I’m Trying My Best.

I am not sure which year was worse 2020 or 2021 (and we’re only in March).

I’m not shocked at the things that have happened to me, but I am disappointed.

Every time I try to be positive and just deal with the things that have come my way.

Life hits me with another obstacle.

This week was hard. My uncle passed away from COVID. My heart hurts for my family. My heart hurts for my aunt, my cousins and my cousin’s kids.

Work already has been difficult and I’ve already felt so burnt out.

And going to work already burnt out WITH MY heart hurting for my family was soo difficult.

But I had no choice but go to work.

I had so many obstacles come my way in the past year & I just have to deal with it.

And it’s so hard.

I’m tired of dealing with difficult moments that have happened in the past year and are continuing to happen.

Moments that have knocked me down physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve had so many journal posts that begin with “This has been a rough week….”

And I’m so tired of hard weeks. And I have to deal with it because there’s nothing I can do.

I have to constantly pretend that I’m ok, I have to “stick it out” and just go on with life with all the sh*t that has come my way.

I’m so tired.

I’m trying my best & I am constantly getting hit with these obstacles. Sometimes it comes when I’m not recovered yet from the previous obstacles.

I’m trying my best to be positive.

I’m trying my best to work when I feel like sh*t.

I’m trying my best.

I’m trying.

-MEL

ONE YEAR: Since everything changed.

March 13, 2020. I remember that day so distinctly.

Prior to that day, I had seen what COVID did to everyone else in the world with: temperature checks, panic buying, lockdowns and quarantines.

And that day…. was the day, when it came to my part of the world.

We had a teacher development day on that particular Friday. The virus was in the back of everyone’s minds as we were doing ice-breakers, having meetings and working in our classrooms.

You could tell in everyone’s faces that they were worried.

During lunch, we found out that all the school districts in our area were going to be closed. I vividly remember that lunch, that quiet lunch. Everyone was on their phones, and we all gave each other looks when we saw the news.

But, we still didn’t know what was going to happen to us. We aren’t part of a school district and we weren’t sure if we were part of that closure. The school didn’t know too.

I remember leaving work and calling my mom, asking her what she wanted for dinner since I was off early. She said to pick up something fast and easy to cook from the grocery store.

Little did I know that a trip to get one thing at the grocery store, would lead to me realize that this pandemic is f*cking real.

That was my first experience with seeing panic buying. I saw first-hand the empty shelves and refrigerators and I started to panic. Prior to that shopping trip, I had only seen panic buying on social media. I don’t remember what I got, I think I just got one of the few items that was left. Funny enough, while walking around the store just to find ANYTHING, I hear on the speakers “it’s the end of the world as we know it”. R.E.M.’s song “It’s the end of the world” was playing and it felt like something out of the movies. As I was seeing the empty shelves and as that song was playing, I felt like I was going to have a panic attack in the middle of the store.

That’s when I knew that things were going to change and this virus was something much more bigger, than I thought it was going to be.

That day was the beginning of everything that changed.

Our lives changed after that day.

And it’s crazy to know that a year later, we are still in that pandemic. It’s not as intense as last year, but COVID is still around.

And unfortunately, a year later…COVID is affecting my aunt and uncle. And my uncle is in the hospital because of COVID.

I say it so many times.

It’s been a rough year. And it sucks that it continues to be rough.

Additionally, I have been teaching in a pandemic for a year.

On top of that….I’ve been teaching BY MYSELF IN A PANDEMIC FOR A YEAR.

On Thursday March 12, 2020: I had a full class of 24 students.

Then on the following Monday, March 16, 2020: I had 4 students. I had 20 LESS students.

Additionally, little did I know that my co-teacher (at that time) would work for a week and ditch me. He didn’t come to work and 3 months later, he finally put in his 2 weeks.

During that time, I was talking to a guy on a dating app. And little did I know that we would be talking for months, meet up for a couple of times. And then I first began to understand what the term “GHOSTING” means, because he was the first one to ghost me. And that wouldn’t be the only time in the time of being in a pandemic. Because it would appear that dating in a pandemic just means guys want a “casual” relationship, but then you ghost you weeks later.

ONE YEAR LATER:

I went to a couple of stores today, wearing a mask and consistently putting on hand sanitizer. I was keeping my distance and stepping on the signs to keep a distance from others. The shelves were shocked and no one was panic buying. I was standing in a line to get inside one store. AND IT WASN’T WEIRD…it was normal.

We actually had a Staff Development Day yesterday. Some of the teachers including myself, had a CPR/First Aid class. No worries, just taking a regular class at a distance from others and wearing masks.

I have a new co-teacher. However, we aren’t co-teaching together. We have a split classroom with our own classes.

After my most recent “ghosting” situation that put me in a deep depression (because I really liked him). I am taking a long break from dating apps, which I probably explained in a recent post. And I think it’s best to not go on them for the rest of the year because it just completely diminished my self-esteem.

Life has changed so much within a year.

I don’t know if it changed for the better or the worst.
But it definitely impacted my life (and everyone else’s).

One year of living in a pandemic.

CRAZY.

-MEL

I’m Fooling Myself.

I lied.

I wrote a post this morning and basically deceived myself thinking that I’m okay. And going through all these obstacles is okay. And it’s not.

Today was hard. And it was supposed to be an easy day. I got stuck in traffic, which we haven’t had traffic in the mornings for about a year due to the pandemic. When I saw the traffic, I immediately “OF COURSE this would happen” (sarcastically and angry at the same time). I just barely made it to grab some coffee and get to work on time.

My co-teacher next door was out sick , same with my reliable floater teacher. So I had to help with the sub and an assistant teacher from a different classroom (that doesn’t spend too much time in our classes). I was worried about how her students would react, but they were fine. And it was my class that had a difficult time. Literally, nothing changed in our classroom and they acted like our routines didn’t exist and that it was okay to not listen to me. I was frustrated.

I’m already having a hard week with family contracting COVID and in the hospital. And worrying about them and the rest of my relatives.

Then my f*cking therapy session got cut short due to connection issues.
Work has been more frustrating than ever.

I’ll probably write a blog post about it on Saturday (when it’s exactly a year that my life changed due to COVID).

But I’ve been teaching during a pandemic…by myself….for a year.

It doesn’t get any easier.

And I really understand why so many teachers have quit, especially in the past year.

It’s soo hard.

It’s not fair. I know that every teacher has different experiences teaching during this time.

But thinking about my experience in the past year, it was not fair. And it’s not okay. And it’s not okay that I stayed and continue to stay.

I’m not okay.

What I’ve been through is not okay.

What I’m going through is not okay.

& I need to stop thinking that things will get better someday. It sounds harsh, but it has NOT gotten better. And I’m just fooling myself that there is light at the end of the tunnel. BUT I’m just going through the same f*cking cycle over and over again.

There’s no light.

What’s terrifies me is that I see all these posts about people getting engaged, married or having a baby.

And I don’t see that for myself.

I don’t think I’ll ever get married.

Or start a family.

And that’s all I wanted since I was about 5 years old.

I don’t understand why I get put in these stressful situations.
I don’t understand why people just leave me with no explanation.

I don’t understand why these things happen to me.

I don’t understand.

I want to feel better.

But I need to stop fooling myself that I’m okay and things will get better.

Because the more I fool myself, then the more that I’ll feel worse and things won’t get better.

I’m not okay.

I’m not okay.

-MEL

How to react to unfair situations.

Last month was horrible. Oh wait, life has not stopped being horrible since 2019 ( and basically my whole life).

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful for everything in my life. I understand that others have it worse than me.

It just feels like the universe just keeps hitting me with hard situations, with unfair situations, with an overwhelming amount of situations at the same time.

And I’m f*cking tired of it.

Last month, I was extremely depressed to the point where I wanted to act upon my suicidal thoughts. Another guy that I was talking to and was starting to get to know just stops talking to me out of nowhere. And this guy was different because I really liked him. At the same time, I was extremely burnt out at work and I felt I needed more support than I could get. With all these overwhelming feelings going on, in my personal life and in my work life.

My choice to react to those situation, was completely see the negative side of things. And it led to a dark depression, feeling worthless and wanting to end my life.

As March was approaching, I realized how horrible I felt during February. I know that the situations that occurred were sh*tty. But I couldn’t do anything about the situations. I couldn’t control what happened. My only control is my reaction towards it. And my choices led me to feel so bad about myself.

I wanted a fresh start to March. I wanted to practice more self-care. I wanted to look at different perspectives of a situation before automatically reacting to the situation.

But March immediately hit me hard.

My aunt and uncle got COVID. It affected my uncle very badly to the point where he’s in the hospital. We had a family zoom call with all my relatives twice over the weekend. It was very hard to watch my family members cry. It was extremely hard to watch my dad cry about my uncle.

I went to work with a heavy heart this week. I couldn’t control my tears before work and during work thinking about my uncle.

But I still had to go to work.

Then it just felt like the week hit me hard every day this week and it’s only Thursday.

I’m having a hard time with my class lately. Because I have students who need extra attention for different reasons and I can’t give it to them…..because I’m by myself. So they act out. And I found out on Tuesday that a student is coming back. A student who also needs some extra attention too. And I’m already stressed out about it. But my choice to react is to let my assistant director know about my concerns.

My co-teacher left early yesterday because she was sick. So the floater teacher (aka my savior) had to be in her class yesterday. But I found out that they BOTH won’t be there today.

So my choice is: life is already sh*tty. Let’s get this sh*t over with, the best that I can. Because that’s all I can do.

Gotta go.

-MEL

Trying NOT to feel Guilty for Taking Care of Myself.

I called in Sick for tomorrow.

I have been burnt out for the past couple of weeks.

My body is exhausted. My mind is exhausted.

I’ve been wanting to take a day off, but I felt like I was just making excuses to not take a day off.

But the longer I waited, the more it began affecting my mental and physical health.

Last week, I was very irritable. I felt like I was angry at my students more than being patient and comforting to them. Because I was soo burnt out and exhausted. I felt so guilty at the end of the night for how I talked to them.

I started having a headache yesterday. I could feel an aura coming, and I knew that I was going to get a migraine soon. I wanted to take today off, but I was so conflicted on whether or not it was the best choice. I kept on thinking about my students and how it would affect them. Then it was too late to call in. I went to work today and my head kept on throbbing. At some moments, I was irritable. Then I was very out of it. It felt like I was in a dream-like state, like everything didn’t seem real. Then, as I was driving home. I was at a stoplight and it turned green. For some reason, I just stared at it and didn’t react quickly that it was the signal to drive. And the loud honk from the car behind me, reminded me that I’m not living in a dream-like condition. Then as the sun was setting, I also realized…I didn’t put my headlights on and it was getting dark.

That’s when I knew that my mind needed a break.

My headache started getting worse at the end of the work day. And then when I got home, the nausea started. I took my prescription for migraines. And it didn’t really help. I used my essential oils, that didn’t help. Then it felt like everything else in my body just gave up. I got anxious about a relative getting COVID (I haven’t had any contact with them, everyone is worried about him, so my anxiety went up)…then I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe. Once I realized it, then even more I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Then all of a sudden, my sinuses hurt and of course it hurt more, when I started thinking about it. The anxiety made me have physical symptoms. Then thinking about my physical symptoms made me feel worse. Oh and my head still hurts and I still feel nauseous.

That’s when I knew that my body needs a break.

As I came to the decision of letting my director know that I would be out tomorrow.

I got really anxious. For some reason, I thought of the worst possible responses for taking a day off. Which I never really take a day off.

And then, I started feeling guilty for taking a day off. How it would affect my co-teachers, my students and everyone else.

My body is literally telling me that it needs a break and I feel guilty.

I texted Crisis Text Line. And the first thing the counselor told me is that I shouldn’t feel any shame for taking a day off to stay on track. My mental and physical health should be a priority.

And she’s right.

My therapist talked to me about this, a couple of weeks ago. She knew that I was depressed and burnt out. And she said that if I’m not feeling good (mentally and physically), then I should take a day off. I knew I need a day off, but I never did. Now I’m suffering the consequences from it.

I know that going to work tomorrow will either: make my head feel worse or make me more stressed that I’ll be more frustrated and angry at work.

I’M DOING WHAT’S BEST FOR ME, MY MENTAL HEALTH & MY PHYSICAL HEALTH. I SHOULD NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR THAT.

-MEL