I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Deserve To Be Inspired by Positive Writer http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-deserve-to-be-inspired/ . This is my entry.
Several years ago I started to feel hollow. Let me explain. I was working as a teacher in a secondary school and had always enjoyed my job. I loved interacting with the students and watching their progress. My colleagues were lovely, supportive people and we had a lot of laughs together. I was beginning to take on some pastoral responsibility and liked helping students with their problems. Then one day a new member of staff started who had seniority over my pastoral area. And that's when my problems began.
He was a bully. He took great pleasure in undermining those over whom he had authority. He belittled your efforts and rejoiced when you failed. Slowly and without my even noticing he eroded my confidence in my ability and sucked all the joy out of my working life. I began to dread Monday morning and my health began to suffer. Eventually I had to stay away from work with anxiety related health problems and it became obvious that I would struggle to stay teaching at that school. Eventually the anxiety, depression and associated problems led to me abandoning teaching all together.
Now I know what you're thinking: isn't this supposed to be inspiring and positive? This just sounds like a load of doom and gloom. Well, in a way that time was filled with doom and gloom. But what I want to share is that there can be a positive outcome from even the darkest time.
I left teaching, which was sad as I loved to teach. But other avenues opened up for me. After many years of procrastinating I embraced the writer within me and am now beginning to submit work and enter writing contests. I have gained a whole new set of friends who write and their friendship and support has lifted me through some tough times. And above all I am happier in my own skin. I took some counselling and discovered things about myself and my past which allowed me to rebuild my confidence. I still have the occasional wobble but I have the tools to deal with it and move forward.
The most positive thing I learned from that experience is that bullies never really win. I went through a difficult time and emerged on the other side happier and more peaceful than I used to be. And the bully? Eventually he was found out and lost his position. I don't celebrate that but it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I rose and he fell.
And that is surely the most positive thing of all.