Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mental Health + Sick Day

Today is the first day in my history of being at Big Little Town U that I've a) taken more of a mental health day than a sick day, although I am sick, still and b) have missed two full entire days of classes.

Because I've been sicker than I had been these last two weeks, I am woefully behind. This is stressing me out, greatly, which I think is adding to my morning sickness. At the very least, I can't imagine that it's helping, even if the two are entirely unrelated. These last two weeks have been the roughest thus far, even with the medicine. I had some bad days earlier on, but they were usually only one or two days a week. Now, I'm sick more often than I'm not.

I am deeply afraid though that I'm turning into *that* colleague or *that* pregnant woman whose only reason for being sick is the result of building a child that she decided to do, and I don't want this to be perceived as affecting my work. I am entirely self-conscious of this. In my defense, I've missed fewer pregnancy related days than some of my colleagues missed last quarter for the flu. Perhaps it's not the same, but I have about as much control over how my body feels as one who has the flu does.

This has been a woefully horrible week. It's the first week really that I've fallen behind and have just been floundering. I don't like that feeling. I don't like feeling like a slacker or a loser here because I'm having trouble keeping my head above water. On top of this, I now seem to be plagued with headaches, and entirely new occurrence here.

While I do so completely want to crawl back into bed, because I know a nice long nap would do me a lot of good, I think what would combat the stress more would be to take advantage of my convalescence and read as much as I can today. It doesn't seem to me like the weekends are enough time for me anymore. And I've even dropped my Saturday work outs for the sake of getting work done.

I think I'm going to request a MWF schedule for next quarter. Yes, it will mean long days on Mondays and Wednesdays, but at least it gives me Tuesdays and Thursdays to recover and work, either prep or actually get my own work done. This five day a week thing is too much for me--I've really grown to hate it. And I've found, too, that I dislike 2 hour undergraduate classes. It takes more energy than I have to expend in one shot right now. But I was thinking about this this morning, and it turns out that I a) do not like late morning/afternoon classes. I thought I might, but I don't, and b) I don't like 2 hour undergrad classes. No. So I've sent off my request to my boss. We'll see what she says. I think I might like that, actually, even if it means I'm on campus from 8:00-4:15 on MW. I can handle that if I have Tuesdays and Thursdays off. And that's what I did at my old job, so we'll see what she says.

In any case, I'm going to take a shower and read and relax. Since I have time to read, I think it will be less strenuous on me. And perhaps I can get ahead. Anyway, I hope no one thinks less of me for ditching teaching in order to destress and catch up.


  1. :( I hope you feel better soon! And keep calm --- it will work out somehow! I don't want your mental state to work yourself up into even more of a bad physical one.

    Also, have you tried talking to the sprout and telling him/her to knock it off? ;) Maybe try singing to the kid.

  2. If you had the 'flu no-one would turn a hair, and really, the distinction you make is a fairly silly one - your body isn't working properly, and that means that you need to rest/aren't able to do a good job at the work you're expected to do if you go in. Only academics consider 'I called in sick' to mean 'I cancelled a small part of my duties and am now going to spend all day working on other parts of the job'. Really, stop beating yourself up!

    Now, sick KIDS causing problems, I admit I do get frustrated by - because really if both parents plan to work surely they know that they need to plan for the inevitable point in the semester when their kid is sick, but actually most of my colleagues don't, and every month or so every winter for ten years it's a freaking emergency that no-one could have predicted and they have to take days off at short/no notice. Guys, kids get sick... it's NOT unpredictable. And if they had somewhere safe to be, YOU would still be able to work, hence totally different to when YOU'RE sick. ahem. end rant.

    It's NORMAL and HUMAN to be unwell sometimes, for all sorts of reasons. Sick teachers are not effective teachers... Tell the voices in your head to STFU and focus on getting less stressed, OK?

    Good thoughts coming your way!