Post # 1
One of my very dearest friends from school is standing up with me at my wedding, and been a supremely wonderful bridesmaid… but she confessed to me last week that she has been bulimic for the past year. I’m shocked and sad, and have encouraged her to get help (from what I’ve learned, its a quite secretive thing usually, so I do see this as a possible cry for help) and indeed she has re-started therapy.
But now I feel terribly guilty about all of the nice things she’s doing for the wedding- like its somehow something she’s doing to try to make herself feel better about her life or herself somehow- like I wouldn’t like her otherwise? I’m betting most people probably know someone like this. I have talked to her about my concerns some, but I don’t want to beat her over the head with all these thoughts when I know she is just starting to deal with it, and she’s sincerely making an effort. I’ve seen enough after school specials to know you have to let people change themselves, supporting but letting go! And I don’t want to be looking over her shoulder at the events happening in the coming months– bachelorette, shower, etc.
Has anyone else ever experienced anything like this?
Post # 3
I don’t have a lot of experience with this, but I would think therapy is a good start. Hopefully someone around the hive can help you out. Best of luck!
Post # 4
Well its good she told you and has sought out professional help. She must really value your support. Just keep this in mind for future fittings and girl outings. It can be hard for the average person without an eating disorder, I imagine that could be very difficult for her. Don’t distance yourself from her. I bet being a part of your wedding/having your friendship and feeling involved/connected is going to be important for her.
Post # 5
Try not to change anything about how you interact with her. Stay involved and supportive, and appreciative of her work as a bridesmaid. If she’s sought help, that’s wonderful. And it’s even better that she let you in on it. I had a friend who suffered from this, and the best thing was to be there for her when she needed it, but not make a huge deal out of it when she got help.
Post # 6
I wouldn’t know what to do either, but I know that there are hotlines for eating disorders. You could call one and ask what the best thing for you to do is. They would know best!
Post # 7
Thanks everyone for the support and words of wisdom!!
Post # 8
I’m really sorry your bridesmaid is having so much trouble. I agree with pp’s. You should just be as supportive as you can be, and if she comes to you, make sure you’re available to listen and help her in any way she needs. I don’t think it means you need to be watching over her necessarily. If she’s getting therapy now that’s a great start. Just check in with her and see how she’s doing. I know it’s easy to feel like the wedding things may be causing problems, but she knows I’m sure that your wedding really doesn’t have anything to do with it. Just hang in there and help your friend. Hive hugs to you!!
Post # 9
I agree, just be supportive and check in occasionally to make sure the wedding isn’t causing her an unnecessary stress. On the other hand, the wedding could be a good distraction. Maybe it helps her to have something else to focus on other then herself.
You are an awesome friend!
Post # 10
I think it’s really great that your friend took the step to be honest with you about her situation. I’m proud of her for taking the steps to get healthy, by getting support and therapy.
My best friend was anorexic for several years (and did a good job of hiding it from everyone) and she and I have never talked about it. It was really hard for her to get healthy, but she had to do it for herself, not because we were worried about her.
Ultimately, I think the best thing you can do is just to be supportive. I think you could check in with her to see how she’s doing stress-wise. Let her know that she can come to you to talk about whatever she needs. Try, if you can, not to make a big deal out of what she’s doing/eating, etc. It was probably really hard for her to tell you what was happening, so you don’t want to make her feel like you’re babysitting her, you know. Just be there for her and let her know how much she means to you. 🙂
Post # 11
I’ve been through this, from both ends. Try not to change how you interact with her, but if you are close enough, feel free to ask her how’s she’s been doing. And if you can do it sincerely- tell her she looks good. Let her know her color is returning, and she looks so happy (or whatever is applicable!). But this isn’t your fault, don’t feel guilty for the things she’s done for you. And don’t take away her responsibilities now that you know! It took a lot of strength for her to tell you. If you try to take away all her responsibilities, she may feel like you don’t trust her to do a good job anymore.
Good luck. It really speaks to your friendship with this girl that she was able to confide in you in the first place. 🙂