‘I have a problem but I don’t want to face it. And I won’t, I like it this way too much.’
‘I have to protect myself. I have nothing now, nothing.’
‘I would be stronger if I could avoid eating for a few days… That’s being strong. But complaining like this, this is weak.’
Last night, I spent two hours in tears texting my best friend. That’s just a few snippets of things she said. I’ve known about this for six months. When I realised she was only eating 500 calories a day, knew how many calories there were in 50 grams of carrot, and on Tuesdays her net intake was negative ‘because of running club’.
It’s a lot worse now. She weighs herself several times a day, she checks her reflection in every mirror we pass, she starves herself all day, and binges at night. She gets upset if she’s heavier than she was yesterday, if her mum picks her up from school instead of walking, if she can’t cook. She’ll have a panic attack if she’s out for dinner. She’s running and swimming obsessively, and last night, she told me that when she has the money, she buys laxatives. Food makes her feel guilty.
I think she’s probably bulimic. For a long time, I thought she was anorexic, but she’s not rapidly loosing weight, and has clear signs of ‘binge and purge’. I’ve been googling. But she tells me she failed. ‘Bulimics are failed anorexics’.
I’m worried, and I’m so scared. But she won’t let me help her. She was referred to CAMHS by her GP before, not for an eating disorder, but for something else. She lied to them. She’s a very good lier. They discharged her. She said she wasn’t ready to talk, and she’ll never be ready to talk.
But she’s not just a picture on a screen at school, or some writing on an eating disorder website. She’s my best friend. Every night I climb into bed and I lie awake worrying about her. What did she eat today? How far did she run? Was she upset about her weight? Will her mum find out? What can I do? How can I help?
Because I’m scared. Really scared. I’m scared, I’m hopeless, and I have nobody to turn to.
Unfortunately, today I’m not living, laughing and loving.