I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I spent it completing my second race of the year in Tampa, spending time with friends and family and soaking up that sunshine on a 25 km run and at the beach!
Today is the final installment of my series on anorexia and how it has affected my family and I am telling my story today with the help of my sister.
Megan has been one of my best friends since day one. We have built forts, bit and scratched each other, played dolls and fought against an eating disorder. We have listened to boy problems, stood up to bullies for the other one and talked each other to sleep when we were alone at home because my parents were at the hospital for Jolene.
Without Megan, I would have gone insane a long time ago. She was always the one to jump first to make sure everything was ok, but over the years, I have learned to do it myself. She was always the fierce, brave one and I have learned so much from her fearlessness and feistiness.
I have never met anyone as fiercely loyal or as unaffected by other people’s opinion of her. In short, I adore her.
Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about being a sister to an anorexic:
1. Nothing makes you feel more guilty then sharing a bed and accidently stealing all the covers from an anorexic in the middle of the night.
2. Mealtimes with an anorexic will suck. Give them timelines, firm commands and a fist bump afterwards for finishing their required amount of food.
4. They hate choices around eating and food. Make as many for them as possible. If you are at a restaurant, make suggestions for them. If you are cereal shopping, say “Let’s get Honey Oat!” Trust me, if they are not ok with it, they will tell you.
5. You will immediately bristle and go red in the face whenever you hear a conversation about dieting, weight or fat when you are anywhere in public with an anorexic sibling. You will want to stuff a sock in the person’s mouth, but instead politely listen and check that your sibling is ok afterwards.
6. You will get really good at turning tabloids with eating disorder headlines around when you are grocery shopping with an anorexic sibling.
7. Nothing makes you want to hit someone more when upon hearing that you have an anorexic sibling, someone trumpets “Man! I could use a bit of that!” or “I wish I could catch anorexia for a week to lose this weight.
8. Crowds of people are overwhelming for them. Whenever possible, give them some downtime. If you see they are anxious, take them to a quiet place and allow them to “reset”.
9. You will receive an overwhelming amount of frustrating but well meaning suggestions of things to “try” to cure your sister. I have heard everything from exorcism to pot brownies…and that was just this week.
We are so blessed to have each other and I could not ask for a better team mate as we go up against the eating disorder every day.
I love you, Meggie.
Thank you for your support and encouragement throughout this video series. I have gotten a large amount of emails and messages and I will personally respond to them all.
So many of you are struggling with your own eating disorder or fighting for a loved one that is. My heart breaks for you. If you are feeling lost or alone in the fight with an eating disorder, need someone to listen or some direction of where to go for help, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help in any way I can.