Some days are just a scratch your head kind of day. That has been my day today, and yesterday, and a few days before that as well. I am not sure if it is the impending unknowns of our future overwhelming me or the struggle of dealing with the current change happening in our lives, but at the end of each day, I ask myself, what is my purpose today? Is it to remain the same? To be satisfied with where I am at, or to seek more? Most days I choose to seek more (I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a really rough, exhausting day that didn't make me what to just be satisfied with where I am) And honestly, part of that is because I love writing this blog. I love impacting others, sharing with others and helping people through my struggles. But I also get my own eyes opened. I get to learn more about myself, my family, friends and new friends I hope to meet. I can't wait to see what it will continue to do in my life and those around me.
This is the last of my series from my family and how my eating disorder has affected them. My little brother wrote something I just loved reading. I admire so much in him; his intelligence and ability to make people laugh and how wonderful he is with our girls. I am so grateful he took the time to write this for you all to read. His words tell of specific moments in my eating disorder. They are difficult to read in some respects because it makes all the insaneness of living in addiction come back to life, but I think what he has to share is very impactful. So here goes:
When Michelle asked for members of the family to write our side of her struggle with her eating disorder, it was a no brainer for me. I believe the best way to do this is to describe the three memories that have stuck with me.
The first is the day I learned about Michelle's eating disorder. I mostly remember what happened after I heard about it. I believe my mom told me about what was happening and she said not to tell anyone because it was a family thing. It was either during the summer or during the weekend. My friends wanted to hang out and I kept saying that I wasn't in the mood. I kept stressing that I would be a real drag to be around, that my mind was on something. If they asked what was going on, I kept saying that I couldn't talk about it. Eventually, they convinced me to go out. Somehow we all ended up walking through the sculpture park in Loveland and one of my closest friends pulled me aside. She wanted to talk about what was bothering me. I kept saying that I'm not supposed to. Eventually, I gave in and I made her promise not to tell anyone. I told her and told her how scared and concerned I was for my sister. I just remember being so concerned for Michelle. I remember that I was conflicted because I wasn't supposed to talk about it but I needed a friend. This is also the day when eating disorder jokes stopped being funny to me. After this if someone I was around made some joke involving eating disorders, I would just get silent because I would think about how I would immediately start worrying about my sister.
The next memory is that at some point, Michelle was back in Colorado. She might have been visiting for Christmas or something. Either my mom or my dad made waffles for breakfast. Michelle ate so many of them, it seems like at least 6. It was upsetting to see because I knew she was only eating so many because she was going to throw them up. While she was still here, I walked by a bathroom and heard her throwing up. It's a weird thing but hearing it was worse than anything I'd heard before. The only thing I can say is it sounded so much worse because I knew she was doing it because of an eating disorder, not because she had the flu or something else. I definitely had to hide in my room after that because I was so shaken up and upset by it. For the longest time, I could replay that sound in my head. This is when I was the most concerned for her. I was just so scared for her and it felt like I couldn't do anything. It felt like Michelle thought she was doing a good job hiding what she was doing, but she might as well have been wearing a neon sign, at least for me. I believe it was shortly after this that she went to the Center for Change.
The last memory was when I went to Utah to visit her for a family weekend at the Center for Change. I remember being so scared because I didn't know what to expect. They did a thing where someone talked to a room full of the family visiting the patients. The person explained the psychology and reasoning behind eating disorders and I was so appreciative. I finally had some insight into why. I believe this is the first time I learned about how some people had been treating her in the past. That was upsetting to learn about. I left that weekend feeling good overall, despite some of the upsetting things I heard and saw. I felt better because I felt like I had a little bit better understanding of what was happening. Most importantly, I left feeling like my sister was in good hands. I didn't know how much longer her battle would be, but I knew she could beat it.