(So stop me if you’ve heard this from me before, but…) it’s been one of those weeks. One of those weeks when I regularly doubted whether or not if I was going to make it into work and attempt to function, or whether to call it a day before the sun even rose. And admittedly, it was one of those weeks when I legitimately questioned once again what I am doing working in a school.
Newsflash: Teaching is not for the faint of heart.
For better or for worse, it has been a long time since I have blogged with the purpose of alleviating and venting about the ongoing battles with depression that I endure. Some days I’m… okay. I trudge on. Some days, I’m feeling fine and dandy. Even joyful. And other days, my head is a fucking war zone. I know by now that writing is one of my best coping strategies, but whether it is due to apathy, lack of ideas, too much going on emotionally, fatigue, or something else, I haven’t been blogging on those occasions. Sometimes it’s just because I don’t want to only air my gloominess and depression, lest I come off as an attention-seeking drama queen.
But sometimes those intermittent times turn into long weeks or months.
As you may recall, last year after several psychologically intense months, I had made the difficult decision to take a psychiatric leave of absence from my school around this time last year. And despite the conflicting emotions that had (and honestly still have), I know that the downtime that I experienced during my leave of absence from work honestly did me a lot of good. However, the time had come for me to return to the reality of the working world.
(*Inhales sharply, breathes deeply… hyperventilates*)
I have all these thoughts and worries swimming around in my head, which are exacerbating the sudden, acute bout of anxiety that I experience (*reaches for Klonopin*). Thoughts of the aforementioned kind that I experienced this week.
Very sadly and unfortunately, two days ago, I had the worst parent-teacher meeting experience of my entire career. No, seriously. Too many details to name, and too upsetting to recall for now while I am still licking my fresh wounds (that, and I acknowledge that the world wide web is a very small world, indeed). In a nutshell, it was a meeting that felt much more like an unsolicited and unjustified verbal assault that resulted in me breaking down and inducing a fugly panic attack. In front of the parents. No joke.
If I thought that it was a cardinal sin to cry in front of my students, crying in front of (even unnecessarily aggressive) parents takes the cake.
THIS. This is why teachers are leaving the educational field in droves. Labor of love or not, nothing is worth this. And while teaching requires a person to be in regular touch with their sensitive, nurturing, thoughtful side, it also requires the ability for one to be desensitized, tough, and look out for Number One when needed.
From a professional standpoint especially, it sucks that I am so susceptible to crying, but I handle it as well as I can. I have lost count of the times that I have cried over my job; I just wish that others did not view it as a sign of weakness or instability. I wish that people understood that rather than requiring “special” treatment for being psychologically frail, it’s just that I know that I have to work harder at what I do on a daily basis to hold it together and get on with my day. Most of all, I wish that I people in general realized that “everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.”
I know on several levels that I would be a fool to walk away from it all, and I also know that I should not make any important and/or rash decisions when I am in that state of mind (that includes moving to different countries, picking fights, and acquiring more tattoos). But when work isn’t working, when it leads to dysfunctional and toxic situations like these, considering who I am and how I function, my mind can’t help but fantasize wander and wonder about seeking greener pastures elsewhere.
Come tomorrow, I believe that I will continue to feel a bit better, but for everyone out there, my message for this post can be summed up in two simple but strong words: Be kind.
For now, the good fight wages on.