Post # 16
I don’t think you should put your life on hold. Your sister has a long road to recovery and maybe a heart to heart conversation with her that you and your BF are talking about engagement will be all it takes. It depends if you have a competitive relationship though. Either she will think you’re trying to one up her or she will be excited about her. I think your mom is WAY in the wrong to push engagement on her boyfriend. Weddings are not the solution to any problem.
So sorry you’re going through this.
Post # 17
It might be best to tell your sister about your marriage plans (congrats!) while she is in the structure of the teatment facility. I would also suggest reading up on the Minnesota Starvation Study (totally unethical but some good information) about the brain/ body when food is reintroduced.
Post # 18
I think this is the best idea! Talking to her doctor, perfect. I agree with other bees. You absoutely cannot put your life path on hold for someone else, no matter who they are. It’s a very tough situation but speak with her doctor and go from there.
Post # 19
This is a very “me-centered” disease. I would not hold off my engagement if I were you. She has to learn to accept life on life’s terms. She cannot control and manipulate everyone around her to make it all about her all the time, and the people that feed into it are enablers. This may sound harsh, but it is true. You have a right to chose how you want to live and she can chose what kind of life she wants to live.
Post # 20
I think the first thing you need to be mindful of is that she will not get better unless she wants the help. While I understand that your mother is suggesting marriage in hopes it will help her turn her life around, that is probably the last thing that should be happening with your sister. She will not be able to handle being engaged let alone getting married. Although it’s a happy subject, it’s not like weddings aren’t stressful. That will throw your sister over the edge.
You also cannot stop your life because of her. While it is amazing that you are being considerate and wanting to do what’s best for her, you need to tackle the situation head on. Rather than worry about whether or not you should be getting engaged, just chat with your family and her team of doctors and figure out the best way to tell her. Make her feel included in your wedding planning.
I suffered with an eating disorder during my early years in college, so I do have some sense as to how hard it is on her. Also note that eating disorders are about control. If you and your mother are trying to control all aspects of her life (ie. her marriage/wedding plans), you’ll worsen her illness. Let her decide what she wants to do.
It’s something to be taken very seriously and it’s amazing that she has so much support. When/if she decides she wants to fight through it keep standing by her. That said, please, don’t turn your support into stopping your entire life.
Post # 21
As some one who has fought and beat but still struggling with an ED. I have to say that while as some put it that this is a very “me” centered disease soetimes it’s about thinking you have to be a certain way to please others. Part of an ED is about control but it isn’t always the number one reason. I would say talk to her doctor. And then talk to her. Let her be the first person to find out. Don’t put your life on hold. But Sometimes you do have to hit rock bottom before you can hit recovery phase. For me it was passing out at the beach weighing a mere 78 pounds. ED is hard to over come but maybe the good news will help her. I was once a facilities most difficult patiant. I know being in this spot must be difficult for you. And you are truly caring but don’t wait. Tell her how proud of her you are for being in treatment and that you know she will get her life back in order. Be supportive but DO NOT put you life on hold.
Post # 22
I struggled with an ED and spent time inpatient. It made me a person very unlike myself- selfish and mean. So while I could see myself acting like your sister (if I had been in a similar situation with my family), I would never, in my heart of hearts, have wanted another family member to alter their life because of me. There is the ED voice and the “real” voice. I have a lot of guilt now when I look at how my behavior impacted family members, and I would feel incredibly awful now if someone had postponed their marriage beacuse of my illness.
Post # 23
I also want to second what another poster said- it probably would be ideal for you to get engaged while she is still inpatient, so that she has a support system to deal with the news. But no one can fault you for living your own life.
And—while I am sure your mom has good intentions—your sister is going to have an enormous time readjusting to ‘normal life’ after being in treatment for so long. Planning a wedding is probably not a good thing to pile on top, especially considering the amount of ‘body issues’ that accompany it (dresses, photography, makeup trials, etc, are all really hard for someone in recovery!).
Post # 24
I would go ahead and get engaged.. You only live once do what you want for your life
Post # 25
you are 1,000% right on the money…
your sister needs to focus on getting her illness in check before she decides to plan a wedding. No offense to your mother, and I’m sure she’s coming from a good place, but this kind of pressure on both ur sister and her boyfriend is triggering, irresponsible and frightening, she should be focusing on getting better so that when she gets out of inpatient her treatment doesn’t end there.. My sister has struggled with anorexia and bulemia for over 10 years and she was in inpatient twice. Both times she got out she felt and looked good but immediately reverted back to old ways because she got too comfortable being on her own and decided to forego outpatient because she thought she had her disease under control. unfortunately my sister is still struggling, maybe more than before, and I couldn’t even imagine how her disease could be managed if she had to plan a wedding…
i don’t mean to be so frank, but im going through something similar to u dealing with a sister with an ED. U cannot put ur life on hold because she is ill, I def think you should speak to her doctor and ask what the best situation is for u and her, but I’m inclined to think that u need to do what’s best for u, in the end. I hope that didn’t sound selfish.. good luck to u.
Post # 26
I haven’t had a chance to read all of the comments above, but I just wanted to say sorry you’re in such a difficult situation.
My sister and her friend have both struggled with EDs and the friend was an inpatient for a long time. What struck me at that time was that sufferers of EDs can become very internalised and as a PP mentioned, life going on while they’re inpatients is not a bad thing.
I don’t know about your sister, but I know that when mine was in the depths of her ilness she could be very selfish and controlling- I know she was going through hell, and these traits were part of her illness. I would never hold it against her, but we all tried to go on as normal to show strength and love.
Your mother sounds like she is in a lot pain and my heart goes out to your family. I know you may feel a lot of guilt, but I do think you should continue with your life and get engaged. I don’t know if you could speak to your sister or her doctor just to double check but your life must go on.
Sorry for the long post.
Post # 27
Wow, I’m really glad I posted about this here. A lot of much needed assurance. Through the time she’s had this ED everyone has been walking on eggshells, so it’s a little bit hard to move forward with such a big thing especially because I know it will be hard for her. That being said, a lot of you all posted about how we can’t put our lives on hold because of my sister’s mental illness. Maybe there’s even a slim possibility that seeing us move on with our lives will give her some motivation to work harder towards recovery (I’m trying to think positive!).
As for her getting engaged, hopefully it’s at a better, healthier point in her life. I agree it could be a really triggering thing for her, and a huge decision to make when she’s so mentally and emotionally compromised. I’ve gently told my mother that this is really hard for both my sister and her boyfriend, and it might be a good idea not to talk about their engagement for awhile. She agreed. I think she just wants my sister to have something to look forward to, but an engagement wouldn’t be the appropriate thing.
Talking to her doctors about this would be a really good idea, they know her mental state better than I do and would know how to handle this situation in the best way. I’m almost positive that they’d agree not to try and put our lives on hold. Part of what they’re trying to teach her is how to handle life outside of the walls of the hospital, and this could potentially be a really important lesson on how to do that.
To those who responded who’ve had personal experience with eating disorders, big hugs your way. Thank you to all who gave their input, I’m feeling a lot better about this now. 🙂