5 Things I Need to Tell the Teacher Who Helped Me Through My Mental Illness

1.  You stepped up and did more than your job requires.

I know your job never ends. You may leave the building, but you take your work with you. I can only imagine how tiring it is, but even though you were clearly tired, you didn’t walk away. Everyone else left me to help myself. I was trying but clearly failing. On the days you could see I was struggling but too ashamed to reach out, you could have looked the other way like everyone else did. But you didn’t.

2.  I hated that you were pushing me to do better.

I understand it now though. Everyone thinks you’re lucky if you can get out of going to school, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Being able to sleep so much meant that’s what I did. I didn’t get out of bed until the day was almost over. That’s how the thoughts and voices came so often. If you hadn’t been pushing me, they would have eaten me alive.

3.  You’re still helping me get through the dark days.

Even if we don’t speak often, I remember everything you said that helped me get to where I am today. I still repeat your words to myself as a reminder to put one foot in front of the other and breathe.

4.  I’m doing OK.

Remember that day you told me I would be OK and I didn’t believe you? You were right. I am going to be OK. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but I believe you now.

5.  Thank you.

If you see this, you’ll know who you are. Thank you for refusing to give up on me. I don’t think you understand that I could say so many things to you, but I’ll leave it at “You saved me from myself when no one else would. Thank you.”

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