Tuesday, 10 November 2009

So what is this?

This is a blog, mostly written for me, looking at going through ITT whilst suffering from depression and CFS. If I find it helps, it well expand to going through NQT year and so an ad infinitum.

Of course it may not.

In case you're reading this and you're not me, I'll give a little bit of background.

I'm nearly 22 years old. I have a good degree from a top quality university. I got ok A level results and good GCSE results. My subject is maths. The interconnectedness of it all pleases me. People have told me I'm slightly autistic. I don't like change. I do like patterns. I think these are all reasons that maths is my subject.

I have always known that I want to be a teacher. I used to use teacher training days to go and help in primary schools, I ran clubs and went into other lessons as an assistant at my own secondary school. I got a job at a holiday club. I simply cannot imagine my life without teaching in there somewhere.

During my second year of A level I developed depression. I kept this hidden from everybody for as long as I could. I was ashamed of it. I was strong, I didn't need help. Only weak people and lazy people had depression; they just needed a kick up the arse and to get on with it. Soon, I was self-harming on a regular basis, drinking vodka from the bottle whenever I felt down and losing all ability to concentrate. Friends noticed. I was made to go the doctor. He dismissed me. I felt worse than ever; not only was I actually suffering, but this suffering had been dismissed as trivial and unimportant. Luckily I received outstanding pastoral care at my school. The head of 6th form put me in contact with a free counselling service.

The counselling sessions I had with them were a joke. The counsellor seemed more upset than I was by the answers I was giving to her questions, she made me move rocks to represent my family and other silly things. I felt that it was beneath me and was glad when the six sessions came to an end.

And so I headed off to university. There I faced what was possibly the worst year of my life. I could not concentrate, I could not focus, I drank too much and usually drank alone (often waking up passed out on my bed) and I ended up in A&E due to self harming. That, and a dinner I had attended without remembering (having been so drunk I didn't even remember getting ready to go, let alone the meal itself or being escorted back to my room to stop me making a fool of myself) was the wake up call I needed.

At the start of the year I met the person who is currently my fiance. They have been amazing, and without them I couldn't have coped. It was they who escorted me to those first appointments with both doctor and counsellor, who looked after me when I was feeling at my worst and celebrated with me as I got better.

I'm currently on 60mg of Citalopram daily. The effect appears to be wearing off slightly, and my new doctor is monitoring my progress.

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