Highs and Lows

I used to be a really stable person. I didn’t know it at the time because stable was my normal, but on this young widow ride my emotions are absolutely all over the place. This month has been a difficult one and I was really pleased when I had some good moments earlier in this week. This is a turning point! I think to myself hoping for days and days of goodness, but then the sadness finds me again. That’s how I talk to my students about my good and bad days; my newfound highs and lows. Some afternoons I come back into the classroom with red-rimmed eyes from crying during my lunch break and they know that the sadness has gotten to me, so they sit in their seats and try not to make too much trouble for me. Often, after the sadness visits I find bars of chocolate or cookies on my desk, as if the sadness is repelled by sugary treats. It’s the only way they know to try and make me happy again and it always makes me smile. This week has brought me the first highs in almost a month and they feel oh so sweet, but there have also been some lows involved Here is how my week has progressed so far:

High: My school paid for me to attend and annual language teachers conference in Newcastle at the weekend and it was AWESOME! I got on my train so excited about teaching languages and having met some amazing people.

Low: The only person that I really want to tell about my conference is Terry. So I write to him and tell him all about it, crying as I remember how excited he was to see me become a teacher.

High: At work on Monday I was offered a promotion – a HUGE compliment as I am only in my second year of teaching and I was offered it over several more experienced teachers. I turned down the promotion for several well thought out reasons, but I was really flattered and still am at the thought of it.

Low: At a work lunch, a colleague announces excitedly that she is pregnant. Everyone in the office starts gushing over babies and discussing their pregnancies and children. My heart breaks that some people get to start families while my family was taken away from me. I lock myself in a bathroom stall and cry.

High: My students, seeing my red eyes behave perfectly so I can get through the afternoon until I can go home, curl up in a ball and be miserable.

Low: While picking up ice cream to eat my feelings at the grocery store I am greeted by a friendly parent who, in spite of my red rimmed eyes and excessive amount of ice cream in my basket, decides to take the opportunity to discuss her daughter’s progress in school.

High: My school accepted a proposal that i put together to run a craft afternoon with cupcakes for some Year 8s (7th graders) in July. I am literally going to get paid to decorate cupcakes and paint cards.

Low: One of my student’s grandmother died last night. I receive the email and feel so very sad for that whole family that I begin crying at work for the third day in a row.

High: I remember that another student has also just lost a grandparent. I ask her to look out for the student when she comes back to school and she is proud to be able to use her new superpower as I used mine.

Low: I get a call from my old energy suppliers saying that I owe money for the property I moved out of in January. I explain that I moved out 5 January, but they say that the letting agents have informed them that my tenancy was until 31 January. I signed a legally binding tenancy agreement and I owe £120 in utilities for the property while I was no longer living there.

High: I managed to pay off some of my student loans this month

Low: With the new utility bills, I worry that I won’t ever get my debt paid off and I miss having Terry to cheer me on. I miss hearing him say that everything will be ok so long as we have each other.

As you can gather, there are good things that are happening leading to some highs, which is a welcome break from this horrible month. I wish that they would last longer, but I try to be grateful that there are any highs at all. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?


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