Lockdown: When I Discovered That My Sister Had An Eating Disorder

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There was something wrong with my sister. I could feel it, but I just didn’t know what it was yet. So, when classes were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was forced to stay with me since dorms were also on lockdown. That’s when I saw the problem. My sister has an eating disorder. She was suffering from bulimia nervosa. This disorder is dangerous, and it can be fatal if not appropriately addressed. I don’t want her to die, and as any sister would do, I intervened and helped her in the best way I could.

I discovered her disorder when I came up to her room and smelled something foul. She had to go out of her for a phone call from potential online employer because up there had no stable cell signal. She also left the door open, and that’s when I barged in. At first, I could not make it out. It smelled rotten and so foul, but I could not see anything. The bathroom was also terrible. And then, I looked under her bed. There I saw jars of puke. I realized right then and there that she was puking. My sister had about eight jars of vomit under her bed. I mean, who does that?

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The phone call took longer, and it was a sign for me to start on how to help her. It is a good thing that I know a mental health counselor who used to be my high school classmate. I immediately called her and told her briefly what I found. She said that she isn’t an eating disorder specialist, but she will get back to me in minutes, for she will call another colleague. My sister needed to be saved ASAP. Her life depended on it, and if she needed to go to a hospital, by hook or by crook even with COVID-19 swarming the environment, I would bring her. It is a risk I would take, at least, there is action from my part.

She came back to her room, all smiling. It seemed the phone call was some good news, but when she saw I was in there, her first instinct was agitation. She shouted at me and said why I was inside her room. I said that the house is mine and that she is my guest. I could come to her room anytime I wanted. She said that she would leave my house, then, and with her new work, she can afford a decent place. I told her that she is not going anywhere because she is sick. I took out the jar, and she gasped. That’s the reason she was angry at me. Her secret was revealed. I knew that she had bulimia.

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But then, she attempted to cover it up. She said it was not hers—the wrong move and well, just pathetic of an excuse. I stopped talking, looked at her in the eye, and said that I know she has an eating disorder. She was taken aback and pressed herself on the wall. I also told her that I love her very much and that I will be there for her. My friend called at that moment and said that she has a colleague who specializes in eating disorder counseling. She also said that they could come any time today to check on my sister, get a proper diagnosis, and then also see if she needed hospitalization. I told my sister that she would have to do this because I am selfish. I am selfish enough to put her through it because I love her and that I don’t want her to die.

When I said that, my sister just broke down. She kept saying, “I’m sorry” and “I don’t know what to do.” My sister also said that at times, she felt like dying. I don’t know what happened to her that made her feel and think that way. But I will find out, and I will never stop helping her.