Saturday, February 20, 2010


I just want to thank everyone who has commented, and even just read my entries. I like blogging because it's open, anyone could be reading. I'm always afraid of people feeling obligated to respond, but here I am just putting things out there, so it feels like if someone responds it's not because they feel they have to. just being heard helps, along with getting out my thoughts.

Yesterday was hard. I think it was the first time I truly felt a sense of loss from what my eating disorder has taken from my life. I'm used to thinking of failure in terms of not being sick enough. But yesterday I saw it from a more "normal" perspective, of how I'm wasting so much time.

I went to school to meet with this woman Mary to fill out paperwork for a leave of absence. My academic advisor, Debby, wanted to be there too for support. I had her as a professor my first year at Wheelock, when I was at my low weight, and then again a couple years ago, so I feel like she knows me pretty well as a student. Anyway, we all met together, and I had to briefly explain the situation. Debby said she wanted me to know that no one thinks less of me; that going on leave shows my strength as a social worker, to recognize what I need and to take time for that. She said a lot of people in the field have their own struggles, and it can make them better at what they do. She also said I'm one of the best writers they've had in the program.

They both couldn't have been more kind. They listened and were helpful and didn't make me feel judged at all. The situation sucks, though. If I signed the paperwork that day for a medical leave, I would lose my insurance right away, which would mean no treatment. But If I don't fill it out and wait to withdraw, I would be responsible for paying a full semester's worth of tuition. I can't afford either. I filled out a form to apply for MassHealth, but I need to get it figured out ASAP. either way, though, I will be losing money. It's too much to even think about.

But what really hit me was when they said I wouldn't be able to come back until next spring, A YEAR FROM NOW, because the only classes I need to take meet just in the spring. And Wheelock classes are very specific; I can't take them anywhere else and get credit. At that point I broke down a little. A whole year. More lost time. That will make 2 1/2 years of medical leave from school. Even my younger sister has graduated before me. All because I'm too screwed up; it's my own fault. Why couldn't I just stick it out and finish the semester? It's such a mess.

They were kind and tried to comfort me. Said maybe there's a way that I can start my internship in the fall. in order to do that though, I'd have to be enrolled as a student and taking classes (that I don't need to take), and I can't afford it. I almost wasn't able to go back this semester. Luckily my uncle cosigned for my loans (my mom couldn't because she had to file for bankrupcy), but now I'm probably screwing him over too by losing money this semester. ugh. it's all so confusing.

All because of my eating disorder, all because despite all the years of treatment I still can't get my act together. I called Nate in tears, and he tried to help me reframe it. He said maybe it's a good thing. I can really dedicate myself to treatment, then I can just work and save money, make time to do things I enjoy. That it will be exciting, and I'll be in a better place when I go back to school. That there's no shame in not graduating "on time." he himself never finished school, and he can still always go back; there's no time limit.

I hung up feeling better, but now I'm back to feeling lost. It sounds good in theory; take time off and recover, return and be able to do my best. But what will be different this time? I still don't want to gain weight, I'm still not committed to doing better. Part of me is already thinking I'll go to treatment for a bit, then go back to losing weight, only this time I won't have to worry about screwing up school because I'll just be working a shitty job that takes zero brain power.

What is it going to take? How much do I have to lose before enough is enough?

1 comment:

  1. This really is a hard one. I know what you mean, there have been times I have had to leave study due to medical reasons and I did finish my study but a lot later than everyone else I start with did. I did my first degree over 4 1/2 years when everyone else took 3 years. I did feel bad and I had to repeat a couple of courses but I am glad I took the time off. I know it makes you feel crap though. But I think your friend is right, coming back when you are better, you will be in a different mindframe and it might make you feel heaps better. Thinking of you!