Let me tell you a story about a little girl that I grew up with that was obese. She was teased and taunted and kids always picked on her. She had few friends that really knew who she was as a person. I was one of those friends. A true friend always stands by your side, through thick and thin, ups and downs, highs and lows…..but where were people when Diane needed friends? At age 15 Diane moved away (she and my grandparents were next door neighbors) and I didn’t see her for 9 months. One day Diane’s mother called our house and asked if I would come visit them? I gladly accepted and could not wait to see my friend who seemed to have fallen off the planet so to speak.
When I arrived and Diane came around the corner, I didn’t recognize this young lady. She had lost almost 100 pounds and had a total make over. She was even more beautiful than the girl I knew. Beauty is described in a variety of ways….beauty is not just ones appearance and their looks on the outside, the finer line of beauty and what is much more impirtant in my book is the that lies under the surface. That beauty is like that of a treasure as my grandmother used to say. Rare and untouched, a true beauty that some only wish they had, a personality and a greaceful heart.
To have these characteristics is a blessing. Anyone can look like a million bucks but if they are mean/ruthless under the surface, they will be the ugliest person around. Some people are quite confused by what real beauty is…to those of you who misconstrue what it is, it’s time for a reality check. Diane dropped weight all right, but soon afterwards, I began to notice habits Diane was making,..like repeated trips to the bathroom after meals. What I didn’t understand until it was too late was that Diane had become a bulimic. What is the true definition of a person who suffers bulimia? Bulimia many times goes unnoticed by friends and family specifically because bulimics usually look perfectly normal. Most are of normal weight some are even overweight.
***Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge eating which is the consumption of enormous quantities of food. The food tends to be high in calories. They are comfort foods. They help relax and calm a person, which is why the binge/purge cycle often happens in response to stress/anxiety. The cycle in fact becomes a habit or a ritual that all together brings calm to the victim.
***Peer Pressure- This is what happened to my best friend when she got into the wrong mix of kids at school. She thought that it was super cool to drink and party. If I had only been there…this train she calls her life would not have derailed, and Diane’s life would be so much different now. She might have been the strong savvy business owner with great determination to make something of herself. She might have a successful job, a happy marriage, and a good life….maybe not the marriage. She is better off without him.
***Alcoholism — This is what ruined my friend..and lack of self esteem and confidence.
Definition Alcoholism is a chronic disease in which your body becomes dependent on alcohol. When you have alcoholism, you lose control over your drinking. You may not be able to control when you drink, how much you drink, or how long you drink on each occasion. If you have alcoholism, you continue to drink even though you know it’s causing problems with your relationships, health, work or finances.
I won’t get into the details of my best friends awful ordeal but it’s been 30 + years and she still has her good days and her bad days. What she needs is for people to rally around her and help her to get her confidence back. Hasn’t she fallen off the eagon enough, she surely doesn’t need all of us preaching to her. She has to want to change herself. She is the only one who can make a difference now in her life…all we can do is love her and support her. If someone would have only seen this 30+ years ago and recognized the signs, my best friend might be living a normal life today. Where is the happy girl that made me laugh until I cried? The girl who drove her fathers vintage Thunderbird through the garage wall because she thought it was in drive, and opps, it wasn’t …it was in reverse! We sat and haughed so hard, and as we laughed we saw the smoke coming out of Chucks ears (her father.) This is the Diane I remember, the zesty full of life, ready to take on the world gal…now, she doesn’t want to get out of bed some days.
Today my friend has NO idea what a “normal” life is? She only knows a life of alcohol, darkness, and dispair. I’m not sure why I was summonsed back to Youngstown Ohio after all of these years…maybe it was to be near my family after being gone for 28 years. Maybe it was to save my friend? We’re all here on earth for a reason, and I truly believe that God has a plan for each of us. I have been given the gift of life, laughter and hope. After having survived cancer 4 times, and a brutal attack on my life, I’d say that there really is nothing or no one that can stop me or get in my way…Being optimistic and confident goes a longgggggggggg way. I will always love my best friend, and I will always stand by her, even when family and friends turn their back. Tough love? Yes she needs a good dose of it. Perhaps she’s had it before already? All I can do is guide her and pray that she loves her life enough to stick around.
To my friend Diane, I say “Hang in there kiddo, there is a light at the end of your tunnel!” I’m one fast driving, mean momma of a locomotion. Time to take a ride on the Shelly Express! Buck up friend. Friends don’t let friends drive themselves into the ground. She may feel as if she is digging herself into a ditch and there is NO getting out….I say, “She bought a pretty cheap ass shovel!” Meaning, her friends in her life now are not the right tools that she needs…otherwise, she’d be getting better, not worse. Diane for as long as I have known her was not a coward, yet she does cowardly acts over and over. Why? Who knows….alcohol does funny things to people. Be a friend, step into your friend or family members life when everyone else steps out. You might be the only savior. You might make the difference…and that is the story of life.
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