Middle Ground

Wanting to avoid the angst from a previous job , the stress of being strung up before disciplinary meetings, at the invitation of my teaching mentor, I was observed this week, whilst teaching first years. And it turns out that the mentor is not happy with my teaching. She is more than happy with my teaching – to the point of wanting to borrow from it: I am instructed to continue teaching the way that I do: my style of teaching is fine by the Department.

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I  am told this, and it feels *good*. I can stop being nervous about doing things wrong now. About low standards. I carry on marking essays, and getting things done. I talk in the office, fire off emails, sort out my admin. I am still going on Friday evening. But then, on the bus home, I can not stop. I am on high alert, anxious, worried, but unable to place why. I still feel incredibly nervous, as if I am about to give a new lecture to a pit of dragons. The suicidality is gone. In its place – nervous elation. The instability of this disorder is alive.

Yesterday evening, I am still not calm. I am agitated and dithering. I cannot calm down, even with medication. A list of things I need to do wraps itself through my thoughts. I want to do all the  things. They *need* to be done. But it is bedtime. I am tired – and wired. And I keep hearing someone calling my name, when there is no one there. Hallucinations signal stress. Tiredness beyond tiredness.  I want to be calm again. But there is no calm.

I get an email. A Sister associated with University chaplaincies in the area where I work is willing to offer me regular pastoral support. The chaplain herself, on compassionate leave, cannot. But the Sister has offered to listen to my tangled thoughts and emotion. To hold it before God with me. God is calm. God is silence. God is Peace. God is the Middle Ground.

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