Well as much as I love running and a good bit of calculation, no, this isn’t me carefully counting the distance in miles I’ve run so far this year, or month – albeit something I’d probably be likely to do. This is in fact the distance from my home city London to the centre of Dubai: the home city of my sister, Hannah.
About 6 months ago, conveniently coinciding with Hannah’s short visit back to England, was when the time had come for something to seriously change. I had reached my lowest weight, my lowest mental state and the lowest intake of food I allowed my body to have. I was a walking and talking human being on the surface, but the Katie I am, was hidden far beneath, locked up in some ever-shrinking box, that I kept forcing myself to fit in to, labelled anorexia.
Being a religious sun worshipper, a trip back to England in the midst of winter, with a miserable younger sibling that could hardly break a smile or laugh, probably wouldn’t make it on my sister’s list of ‘Top 10 holidays’ – or maybe even 20 for that matter. But regardless, from a completely selfish point of view, I think there’s indirectly a hell of a lot that I should thank her for this visit. I just didn’t know it then.
Now 6 months on, with already some significant changes in my weight, my mentality and my food intake in this time anyway, my sister repays another visit back to England. Even in just the few days she’s been home, in between all her country hopping, visiting her home friends around England, I’m struggling to even remember the Katie she had met the last time we saw each other. I’ve noticed such a surge in my positivity, my activity and just my general outlook on positively everything and I’m sure she is responsible.
Though my mum (my rock), and all those who have been around me, have been nothing short of an incredible and remarkably tolerable support system, there’s no hiding away from the impact that Hannah has had since being home.
I feel like right now, I am the sibling she knows; laughing, talking and acting stupidly in the way that sister’s should. I’m sure it’s not even purposefully done and she’s putting on no front to try to keep me upbeat (she has her own life to lead at the end of the day, and everything doesn’t revolve around me!). It just turns out that everything with her around is hilariously effortless, and, well, normal…
So maybe it just takes a 4469.4 mile plane visit to feel like you really could be recovering from an eating disorder – and a pretty amazing sibling.