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Awfully close to the Danger zone

Friday, March 30, 2012

I don't know if anyone else feels this way, or has had this experience, but I'm very sensitive to my most morbidly obese friends, and sometimes they can bring me down without even trying or meaning to. One of my closest friends and prayer partner is lost in her physical disabilities right now, and those problems, diabetes, and bad circulation in her legs, are being worsened by her compulsive overeating, and probably binging, as well. I have tried to gently help her, offering suggestions that have worked for her before, and my support. She is "passively" rejecting my help, and squeaking through one health test after another. She's playing close to the edge, and I'm beginning to wonder if she really wants to get healthy. I know it's bringing me down. For one thing, I can't share my current success like I would want to, because my joy makes me feel like I'm bragging. Two years ago I lost a very dear friend who was over 600 pounds. His morbid obesity got him in the end, and it was so heart breaking because he was such an intelligent, kind and handsome man, but too fat to live. I suffered the same pain watching him kill himself as I am now with my other friend. He loved to travel and go on adventures, but wound up being shut in to a small studio apartment, criticizing everyone who came to help him. My dear living friend is also shutting herself into her small crowded home. She has family living with her, but it's a dreary environment, and everyone there has every kind of physical complaint, and it's all she wants to talk about. She, like my late friend, always says"we," including me in their mess. It's bringing me down, and being a sensitive person, I may have to back off (again) for a while. Watching my friends suffer from their food addictions and resulting infirmities makes me want to react by eating and overeating. I pray for her and with her, and for myself to be delivered and set free once again from this deadly obsession.
I needed to blog this today just to organize my thoughts and see if what I was feeling was valid, or just selfish. What I have discovered is that my own food addiction recovery, and road to health, is very precarious, and I don't have a lot of strength or will power left over. I look at my friend and I see my own reflection. It scares me, and well it should. I see myself as being just that close to the edge, although I'm struggling in the other direction. I'm going away from the food, not towards it, but I'm beginning to push the envelope with allowable foods. TIME TO WAKE UP AND SEE THE DANGER ZONE, because I'm awfully close.
I'm a little bit clearer now than when I started writing so I will get up and do something, preferably outdoors for awhile. Have to take myself out of the danger zone. I'm too close to the kitchen from here! emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TRACYZABELLE
    emoticon when you realize what the problem is it is easier to win!!
    3017 days ago
  • RETURNTOTHIN
    Powerful blog.... powerful answers.... and the first word that comes to my mind is Boundaries (the book). Please know, I have been a "bull in a petunia patch" more than once in my life.... but sometimes friends (in the end) appreciate candidness. Could you ask her, "Are you killing yourself with food? I was and will not do that anymore. Would you like help in that area?" That lays it all out on the table. And then she can accept positive help or reject it. Just a thought...... and then please get in the scripture and beg for God's strength in your own life. Our mind is a powerful thing. Positive thoughts produce positive results...... always! emoticon emoticon and if you have to emoticon do so. May God be the source of your peace. Celebrate HIS strength in your life as we come to Resurrection Sunday.
    3026 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5645667
    Patty Dear !!
    You need to do what is right for you my friend ... all this worrying about other friends, that do not appriciate you caring for them will definately get you down ..
    I know this sounds so selfish, and It is not at all like me to think this way .. but you have done what you can and now it is time for you ...

    Lead by example ..show them the way, by the way you eat the exercise you do and the way you are looking ..
    This is the only way to go.

    I have the same trouble with a lot of my friends and I will not let them bring me down ...
    I have recently discovered I have a Atrial Fibulation ..so now I am on Warferin .
    I have already had 2 heart attacks back in the late 90s and a stroke in 1985 ...
    I have applied myself to losing weight with Sparks over the last three years and have lost over 65kilos ...

    I was told by my Heart Specialist the other day, I still need to lose another 20 kilos .. so I have a new goal and I will do it !! .

    So Come along with me Patty and we will do this together !!
    Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3026 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/30/2012 10:24:26 PM
  • JILL313
    I read your well thought blog and feel for you but reading all the responses you've received have been overwhelming good and right on the money. Ultimately you have to stay away from danger's edge and in this case think about yourself first even if it sounds selfish it isn't in this case. In the past, I've had to let good friends as that were so negative and brought me down to their level and I starting thinking just like they did. So, it was hard but I slowly stopped calling them as I realized being around them just wasn't good for me as it started making me just as unhappy as they were. From time to time I still occasionally talk to one of them but always turn down her invitations down to get together again. Ultimately, even though I lost a long time friend I honestly think I am better off without them in my Life. Pray about it and for her but it's time to "bite the bullet" even if it's hard.

    Love,

    Jill
    3026 days ago
  • MARITIMER3
    Hi Patty - I can tell you really care about your friend, and are still grieving for your friend who died two years ago.

    You can't make your friend change. You are trying to help, but it sounds as if she can't, or won't, help herself.

    Give yourself some time to do things with other friends, or get out on your own. Keep in touch and be supportive, but not to the point where you lose your own focus. Be proud of what you've accomplished.

    Gail
    3026 days ago
  • JOANIEBUG46
    Patty, all you can do is set the example and encourage your friend to join you, without pushing her. She has chosen not to go along and that's her choice. It may be time for you to reach out and meet some new people. People who take care of themselves and have positive images and lives. Maybe some of the members of your church? In any event, you've tried your best and if you have to step back for a while, then do it. Surround yourself with like-minded people and see what all of that positive energy does for you!!!
    3026 days ago
  • BELDONDOG1
    Patty, I am very sorry for you to be in the situation you find yourself in. I really don't have an answer, but like with alcoholics and addiction to drugs, it is often said that to stay "clean" you may have to change your friends, even your address is necessary. You should tell her how you feel and mention to her that you would love for her to feel as happy as you do, due to your hard work and strength from God.
    Please don't let her bring you down and erase all of your hard work. Tell her she has to make a choice if she wants to live or die. No one can help her but her. Good Luck!
    3026 days ago
  • IOWAGRAMMA
    Patty, you have found yourself in a real bind and it seems like most of it is because you care deeply about your friend, as well as lost friends. Having said that, I'd like to echo what SEAGIRLRUN said and continue to think about yourself and the part you play in this situation. It's always easier to take this journey to good health if we have friends to help us and lean on along the way. However, a friendship is mutual and has give and take...not all take by the other party, and if you are feeling yourself sliding in her direction, it might be time to back off for a while...or even for good, if that's what it takes. I feel for you and will add you to my prayer list, but Sweetie, you have to do what is right for you! That is truly the bottom line! Be sure to let us know how you're doing! Love and hugs, Jeannie
    3026 days ago
  • I.M.MAGIC
    I agree, a talk with your pastor may be helpful too, if it feels right to you.

    You are right in one thing in particular: The only person you can change is you: you cannot change your friend. She has to WANT to change, and it has to be for herself, or it just isn't going to work. TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL. I keep getting reminded of the parable of the ten virgins lately, and this fits right in. You cannot give her your strength. You cannot exercise for her, or do her studying, or change her eating patterns or do her exercises for her... and you can't really help if she won't let you. So just give her your love and encouragement, and let her do as much as she can on her own. SHE is the responsible party. I know it's sad, but...

    ...if you need to, gather your strength and let her go. Sometimes, the hardest act of love is to walk away...

    ...You can still pray for her, and with her--but it may become necessary to do it from a distance that isn't going to make you part of her poor choices. It's a tough choice that YOU have to make...

    Good luck, sweet lady!

    Kathy emoticon emoticon
    3026 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/30/2012 3:37:36 PM
  • SEAGIRLRUN
    You are doing so well--this is no time to turn the tables on yourself! You want to be supportive, I understand, but not all friendships are lifelong friendships, I'm sorry to say. If someone refuses your help, there is nothing you can do to help them or change them. You need to love yourself first and not become a victim.

    You could suggest Overeaters Anonymous or some counseling. A brave step might be to talk to your Pastor about her issues and see if he can help, as gluttony is kind of an unspoken sin these days, but still, if you are bible study partners, what good is obeying "most" things? It's harsh for some to even see me write about the taboo of gluttony, but we are all here because we have issues with food, and I, for one, am still learning about loving my body and understanding my relationship with food.

    Sometimes people who love too much get into emotional situations that they feel helpless to fix. Perhaps you could read a book--"Women who love too much". Co-dependent relationships take many forms and we don't always realize that we may be involved in one. We need to learn that we can only help one person - ourselves, and when we are ok with that, then we can have peace in our decisions.

    In the end, you can't be her crutch and you can't go back to your old self either.
    You seem like a very caring person and I hope you can resolve your feelings in a way that is healthy for you. Good luck and I know you will find the right solution for you even if it isn't your friend's solution.
    3026 days ago
  • ERIKALP
    Knowledge is power. You are able to recognize and therefore retreat from danger. Take pride in what you have learned and done. There will always be people for whom the glass is half empty rather than half full. Chin up, dear... you can do this! emoticon
    3026 days ago
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