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A Thank You to the Teacher Who Picked Up On My Mental Health Struggles

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To the person who told me to keep fighting,

I met you my sophomore year; you were my English teacher. From the time I met you, I knew you’d be that one teacher anyone could talk to about anything. I didn’t think “anyone” would end up meaning me. The early spring of 2014, I started dealing with panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. You were the first person I came to, and right away you knew what was going on. The rest of that year, things only went downhill. Yet, you never left my side.

Thank you for being my person or my “security blanket,” as you’d say. Your classroom, my safe place. Where I’d end up spending every single morning and passing period. When I’d leave class due to a panic attack or during a bad round of depression, I would walk in and without saying a word, you were able to pick up that something was wrong.

Thank you for being the “chill” teacher and putting up with my sassy, sarcastic self. Always throwing insults back and forth. For making fun of my short stature. For lightening the mood when your students were too tense.

Thank you for allowing me to come to you. Thank you for listening to me complain and cry and panic over the smallest of things. You never minimized the issue and instead helped me face it head-on without questioning it.

And this, what I think may be the most important. Through the countless number of emails and conversations, you have told me not to stop fighting. No matter how bad things get. No matter who says what or who does what. You don’t give up. You will get through this. It’s something I have to remind myself every day, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

Thank you for everything you have done for me from the time I met you until now. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for you stepping in and helping me. I owe you a lot.


A very grateful student

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Thinkstock photo by Ingram Publishing

Originally published: January 27, 2017
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