Recently I’ve had a few good days in a row, more than my usual sporadic one good day in the straddling mess of bad ones caused by anxiety and depression. I feel different, like I have a purpose and motivation that just didn’t exist a couple of weeks ago.
I hesitated to write this for days and kept it as a draft for even longer because I was afraid that putting it into words might break the magic of feeling somewhere close to normal. I wanted to share how I felt though, because even if it’s only a fleeting period of good mental health, I managed to get here once so I can do it again; and so can you.
I’m not a computer wiz so I’ve been using WordPress to create my first website. It’s taken me on a very rewarding journey so far. As well as teaching me some skills, it’s reminded me how fulfilling it can be to challenge yourself to create something that you don’t think you have the ability to do.
It might sound a little bizarre at first, how can dampened emotions provide any kind of relief? Why would you welcome that "nothing zone" from depression where all you do is function? There’s no sparkle, no raison d’être; you retreat within your walls and go through the motions waiting for feeling and enjoyment to return. You wait to live instead of exist, so how could this also be a tonic?
I have the utmost respect for all those people who teach, have taught and will teach; whatever route they take to do so. It’s not an easy profession and definitely not a leave it at the door kind of job.
During the time that I taught in secondary schools, I noticed differences between those teachers who had spent all their lives in education and those who had come into teaching later in life after having had another career.
The points I mention below are not indicative of every teacher who never left education. Of course they aren’t. But they are the things that I observed that made me believe that the best teachers had been out in the real world and gained some experience before coming back to share their knowledge.