It’s been far too long since I have hung out with my friend M.
Not long after being discharged from my last hospital admission almost a year and a half ago now, M was determined not to let me slip through the cracks again (where do I find these wonderful people – or, how and why do they find me?).
What followed were almost weekly meals out, catching up, having drinks, eating – I must have cost her a bomb since I can’t afford this and she was so determined we would do it, she would pay for my meal too.
It was always absolutely terrifying for me – but worth it. Much as I loathed having to put so many calories and fat and sugar and stuff into my body with no chance of purging it – I loved the time spent with my friend and loved tasting new things I’d never tried before. I tried sushi for the first time (awesome stuff!) Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian, we had BBQ’s… basically we ate and enjoyed.
Then at Easter time this year my friend M had a breakdown. Things were hard for us, and for a while there it looked like I was going to lose her – she has come a long way through a long hard battle herself, and is one of the most inspirational people in my life. She’s conquered so much to be where she is today – and for a while there it looked like all of it was going to be lost. She was slipping away.
I tried, and when she was admitted into hospital after a spate of overdoses, I was there for her constantly, trying to be there as best I could. But it was too much for me and she needed to pull away from me, and I was scared that things were going towards the territory of ”Do this for me, or I will overdose again” and I can’t cope with that.
Today we met up again for the first time in months. I’ve missed her so much! She explained why she pulled away – needing time to get herself together – and told me it wasn’t my fault (I was so scared that it was.)
We sat in a park for a few hours just talking – time spent together in such a lovely way, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, watching for zombies.
Oh yeah, today was the Brisbane Zombie Walk. Except it didn’t really happen. The park we were so casually stretched out in was supposed to be where the walk was headed. We saw a few blood-spattered try-hards pass by, but where the heck was this zombie walk?
And on zombie costumes – a bit of face paint, a torn sheet, and lashings of red blood (paint) do not a zombie make. I was rather let down.
Eventually we gave up on the zombies and wandered down to Chinatown for an early Chinese dinner. Steamed dumplings, sizzling prawns, hot and sour fish fillets with vegetables, special fried rice, and China tea. Delicious! Terrifying but so delicious. I didn’t cope very well with it in my head, but I have to admit I enjoyed every single morsel.
Finally we pushed back from the table, bellies groaning, and peered out at the mall to see -
Of course zombies aren’t going to hang around a park when they could be chowing down on Macca’s, KFC, Subway, and Chinese!
Chinatown and the Brunswick Street Mall were quite bizarre. Passing by Maccas and seeing a line of blood spattered, missing limbed, gashed zombies chowing down on a big mac and fries… that’s gold. Even if they were half rate zombies, it was still a sight to see!
I am, however, so thankful that both M and myself are n0 longer living zombies ourselves, as we were when we were both so unwell.
Does your eating disorder stop you from social outings? How do you cope when close friends become unwell? And what sort of bizarre reminders have you gotten of the illness you are leaving behind?