A Recovering Alcoholic Walks into a School…

…and to be more specific, “A recovering alcoholic with clinical depression, OCD, severe anxiety and bi-polar spectrum disorder walks into a school and does the best he can, and soon discovers he needs a lot of help.”

I’m out sick today, as I was yesterday, with some sort of illness that may very be the accumulation of stress at school. For those new to the blog, I teach English to 8th graders. The situation is, in a word, awful. I left public school years ago for definite reasons. Also, I was drinking myself blind in order to get through that time, a pattern which stayed when I moved onto a less stressful job environment.

I’m a good teacher, but my strength isn’t with middle-schoolers. It probably isn’t with high-schoolers, either, since I did that before and left completely disillusioned. Of course, I taught at an alternative school then, with an administration that supported only certain teachers. In my current situation, not only are the students a serious challenge, the county’s requirements for the teachers seem impossible to reach. I do best when I work with adults, teaching reading and writing, but there aren’t any schools in the area except one that offers that as a job. I worked there for five years and left because of the insane demands placed on teachers (seven classes per semester).

I wish my summer job search had yielded different results, but it didn’t. I took this job because I needed money. I was hopeful that I would find my niche in middle school, but that isn’t the case. I’m on the verge of severe panic attacks nearly daily and relying on a new medication to prevent them. Before work, I’m nauseous and sometime throw up. One morning, I sat in my car, pounded the steering wheel, and burst into tears.

I’m going to the doctor in a hour to see if I can get another effective medication that doesn’t carry the risk of dependency like the one I’m taking as a last resort (which is quickly becoming the only option). I’m also in the process of getting a psychiatrist to manage my meds.

I have to make it through the school year; breaking my contract isn’t an option. At this point, I’m not concerned about flourishing; I’m concerned about maintaining my sobriety and surviving. The only bright spots at my school are a few of my fellow teachers who know my situation and are supportive, and my great administration. I’m aware that I’m quite fortunate in that regard.

Perhaps if I can get my meds right, I’ll be able to move out of survival mode. I’m trying to be hopeful, but it’s hard.

I’ll take any positive thoughts, good vibes, and prayers. Thanks.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “A Recovering Alcoholic Walks into a School…

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed with everything at my school. If things don’t improve, I’m looking into getting out of my contract.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. ooh sh••t robert, that doesn’t sound good. it sounds good though that you are on top of it, know what’s going on and seek for support in several ways. AM thinking of you and trust you get through this. don’t even think about getting back. big hug.

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  2. That’s a hard age to deal with, especially on a large scale like a classroom! It’s awesome that you’re keeping an eye on your well being and seeking help. I have no advice except “don’t disappear”, “Use your doctor and be completely honest with him/her”, and “keep doing whatever you have to in order to stay sober”. I look at it this way- if it really comes down to it, you can lose this job by breaking the contract or you can lose this job by breaking your sobriety. Either way, not staying on top of your program/sobriety is paramount. I think you’ve got a good head on your shoulders though 🙂 Good luck and you know we’re here for you!!!

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