I don’t know why but my sister doesn’t eat much per day and sometimes she eats less than me. I thought I was mostly recovered but this is just getting worse. I don’t think she has an ED but she still eats less than me and when she does it makes me feel awful and then I’ve started relapsing. I tried telling her about my triggers and she got mad at me and asked “what do you want me to do, eat more?” I don’t know what to do now and I’m afraid I have ruined our relationship. Why is she so unsupportive? Help!
What is she doing to causing you trouble? I don’t get by you saying she eats less than you?
Thank you so much for sharing and being here.
It’s really hard to struggle with eating disorders and I’m so sorry you’re facing that. I struggled for about 10 years with anorexia and bulimia, and it had a huge impact on my health and the way I still see myself. I remember how much my entire life was about food and controlling my body all the time. I also wished very deeply sometimes that food could just be an option, and not something we need and see everywhere. I was always paying attention to others, to what they eat and how their body looked like. To be honest, I was constantly comparing myself, and it sounds that it’s what you’re doing with your sister.
I personally don’t think she is unsupportive - at worst, she doesn’t really understand what you are going through - but the truth is that how she eats and how she is physically have nothing to do with how you eat and how you perceive yourself. Your needs, both physically and emotionally, are unique. And the fact that your sister doesn’t eat a lot might just be the result of her own needs. My sister is the same: she’s a very picky eater and she doesn’t struggle with any eating disorder. When I was really struggling with ED, sometimes I was very jealous of her, because on my end I had to make the effort of depriving myself of food to be as thin as her. But it was unfair of me to compare each other and blame her for that. It’s just how she is, and my food consumption nor my biology are conditioned by how she eats. If I didn’t eat or I if I relapsed, it wasn’t because of her or anyone else. It was just because eating disorders are invasive and hard to overcome.
I’m aware that it’s a difficult truth to hear… when you’re struggling with ED, it’s really hard to learn to live with food and not see it as the enemy. But it’s not. And your sister isn’t your enemy either. It will take time to be at peace with this thought and with yourself, but that is truly needed for your own recovery. Comparing yourself, how you eat, eventually how you exercise, is a struggle tied to eating disorders themselves. Comparision is the trigger. And when you begin to be aware of that, you can try to find some clarity in all of your thoughts and emotions.
Don’t let those thoughts affect your relationship with your sister, friend. Your journeys, your bodies, your habits and your lives are different. But you have each other. And that’s very precious.