be that friend. Perhaps I could speak calmly to myself, offer myself reassurance, do something kind for myself. And I was right. I was able to do those things. And I felt better. I do have the capacity to take care of myself. When I do this, I am in a better state not only to love and care for others, but to receive love and care from others.

This realisation doesn’t mean that I don’t need friends, or that I don’t need to call on others for help sometimes. It also doesn’t mean that I am invincible, or that I can fulfil all of my own needs: as a Christian in particular, I definitely don’t think that’s true. However I have been denying myself a relationship with me for so long – choosing food as an alternative; ironically, depriving myself .

But this does mean that I have a caring and intelligent friend at my disposal every moment, if only I will call on her. And that’s myself. That’s a big deal.


  1. This makes a lot of sense. Thank you!

  2. Fantastic blog, and you could be writing about me! Thanks for sharing x

  3. What a profound thought. I remember a time when a good friend was talking about needing comfort, but hadn't known where to get it. She touched her own hands to her face and said she learned to take comfort from herself. I found it very very moving, and your post reminded me of that. It's a great lesson to learn, and an important one to hold on to. Thank you for the reminder.