Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Coming out

To add to my list of deviancies I'm bisexual. This isn't actually relevant apart from it's link to the phrase I'm about to use;

I have found coming out infinitely easier than "coming out" as having depression and CFS.

I think part of it is that bisexuality is losing it's stigma. And I'm proud of who I am. Mental illness has not gone as far in losing it's stigma. And, far from being proud I detest the fact that I suffer. It makes me feel weak and useless.

This post is prompted by the fact that I had to tell my mentor today that I was on anti-depressants and had CFS (my tutor at uni suggested that it should happen, just so she was aware). She didn't seem sure how to take the news. Possibly my own fault as I very deliberately mentioned it in between other things without much time for pause, dismissing it with a "but I'm alright, I'm coping". For once, that's the truth. But I wonder if I would have said any different had I been struggling? Experience tells me the answer's no. Reflection on how I feel tells me that the answer's still no.

People keep reminding me how hard, physically and emotionally, being a teacher is. I'm aware of that. I think that what I am doing to cope is enough. At least for now.

What am I doing to cope? This for one. This allows me to write about how I feel and explore how I feel without feeling embarrassed or like I'm wasting somebody's time. I'm also making an effort to get some exercise. It may seem counter-productive initially but exercise is encouraged for depression, and for CFS where it's possible. On top of that I'm resting. Lots. To the point where it's driving me up the walls! I sleep for a couple of hours minimum when I get in each night then sleep for the majority of the weekend.

Sometimes I wonder if it's worthwhile. I contemplate dropping out, getting a little part time job somewhere. that isn't very demanding But I couldn't do it. At the very least I need to feel stretched intellectually. Teaching provides opportunities for that to happen. It also fills other needs as has been mentioned before. I firmly believe that teaching is a vocation and not a profession. Bad teachers are those who don't have it as a vocation but a job.

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