I have had to put up with a lot of people liking me in my life. I know what a terrible thing to have to go through right? Now granted for half of my life most of them had a good reason to. I have many faults but getting along with people is not one of them. Stalk it up to my interest in other’s lives, or also that I just like to be liked as will do my best to make that happen. I by all means am a pretty likeable person, I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh. I couldn’t do math to save my life, but I love to surprise people, do special things for them, and be there for them through thick and thin. I can engage somebody in a conversation for hours just based off personal experiences in my life, most of which are nothing less then an “I love Lucy episode” I am certainly not shy and I guess you could say when I walk into a room, I don’t say “there you are”, I most likely say “here I am.” I was born this way, and my parents were not messing around when they named me after the Alman Brothers song “Sweet Melissa”. As a small child I was putting on plays for my family, attempting to make my parents breakfast in bed, cleaning the house without being asked, and writing thank you notes for gifts and then thank you notes for thank you notes I got thanking me for the thank you note. Some have chalked me up to being a people pleaser, but I just chalk it up to my inner spirit.
So you can imagine how horrible of a reality shock it was when in 2004 after 17 years of battling a severe eating disorder that I could barely count the number of friends I had on one hand. I think the technical number would have been two and even they were hanging on by very thin strings. If I was me, I wouldn’t have been friends with me, and it was because that once “sweet Melissa” had turned into one very “sour Bitch.” Now before you go and start to feel sorry for me, let me stop you. I deserved not to be liked, or as they say “I made my own bed and now I had to lie in it. I had become nothing less then Attila the Hun. Every time my mouth was open it was most likely telling a lie, screaming at somebody, or telling them to “eff the hell off” I spent 99 percent of the time engrossed in myself, what I could get from other people,who I could con, who I could manipulate, and who I could get to give me what I wanted. It was like somebody had gone in the Metropolitan Museum of Art taking the finest “Renoir” and splashed red wine all over it.
I had become spoiled, stained, not worth more than people walking by me shaking their heads commenting “how a good thing had gotten so ruined.” In other words, I had become damaged goods. So how could somebody who had spent so long being in the center of the circle gotten her way so far out. Not to mention how in the word could I get myself back in? Well one thing I of course had to do was make a decision…was it going to become a life as a sewer rat, or life a social butterfly. I also am somebody who likes instant gratification, and getting every body’s approval again was not going to happen overnight. Also if I did start to turn my life around for the better, hardly anybody was going to believe me due to all the times I said I had changed before and never did.
Gaining people back after you have pretty much tarnished any sort of relationship you had with them is tough. In our Eating disorders we basically set a match to everything around us. We lose that quality that makes us human and cash it into a disease that makes us selfish, bitter, and ungrateful. Just changing your eating disorder doesn’t fix things either, it’s changing your behavior that is the most important feature to getting back to your true self. It’s really making an effort to show people you have changed. Talk is cheap, you can tell somebody a million times you are going to take out the trash, but until you physically scoop that bag up and carry it outside to the dumpster it doesn’t mean diddly squat. It also doesn’t mean diddly squat if you carry it out, and then the next day go retrieve it and bring it back inside.
It’s a long process to gain back all those you have lost because of your eating disorder. It takes a lot of doing the right thing despite who thinks you are still doing it wrong. It’s a painful part of addiction when you finally get your act together and people don’t welcome you back with open arms. Despite my valiant efforts, I was still not allowed to go to my little sisters wedding, see the birth of her twins, attend my little brothers graduation, or go to my grandfathers funeral. These have been especially hard lessons for me to take, and it has made me contemplate at times whether changing was really worth it. Well of course it was worth it, but I had to pay a very big price. People don’t like me for who I am, but still hold it against me for who I was. It’s never too late to change, but just because you change it’s not always going to turn out in your favor that other people will. It’s hard not to be liked for your Eating disorder, it’s even harder not to be like because you had one. The only thing you can do is put one foot in front of the othere one, and concentrate on all the people who are standing up for you now, instead of the few who continue to sit down.