I thought my life was going ok really. It wasn’t perfect but then whose is?
I’m nearly 40 and been a teacher for 15 years. I really enjoy my job, at least I used to – recently, there’s been a lot of pressure. The school I’m at got Requires Improvement at our last Ofsted so there’s been lots of paper work and all our jobs are at risk and there are a lot of staff off with stress at the moment. I never thought I would be one of them but I found myself taking the odd day off saying I had a stomach bug or whatever but really, I just didn’t want to go in and face all the negativity.
At home, things started to deteriorate too. My wife wasn’t happy about the amount of time I was spending on school work in the evenings. She said I wasn’t spending enough time with her and the kids. That kind of upset me because I always prided myself on being a good dad. Then I realised I’d missed several of their school and sports events and I was snapping at them. On the days when I went into school I was leaving the house at 7.00 and not getting back till about 7.00 in the evening.
I was spending so much time at school that I got friendly with one of the other teachers. We were working on a project together and spent a lot of time alone. I’m not proud of myself but one thing led to another and I started seeing her out of school. Of course, my wife found out and gave me an ultimatum, one last chance.
That was a real wake-up call. I love her so much and I didn’t want to lose her. I decided I needed some help – I had advised a couple of colleagues to get counselling in the past but it never even crossed my mind that I might need it someday.
In a weird coincidence, I picked up a card for MCTC at my doctor’s surgery. I was in to pick up a prescription for one of the kids and it was on the counter. I was quite relieved because I didn’t really want to talk to the doctor – her kids go to my school.
I got an introductory appointment within a week and although I had to wait a few weeks to be allocated a counsellor, it felt like the ball was rolling.
I’ve had a few sessions now and I think I am beginning to make progress. I thought my counsellor would be really disapproving but she didn’t judge me at all – she seemed more interested in helping me understand how I had got to the state I was in and now I am beginning to think about things I need to change.
I actually really like going to the Centre. It’s not like going to a clinic or anything. The rooms are big and comfortable with armchairs and everyone is really welcoming and kind.
When I’ve finished my counselling, I am going to try and do some fundraising for MCTC. I’ve always wanted to run a marathon so I might try and train for one next year.
PAIN IS REAL BUT SO IS HOPE – Please Help MCTC to provide HOPE.