Admitting Weakness

14 January 2013

Time to open myself up and share my vulnerabilities. Sometimes through social media and our surface contact in todays age it is so easy to just share the positive and make an effort to look like we're happy all the time. Well, I don't think that's quite true for any of us.

The past six months have been the hardest of my life. I feel like I'm just barely keeping my head above the rising tide of stress and anxiety. My job is quickly pulling me under. I know your first year is incredibly hard, but I didn't know it would be this hard. 

My husband and my sister are so incredibly supportive yet there are some days where I'm not convinced I'll make it through. 

I'm learning, slowly, that you need to take care of not just your physical health but your mental and emotional health on top of it all. It is more important than ever to me to find creative outlets and make adventures for myself. The difficulty is that it's harder than ever to achieve. When I need it most I have very little free time and my friends are further away than ever before. On that account I've been miserable. 

It's my own fault, I wasn't ready to adjust to friends being several hours away. My closest friend is an hour away then after that it's three, five, and one of my best friends is now 18 hours away. Do I skype? No. Do I call? No. Do I miss them? 100%. Why don't I end up making more of an effort? 

One reason is I feel like I'm failing. I don't want to call and talk to people and tell them that I'm miserable in my life right now. Another is I'm exhausted. I don't feel like myself and I don't know if I can listen to someone tell me how happy they are in life right now. Aren't I awful? It sure feels that way. I know logically that talking to my friends will more than likely bring me to a higher place than I've been for several months and I really don't know any logical reason that I'm not making more of an effort in this department. 

Have you ever had a life consuming slump? How did you get through?

I know myself, and I know there will one day be a light at the end of this tunnel, I'm just counting the days until it arrives. Thanks for reading, it feels good to finally get this off my chest. 


Erin {pughs' news} said...

You know, I've had a feeling for a while that you're struggling. I can remember well my first teaching position and how exhausting it was to be starting a new career. Luckily, I didn't have to move at the time, so my friends and family were all around. Having that support system in place makes a huge difference. You should definitely reach out to your friends, Alli, and let them help you through this slump you're in. Maybe write them each a letter and let them know how you're feeling... and I bet they'll be more than happy to be the ones to call/skype/email you first. Then you can get into a routine of communicating and connecting again.

I also think you need to find things to look forward to. In my second and third years of teaching, I was in a long-distance relationship with my now-husband and I missed him desperately (he was in England, 8 hours ahead and a million miles away!) and felt swamped with work. I crossed each day off the calendar and rewarded myself with a little treat at the end of each week (a new magazine or lip gloss or night at the movies) as we counted down until our next visit. Maybe you need to plan a meet-up with your girlfriends?

Thinking of you and sending hugs, Alli. You'll get through this.

Nicki Cabaniss said...

Hi Alli,

Hang in there girl. In the time I got to know you at JMU, you always impressed me with your positive energy and work ethic. It is still there. I can see it even when you do admit your weaknesses. Teaching is TOUGH, but you're an awesome teacher. Going through a slump is hard, but you've been through hard times before and you will find the end of the tunnel. You are such a bright piece of sunshine. Keep smiling! Create long term goals or a counter to something special like Spring Break or your first wedding Anniversary or Summer! That always helps to keep me focused. Also, remember to break things into small tasks. Such as, I'll grade 5 papers now, then I'll watch an episode of "insert favorite show" then I'll grade 10 papers and make something for dinner. Whatever it takes!

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