This will be a reoccurring theme in my posts. My depression had me convinced of a whole range of things that dTMS has revealed to be false. Here are the BIG THREE.
Lie #1: The “YOU SUCK AT THE THINGS YOU LOVE DOING,” lie.
Depression used some bullshit standardized test data and my imposter syndrome to convince me I was a terrible teacher. This was despite all evidence to the contrary.
Since starting TMS, I’ve reached out to at least a dozen former students and counting. Some have reached out to me. Most are just checking in to see how I am doing. That I can contact them and get a fast response is amazing. Some of these folks are students I had in class decades ago.
So, let’s look at the facts:
Former students don’t become part of the lives of terrible teachers.
I’ve been cleaning up my pictures (I had over 70,000 digital alone) and there are thousands of pictures of the amazing young people who passed through my classroom and the extra-curricular activities I’ve been involved with. Many of these former students are still part of my life.
Here’s the story those pictures tell me.
That dozens have packed into my kitchen for “Friendsgiving”.
That my wife and I have attended their weddings.
That they invite me to their children’s birthday parties so I can hold their babies.
That having a drink out and about or meeting them for a meal is a regular part of my left.
It’s the only evidence I need to prove that I’ve made a positive impact on their lives.
Lie #2: “YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE LOVED BY THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE.”
This one is insidious.
It works its way between you and those you love and them acts as a pry-bar to force you into isolation.
So, let’s look at the evidence and not the lie.
A 35 year relationship with my partner.
Two loving children with whom I have a strong relationship.
An amazing and supportive extended family, close friends, and that horde of former students.
Those folks smiling at me from the pictures I’ve spent hours looking at. I know they are smiling at me because I’m almost always the one behind the camera.
My self-hate fueled my need to avoid being the subject of photographs, so I became the one to capture others’ happiness.
I found very few pictures of myself.
These folks were working to help me find the light again, and now that I have, I see they’ve always been there, hidden by the shadows of depression.
Which brings us to
Lie #3: “YOU ARE ALL ALONE.” I now know that I never was.