My sister dragged me to the 2017 Eating Disorder Conference, and it was a turning point in my life. She is an eating disorder specialist, and I wanted to be a therapist, as well. I just did not know what field I wanted to be in at that time, and so she booked me a spot in their conference. She did it not just because she knows I wanted a career in this field. My sister knows that one of my best friends is struggling with bulimia and that I feel so helpless about it.
I know all about Gina’s condition now. She used to hide it from all of us, but we all knew something was not right. At first, she would let us in her room to stay there and chill. That was our bonding moment: me, Gina, Loretta, and Jackie. We talk about anything under the sun.
But when I noticed this bad smell, and I joked her about keeping the room hygienic, she forced us out. The smell was rotten. It was like vomit that was left out in the open. I told her that. She turned pale for a minute and invited all of us to go to this ice cream place we loved. “Out! Out! Let’s go,” she said. Gina even paid for the bill, but she rushed out after drinking her milkshake. I followed her only to find out that she was vomiting in the washroom. That’s when I knew she was sick.
It’s been three years now, and Gina is recovering. She is in my colleague’s group therapy sessions. As much as I want to handle her case, I am too attached to her. She is my best friend in the whole wide world, and I cannot act all the time rationally if I am her therapist. But I am keeping a close eye, and I trust, Arman, my colleague.
People can say so many things about those with eating disorders like they are crazy, or that they should just eat (for those with anorexia) or that they should just stop eating (for those with binge-eating conditions). It does not work that way. They need help, and only professionals can assist.