A sweet teacher friend gave me some very good advice earlier this year. She said that we all need to realize that everyone has a story. Here is mine:
For as far back as I can remember, I HATED myself. I cannot tell you why, but I think it stemmed from a dresser falling on me when I was only 18 months old. (No one’s fault; I just pulled out the drawers to climb up because I wanted the pretty German dress that was on top. Yes, I remember my thoughts and the whole incident THAT well)! After that, weird things started happening. I became a very little girl who felt a LOT of shame because I was different. I said weird things and acted in off ways. These feelings of shame and self-hatred continued all through my life.
Years later I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and very reluctantly began to medicate for the symptoms.
Back in March of 2017, someone told me to stop taking depression and anxiety meds. I am certain that this person said to do it while working closely with my doctor, but I missed that significant detail and unfortunately quit cold turkey. That is on ME.
By October of 2017 I had hit rock bottom. After confiding in a dear friend, I decided to go back on my meds and was given some heavy dosages of more than one medication. By January of 2018 I finally felt normal again.
Between then and last summer, I gained a lot of weight, and lost interest in EVERYTHING. My sons noticed and tried to talk to me about it, but I ignored them or got sh*tty with them, until one day they sat me down and pulled out the tough love. They challenged me to do and be better starting with my health. I did it for me. Finally.
A part of my journey was my desire to successfully live medication free. I discussed this with my doctor and he was on board. So in November of 2021, he took me off of 2 meds and reduced my one remaining med to a half dose. Looking back, that wasn’t the best way to go into the winter, as my low–then high–was concerning to several people. (AGAIN, ON ME). During my high, I decided to make amends with some people. I simply felt compelled to apologize, no more, no less.
The act of making amends is a good and healthy thing that should NEVER be taken away from someone. The fact that it causes people discomfort is on them, not the person making amends.
So, while making amends, I had the following things happen to me: I was accused of being in the process of dying, being selfish, doing too much, doing too little, saying WAY too much even when I was speaking truth, praying too much, praying too little, working too hard, working too little, shining too much light, etc. (Please read to the end, as I hold ZERO grudges and I’m truly thankful for the experiences).
I went back to my Doctor and he asked me how work was going. I jokingly said, “Well, I haven’t got fired.” My awesome Dr. Sat down with me for 50 minutes that day. He gave me advice and tools for me to help myself through the difficulties I was experiencing. One tool was CBT including meditation. I asked if prayer would be considered meditative and he answered with a resounding yes! I remembered seeing Mark Wahlberg advertising the Hallow App and I bought it. I have prayed the last four months more than I had in the last 15 years, and I am being healed in real time because of it.
For those who had read my Auditory Processing Disorder post, I have taken that down, as it was a misdiagnosis. I wanted my issues to be neurological as opposed to mental. LOL. However, two very wise friends of mine have blessed me by telling me there’s nothing wrong with me, that I am fine the way I am. And I know they’re right. Finally! **That does NOT give me license to do and say whatever I want.**
Finally, I will say this:
I am going to write the following not to build myself up, but to encourage others…
As I stated before, I have struggled with this crap my entire life, but had zero clue what it was. I went to college and became a first grade teacher. Oh. My. The struggles that I’ve had. Seven years ago, I trained for Reading Recovery. It was one of the best decisions of my life, but the last seven years have been the most difficult years of my life. I have FINALLY overcome my depression, and my anxiety is maneageable. One of my Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders told me that I am right where I belong, that I am a good teacher, that I am just what these kids need. They took a chance on me and it has come full circle.
And I am so deeply grateful to them… and to God.
I’m grateful to EACH person who I’ve crossed paths with. All the good and bad has made me into the person I am today.
Bring on family life, year 15 of teaching, the WHOLE DANG WORLD! I am on fire and I’m NOT BACKING DOWN.
MY IDENTITY WAS NEVER IN THOSE THINGS TO BEGIN WITH.❤