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I think I've reached the end.

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by marts66, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. marts66

    marts66 New commenter

    I am so scared at the moment. I have been teaching for 26 years and just can't do it anymore. I know I can teach but I can't walk into a classroom at the moment and don't think I will ever be able to again.

    I have been signed off for 2 months so far and am still having nightmares about being in the classroom. I know this has been coming for the past few years but I carried on as it's the only thing I've known and thought it might go away but it hasn't. I cried for help to the college and they offered me a learning assistant position at £9/hr term time only; I didn't know what it was like to be kicked when you're down but this seemed to tick the box. I explained to the VP about my issues and that I wanted to be considered for other positions in the college which I could lend my skills to but none of them were discussed with me even though I told them I can't do this anymore.

    I'm in FE and teach English and maths and have a great LM and team but I can't just be a teacher for the rest of my working life. I have no real ideas what to do. I am considering starting up a handyman/ gardener business but am so scared of everything at the moment. I struggle to get out of bed, dressed, eat, anything. What does a washed up 52 year old do?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    For the moment, you have to concentrate on getting yourself well. When you're fully recovered you'll be in a much better place to consider what your next move will be.

    Presumably you're on a sick leave sanctioned by your GP? So take the maximum amount allowed under your contract and concentrate on getting well. If you're still having nightmares, that doesn't suggest you are yet.
    sunshineneeded likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    You are NOT washed up. You are overdue for a new challenge

    Firstly, what type of job can you afford to take? You will probably take a salary hit but as the alternative is - excuse me being blunt - death - that’s something you will have to just accept. Believe me, if you are on your own the lack of stress will seem blissful. If you have family, they will welcome having you back, even if it’s financially difficult. Be prepared to cut back, down size, sell the dog, whatever. It’s worth it.

    Once you know what you need to earn to cover those basic costs, you will know the type of job you can consider. And don’t be afraid of taking something very basic. Even gutting fish can be seen as therapeutic, not demeaning. Whatever you do to put food on your table is honest labour.

    But you do need time to recover and plan. So take as much sick time as you can get, and ask yourself what you would enjoy doing next. Maybe even start planning that on your off days - it’s not illegal if you don’t get paid. And frankly, being well enough to assemble flat pack furniture does not mean you are well enough to teach.

    This is not the end.

    Best of luck!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. marts66

    marts66 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your words, you both make so much sense. There's only myself and my wife, we've never had kids and our finances are pretty good; just mortgage and normal bills, no massive debts. I don't think I'm ready to start yet but hopefully there'll be light at the top of the pit soon
    Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. oceanroc7

    oceanroc7 New commenter

    I so feel for you. I hope you are getting some support and seeing light at the top of the pit.
    It makes me burningly angry to see what teaching has done to hard-working, caring people like you doubtless are.
    I am in my 25th year of teaching and feeling pretty washed up too. I have decided to have a year out of teaching to see if I can regain my mojo or find the time, courage and breathing space to come up with a Plan B.
    Like you there is just myself and the husband and no huge debts.

    SO I fully concur with what others have said.
    Look after yourself first. When you feel calmer and happier, look at your finances/pension and think about how much you need.
    I am fully prepared to stack shelves in Tescos, get a small dog and do a bit of private tutoring after my year out of returning to the stress at the chalkface seems like lunacy.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Hi marts66, so sorry to hear about the situation you find yourself in. I can only second what others have said - take as long as you need to recover. Keep talking to your GP and take medication if it's recommended. Also ask about CBT - I know it doesn't help everyone (and I was very sceptical) but my OH found it very supportive. The therapist was very skilled and somehow helped him get everything in perspective; he still uses the coping strategies she taught him two years down the line. Hopefully, in a few months time, when you feel stronger, the future will look clearer. Maybe you will want to do some private tutoring while starting up a handyman business. But for now, your health and well-being must be your top priority. Take care.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.

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