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Help needed please, don't know who to turn to

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by toastandtea, Nov 25, 2015.

  1. toastandtea

    toastandtea New commenter

    I'm looking for some advice please. I don't know who to turn to.
    To give a summary...I've been teaching for 8 years, gradually taking on more responsibility each year, but in the summer I effectively had a nervous breakdown, ended up being admitted to hospital with severe depression. I've been attempting a phased return to work since then but in the last few weeks I've been breaking down in tears again at work. I feel I can't burden my family and friends any more but I just don't know who to talk to.
    Luckily I managed to get myself together to find a new job starting in January so I do only have a few weeks left until I leave but I just don't know how I can get through these last few weeks. I know people just say "oh it's only 3 weeks left, you can do it" but I can't even get through one day at a time without crying at work. I just feel so pathetic.
    I feel unbelievably guilty for hardly even being at work this term, for not managing to even meet the requirements of my job. Effectively they're having to pay me for what exactly?
    To make things worse, my new job need clearance from occupational health that I'm fit for work and they're needing a report from my psychiatrist that I'm ok...I just really worry that I'm going to end up with no job as they'll say I'm not fit enough and I will have left my current role...
    To add to this my new school want me to go in for a couple of days before the end of term but having to ask yet again for more time off even on top of the fact that I've hardly been at work with a phased return just makes me feel sick.
    Sorry for my long rambling message. I'm not sure what advice I'm actually asking for so if you've managed to read to the end of this thank you.
  2. JRiley1

    JRiley1 Established commenter

    Poor you, I know there's plenty of posters on here who will have excellent advice to give :)
    I know Christmas seems far away but you will literally have to take one day at a time, slowly it will pass and you'll be able to start new year fresh; keep that thought firmly with you to keep you going!
    Regarding going into your new school could you ask your current head if you could do this in the last week of term; when it's all Christmas plays & parties?

    Best of luck xx
  3. ishaw247

    ishaw247 New commenter

    So many of us have experienced this type of situation, myself included. You really need to speak to someone to share how you are feeling. A councillor, friend, a member of the union, or one of your work mates. The job may not be the only source of your problems and talking things through will help you clarify what you need to do. The great thing about a councillor is that they don't know you, don't make judgements and can help steer you in the right direction. Personally I think the job has changed so much in the last five years that teachers could use a P.A. to stay on top of paper work etc!
    It is about time teachers started to say, " Well if we are doing this what don't we do?" We can't continue to do more than we already do.
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    But those three weeks are going to be so hard.
    Spend them taking personal stuff home. Making sure things are in order as much as can be in Christmas pressure. Take one week to do this. Then imagine you are a supply teacher in for two weeks. A dossing supply teacher. And do as little as possible.. Including at home.
    Yes, new employers do want a sickness confession. Be as honest as you feel necessary. They are not allowed to discriminate against you because of any underlying or continuing health problems no matter what they are.
    You are allowed to cry at work. There is no law against it. Get some tissues. Tell people how sad you are to be leaving and that is why you are tearful.
    Sort out Christmas now. Keep it so simple. As simple as possible. Very very simple.
    Take care of yourself each evening and each weekend. Do things that help you feel good whatever they may be. Take exercise and get rest. Eat well and healthily.
    Access any kind of help and support from any person.
    Change is desperately hard to manage. Don't beat up because you are finding it hard.
    Nearer to the end of term maybe the last week, tell your HT that your new post insist you go in for a couple of days. If they won't release you ask your new HT to phone your school and ask them to release you. If your current HT is awrsey to them then your new HT will know what you are having to endure. Not all HTs are horrible.

    You have been smashed up by the system. Allow yourself to be.

    Been there, got the t shirt. Wept the tears. Life goes on.
    phlogiston and monicabilongame like this.
  5. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Star commenter

    DON'T feel guilty!! Teaching is stressful and everybody in teaching knows this and deals with it. There but for the Grace of God go all of us (*), if truth be told. Do what you have to, to look after yourself and don't agonise over it. When we teach we teach with our our psyche (**) and soul! That is an awful lot of ourselves that is expected to be given! Think about it, and you will realise how much of ourselves we have to give to the job.

    It seems to me that breakdowns of some sort are expected and accepted (by them above us) as a side effect of teaching, so they are planned for in the greater scheme of things. For example, a cover supervisor or similar system is an essential part of every school management.

    As for your family and friends, I think they will be a lot more resilient than you give them credit. Again, don't feel guilty for "dumping" on them. However, unlike school I think they do deserve consideration because they are innocent parties in this. (I repeat, I do not think the school system at all innocent!!) You clearly have self awareness on this matter to be able to write your post, so use that to determine how you talk to your family and friends so that you don't over-burden them. But do talk to them.

    ********************* ***************
    (*) I have been there, my daughter, one of my nieces, one of my daughters in law, two sisters in law, two Heads I worked under, two assistant Heads, three close friends, -- I'm stopping counting now --- have all had serious breakdowns. (Somebody commented in this forum that I was angry -- I've just realised why!!) Don't feel guilty!!

    (**) psyche1
    noun: psyche; plural noun: psyches
    1. the human soul, mind, or spirit.
      "I will never really fathom the female psyche"
      synonyms: soul, spirit, (inner) self, innermost self, (inner) ego, true being, essential nature, life force, vital force, inner man/woman, persona, identity,personality, individuality, make-up, subconscious, mind, intellect; More
    2. antonyms: body
  6. JamesH1lton

    JamesH1lton New commenter

    Really empathise with your story. Have been there and am really glad you have found another post to go to and are not giving up. Agree with previous advice. taking personal effects home will help to make you feel you are heading towards closure. Difficult though the next few weeks will be plan for a fabulous Christmas - you need something positive to head towards.
    It will get better - thinking about you.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    This is as bad as it will EVER be!

    From now on, it's all downhill to the light at the end of the tunnel. Enjoy the ride out from darkness into the sunlight!

    Yes at the moment you are sad, stressed, depressed - it's because you feel that things have not been good at this school and are wondering of it's your fault. So guilt is working on you as it works on all of us!

    Just think not about 3 weeks, but about just one day.

    Just one day to get through, and at the end of the day reward yourself with a bar of chocolate, or a favourite tv programme, or a glass of something nice.

    Just one day, and with a reward at the end.

    Best wishes

    userunknown and JRiley1 like this.
  8. Katierobertson

    Katierobertson New commenter

    But you only have three weeks left. Remember this. In my last job, I had three weeks left at at a school where people were openly asking me how I could bear to come to work to be treated like that. I had a calendar and was crossing off every day. I cleaned a lot- cleared and sorted my resources, scrubbed that classroom, even the windows. I went home and cleaned there too! I went for a short walk, or around the shops, hid in a movie and cried... And if they hassle you about work, be sick. On the days when you can't be there anyway.

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