New year, old stigma? Why I hate January.

It’s probably too late to write a #nurture1415 post now, 4 days into the new year and I’m already hypothesising about what could possibly come next in my professional life. 2014 was mixed for me, I signed up to Twitter and attended 2 TeachMeets, both have stimulated my practice no end. On the other hand I was unsuccessful in 2 job interviews. The first rejection was a relief, I knew that I was not a suitable candidate for the position, and it would have meant moving to a different school. The 2nd rejection hit me hard, it was for an internal position, one that I thought I could really put my stamp on. It left me rather adrift, like a visceral wound. It seemed that my introversion, my ability to get on with the job quietly had been a curse. In September I decided to carry on regardless, keep fighting the good fight and remember why I’m a teacher. Education is about children after all.

I loathe January with a passion, you see I’m heading for an anniversary, 5 years ago I suffered an anxiety-related breakdown. I was launched headlong into a dark, empty place. Depression and anxiety. Medicated, online cognitive behavioural therapy and time away from ‘work’. Apart from it still haunted my waking hours, worrying about other people’s children, that I was letting down by being absent. Being a psychologist didn’t help, I couldn’t rationalise myself out of this one.

I got ‘better’, I scored lower on the questionnaire they give you, my dots of the ‘well-being’ graph all moved in the right direction. I returned to work. Too early, but I returned to school, as I didn’t want to ‘let anybody down’. I want to say that there is a moral to this story, this confession. I wondered long and hard about whether I should share this, but I think that it’s important that mental health is discussed openly. The idea that January should mean everyone should discuss what they are going to do differently, or ‘better’ is alien to me, I’m just looking to get through it. Bring on February 1st!



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