When the past comes up and bites you in the arse
I wasn’t going to write about my history on here, for the simple fact of that’s what it is: history. My depressive teens and early 20s are so alien to me now they feel like a lifetime ago and every time I look back and realise I only said a final goodbye to my social worker less than two years ago, I am shocked.
That’s not me any more. I can’t imagine feeling like that again.
But today I had to sit in front of a doctor I had never met before and convince him that I am sane, responsible and trustworthy.
I have spent three years at university working hard on assignments and school placements alike, in order to do a job that I love, and here is someone who has maybe twenty minutes to make a judgement on whether I should be allowed to perform that job. To me, the only way in which my past seems relevant is that I will hopefully be able to relate to and empathise with any children or parents I come across who are going through similar issues.
I don’t suppose any of my colleagues without a history like mine had to explain why they took recreational drugs at the age of eighteen. For all I know, they take them now, but they didn’t have a doctor with a medical report in front of him saying all of this.
Clearly teaching is a career in which a certain level of professional behaviour is expected outside of work, but how much does it matter? Were I still at risk of self harming would you want me teaching your child? What about if I went out drinking every night? (I don’t) What if it was only at the weekend? (Okay, I often do)What if I’d once been arrested for petty theft five years ago? (I wasn’t) I felt like everything I’d ever done was being called into question all because I ticked the box that said ‘Depression/mood disorder’.
Ask anyone who has known me for the past few years and they’ll tell you I’m a changed person. Will it be different when that history is ten years in my past? Twenty?
I felt my job, my career, everything I have worked for over the past three years almost slip away from me today. Thankfully, my emotional stability is ridiculously apparent when you actually talk to me and I get to keep the job I love.
All that, and I had to pay 50p to park.