Dear all…

A Guest Post by @BrynShenkin

new york

Dear all,

I’m a secondary school Science teacher. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder five years ago but have struggled with my mental health for the past decade. I never told anyone at work about my issues apart from the HR lady who noted down my medication etc. I hadn’t had an “episode” since my diagnosis.

However, about four weeks ago, we were just chatting in the Science office when mental health came up in conversation. I mentioned in passing that I have bipolar but no-one really batted an eyelid; they were talking about their own problems! I felt a huge sense of relief knowing that some of my friends at work finally knew the truth.

A week before the end of term I began to feel unwell. I hadn’t been sleeping well as I was worrying and excited about my wedding at the beginning of April. I was scared – I had the same racing, and slightly bizarre, thoughts as before. I rang my Dad before telling my fiancé. I missed the final week of term. Before that week I’d only had one sick day in two years; I hate being ill. But my focus was to be well for my wedding and honeymoon in New York – and both went very smoothly.

I returned to work at the start of this term. I chatted to my head of department about my illness and she wished she had known before. I now wish I had told her too. There is still such a stigma around mental health. If someone needs glasses or walks with a stick people are okay with that because they can actually see what the issue might be. However, the more we talk, the more other people will understand.

@BrynShenkin

Human Biology graduate. Science teacher. AMRSB. Aspiring author. Tory town councillor.

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