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I Don't Know What To Do

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#1 Sarah



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Posted 19 July 2012 - 10:25 AM

Hi everyone. I'm new to frumteens and I really need advice. Basically, I was hospitalized for anorexia last year, and while my weight is okay (barely), it know that will only take a little thing to set me off again. I was and still am an ambitious student, and I just received my schedule for next year. It includes two AP classes that I am required to take as part of the special program I'm in, as well as another AP class that is all that worked with my schedule (this one has no more periods than the normal class, and I might not take the actual AP anyway). I want to succeed and work hard and I feel like I have a lot to live up to (both my sister and brother got into top colleges). The only problem is that this leaves me with no free periods the entire week, AND no lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday and Friday. That means that on those days I will be in class basically from 9 to 5 with no breaks or free periods twice a week. There is literally no set time for me to eat on those days (although teachers do let us eat in class). I know that this will be bad for both my mental and physical health, and my parents and I have been trying to talk to the administration to let me drop a class. The only problem is that I can really only drop a Judaic Studies course (since the secular subjects are required by the colleges I want to apply to). The principle views this as me saying that Judaic subjects are not as important to me as secular ones which is not at all true. What I am saying is that secular subjects are more important to colleges than Judaic ones (except for maybe to Stern). I've offered to learn with someone outside of school on Shabbos or something, but she says that it's not enough. I'm really worried because I know that I won't be able to handle the stress and pressure of a schedule with no breaks. I don't know what I can do to convince the principle to let me drop a class. She knows what has been going on with me health wise, but she is being extremely stubborn about this. What should I do?

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 19 July 2012 - 12:46 PM

You should get a rabbi to speak to your principal. Your principal knows that the rabbi values the Jewish studies so if he agrees with you the principal will not be able to have that counterargument against him.

If none of the rabbis agree with you then perhaps there's something to their claim that you are not getting.

#3 Sarah



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Posted 21 July 2012 - 08:45 PM

Thanks for the advice, but my Rabbi doesn't know about my eating disorder and I don't feel comfortable telling him now. He knows very little about me personally and I don't want that to be how he sees me -- that girl with an eating disorder.

#4 HTH



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Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:11 AM

Sarah - it seems to me that you can do 3 things:
  • Speak to a top-notch college guidance counselor. Perhaps those courses aren't really necessary to be taken; or, perhaps they can be taken next summer or in an "online" program at your own pace. A lot of "talk" goes around, and you want a real expert to guide you through this process.
  • When discussing this with the school, you might want to take the approach that it is not a healthy schedule for anybody: Adult or teenager, anorexic survivor or not. The school needs to be able to give you what you need in a healthy, balanced fashion.
  • If none of this works, discuss it with your therapist - maybe you two can come up with a strategy for keeping your stress level down, and eating in a "mindful" way during class. Nevertheless, this is really less than ideal.
Please don't forget - eating disorders have the highest mortality of all psychological conditions. Although it hurts, you really have to put your mental / physical health above your college aspirations. Nevertheless, I pray that everything goes well for you.

Let us know what happens!