medical leave

Mental Health Day = Medical Leave

When I Just Can’t Cope

I’m currently on a brief medical leave from my day job because I just can’t cope. I’m trying to avoid a complete breakdown. Having bipolar affects multiple aspects of life, and maintaining a job is one of them. I just can’t seem to complete all the necessary tasks…at work or at home. My energy and mental capacity dwindles throughout day. I’ve received emails at work telling me where I’m slipping; however, I’m slipping more than they realize. I awaken at 4:45am and leave by 6:10 to avoid monstrous traffic, and I’m home again before 5:00. Then, I have more work to do, of course, because a teacher’s job isn’t just during school hours. School hours are for teaching and meetings, yet by noon I begin to struggle. After typical work hours, it’s time for more parent contact, lesson plans, grading, and ancillary paperwork. And, lesson plans are not just a lesson plan a day… it’s four lesson plans per day due to the types of classes I teach; that’s twenty lesson plans per week. Continue reading “Mental Health Day = Medical Leave”


A Positive Mid-Life Crisis

September 2016 to September 2017

It has been an emotional year for me. This is the first year after the passing of my younger brother, the other pea in my pod, my kindred spirit.

Between his passing and me being in my 40’s, it has also been the beginning of my mid-life crisis, so to speak. I want to live the life my brother was not able to live. Something I’ve wanted to do since 2nd grade when my teacher, Sr. Ann Francis, praised me for a poem I had written, was to be a writer.  The pursuit of writing had always been pushed down to the bottom of my to-do list. Other activities took precedent. Schooling, college, marriage, job, child, family. The career path I took was one of being an English teacher. Throughout the years, teaching has been a beat down. It’s not just teaching, its paperwork, politics, micro-managing, long hours, little free time. Yes, there are positives, as well, but since my first year of teaching, I knew I couldn’t do it forever. Well, this is my twentieth year. Hmmm…

Being an educator in a school system has not been beneficial to my health, especially since I already struggle with depression and anxiety. Teaching has compounded my struggle. The weight of mental illness has been enormous, and there are days where I cannot seem to carry it. There have been a couple years where I’ve had to take time off work for months due to mental breakdowns.

This past May, I decided it’s past time for me to pursue something for which I have such fervor. Continue reading “A Positive Mid-Life Crisis”

Son of Bipolar Mom

4 Ways Bipolar Disorder Hinders Motherhood

Being a mom is what I always desired. To love and raise a child, mold him and impress upon him the love of life.  I was eager to provide basic needs to the more complex needs (such as discipline and instilling values).  Unfortunately, my son got the short end of the stick with me.

I suffer from bipolar 2.

Bipolar transformed motherhood into a monumental challenge.  Not only do I suffer, but my son has suffered as a result.  This causes me immense guilt.

As psychotherapist Diana Barnes says, “Depression is just wicked. It takes away the enthusiasm and energy you need to be a good parent. And on top of that, it distorts your thinking.”  Continue reading “4 Ways Bipolar Disorder Hinders Motherhood”

bullying classmates

Back to School, Back to Bullying

Bullying Is Not New.

“There’s so much complaining about bullying these days. Kids just need to toughen up.”

I’ve heard that numerous times. It’s not easy, though.  Being the target of relentless bullying wears you down. Yes, as a child, I was bullied. I believe it began with a girl named Betsy. She was such a cute little girl, with an almost angelic countenance, and she was my friend.  One day, maybe age ten, she was over at my house to play.  Of course, back then there was no internet…we actually interacted face to face. She was a fellow classmate and a member of my Girl Scouts troupe.  This particular day, though, her behavior transformed before my eyes.

What Did Betsy Do?

Continue reading “Back to School, Back to Bullying”