Laura (left) and Andrea (right) met online in 2002 on a fandom Yahoo! Group. We talked off and on for years, then lost touch until 2006, when Laura found Andrea on Livejournal and asked if she was the same person she spoke with years ago.
We quickly reconnected through Livejournal comments, then started daily conversation on Google chat. We spoke as if we knew each other for years. Most of our friends knew about the other person, even though we hadn’t actually met in person yet.
That changed in 2008, when Laura traveled to NYC with a group of people from her local university. Of all places, we met in the Disney store, then spent hours at dinner together, promising to visit one another for more than just a couple of hours.
On October 1, 2011, Andrea told Laura about her BED diagnosis. She explained her symptoms and how much she was struggling to find help. Nine days later, in a consultation at a weight loss center, Laura spoke with her consultant about her own symptoms and her battles with binge eating. The consultant agreed that the symptoms were similar and encouraged her to get a second, professional opinion.
After that, conversations changed, from mostly fandom to mostly real life support. We even spoke about making a LJ group surrounding women supporting each other as far back as 2012. Though we created the group, it never got off of the ground. Probably because we were both still so stuck in our eating disorders, and sinking further still. Fast.
For the next two years, the two of us were our sole means of support through our eating disorders, talking via text and IM throughout the day, and exchanging long, long, long e-mails detailing our struggles. This continued even after both of us sought and received professional help. Searching for support online often seemed to be an exercise in futility – most blogs focused only on anorexia and bulimia, with mentions of binge eating disorder, but nothing either of us could relate to. Sometimes, the only person we felt could understand what we were going through was each other.
This is the main reason we decided to create this blog. Our friends, therapists, and treatment teams have been an integral part of our recovery, but neither of us could have gotten where we are today – almost two years into recovery – without each other. We wanted to create a space where anyone with an eating disorder could feel welcome, read a blog post, and be able to say, “That’s just like me.” If you’re reading this, we hope you have found that space.