I made it to Friday and that feels like nothing short of something huge.
For some reason this week I felt as raw as I did exactly one month ago. I have been quick to crumble into tears, getting out the front door and into school took most of my energy. Two days I actually stayed home because I just couldn't get myself together physically and emotionally. Yesterday and today were actually a bit better but still so hard. I think there is also a direct connection between my ability to cope with my grief and how tired I am. Monday and Tuesday nights I did not sleep real well and got out of bed not feeling very rested. If I do not get a good night of sleep I am pretty much useless physically and emotionally the next day. I am not planning on testing this theory by subjecting myself to sleep deprivation, but I will be more mindful of my need for good sleep in order to function (especially at school).
I have set a new goal for myself..to actually work of full week. Since returning to school on January 6th I have not been in school for a full week...granted my first week back I started on a Thursday, then there were the snow days, a holiday and a few days I called out. Here's the breakdown:
In the week of:
1/3... started on Thursday (partial week)
1/10...snow day on Tuesday
1/17...MLK Holiday on Monday & no school, left school early on Tuesday (mini-meltdown)
1/24...snow day on Thursday
1/31... took of Friday (mental health day...honoring the two month mark)
2/7...left early on Tuesday and stayed home Wednesday (mental health days)
I am very fortunate to work at a school with a supportive principal and coworkers. They are willing to give me what ever time I need to deal with my grief. Not that all this time I take off will not come with out consequence (if I go over my allotment some of it will be unpaid I am sure) but I do have concern that this being my tenure year I should be careful. Knowing how supportive my principal and the district level arts supervisor are about my situation I know that as long as I don't completely let my teaching practice go in the toilet getting tenure shouldn't be a problem.
I am hoping to make it through all of next week. The week after that is February break and I am off to warmer weather where I intend on getting a massage, basking in the sun and generally being pampered.
On a related and different note, I met with a grief counselor yesterday. It was an interesting and emotionally draining experience. I got on well with the therapist...at least it was not challenging to talk to her. I felt like I babbled in a train of thought sort of way with her. She asked many "getting to know you," background information gathering questions before she had me tell her my story. She started asking a few probing questions to gauge my mental state right before my time was up. I cried a lot and she even looked like she teared up a few times. I am going back again next week so we'll see how it goes. I can't say that I felt better after seeing her but I didn't feel worse, so that is good. It is my first time in therapy so I had no idea what to expect. I was afraid of being nervous and not knowing what to say but that was easier than I expected.
Here's to a full week of school, another visit with my therapist and hopefully a haircut next week.