Thursday, April 11, 2013


This week has been filled with a roller coaster of emotions. Monday and Tuesday, as my best friend would put it, I felt like "a chicken running around with my head cut off," thanks to two big exams and other little homework assignments I had due. While yesterday, on the other hand, was one of those, "I feel so grateful it's making me cry," days.

Yesterday after class, I met with one of my professors to check out my grade on the exam I had taken on Monday. This semester I have yet to have a one-on-one conversation with this particular prof, so I was a little bit nervous for some reason; I think I generally tend to get a little apprehensive around authority figures.
After I found out my grade, we began chatting about my past school experiences and future plans. Earlier in the semester, I wrote an essay question on an exam exposing my eating disorder, which unexpectedly came up in the conversation.
"Do you have things under control now?" 

Those were the words he chose to break the ice and without further explanation I knew exactly what he was referring to. Before I knew it, I had tears running down my cheeks and I wasn't really sure why. Naturally, he began apologizing for springing such a question on me, but I explained to him that I am quite comfortable talking about it and am doing well in my recovery.

He continued to say, "I would have never guessed you had an eating disorder because 1.) Physically you look healthy and 2.) You seem very composed, well mannered, and controlled." 

I chuckled at both statements. First, I could hear my eating disordered brain screaming at me that I must not look sick enough to have an eating disorder anymore, but my healthy brain arguing that looking healthy is a GOOD thing. Second, I had to respond with, "Yes, I am composed, but that is just the perfectionist in me and I am actually trying to let go of some of that. It's a front." My honesty shocked me, but those words just came out. I was exposing my flaws.

We continued talked about my past and upbringing and how my parents are handling all of this; he was genuinely interested in my story. After I spilled my guts and went through half of his tissue box, he leaned back in his chair, put his arms behind his head and said, "You know I have never written a letter of recommendation for a student who has not been accepted into a program? I only write letters for students who show serious promise and heart," and of course, I started crying again. 

As I left his office, I stopped in bathroom to collect myself and found mascara smeared beneath both eyes. Really? Where was this burst of emotion coming from?

Twenty-four hours later, however, I am able to recognize the meaning behind those tears. In that moment, I was feeling such an overwhelming amount of gratitude and sense of progress, that I could not control my emotions. In the past, I would have plastered on my happy face and pretended like everything was going great, but I didn't do that this time.

Those tears were real. 
I was being authentic.
My "I need to be perfectly composed" persona had been stripped away. 
It's doubtful this professor will ever know how big of an impact his words had on me. Never in my life have I felt a greater level of respect from anyone. There I was, completely authentic, flaws and all, and this person still believed in me. I no longer feel like I have to pretend like I am strong because I finally believe its true.


 re·spect [ri-spekt]

Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.

I thought we should jam out to a little Aretha this morning. :) 

 By showing his respect for me, I am able to find a new sense of respect for myself. Yes, I do have a bit of a troubled past, but this professor showed me that I am still a respectful person regardless of my mistakes.



  1. gosh can I relate to this!see my emotional response is either teary eyed balling or anger (frustration for myself for wasting so many years with the ed). It is such an odd emotional outpour though that comes out of the blue

    1. Yes! It really is odd how the emotional out-pours work, but it sure is better to be expressing our emotions than numbing than out with our ED behaviors. I just need to learn to control them haha.. :)

  2. This made me cry! Great insight.

  3. Some people never judge you, no matter how you behave / how you hide yourself / how you become who you are. They just love you more when you are authentic. They are truly the people who mean to you. Happy for you that you are doing so well in your life =) Love,

    1. You are absolutely right, but I still believe I am being judged for some reason no matter what I do in life. It's a hard concept for me. Thanks for your comment! :)