Big decisions have been made this week.
I have struggled with my mental health for years and years. I have had good days, weeks, and even months, but no matter how hard I try, the depression and anxiety are always there.
Working full time only exacerbates it.
I worked 2008-2014, then again from 2020-now, and I have only worked 4 full school years (it’ll be 5 with this year because I intend to finish). I have had to leave mid-year 5 times. Sometimes there was more to it than just mental health (like the time I was 8 months pregnant with Levi and my brother had just died), but it always seems to end the same.
I really thought that teaching virtually would be IT for me. I mean, working from home, doing what I love?! What could be bad about that?
But. I never really healed from my struggles in Rocksprings, I worked all summer at camp, then went right into a new school year with all new stressors and expectations. Teaching online is hard because I’m working for a huge company and the expectations are even higher. There are also constant inconsistencies and the communication is pretty rough. I’m sure if I had a “normal brain,” I could still manage. But my brain is far from normal.
I have even been doing ketamine treatments because it’s supposed to be this amazing treatment that takes all depression and anxiety away.
I had a good month (December), but overall, I have still been struggling so much. And I have spent a fortune on ketamine. I have also been trying med changes. It helps for the first week or so, but just goes back downhill. My PA told me today that all of the medication in the world can’t take away an incredibly stressful situation.
I found out Friday that my employer wants to know after Spring Break if we are coming back next year. I thought I had more time to decide, but that’s not how it worked out.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the “insanity cycle” that I’ve been in (doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result), and I’m realizing that it’s just time to come into acceptance. Acceptance of who I am and what I can and cannot control.
I just started with a new counselor and after telling her EVERYTHING, that’s what she said she wants to work on. Acceptance. As hard as I try to control my brain (and let me tell you, I try hard! I’ve tried everything!), I can’t. I don’t know when it’s going to decide to be depressed. The more I try to control my anxiety, the worse it gets. I’m so tired of trying to work full time while having constant physical anxiety symptoms. Especially when they are fighting me being able to take off to take care of myself (that’s a whole other issue). My PA even told me they are very difficult to work with (as he has tried to get me accommodations). And I almost lost my job because of my treatments then the week that we had a major family thing happen and I was unable to work that week. It has been soooo hard.
What does that mean moving forward? I’m not 100% sure. I do know that I plan to sub a few days a week. Otherwise, I’m working through my options.
I still have the ability to finish my nutrition coaching course and even a childbirth education course that I started long ago. I have thought about doing some enrichment with camp littles (nature studies, art, etc, if that’s even an option; I haven’t asked any of the mamas haha). If you’re reading, what do y’all think? 😂
I know that I’m going to settle into doing the things that bring me joy and provide for our family. Gardening. Baking from scratch. Getting chickens again. I will serve part time at camp during the summer in the wilderness program. Like last summer but more of just the planning and ordering food and less of the cooking.
We will be on a super tight budget again so we will have to re-learn how to live in a more frugal way. It will be a challenge at first! We will probably sell my amazing car. We will look into cutting things down as possible (bye bye Disney + and even my Street Parking membership).
I’m not saying I won’t ever be anxious and depressed again. I will. But I think that’s the point. I cannot control it and it is next to impossible to take care of myself when I’m trying to manage a full time job also (and, and, and…).
We will see how this all plays out.
My anxiety was almost gone while we were in the mountains. Then we came back and I remembered that I have to create slides for everyone that are due Monday, and I haven’t even started. It will take me like 8 hours probably. My anxiety became high again.
I’m going to try to just get by between now and my last day, but it’s hard for me to do the minimum. It’s just not who I am. So we will see how this goes!!
We could use some prayer as we navigate this moving forward. I know I will go through a grieving process again with not being able to teach full time. But I’m going to work towards acceptance and see what God has for me. Also pray for us as we navigate our finances on one income again. It’ll be a whole new lifestyle again and we have 3 teenagers. Life is expensive.
I really have no idea how everything will play out. I’m leaping out in faith and surrendering to Him.
Praying for you and your family on the changes and on financial situations.
I feel sad for you. I know how you love teaching!
Thank you! I think it’s going to be good. I already have an enrichment class for camp kids lined up. So I’m excited about that. I’m ready to be able to focus on self care and truly doing what I want.
You have a fantastic outlook!
You’re going to be excellent working with camp kids!
I’m so happy for you!
Take care, my friend!