Identity

It makes me so frustrated sometimes that my insurance company can’t just believe me when I tell them how ill I am, or has to treat me like I’m actively trying to avoid going back to work. Do you know how much I would LOVE to be working right now? How much I dearly want that part of my life back? I want to be able to drive down. I want a desk, and a chair, and maybe a coffee. I want coworkers. I want to be able to have the work life that I had always thought I would.

I was good at my job. And I loved what I was doing at it’s core. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was over the years before I had to leave, just not having the physical or mental energy to do all of the things that I wanted to do. Watching bits and pieces of my social life, home life, and work life slowly fall away because I was clinging on by my fingernails just to try to make it through the day and go on to the next. Killing myself to keep doing the things that needed to be done. Sacrificing my health to keep doing great for the kids, but still dealing with the stress of coworkers who were frustrated with me for not having the energy to do more. Feeling like it couldn’t possibly be so HARD for everyone else, and wondering how they could run an errand at the end of a work day. Not knowing how that was possible, when I could barely get myself home to fall onto the couch.

I know now why it was so much harder for me.

And I miss it.

Every day I miss it.

I still look at things through a teacher’s eyes.

And yet I also know that I could never handle that level of stress and demands with this illness. It is a wonderful job in its way, but a very intense one. High highs and low lows. Which makes me wonder, even if I do recover, if I will ever truly be able to go back.

But I want to.

And so it saddens me today that I’ve realized somewhere along the line I have stopped telling people I’m a teacher, and have started saying I “used to be a teacher” instead.

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3 Responses to “Identity”

  1. Kristal says:

    Awww.. honey.. you never stop being a teacher. You teach us every day how strong a person can really be. It may not be the traditional lesson, but it’s still an important, ongoing lesson that a lot of us frequently need a reminder of.

    And when you get better, you may still be able to do online teaching courses. I *loved* going to school online. It was less stressful as a student to do that. I can imagine it’s less stressful as an instructor as well. It’s just a thought… chin up sweetie.

    xoxo

  2. If By Yes says:

    I felt this way when my charity job laid me (and my friends) off. I used to take such pride in saying “I train service dogs for people with physical disabilities” when people asked me what my job was. It was a real show-stopper. But now I just USED to, and not even because I quit. I got LAID OFF. That just makes people think maybe I was fired.

    For sucking.

    You know who should be fired for sucking?

    YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.

  3. SuzRocks says:

    Awww. I’m so sorry- I completely understand how awful it would feel to just not be able to ‘own’ your identity anymore. Feeling like you aren’t allowed to say it. You can still be a teacher, you’re just not working right now. Even if I can’t work, I’ll always be a nurse- it’s part of me, I usually always want to take care of people (unless they are mean and they suck), just like I’m sure you will always have the traits a teacher has. (which I totally couldn’t do).

    I heart you.

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