Bulimia, co-occurring mental health issues, and addictions took hold and imprisoned my sister, Kacy, for more than 15 years. Her physical, mental and spiritual pain was immeasurable and she died in 2002 at age 30. Before the bulimia, Kacy was my best friend. Words will never be capable of expressing how much I miss her. With that said, I don’t miss her bulimia. I don’t miss the fights, the ruined holidays, the daily battles and what it did to my family. I don’t miss my depression, codependency, cutting or constant anger. No family should go through this trauma. But, because our family was not heard, provided the proper support, tools or offered a seat at the table…
we were left shattered.
It took years for my family to come together again. Compassion, patience, therapy and time were needed to find healing and recovery. To my great sadness, stories like ours still exist. The eating disorder community has made some outstanding strides. However, as eating disorders are still marred by myth, silence, shame, and stigma, progress can feel like walking through shoulder level mud. Until the research, treatment, insurance, funding, prevention, and recovery are at a much higher level, we have to fight even harder for everyone impacted. I have a deep conviction that siblings must be brought into the conversation and that the family requires support and tools to stay healthy as they work toward recovery with their loved one. Hope doesn’t come from thinking positively. It comes from the courage to create and demand change. It comes when we have an open dialogue. Hope is born when we have the wisdom to care for ourselves. Hope comes when we provide support for those suffering and those who love them.
With love & hope!