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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

A Visit from an Old Enemy

Today my old enemy, depression, came for a visit.  I woke up at the usual time, 5am, and I could tell that I was in for a rough bout of it.  Moving around felt like walking in deep mud, talking felt like a chore, getting dressed felt like working in a low, slow gear. 

Depression is a family malady.  One of my uncle's nearly died from it, and I believe it shortened his life. Mine comes on slowly, and usually, I can get over it with a little effort, and by the time I get to school and get actively involved in teaching, it seems to go away. No such luck today.

I could really tell that I was in for an above average bout of depression when I felt happy to be held up by a freight train at the railroad crossing that is on the road to my school.  I needed some time to gather my thoughts.

After I got to school, I could not get going. I did not bring my chess games to the cafeteria as I usually do when I have morning duty like today.  I did not do well in my first two classes. I felt like I was teaching in a fog. 

Finally, I decided to let my immediate administrator know about my condition. She very kindly offered me the opportunity to go home once she found someone to cover my classes.  

I hate doing that, but I also worry that my presence could do more harm than good.  I am thankful for the way we look out for each other at Centennial. It's one of the reason I have chosen to remain there all these years.

I came home. Rested a bit. Took the dogs out of a long walk to get some fresh air. I think I am okay, and I plan to be there tomorrow. 

A psychiatrist once told me that the brain is an organ, and it gets sick just as other organs do.  So my brain was a bit on the puny side today.

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