I haven’t blogged about my head for a while – and the main reason is it seems to be okay at the moment in terms of the depression. The meds are doing their job and this has been the first summer where there hasn’t been a big dip around the tail end of July for a long time. What I have noticed this week though is the anxiety is creeping in before my first proper week of lecturing/teaching at the college.
Friday was my first class and it went well, but then the gang at Altens are doing a different type of course and the majority want to learn. We got through a good amount of work and they were all really decent to work with so I was happy I got the initial one out of the way. This coming week I’ll be in the mix with most of my timetabled classes in front of me. I’m not overly concerned really but there is that part of your head that puts little niggling questions at the front of your mind. It has been a couple of months since I was teaching full-time, but I am confident enough that I can do the job.
The main difference for me is that I have to get classes though all the hoops in half the time I did at school. The blocks are nineteen weeks and eighteen weeks long across the academic year so where I would normally be taking students up to the prelims, I now have to have completed units and that’s where those negative thoughts creep in. Also thinking about the volume of marking that will appear mid way through each of the blocks with reports and essays does seem to be slowly turning from molehill to mountain in my mind.
I know that everything will be fine and I’m deliberately keeping an open and positive mind on things so as to not get caught by the black dog I’ve avoided for about four months now, but I know I can have a domino reaction to things and before I know it everything is toppling over. It’s a tough one because the logical part of my head knows that I’ve always managed to get things done – even when my head was really testing me I got through it – but it’s human to doubt yourself at times and just now the internal “Anxious HQ” is starting to fire round memos to forewarn of the oncoming storm.
My focus has to be on the students and getting them through the necessary outcomes as they arise, use the knowledge and experience of my fantastic colleagues to anchor me if it gets rough, and ultimately remember that I am more than capable of doing the job in front of me. It’s easy to type it, another to do it – but I’m determined to stay in this sustained “up” of the last few months for as long as possible and not let these thoughts take over.