Friday, August 9, 2013

Lunch Date With Louis Part 2


Last year around this time, one year and six days ago to be exact, I was home from treatment for the weekend and went on a lunch date with my younger brother, Larsen (Louis is one of his many nicknames). All I remember is my nerves were through the roof and I was worried about how awkward it might be for him to have lunch with his eating disordered sister. I wrote about it here in 'Lunch Date With Louis.'

If you have been following my blog for awhile, you have seen these before and after photos one too many times before. I would apologize, but they display progress much better than I can with words.

My best friend and I always say, "It's amazing how much can change in just one year." Just one year ago I was still in treatment, about 10lbs away from my goal weight, and afraid of a simple lunch with my baby brother. As I re-read that sentence, I can't help but get a little emotional. Absolutely nothing in my life is the same as it was just one year ago.

When we got in the car yesterday, to my surprise, my brother asked if I remembered what song was playing last year when we went on our lunch date. I was shocked he even remembered having lunch with me at all, so to hear he remembered the song we jammed to made my entire day. If I'm being honest, I had totally forgotten about the song. He surprised me yet again, and had downloaded it so we could jam out to it again. Twenty-four hours later I'm still smiling at his thoughtfulness.

Wait, did I just call my brother thoughtful?!

 This summer has been somewhat unique because both my brother and I have been living back at home - and driving my parents insane, I'm sure - for the first time in years. At the same time, however, looking back on the past few months, I think it's the best thing that could have ever happened to the relationship I have with my brother. We spent most days having lunch together at home, laughing at each other, and getting to know one another again - eating disorder free.

In the original Lunch Date post, I talk about how I always felt inferior to my younger brother while we were growing up. While he will always be the better athlete and more laid back sibling, this summer has taught me that I don't have to be either of those things to be "good enough." We are completely different people, so why did I expect myself to be interested or as good at the same things as him?

Yes, he does have his strengths, but so do I. 
That poor kid cannot write to save his life; I write almost everyday. 
He is still struggling to figure out what to do with his future; I officially have a distinct path and cannot wait to pursue it. 
He cannot even fix himself a PB&J without feeling like it's a chore; I have a culinary arts degree. 
He is incredibly laid back when it comes to school; I have anxiety that helps push me to get things done.

Last year at this time, as sad as it sounds, all I could think about was how embarrassed he must have been to have a troubled older sister. I didn't really think he would ever be able to look at me the same again. Luckily, however, after spending a summer together, I can see the changes not only in myself, but in our relationship. I'm no longer just his eating disordered sister.


This picture shows just how much he loves taking pictures with me ;)

Sure, I have complained about living at home for the past few months, but I can finally see the new relationship with my super cool brother is one of the many blessings that came along with being home. He is moving into his new apartment this weekend, which made last night (potentially) the last night we will ever live under the same roof again. Siblings are one of the greatest gifts we have in life. Regardless of our differences, I am so blessed to have have this guy in my life.

Progress.

20 comments:

  1. this makes me so happy for you and something I can relate to all too much. my sister and I had the most strained relationship when I was not in a good place. however in recovery I found my sister again or more so she found me again. i now tell her everything and can't imagine life without her. I think she was my biggest motivator when I was in treatment

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    1. I think my brother has also been one of my biggest supports during recovery and he has clue I feel that way. I'm glad you were able to rebuild the relationship with your sister. Siblings seem to become much cooler the older we get. :)

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  2. has made me smile lots :)
    botbee
    X

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    1. Glad to hear it. Smiles are my favorite. :)

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  3. I love this post! I would do the same comparisons between me and my sisters. I'm so glad things have gotten better for you and you both have become closer.

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    1. Thanks Hilary! I remember you talking about your relationship with yor sisters and I hope things have gotten better for you too.

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  4. you guys are adorable!!! i wish i had a brother (me and my sister dont exactly get along) But i always wanted a little brother to goof around with :p
    Im glad your relationship has been strengthen through your recovery. that is so wonderful x

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    1. Thanks Clem. Maybe you and your sister can repair your relationship someday! :)

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  5. It is so awesome to have such a sibling! And, I see wonderful things in your recovery. Thank you so much for sharing for both the last year and this year of post. As I have been struggling, I needed to see this. <3

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  6. I'm so glad to read about this lunch date and the difference a year has made! I'm an only child, but I am learning so much about sibling relationships by watching my children--our son is 8 and our daughter is almost 4. They love each other fiercely, but also get under each other's skin frequently! I can see new dynamics of comparison, attention-seeking, and maybe even envy between them as they are getting older. They are similar in many ways, but I'm discovering more and more unique things that set them apart. I pray that, as you have been discovering, they can be wholly satisfied with who they are as individuals and not feel "less than" the other...

    I hope you get to have many, many more joyful and rewarding moments with your brother. You seem like a pretty awesome pair who can really bring out the best in each other!

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    1. Siblings are pretty awesome. I'm lucky to have him. :)

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  7. Such a lovely post! Did you purposely decide to go on this lunch date as a 'tradition' type thing because of last year? or was it a coincidence? I'm so happy for you that your relationship with your brother has improved :) I'm kind of jealous too...I'd love to have a brother! especially as my relationship with my sister is kind of tricky :/

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    1. It was a coincidence, but hopefully it becomes a tradition now. :)

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  8. Great post Kels! It's true to think what a difference a year can make. I know at times (as you have expressed in this blog) you feel like you're progress is not where maybe you think it "should" be (although everytime i use that dirty "s" word Julie is in my head yelling at me so hopefully you have that same problem), but just look at all of the amazing changes you have made in this year. and that's just ONE year of many many more that you have ahead in your amazing life. I'm so glad that you and your brother have grown so close. For me, the ED really hurt the relationship between my sister and i, because I just would not let her in as much as she wanted to help me. But, in time, we too were able to move forward and grow close. I love reading about your progress, and i know it has helped me so much on days that can so easily just feel defeating. <3

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  9. Haha yes, the Julie S word still gets me in trouble more than it should. I'm excited to hear your relationship with your sister has improved, too. I think recovery improves relationships in general. It's amazing how once we begin to work on ourselves, everything else falls into place. Thanks for reading, Carly. :)

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  10. I'm BEYOND glad I read this when I did. I am SO SO SO excited for you. Mostly because I'm going through the exact same thing with my brother right now. We're both back at home and we've started bonding like real (adult) brother and sister again -- walks for ice cream, movie dates, fighting over the TV and chores. It feels so amazing to just be *gasp* normal with him!! I have another brother who doesn't live at home, but we spent the weekend at our family cottage and he and I laughed beyond belief when he bounced me up to the top of the tent by jumping on the deflating air mattress I was lying on. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe and started to cry. Not to be out-done, the first brother rolled me up like a stuffed enchilada in the air mattress, pinned so the other could tickle my feet while I was at their mercy. And followed it up by offering me a PB marshmallow, which of course I ate and am grateful I did because it was delicious, and then had another.

    I think that the fact that we were sick forced them to grow up faster than they would have. I think that it forever changed their view of us. But let's face it -- they're brothers. They have "protecting their sister" as one of their goals in life. They just want to see us happy. I'm glad that we can both bring this to them. Your relationship with "Louis" will never be the same as when you were kids and you were both innocent in this crazy world. But that wouldn't be the case even if you never had an ED. In fact, your recovery probably brought you both closer. One of those crazy somewhat-silver-linings of the illness and recovery? Hope so. <3

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    1. Yes, absolutely! I can see this as a silver lining of recovery. It's always exciting when we gain a new perspective on situations like this. I'm sooo glad to hear things with your brother are going well again. I think moments like these are what keeps me motivated to stay healthy. <3

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  11. Look at your face!! You are SO much more relaxed and genuine with your expression in the current photo. :o)

    And on sibling relationships, mine with my sister is a work in progress. This past Christmas was absolutely awful. I was on my way back to treatment immediately after the holidays. Although I had told her I was going back and even cautioned her that "I am not in a good place at all right now, but I am going to try my best while we're all together at home," it was about as tense and uncomfortable as it could be.

    I have done everything I can to reconnect with her since (I'm in a really good place now), but relationships are a two-way street. I can only do my best, and so much. I know we both do a ton of comparing to one another, but it is nice to hear from someone else that it is possible to reconnect and reestablish a good relationship!

    Yay for YOU!! :o)

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  12. Thanks so much, Shelley! It is definitely a good feeling and I never really thought it was possible until now. It's difficult for family members (and everyone) to understand what we are going through. Eating is not something that they think of as a chore, but that doesn't mean they can't be supportive. Keep up the good work. I'm really glad to hear you're in a good place now! <3

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