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No idea what to do.

(43 Posts)
Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 18:36:04

I am not sure why I am posting and I am sure that I will be judged but I honestly do not know how to carry on. I have been feeling unwell for a while now. I have been to GP, I am taking anti depressants and I am seeing a counsellor. Things are just getting worse and worse. I am barely functioning and I am dragging myself through each day. I know the children deserve so much better and feel so guilty. I have sought support from HOD which was a pointless exercise and I now just wish I had kept my mouth shut. Taking time off doesn't seem to be an option. I am now at my wits end. How can I turn things around - is that even possible?

bigchris Fri 05-May-17 18:38:27


So sorry to hear you feel like this

It really sounds to me like you need to be signed off by your gp, your health is more important than 'taking time off doesn't seem to be an option ' , the more you struggle to carry on the worse it will get

It also might help to post in the mental health section for more specific advice on how you are feeling

Theworldisfullofidiots Fri 05-May-17 18:38:33

What do you need from us?
What has your councillor helped you with?

SamoanSamosa Fri 05-May-17 18:41:39

Taking time off is always an option if that is what is needed.

Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 18:42:50

I don't know what I need. I just needed somewhere that I could admit just how bad it is because I can't do that in real life. Feel between a rock and a hard place - lose job because I am hopeless at the moment or because I am off sick. Will staying at home help or just make things worse in the long run???? Can't think straight.

YoniFucker Fri 05-May-17 18:43:38

Go back to your gp. Get signed off. Get well. No job is more important than your health flowers

Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 18:56:42

Thanks for replies - I think that I feel a little calmer just getting it out there. I can't carry on like this though. Feel my husband just cares about how much money I can bring in and not about how I am feeling. I have entertained thoughts of walking into the river with my pockets full of stones - won't be bringing in any salary thensad

TheFallenMadonna Fri 05-May-17 18:59:05

Why do you think you are hopeless at the job?

Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 19:01:21

At the moment I am hopeless because it is literally about surviving the day.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 05-May-17 19:05:08

Do you mean you are slipping on things like marking? Is it behaviour? Will you get respite with gained time when Y11/13 go?

TheElephantofSurprise Fri 05-May-17 19:07:23

Feeling like this led eventually to my taking early retirement - I was absolutely barking by then. Don't get into that position.

Go to the GP and get signed off. You are suicidal (that's a key word for them) - you really are, that's what the walking into the river thoughts are, even though you probably think you would never do it.

Don't worry about the job. Walk away and concentrate on healing. I spent six months curled up in bed - you might not need so long.

How old are you and how long have you been teaching?

You don't have to work through what is wrong in the job right now. Give yourself at least two months when you eat, sleep, walk, take counselling, practice mindfulness and find yourself again.

Don't think of going back to work before your full-pay sick leave ends. It is teaching that brought you to this state, teaching should give you time to recover. If you do go back afterwards, have a phased return.

Get advice from your union, too.

The time to do this is now. Doctors on Monday, please. You are an emergency.

Good luck.

Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 19:10:08

Definitely no longer on top of things and the longer it goes on the worse it gets. Have brought lots of files home this weekend to seem if I can make some headway with catching up. I know that this is causing a lot of the stress.

Ohyesiam Fri 05-May-17 19:13:40

Op, flowers sorry to hear you are in this position.
It's sound to me like you need to be signed off, your health is a delicate thing ( in the situation you are in) and you do one of the most stressful jobs imaginable.
Take time out, catch up with yourself, and reassess.

TheElephantofSurprise Fri 05-May-17 19:14:50

Bringing work home never worked for me.

Stop now.
Stop trying to work harder to make it right.

Focus on what you are going to say to the GP on Monday. Have a bath, a long, slow bath. Listen to this. mindfulness bell and this the perfect self

Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 19:15:16

TheElephantofSurprise. Thank you so much. I can't tell you how it feels to be understood. I know you are right - my thoughts are scaring me at times. Desperate for the pain to stop. I have wanted to leave teaching for a long time but have struggled on due to lack of support from husband- in particular his financial concerns. Surely I am more important than the wage I can bring in.

Theworldisfullofidiots Fri 05-May-17 19:16:30

Agree go to your GP.
(I don't know enough about your councillor to say this - I would think about changing them. I'm a coach and see plenty of people post counselling and know that not every councillor, coach or therapist is the best fit even if they are a nice person. I'm not the best fit for some people)
Would changing school make a difference? I'm only saying this as I'm CoG of a primary school and we place a lot of importance on staff well being. It's an area of our improvement plan.

Strugglingtofunction Fri 05-May-17 19:22:05

Thank you so much for the links and for everyone's kindness - it means such a lot. I have been wondering about the counsellor- yes she is very nice but I don't feel that I am making any progress. Not sure if I am being unrealistic or expecting too much.

TheElephantofSurprise Fri 05-May-17 22:39:19

I had ten counsellors in nine years! I really tried to make myself right. What I found was that when you get a counsellor, you need to do your own assessment fairly soon of what s/he is capable of dealing with, and work on that. So one counsellor might be good at bolstering your self-esteem. The next one might be great at helping you think through what you do next. I had telephone counselling through Teachers Support (ok if you can get it) and some from the GPs surgery, from GP referral, from Local Authority provision (not through school, just available to everyone in the locality. Long waiting lists!) and I believe there is counselling available online. It took years to get you into this position, it won't be a single, short-term counselling situation that helps you out of it.
On a daily basis, focus on yourself, your body, your breathing, your health. Leave work alone, let it go, for now.

Strugglingtofunction Sat 06-May-17 09:16:06

Thanks Elephant.
At the moment I feel that I use the counsellor almost like a friend - someone I can tell honestly just how crap everything is. Which is fine but I just can't see how it is moving me forward in anyway - but again not sure if my expectations are unrealistic. Ultimately it is down to me I suppose. I have overstretched myself recently (for financial reasons)I can see that now but don't see how I can reduce hours now until September. The school I work at is lovely- I really don't want to jeopardise my job although I feel I will do that regardless of what I do. Honestly nobody has time off sick there unless very serious illness
( think cancer) or hospitalised. I have dreamt of getting a serious illness or accident just to have an acceptable reason to be off. Everyone is so amazing and enthusiastic - I just don't know how they do it.

Wineandcoffee Sat 06-May-17 09:25:55

elephant's advice is good. Definitely get signed off work and take as much time as you need to fully recuperate. When you go back consider something like a phased return. flowers

MrsKCastle Sat 06-May-17 10:23:21

I was where you are a couple of years ago. It's horrible. I wasn't coping at all but no one seemed to be listening. For me it all came to a head when I had a bad observation and it looked like I was going on capability. I lasted about another week, then went to my DH one afternoon and said I wouldn't be coming in the next day.

I ended up being off for around 3 months. It was just what I needed. The school sent me for an assessment to a lovely occupational health person who made it clear to me and the school that my poor teaching at that time was likely due to my mental illness and not the other way round.

I had a phased return and then left the school at the end of the academic year. I got a new job in a different key stage (I'm primary) and went from full time to part time- so a difficult change. BUT I am back to loving my job. The children in my class are happy and learning and the parents are really pleased with me. When I was at my lowest I would never have believed I could be where I am now. I thought my career was over, or worse.

Long post, sorry, but I really just wanted to say that there's a lot of us out here who understand and that it is possible to recover from this. The first step is to admit that actually, you are ill and you do need to take time, just as much as if you had a visible illness.

TheElephantofSurprise Sat 06-May-17 19:41:38

Ultimately it is down to me I suppose
Er, no. Thinking like that got you into this position. So do stop.

Using the counsellor as a friend is good, great even. Keep on with that. Don't expect progress, just enjoy.

Do, really, do... go and get signed off, right away, on Monday.
Save your life. Save your health. MrsK even managed to save her job/a job.

Good luck.

Strugglingtofunction Mon 08-May-17 18:04:01

After having a huge row with my husband about going in today I went against all your good advice and I went in. I am so terrified of what will happen to me if I don't go in. I feel like I am swimming through treacle. In assembly this morning I felt as if I was experiencing it through a thick fog or from behind thick glass. I don't know if there is any coming back from this - if my card is now already marked because I have admitted I am not coping. I am trying to get out of an after school responsibility to reduce workload/pressure but even that is being met unsympathetically.
Sorry I am rambling. You have all given me such excellent advice - I just wish I was brave enough to take it. sad

Theworldisfullofidiots Mon 08-May-17 19:31:48

Look it another way.
Are you brave enough not to do something? I think you have been incredibly brave to keep going. And it's OK to say you need a rest.

Strugglingtofunction Mon 08-May-17 20:39:40

Aargh. A couple of things happened today which I can't switch off from. One incident was with a colleague - being bossy and asking/telling me to do something that she could have done herself although I have confided in her how I am feeling at the moment. Second incident was with an outside professional who disagreed with how I had dealt with a student that we both support. Both incidents going round and round in my head and I feel like sh*t.

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