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Cutting losses and moving on

Friday, June 01, 2012

In September, the light of my life Mike passed away very unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. Since then I’ve had trouble picking myself up and getting back to some semblance of normal life. I over-estimated my ability to move on after a life changing event like this and only took a couple of days off from work. I went back - not wanting to stay home with my thoughts, memories, and reminders of times past.

Teaching the “challenging” classes I had this year kept my mind off my sorrow at first. From the beginning of the year, this was the school year from hell . My students were difficult, not just for me, but for everyone who taught them. With classroom management a tough task all the time, this year was particularly overwhelming. I tried to tough it out, but it was more than I could handle. There are times when you have to cut your losses and move on for the good of all – the students and me. In late April, I asked for a medical leave of absence for the rest of the year, and it was approved. My assistant principal was absolutely wonderful through it all. I’m glad his background was in counseling and not PE!

It took a while before the decision I made sank in. Last week, my son made the comment that I was finally starting to act like I actually didn’t have to go back until August. I was cooking more (and you know that’s why he noticed), smiling more, joking more, and getting out of the house more. I’m still working on being able to start something and finish it before stopping to take a mental break.

I’ve been getting grief counseling for about a month, and I think it’s helping. My counselor is helping me learn techniques to deal with the anxiety and stress that have taken over my life. I’m hopeful that by the time I go back to school in the fall I’ll be ready tackle whatever comes my way.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Although my teaching experience is from a high school perspective, one of our school sayings is that you'll never have 2 bad years in a row. I have hope that the next group will be more cooperative and agreeable than the recent "class from hell."
    I understand the feeling of being alone and going right on with work. Work helped me put one foot in front of the other while time worked like a bandage even though the scars remain.
    My family, like yours, notices how teachers have to decompress in stages from a vegetative, shell shocked state, to mildly ambitious, to a feeling of freedom that includes having fun-- just in time to go back for a workshop, planning days, or to move your entire classroom (for no pay). Teachers know how it is. No one else understands, except for maybe your spouse. My heart goes out to you. I hope you are feeling better.
    1446 days ago
    Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself. Teaching is challenging in the best of circumstances in ways that a lot of people don't understand, and you bring all of yourself into it.
    2500 days ago
    Thanks for reading my blog and for your words of encouragement. It means so much!
    3301 days ago
    I remember that...I also remember thinking when I would see you post something what an amazing, strong woman you must be. You are really! Who cares about the silly trivia stuff...really. Look at the big picture. emoticon

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    3301 days ago
    Stick with the counseling as long as you need to. It really helped me when I lost my Mom in 2010. We have to continue to do what is best for us. That's the only way our loved ones would be happy.

    3301 days ago
    You are an amazing woman to have been able to hang on, as long as you did. I hope and pray that the counseling helps to give you a brighter future.
    This is what Mike wants for you

    3304 days ago
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    I'm sorry for your loss, and hope that the summer time will give you a chance to get back to yourself, and be ready for the fall year.
    3304 days ago
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