National Eating Disorders Association

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Can I Get Some Advice

So I met this girl online and after a little while of talking to her she admitted to having an eating disorder to me, this is something new for me and while I did my best to support her as much as possible until the other day when I made a huge mistake, I did not know that her situation was currently as bad as it was in the past. But as we were talking she went to go eat breakfast and when she came back all she had was some nuts, later on in the day she was hungry so naturally I told her it was okay to go get some food, she refused and then insisted she wasn't hungry anymore, and then I said one of the worst things possible, I said "the nuts didn't fill you up." I realize I made a huge mistake and owned up to this and now after talking to her for about 8 months she wants nothing to do with me. For her this is a big deal because she's had negative comments from her friends and family before and I knew that. Is there anything I can do to help fix the situation or support her going forward. I feel terrible and I always had the best intentions but something I said as a joke ruined everything and I didn't even think about her eating disorder when I made this comment. If I had just thought about what I said before I said it, I wouldn't be in this situation. But I can't take back what I said and I own up to my actions. I just would like some advice if anybody has been in a situation like this or if you've been a victim of negative comments.

Hi shawn7851!

Hi shawn7851, Welcome to the forums. We are glad that you reached out for some advice and support. We wanted to remind you that you can always reach out to the NEDA helpline if you feel like you need more support or access to more resources in the meantime. The helpline phone hours are Monday through Thursday 11am-9pm ET and Friday 9am-5pm ET and can be reached by calling 800-932-2237; you can also use the online chat to speak to someone Monday through Thursday 9am-9pm ET and Friday 9am-5pm ET. There are also some resources for friends here. Keep posting and stay strong!

Hey Shawn.

(Sorry your note sat here for a while. For some reason, sometimes it seems to take a while for notes to get posted. )

" I said "the nuts didn't fill you up." I realize I made a huge mistake and owned up to this and now after talking to her for about 8 months she wants nothing to do with me. "

This has got to be a bummer I know, but really, after 8 months of being friends with her, that should all go down the drain because you mentioned some nuts ?

I know it may have been the wrong thing to say, but when you think about it, friendships should be more resilient than that. Plus she should know you well enough by now to understand that you only said it out of care and concern.

But this can be the way with eating disorders though. People who are right in the thick of it can get really edgy, and find that they have become sensitive to the slightest of things. Out of consideration we should try and be sensitive to this in a general way, but at the same time, we shouldn't have to find ourselves having to walk on eggshells all the time. Our level of care for the person should count for something I think, and that's something that she should realize as well.

So yeah, maybe it's all just bad business. I'm not sure that we should be required to twist ourselves into mental knots, simply to be friends with someone. Granted the person may not be responsible for the situation that they find themselves in, and the effects that it has on them, but at the same time they still kind of need to live in the real world, just like the rest of us do.

If it were me, I'd hold off on the apologies, and recommend keeping it really simple if you write to her about this:

"I know what I said may have upset you, but I hope you can trust in my good intentions and the friendship we've shared."

Which is kind of it in a nutshell, you know ?