I am currently employed at an alternative school for special needs children. At first, I thought this was an excellent opportunity for me. Whenever I get a new job, I am happy and hopeful and filled with anticipation for the positive possibilities that could lie ahead. I always hope my new job will be my last part-time job I ever have to find.
I was super excited about my current job because I could teach and work with special needs children and young adults again. I would not be a lead teacher as my license has expired, but still I could teach again. I was excited for the opportunity and jumped in head first.
This is an alternative school for students that were not successful in a public school or other settings for various reasons. They have significant behavior problems plus cognitive disabilities and/or autism. The staff seemed to be very positive people with good hearts. Most of them are very calm people, quiet and soft-spoken. Calm in the storm kind of people. Some of them are like people whisperers and could tame the wildest of hearts.
“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work, it means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~unknown
I on the other hand am not the calm in the storm. I am the storm. Internally, I am still like the storm as my inner mechanics and brain move fast. Everything about me and inside me internally moves faster and quicker than most. I can say “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers…” tongue twister faster than you ever heard before.
My brain always moves fast and I have always talked fast. Also I tend to become bored easily. I like to be entertained and if I am not being entertained I tend to become the entertainment. Plus, I just have a lot of energy and am an enthusiastic kind of person in everything I do. This, of course, is much more noticeable when I have been manic or am hypomanic.
Because most of the students have such significant behavior difficulties, much of the time is waiting. Waiting and w a i t i n g some more for them to work through what is bothering them or for them to comply with what has been asked of them. Sometimes we are required to wait them out as we cannot do anything else. I am a patient person, especially when helping children and other people, but I am noticing this job has too much w a i t i n g time for me. It seems we are doing too much of n o t h i n g.
I love to help people in any way I can and always have, but I don’t feel like I am helping people very much at this job. It is tough for me. I want a job where I help people, but with this job I don’t feel like I am helping at all, but instead I am w.a.i.t.i.n.g and w a i t i n g and w a i t i n g some more.
I have recently been experiencing bouts of mild depression which I have not experienced in a long time. I just had an epiphany about why I am having the difficulties I am. I believe it is because I am attempting to fit into this job as the calm in the storm, when I am actually the storm. I don’t mean my behaviors are wild or anything, I just mean my mind still moves quickly. I am trying to slow it down for this job and be c a l m and s l o w as this is the f l o w of the job. But, it is exhausting for me even thinking about it as I am typing. It takes me more energy to slow down my brain like I need to for this job then it does to run around the track ten times.
The question is never ‘Are you in a storm?’ The question is ‘Is Jesus in you boat?’ ~Rich Wilkerson Jr.
I have recently realized how much I am not the calm in the storm kind of gal. I thought in this new job setting I could slow my mind down and become calmer and s.l.ow.e.r. than I am, but it is becoming a daunting exhausting task. I am becoming depressed lately as I am trying to be someone I am not.
Because I have lived with a mental illness, I’ve had to pretend I was well many times when I was not. I became a great actor masquerading and pretending to feel well when I was far from it. I learned to become an illusion of myself. This is always exhausting.
I will never take a chance with my mental health again. I always need to be proactive. If I am beginning to feel depressed, I must try to figure out the cause. If there is a change I can make in my life, I will make it to try to improve my life and mental health the best and quickest way I can.
Living with a mental illness almost all my life, I have recently learned how beautiful it feels to be well and am reminded how excruciatingly painful it is to be mentally unwell. I do not want to ever visit or experience severe stage four mental illness ever again. If I can help improve my situation and life, I will ALWAYS do whatever it takes to stay well.
If that means find a new job, that is what I must do. I was hoping I could go back to my old job. There is a lot I miss about it. I think afterall it is a better fit for me. I guess you do not realize how good something is for you until you leave it. I hope I will have the opportunity to return to my old job very soon. I have weighed the pros and cons and the pros won.
I must always remember to be authentic to myself. We must never try to become like someone else or who you think others want us to be. Even if others want you to be different or behave differently, you can’t. It doesn’t work. Do not try to emulate other’s actions. You can improve your behaviors and actions, but make them your own.
If you try to act like someone else, you will throw yourself away. That will be a loss for yourself and others as well. There is only one you. You lose your own identity by giving it to someone else. Put all your energy into turning yourself into the masterpiece you are meant to be. Being the best you is much better than being a shadow copy of someone else.
So, if you are the calm in the storms, calm the storms and if you happen to be a storm, be the best storm you can be.
Remember the calm after the storm cannot exist without the storm. We all need each other and we are all valuable and equally important in this great big beautiful life.
Be well and be YOU.
Much love and many blessings, Sue
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