Question: How did your eating disorder affect school?
Thank you so much to the amazing girl, JP, who messaged me on insta and asked me this question! Hope this helps a little 🙂
Ah, what an amazing question and honestly I’m sorry I have not written on it sooner. As many of you may know, I am a rising senior in high school. I am about to enter the wondrous world of college applications, portfolio making, essay writing etc. I have already stepped into the world of standardized testing, ACT, SAT, subject tests, you know… all that super fun stuff. So what did I do about school?
To be 100% honest I have not “schooled” since February. I spent my junior year in France, or a part of my junior year in France. I think that this made it more difficult to be able to enter back into school but I was also very fortunate. Right when I got back from France, I was put into a residential treatment center (where I would be for the next 10 weeks or so). I was not able to and chose not to enter into any school during that time so I spent my days doing ACT prep and math pages that Doc A sent me from France. My family and I agreed that time was the time to focus on recovery not on school or putting more on my plate than what I was already dealing with (A very smart decision, I feel) Now there is another factor. I have not been at POLY since May 2015, which I feel is an entirely different level of school and something that I will not be used to come August.
My eating disorder also made it incredibly difficult for me while I was in school. Because my brain was taken over by another “voice” and the majority of my time was spent counting calories, worrying about my food intake, planning exercise, and then executing it, I did not have the time or the energy to focus on school. A simple math problem could take me hours and reading just one chapter would take me days. I did not have the motivation to or the ability to do my homework or pay attention in class. A lot of the times someone who suffers from an eating disorder also suffers from depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts etc. These make it difficult to wake up in the morning and even go to school. Education and learning was not my priority anymore. School took a backseat to my eating disorder, which was plaguing me physically, mentally, and emotionally.
As some of you may know, I do not quit; sometimes out of my own stubbornness, other times because it’s not the right thing to do, and many times for fear of what others may think of me. I know very well, after having been Ed’s “best friend” for four years or so, he does not like to quit either. He will not give up without a fight and let me tell you the fight he is putting up now is maybe the strongest force I have ever encountered. When I was in France and my parents proposed the idea of me coming back to the United States, every single part of me, SHAE, said yes, take me home, yet every word out of my mouth was “no” and some other bs explanation on why I had to stay in France. My dad and best friend, Haley, had come to visit me during Christmas Break. The week after they left, I completely spiraled. I barely showed up at school, studying was non-existent, and homework was absolutely impossible. I felt completely out of control but that is when I had the ability to say I needed to go home, at least for a few weeks (there was no way I was going to stay, I told myself).
When I got home, I was basically told I was not able to go back to France. That meant QUITTING school, GIVING UP, and FAILING, or so I thought. I felt as if my whole world was coming down. Polytechnic school is a place where you succeed. It is a place where failure is not an option and where we breed perfectionists and the best and the brightest, except for me. I slowly learned thought that while Poly does have these expectations it is not a requirement. I am doing my best. I am learning and finding subjects that I am passionate about, which in all honesty, is good enough for me. I got my class schedule today and a “small” wave of panic came over me as I realized even though I am 350 pages into my summer reading book, I am still only half way done. And I pushed my AP Bio textbook to the side in order to set this computer on my desk so I should probably open that and start reading. The nice thing is now, I will actually be able to finish a sentence.