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Anorexia

My friend had recently told me that she is suffering from anorexia. Since she told me I can't stop crying, I spent the whole of last night and hours of today crying and I don't know why. I think something's wrong with me because although its normal to he worried, I can't stop thinking about it and how scared she was. I have noone to talk to about it because her mum and her begged me not to tell nobody. I don't know why I keep crying. Please help.
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Sam

Hi there,

Thanks for writing to me at what I can hear is a really difficult time for you.

You’ve done really well in explaining to me what is going on and I want you to know that you don’t have to cope on your own. I can hear that you understand it’s normal to be worried when a friend is going through a difficult time, but that you’re concerned about how upset you’ve been. You’ve done the right thing in writing to me.

You’ve told me that your friend and her mum have asked you to not tell anybody about her anorexia, but supporting a friend on your own can be upsetting and worrying. You deserve to get the support you need for yourself too. Perhaps you could speak to a trusted adult about how you’ve been feeling, without telling them which friend you are worried about? This adult may be a family member or a school counsellor who could listen to your feelings and share your worries.

Some people find it helpful to write down their thoughts, go for a walk, listen to music or spend time with family and friends as a way to help them to cope with their feelings. Maybe these ideas are something you could try? You could also read the Anxiety page in Explore for more ideas about what else might help you to cope when you’re feeling upset.

You may find it helpful to read the ChildLine page on helping a friend as well as going on the message boards to get advice from other young people who may be in a similar situation. Another good website is b-eat which has got some great advice about supporting a friend who has problems with eating.

Perhaps you can encourage your friend to contact ChildLine so that they can support her with what is going on for her. You may also want to speak to a ChildLine counsellor yourself about what’s going on for you. You can do this by phone, logging in for a 1-2-1 chat or sending them an email.

Take care.

Sam.

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