Clinics, Confessions and Trips to the Library (Part 2/3)

Part Two- "Confessions"

Gym is normally the class that I dislike the most. Scratch that, I hate gym. From the noisy locker room, to wearing unflattering uniforms, to team sports (that you always happen to get picked last for), a lack of close friends to hang out with and the smelly body odor that lasts until the end of the school day, gym is definitely not a fun place to be. I guess I could ramble forever about my utter loathing of "physical education", but last week in gym class, I had a life changing experience. Now, I don't want to get ahead of myself, but if there is one lesson that I personally have had to relearn multiple times, it's that you can't judge a book by its cover.

Last year at this time, I was at EFY with my friend Kristen, it was a great
experience, but I haven't had a desire to go back since

It was the last day of gym and quite frankly, no one was there for class (who would want to be?). I happened to be there along with my friend J. and a girl named T.(who was more like an acquaintance than a friend). After doing absolutely nothing for the first half of class, the three of us decided to go to the locker room to get the rest of our things out of there so we wouldn't have to go after school and fight our way out of the crowded back parking lot. Since we were about three days away from being seniors, naturally scholarships, majors and college choices became the topic of discussion. J. asked me where I planned on going for college and I told her I was either going to Brigham Young University or the University of Utah. She asked me why and I went on to tell her about my plans to be an eating disorder specialist or psychologist for teen girls hopefully at Primary Children's Hospital. I had heard that Brigham Young University had a good psychology program, but the University of Utah had the best medical courses and students there often had access to their hospitals(including Primary Children's).

T. had walked up on us and she started to ask me questions about my planned career choice. I began to stumble over my words not wanting to give away the fact that I had an eating disorder and I wanted to help others overcome theirs. Eventually I was able to assemble slipshod responses to her questions, trying to stretch the truth as much as I could. After I was done, she told me that she was really proud of me for wanting to help girls with eating disorders and that she had been bulimic up until a year ago (this month was actually her one year anniversary of her official recovery but prior to that she had been bulimic for 1 1/2 years). I couldn't believe the courage  she must have had to come out and tell someone she barely even knew about her disorder (I think poor J. was a little creeped out), I could barely talk to doctors about my condition without crying! After listening to her, I confessed about why I really wanted to be an eating disorder specialist and that I too had a disorder, but with bingeing (this was the first time I had told anyone about what was going on besides my close family and doctors) I can't begin to explain how amazing it was to not only talk to someone who also had an eating disorder, but someone who had overcome it as well. We talked for a good twenty minutes and then separated for lunch. I was honestly in shock after our conversation. We pretty much had gone through the same motions despite the differences in our disorders. She had told me that it was hard for her family to accept that she did have a serious eating disorder (her Dad didn't even believe that there was anything wrong with her and that it was made up), that it was like a drug addiction, that only people who had gone through a similar experience could understand how she felt and that it seemed impossible to overcome. Eventually her parents found a counselor to help her recover through LDS Family Services and T. went on to tell me that she wouldn't have made it without her.

It was almost like a form of therapy to be able to talk to someone my age who actually understood what I was going through. She really helped strengthen my resolve to change and gave me hope to keep trying. After that discussion in the locker room, T. and I became instant friends. I think it was because we shared something so intimate that we were able to bond through it. I know I can count on her for support and hopefully she knows the same of me. I really admire all that she did and the fact that she overcame something so difficult. I guess in a sense she counts as one of my heroes.

A few days later we found each other at the yearbook stomp. She wrote in my yearbook that she was glad we "'discovered each other'", and I couldn't agree more.

J. pointed out that she would have never guessed either of us had eating disorders and I think that's how it is for most people, even those that are suffering from a disorder themselves. I think this supports the fact that you never know someones full story. Often we only accept what we want to see or what they have caused us to believe. I don't know if T. was inspired to speak up about her past when she did, but a day hasn't gone by that I haven't appreciated her tenacity since.

No comments