Thursday, April 13, 2017

Teachers Can Be Guardian Angels Too

My life has been full of guardian angels. I've been so very blessed to have so many been placed in my life to aid me on my journey.

When I look back on my years in high school they still amaze me. The fact that I graduated on time is no small miracle.

My sophomore year I started my journey with mental illness. It started with a Major Depressive Episode which transitioned into my first psychotic episode. My second psychotic episode started near the beginning of my junior year.

Due to the nature of my symptoms and the frequent hospitalizations I wasn't in school very much. Sophomore year I missed at least one day a week due to the severity of my depression. The end of my sophomore year I went on medical Home Study.

I wanted to go back to school for junior year, but when my second psychotic episode started I went back on Home Study for all of junior year. That year was so rough I was unable to do any work the whole first semester and completed the whole work between January and May of that school year.

Again, my goal was to go back to school for Senior year, but instead I went to Residential, a choice I will never regret. I did go back to school part day for the last semester of my senior year because I wanted to walk the stage for graduation.

Throughout all these ups and downs with school I received an incredible amount of help. At this time in my life I hadn't accepted my journey yet and was still embarrassed of my mental illnesses. I told hardly anyone. The select few people I did tell though carried me through those years.

My parents were my biggest advocates. My dad did most of my junior year assignments right along side me. He sometimes had to read me the text book before we did the questions because my mind did not allow me enough clarity to read.

I cannot say enough good things about the high school I went to. The administration was incredibly supportive and worked so well with me to get done everything I wanted to accomplish. They never gave up on me. I know that I was incredibly lucky to have such a great school admin.

Through all of this there is one person who stands out. I could not have done it without him. Since I have not asked permission to read about him I will shorten his name to Mr. T.

Mr. T was one of those teachers who cares an incredible amount for his students. He was one of my teachers sophomore year. When I went on Home Study the end of sophomore year he was my Home Study teacher. That means he came to my house each week and went through my work with me. He was also my Home Study teacher for most of my Junior year.

Mr. T was also one of the people on my emergency list for someone I could always go to if I had a problem at school. I could go and sit in his class if my hallucinations or anxiety got too bad. He was one of the people I was always honest with. He was a great listener and always found a way to make me smile no matter the situation.

I remember the time I had my first hallucination at school. I was in another teacher's pod. I was walking in circles unresponsive. None of the teachers, admin, or security guard could get through to me. I think they couldn't get ahold of my mom so they called Mr. T out of his classroom to come down. He just talked to me. I didn't really pay attention and I didn't respond. I couldn't, but he started cracking jokes. That was enough to make me smile. For a small moment he was able to pull a little bit of me away from my hallucination.

When I went back to school Senior year I tutored for Mr. T. I loved still being able to see him and talk to him when I needed to. I've gone back since graduation to see him too.

Mr. T. was definitely one of my high school guardian angels. I don't think I could have graduated without his help. Everyone deserves to have at least one teacher like Mr. T. in their lifetime. One they will never forget.

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