Dear Annie: My boyfriend of five years recently had a heart attack and died immediately. I am so distraught. He was my life and my best friend.
He lived in a different town, and I didn’t want to uproot my children, so we never moved in together. This was a source of a great many arguments.
The problem is, I cheated on him with a friend of ours. He never knew.
I cheated because I was lonely and felt that he really didn’t want me. But I loved him with all of my heart.
The affair always made me feel guilty, but since he died, the guilt has become overwhelming.
I know I messed up. I never wanted to hurt him.
I keep thinking that he now knows everything, and I can’t take it.
Do you think that in the afterlife you find out things like this? — Lost My Love
Dear Lost: If you believe in an afterlife where loved ones watch over us, then you surely believe it is a place of forgiveness.
Please consider grief counseling. It will help you come to terms with your loss and get past your guilt so you can move forward.
doctor or local hospice organization can refer you.
Dear Annie: I know that anorexia is not uncommon in teenage girls, but I never thought I would see the signs in my best friend. “Emmy” always complains about the way she looks and is constantly focused on her weight.
She makes sure everyone else eats, but I rarely see her put a bite in her mouth. She denies that she has a problem, but all her clothes are baggy, and you can see her bones sticking out.
Everyone, even people who just met her, ask me if she is anorexic.
Emmy is six inches taller than I am and weighs less — and my doctor says I am underweight. Last month alone, she dropped 20 pounds.
How can I help her? I want to talk to her mom, but I don’t know how to bring it up. — Not that Skinny
Dear Not: Emmy is lucky to have you as a friend. Too many teenagers with eating disorders are left alone until the problem becomes life threatening.
It’s also possible that something else is going on with Emmy, but the sooner this is addressed, the sooner she can be helped.
First talk to Emmy and urge her to discuss this with her parents. If nothing changes, you can speak to her mom, saying, “I’m worried about Emmy. She doesn’t seem to be eating normally, and she’s lost a lot of weight.”
You also can alert your own parents, and when school resumes, talk to the school nurse or counselor and urge Emmy to do so, as well.
And please contact the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders (anad.org) for more information.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.