My Friend Anna - Victoria's Story Friend & Family UCSB, California

A Friend's Story

About three years ago I began to notice severe changes, both physically and mentally, in my friend Anna. Over the years, we had lost touch with one another and every time I saw her, I couldn't help but notice that she was a completely different person than the girl I used to know. I had heard from many people that she was anorexic, as if it wasn't obvious enough already, but I had never brought up the issue with her myself. I knew she had family problems and I often wondered if her mother or father were just trying to deny the fact that their daughter had a severe problem.

Growing up in a small town, where everybody pretty much knows everything about everyone else, Anna's problem was becoming much more apparent to many people. As I look back on the time of her suffering, I almost want to hit myself for having never said something to her--just to show her that I care because I am not sure that she ever felt that anyone cared.

The last time I saw Anna was the day before she died. I ran into her in an ice cream shop and I could not believe the person that I saw--her frail legs and pale face could not have more acutely portrayed the image of young girl just calling for help. The sad fact is that she walked right past me and my group of friends with the hope that none of us would see her. I remember calling out to her and she gave us this glance so full of insecurity and fright and that is when it hit me that the girl needed more than anything to be loved, because everyone else important to her were too naive to see that she had a problem.

The next day when I found out that Anna had taken her own life, my desire to find out more about eating disorders took over. Aside from all the grief that I felt after losing a young friend, I decided to make the effort to educate myself more about the subject and its various components so perhaps I could be an influential person to someone, just like that person Anna was searching for.