Memories of friends

It never ceases to surprise me how close the past is. Adages tell us that what’s gone is gone, but neglect to mention this only applies to events and circumstances. However fortunate (or unfortunate) the case, relationships and feelings from the past are never completely erased.

Why so much nostalgia? Other than the usual bouts that randomly overcome me from time to time, there is the fact that one of my old friends from high school came to visit. As much as I am ashamed to admit, even after all these years and everything I have been through, the presence of someone from “when I was skinny” changed everything. Even before he got here.

Toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, I stared at myself in the mirror yesterday. I should tell him not to come, I thought. He’ll think I’m fat. The thought snuck up on me from behind, startling me into a quiet, self-hating submission, just as my eating disorder had (has?). I don’t deny that most of my thoughts are of the self-hating nature, but this one was different in the sense I didn’t realize I was thinking it at the moment it came to me.

It’s a strange phenomenon when a momentary bridge is created between your (otherwise disconnected) subconscious and conscious minds.

I tried to push the thought away, but it took on a life of its own, and, in doing so, painted our entire evening together with somewhat translucent shades of black and blue. The friend I was so excited to see the night before now became the object upon which I placed all my fears.

I would like to blame all the awkwardness on him; after all, he was always shy and awkward, but I know it wouldn’t be fair. I suppose, before our meeting, I hadn’t realized how much I have changed since that day in late November when he first told me he was gay.

I will admit (with great shame) that I am guilty of Facebook stalking my friends, but only because I want so badly to know that they haven’t left me behind entirely. I need to know that parts of them still secretly yearn for the days of the “lunch table” with the peanut-butter filled can of diet coke in the center and the continuous debate over whether or not our English teacher was a pervert.

I have spent so much time clinging to the past with a death grip that I have completely neglected the fact I am no longer who I was. Before my friend came, I was worried as to how different he would be: how would he look, what would he say, who would he be?

What I found, after several hours, was that the only friend I have kept since MIDDLE school hadn’t changed a bit: he was still a little awkward, still a little quiet, and still VERY polite. Instead, it was me who had changed: I was no longer quiet, but instead spewed words forth in a stream of verbal diarrhea. The relationship was exactly the same, but the dynamic completely different.

Somewhere along the way, I had become unable to deal with the silence–unable to deal with the thoughts my mind filled the silence with. I had become someone who was so afraid of herself, she couldn’t bare to sit in silence for even a second. I want so badly to remain friends with this person, but his silence reminds me so much of everything wrong in my life, everything wrong in me.

What I wouldn’t give to be thin again.

Have any of you ever felt this before? Where you meet an old friend and realize everything is the same but entirely different? How do you deal with it?

How do you keep a friend that you care about a lot but reminds you of the worst in yourself? Would you?

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8 responses to “Memories of friends

  1. sarah February 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    OH MY GOSH! We should be friends. Seriously. I KNOW exactly how you feel. Totally and completely. I had eating disorders that covered the whole spectrum….from anorexia to over-exercise and laxative abuse to bolemia to binge eating nightmares that were really true…my weight has gone up and down and up and down so many times in the last 10 years. It is exhausting. I still struggle. It never goes away. Right now I am VERY unsatisfied with myself and I am trying my best to lose weight the healthy way, but it is hard for me to do this patiently while I watch everyone else dropping weight so quickly by both healthy and unhealthy means. It is frustrating. I can’t tell you how many times in a day I think about just starving myself because that would be quicker. I can’t even live in the same town I grew up in because I am afraid people who once knew me to be this thin little thing will see me as I am now. I do not know if I will ever come to love myself. I have come a long way, but I am not where I need to be. i hope this helps you to feel less alone.

    • Mekkie February 10, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      It really does. Thanks for being so honest. Is it messed up that, the first time I read this comment, I thought to myself “she’s so lucky she can still lose weight by starving herself. I already starve myself and still can’t manage to do it”?

      And, yes, we should be friends. God knows I could use a few more of those. 😀

  2. sarah February 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    lol. I don’t starve myself anymore. I try not to go below 1200 calories a day. I am working on developing healthy eating and exercise habits by getting my husband on board as well. A concept I am really trying out ( which is very very hard for me) is eating more to lose weight as long as it is in the right ratios of course. I keep a food journal as well. When I am not feeling so overwhelmed from work I am going to keep track of my calories as well as my protein, fat and carb percentages because with the exercise that I do currently I am supposed to be getting 20% fat 40% carbs and 40% protein in my diet. We shall see. It is hard for me to stick to something so gradual, but hopefully the affects (being small) will stick this time.

    • Mekkie February 12, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      I don’t know…it goes back and forth for me. These days all I ever want to do is eat. It seems no matter how little or how much I eat, all I can ever do is gain weight. I guess that’s what years of abuse does to your body. It’s all this worrying…it can’t be good for you.

      Anyway, it seems like you have an excellent plan and I think you should give yourself a lot of credit for even trying. You’d be surprised what you can talk yourself into doing.

      • sarah February 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm

        i understand that. If I had it figured out my weight would stay low lol. Everything starts in the mind. If you believe you can do something then you can 🙂

  3. sarah February 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    i keep forgetting to click the notify me button

    • Mekkie February 12, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Haha, I don’t know that you have to click it every time. Sometimes, when I comment on blogs I keep getting the updates but I’m not sure how wordpress does it exactly.

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