How can the close people help

It might be better to ask first: ?When can the close people help??. I also count among the close ones of a person who struggles with an eating disorder. And I thought that I could help immediately, that I must help immediately. I begged, cried, blackmailed, persuaded, yelled, cursed but all this lead to just the same thing ? my feeling of despair, helplessness and hopelessness. When I had come to the understanding that only my friend could decide when and how she would recover, I felt relieved. Now I know that I need to wait close by so that when she reaches for a helping hand I could be one of those who catches her and pulls her back to healthy life. Until then I must and want to live my own life; my strength will be needed when the day comes. The self-help group of people close to those with eating disorders repeatedly hears questions like ?She wants no treatment, wants to do nothing but I cannot leave her so. What shall I do??, ?Shall I ask her what she ate??, ?Shall I ask if she vomited??, ?Shall I control her eating?? Eating disorders disrupt human communication, isolate, endanger patient´s relationships, form taboos in communication. Our task is not to play by rules of the disorder but to disprove their logic. If it is at least a bit possible, try asking the patient about things that are not clear to you, where you need advice. Maybe she refuses your first attempt, gets angry or denies any such effort but believe me, she will think about it. She in fact cares for your interest. She does, the disease does not. Do not make the eating disorder the topic of the day, do not make a drama, do not let the disease have such privileges. Give the questions listed above directly to your close one, she knows best how and where you can help her. You can express your fear about her, uncertainty in how to behave. Be sincere and do not lose faith in the ability of your close one to recover. Overprotection and taking responsibility over the patient only slow down the recovery process. Do not override her autonomy, do respect her, do not let yourself get into the position ?You are ill and only I and doctors know what is best for you?. In short term you may know but you cannot live the life instead of another person. Everybody has to stand on her own feet. There are things to offer against the life with disease and our task is to outline the other shore so that the patient herself desires to live a full life. And so that she does something herself to get there. Only on such a condition she will be able to live with us on this other shore and she will not want to go back.