My best friend is bulimic

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My best friend is bulimic

Postby Gabby » Thu May 18, 2006 10:59 am

This post was accidentally deleted and since been restored. It was originally posted by JimmyAfflicted.

My best friend is bulimic, but says that he's perfectly fine. He vomits after every meal he eats, and blames it on acid reflux. I've told him that I'm worried about him and that he needs to go to a doctor, but he refuses to and continues trying to convince me that he is fine. How do I help him?Jimmy

Gabby's Reply

Hi JimmyAfflicted,

It's nice that you're concerned about your friend's health, however, I'm more concerned about yours.

To answer your question: There's nothing you can do or say. You simply haven't developed the leadership-communication skill it takes to inspire another to tell the truth or to opt for health. In fact your support skills support him in opting for more of the same. He simply can't heal with you in his life. In any case, unsolicited help creates dependency.

To develop positive support skills you'd first have to be willing to let go of your friend. He may or may not opt for health, ever. It sure appears to me that he's in denial and on the way down and intent on taking as many with him as possible, including you. He needs to drive a few more people out of his life before he decides to have life work.

You need to acknowledge to yourself that he does not value you enough to choose to live. He invalidates your experience and your commitment to living and being alive. So, the question is, why would you bring such a person into your life? To have him thwart you? (in truth you have set him up to thwart you). Me thinks that as long as you focus on what's wrong with him, you won't have to work on whatever it is that you need to work on.

Perhaps we should ask who would say they tried to help you and you refused. For certain your friend is mirroring something about you.

A tip that will help you in your next friendship: At what point in time did you first reward his addiction? It was a specific communication with a date, time, and location. That was when you should have told him to call you when he was ready to heal. I mention this because that was the turning point. You missed it. You failed him. This suggests someone else in the future will dump a problem they are unwilling to solve via your support in your space and once again you'll have the option of enabling it or disengaging yourself. You might just discover that you're addicted to enabling.

Great letter. We all have one or more similar "friends."

With aloha,


PS. Please show him our coms.

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