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April 5, 2011

On Saturday, 2 April, 2011, my sister injected herself with an overdose of insulin. Her roommate found her unconscious in her room.

She has suffered from anorexia, depression, and anxiety for most of her life. In the last five years, she added bulimia to the mix. She has been in rehab twice.


She has also been running marathons and triathlons for the past decade. She always places in the top five, usually winning her age group.

The mind over the body is an incredible thing. It can be a terrible thing.

My mom asked me when the last time she was happy. I don’t know. She never found a way to love herself. Ever.

But even all of her unhappiness… it can never fill the void her absence will leave.

I never felt like she committed herself to getting better. I always felt like she was looking for a quick fix, whether that was rehab or religion. Or a boyfriend. I always said she needed to find a way to fix herself, that she just needed to finally put in the goddamn work. I never felt like she was committed to putting in the goddamn work.

Maybe she just couldn’t. Maybe I never understood.

I have to tell myself there is nothing we could have done, that we did what we could. She is was 28 years old. An adult. We tried. We did what we could. Her way-in-over-her-hear therapist (someone I swear my sister chose because the woman was in over her head and wouldn’t challenge herbut what do I know?) basically told us we couldn’t do anything. That we needed to figure out how not to put our shit, our worries, our concerns, on my sister.

I had two appointments this week, trying out two different therapists. To figure out how to have a relationship with my sister. When she wouldn’t listen to me. When she wasn’t doing anything to help herself. When she would tell me her nutritionalist had her on a maintenance diet. Not a weight gain diet. When she decided she was done with Half Iron Mans, she was going to train for the Real Deal.

To figure out how to be her sister. How to help her, how to support her… Because we had stopped talking about her disorder. When we did, we just fought.

These are the worse days of my entire life. These are going to be the worse days of my entire life.

I don’t know how to do this.

She’s in a coma. She’s on a respirator and life support… but there has been no improvement. There will be no improvement. And being with her is… agonizing. It pulls us apart again. Yet how can we not be with her?

We will take her off the respirator on Thursday to see if she can breathe on her own. If she cannot, we can donate her organs – something she explicitly asked for. If not… after one hour, her organs are no longer viable for donation.

She will probably be able to breath on her own. But she will not off of life support. She will remain in a vegetative state. She would never ever have wanted to live her life in a bed in a nursing home. Ever. I can’t think of a more terrible thing. She wanted her organs donated. She wanted to at least save someone else – but that probably won’t even happen. She never wanted this. She would never have meant this.


And. In this day and age, there are laws against allowing someone to die. There are doctors who will refuse to remove someone from life support if they breathe on their own.

I don’t know how it could be worse. I can’t believe this is happening.

Before I left on the 3am bus to catch a 6am flight to the west coast, my friend Shakira (obviously not her real name – but she’s from Colombia and Shakira isn’t the only one with hips like that) held my face in her hands and said “You have to be strong now. For your parents, you have to be strong.”

They are falling apart. My parents are falling apart. Unraveling. At the seems. Before my eyes.

I don’t know how to handle my parents’ grief. I don’t know how to do that. But I have to. I have to be strong. I have to be here for them. All that I feel… can’t begin to touch what they do.

No sister should find they are an only child at age 30. But… No parent should outlive their children.

That’s all I have. I didn’t know I was going to even write this.

I do know I am unable to post. I don’t know when I will be able to again. It’s possible I may post about things, when I need to say them. I’ve always used writing as a way to get things out. I’ve kept a journal off and on since I was little.


But I don’t want a blog about grief.

And to everyone I read – I so enjoy reading your posts, but I can’t for awhile. I won’t be on twitter.


When I started this blog, one thing I never expected was the community of people I would find. Who support each other, care about each other, read each other’s thoughts, converse, discuss, argue… even though some of you have never met and will never meet in person.

Thank you so much for bringing me into this community, the one I never expected to find.

And finally, I ask you:


Find some happiness today. Some joy. Even if only a little. It is there, somewhere.


Love yourself. Love your world. Love your life. Love your body. Love who you are, and not so that someone else will. FOR YOU. For fuck’s sake, so much of our world is about other people. Not only about making them happy, but about finding them, making ourselves someone they will love, they will want to be with. About being too fat, or too thin, or too much ass or too little ass, or not enough boobs. About wondering why we are not the person they want to be with. And all of that, all of it, can be at our own expense.

It ignores our own life. It ignores all the things that make us happy. They ignore the things we should do so that we are better people, happier people, making the most of what we have been given. Other people are a part of that – but not the sole focus. Why do we forget that so easily?

Every day – find that love and that happiness. Even on the bad hair days and the fat days. Even when traffic is a bitch and it won’t stop raining. Even when it feels impossible. Even if it’s just a glimmer and just for a moment.

Tomorrow and the next day and the next. For everyone who loves you. For you.

And today? Find it for my sister. Because she never could.


Much love,

Nikki

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40 Comments leave one →
  1. April 6, 2011 2:56 am

    I’m so sorry.

    Take care of you.

  2. April 6, 2011 6:38 am

    Oh Nikki! All I want to do right now is take you in my arms and give you the biggest longest hug you have ever had. I know your pain.

    When I was 30 I lost my brother very suddenly to cancer. It’s not the same of course with none of the obvious survivor issues but believe me when I say that I know the overwhelming blinding grief and confusion that you’re undoubtedly feeling right now.

    All I can say is that the sun will continue to come up in the morning and somehow you and your parents will go on. You will not want to, but you will.

    Much love, my darling Nikki. If you need an ear you have mine, at a moments notice.

    Bob

  3. April 6, 2011 7:09 am

    I’m only recently discovered your blog Nikki, but my thoughts are with you from the other side of the world. It’s great that you are ‘real’ enough to share your grief, it means we get to know you a little better from all angles.
    I can’t imagine your sadness at such a time, but your words do help others put things into perspective. Do whatever is necessary to get by, if that means writing about your grief, then do it. If it means hiding for a while, your readers will understand and wait for you. You’ve just turned my ‘bad week’ into non significance. Thanks for your words. I sincerely hope for the best that can be, for you, your family and your sister.
    Kate

  4. April 6, 2011 8:17 am

    Oh, Nikki, I am so sorry to hear about your sister.

    You always leave the best comments on my blog when I’m hurt, so I wish I could write something as comforting as you do for me.

    I hope you also find some happiness over the next couple days. You and your family are in my thoughts.

    Super big bear hugs to you!

  5. April 6, 2011 8:40 am

    Oh honey I am so, so sorry to hear about your sister. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking this must be and I wish there was something I could do to make things better. All that I can offer are my thoughs, that are with you and your family.

    If there is anything at all that I can do just give me a shout.
    Big hugs!! xx

  6. Movedup permalink
    April 6, 2011 7:38 pm

    My heart goes out to you Nikki. If only I could give to you what you have given to me… I understand your pain. I watch from the wings everyday as my brother destroys himself with me helpless to do anything. Its not easy – it will never be easy. Know you are not alone – not an only child. There are families we are born into and families we choose. You have alot of sisters and brothers out here who love you. Whose lives you have touched. Mine included. I will sing for your sister tonight with all my heart to yours. Take care… as best you can. Love me – love you- love each other.

  7. April 6, 2011 8:24 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss Nikki. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Just know that you have a lot of support and we’re all here for you. You have my deepest sympathies.

    Love,

    Melissa

  8. BeneathTheSpinLight permalink
    April 7, 2011 1:25 am

    Nikki,

    This post left me in tears. I lost someone to an involuntary overdose two and a half years ago. I wish I could give you comforting insight now, because you’ve always been the person I relied on for comfort when I wrote a sad post, but I can’t. All I can do is tell you this: I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you.

    I’ll be thinking of you and your sister.

    xo,

    BeneathTheSpinLight

  9. Rachel permalink
    April 7, 2011 5:46 pm

    All I can say is how very sorry I am for what you and your family are experiencing…I too recently discovered your blog and love to take a break from the day to day to read what you have posted…Yet today…I did not expect to find this. All I can say is hang in there and be strong….your sister would want that…God bless and warm regards for you and your family

  10. April 7, 2011 8:19 pm

    Oh Nikki, I am so sorry.
    Please remember to take care of yourself, while you are taking care of everyone else. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  11. April 9, 2011 10:53 pm

    I am sorry, Nikki. I am so, so sorry. This makes my heart so heavy. I will try to find happiness. And I hope you and your family can do the same very soon. Big hugs.

  12. April 10, 2011 11:32 pm

    Fuck…I was going through my blog tonight to actually open it up to my sister and just basically randomly clicked on your comment on a post to see what was up.
    I suffered from anorexia and bulimia when I was 14…
    It probably won’t matter emotionally to you but I know from experience anorexia/bulimia is just not rational at all. Don’t even try to relate because you can’t. It is total fun house mirror looking stuff in the person’s head that is totally real. I just kind of “woke up” at a doctor’s office and realized what I had done to myself. Thought I was “fat” but was like 100lbs at 5’8″, having lost 40lbs in 5 months.
    My parents couldn’t have possibly given me a better childhood. It was all me, still don’t know why.
    She did this to herself..not you, not your parents..Your parents are probably hurting worse though since sisters don’t have so much control over lives.
    I assure you, that is not how it works.
    I hope she comes out ok, but from experience it is all her.

  13. April 10, 2011 11:36 pm

    716 907 8611 txt me if need be

  14. April 11, 2011 3:14 pm

    Oh Nikki, I’m so so sorry to hear about this. I am praying for everyone in your family, and thank you for leaving us with a positive note.

    *hugs*

  15. April 11, 2011 6:02 pm

    I’m so sorry nikki. There are no words for this. I’m sending love and thoughts to you and your family, and I hope so much that you get the support that you all need.

    Every grief is different, but I lost someone very dear to me to suicide, and my heart hurts for you, so much.

  16. April 12, 2011 11:21 am

    oh Nikki. My heart breaks for you. Your words here. They are so powerful, emotional, raw, real and AWARE. May you use them to hold onto the strength that you have and that you need, the strength you tried to give your sister, the strength that you offer to all who care about you.

    Loving thoughts and prayers to you and your family.
    xo
    Staci

  17. April 13, 2011 2:34 pm

    oh Nikki.

    I just don’ t know what to say. Many times, we don’t realize what a blessing it is to be able to accept ourselves for who we are… as many people never reach that point. I feel so terribly sad for your sister. And you. And your parents.

    This is just tragic. I truly will keep you in my prayers. I feel your pain through your words.

    And as far as posting, always know that your “community” will be here to support and listen to you, even if you just post about grief.

    it’s something we can all relate to in our own way. so don’t be shy to share that if it helps you.

    Please keep us updated….

  18. April 13, 2011 9:50 pm

    I am so sorry, and am thinking of you and your family.

  19. April 14, 2011 11:34 am

    I am close to tears reading this, I feel so so sad for you and your family. I am very close to my sisters, so this obviously struck a chord with me in that sense, too. I am sending you prayers and strength and will try to find the joy in the today, as your post suggests. XO.

  20. April 15, 2011 5:18 pm

    as a new blog reader my heart goes out to you. though i dont really know you.. you have a very sincere presence (even on the web). i hope you find the strength to be there for your family (and yourself) during this time. my heart goes out to you.

  21. April 17, 2011 1:32 am

    Nikki, I’m so sorry. There’s absolutely nothing I can say or do to make things any better, but I’m thinking of you, your parents, and your sister.

    My happiness today was warm sunshine on my face in despite of the winter chill.

  22. April 17, 2011 1:54 am

    Awww Nikki! I have been a follower of yours for awhile and just now posting because I had to. I am truly sorry for all the pain that you and your family are going through. I hope that you especially find happiness because after all you are the most important thing to yourself. I will find happiness I do every day through my writing, my work, or a sports game or a movie. the big thing though right now is that you don’t hold this against her and that you don’t take it personally. This is her mistake and there wouldn’t have been anything you could have done to prevent it. Just keep being the sister that you are and don’t forgot about her life and who she was.

  23. April 19, 2011 12:41 pm

    Nikki, what a tragic yet beautifully written piece. My heart goes out to you and your family during what must be an unimaginable painful time. I’m sorry for your loss and hope that anyone that reads this will realize that we should take nothing for granted and appreciate each and every day with those we love.

  24. April 23, 2011 4:53 am

    Jesus Christ on a bike, Nikki! I am so sorry to hear that. I send you all the love and support one can via the interwebs. Having three sisters I know how beautiful and frustrating the bond between sisters can be. Hang in there.

  25. April 24, 2011 4:14 pm

    My heart goes out to you.

  26. April 24, 2011 11:40 pm

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Trite as this may sound you are not alone. Sending positive energy your way. -E

  27. April 28, 2011 9:48 am

    I keep coming back to see if you have a new post and every time I see this post my heart aches for you more. I know we don’t know each other, but I wanted to let you know that I think about you and pray for you everyday. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. Stay strong!

  28. April 28, 2011 2:04 pm

    I’m so sorry Nikki. You and your sister are in my thoughts.

    *Big Hugs*

  29. May 6, 2011 11:46 am

    I’m sorry.

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