Two weeks ago a friend said it was good to see me so positive and looking so well, he then leant in a bit closer and asked if that was the swan on the surface.
He’s a good a friend who knows that I’ve been struggling, so I wasn’t taken aback. On that day I was honestly able to say that ‘it’s a good day’ which, as I said in a post following that good day, is a rarity. This first week back I have felt a bit like a swan on the surface, it’s not that I’ve been manically paddling under the surface, but the persona on the surface, in the classroom is definitely a mask.
I have been mistakenly put down as an extrovert in the past. Now I’ve never actually done a Myers Briggs test but I know that I am not an extrovert. I can do public speaking, and I love being in the classroom but that is where I have a specific role to play, and possibly more importantly for me – where I am in control. What I’ve never been particularly good at is socialising… don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with other people but I’ve always struggled with it, and this seems to be heightened more at this point in my life. So much so that it is causing me to hibernate – after all why would anyone want to spend time with that.
So the swan for me this week has been the me in the classroom, full of the joys of spring having a laugh, smiling. Whilst under the surface, or away from a class to teach, I’m feeling low, don’t want to speak to anyone, there’s often tears, and I’m hiding away.
I’m pretty certain that hibernation is not the key, although this week I have gone into hibernation mode in two different ways and one was much better than the other. Thursday was a particularly bad day, I was struggling Wednesday evening, and woke on Thursday with a head completely clouded, I had a full day of teaching ahead of me, so figured the only way to get through the day was to solely focus on that. I got in to school earlier than usual to get photocopying done before anyone else arrived, I taught my lessons, I didn’t have my usual cuppa before school or at breaks with my friend, I didn’t even respond to messages from the husband or E (they both knew what was happening although the husband did say he would have liked confirmation I was alive). Possibly not a great choice, but I got through the day, as soon as my boss who I usually have a cuppa with came down in person at the end of the day I burst into tears! Whereas yesterday hibernation meant, I didn’t leave the house, I read a book, watched some TV and played the piano. I had a variety of text conversations with friends. There were also a few moments of tears. But it wasn’t as traumatic as Thursday.
As always I’m not really sure what the answer is, there’s part of me that questions if there is necessarily a problem if I’m still able to do my job and be the swan on the surface in the classroom. But I know a certain E would argue that’s not fair on me, and she’s not too convinced by my response well that’s just ‘par for the course’ for me at the moment. I’ve put all the preventative measures into place that I can think of – but again that is to be able to do my job. I probably do need to come up with better coping mechanisms but I just don’t know what they are!