Ups and downs, the cycle of a day

I am writing this blog to share, vent, diffuse…so many reasons or excuses, you decide.
I am a teacher as most readers know, so I am now in the 5th week of my summer break. Traditionally a time to spend with family, relax, let go of school thoughts, go away for a while, then wind self up in the last week as I prepare to go back into school.

This summer is my new beginning, a move to a dream job teaching, not managing others, with chances to be creative and outdoors. An opportunity to bring my extended family together in a new place in a great location. That is all still going to be possible so why is it getting to me?

Well complications over selling and buying properties and delays … mean that the choice to be in our new location for the 9th of August has been and gone. The various companies involved in the reason for the loss of one sale are being elusive. The follow up process not moving at the speed we would like. It is causing frustration. As part of the interim measure four of us share our three bedroom terraced house, space is at a premium, there is nowhere to hide for those moments on tension.

I have had many good points this holiday, many spent with family, ex collleagues, ex pupils celebrating the start to a new stage yet my mind and body roll from one extreme to the other.

I am participating in #DrawAugust where I sketch (at least one) a drawing each day and post it online – I am doing this on Facebook and Twiiter where I am combining it with #Teacher5adaysketch. Today’s drawing shows how my mood has varied today. I have had the happy smiley, finding it difficult to take compliments about the way I work with my classes. I have had the neutral where despite nagging doubts about the pace of progress towards the new life I have offered the whole family, not just myself there have been great thoughts that neutralise or even balance out the mood. Then there are the silly things I allow to niggle away, the gnawing and gnashing of my jaw in frustration where my mood drops and my boat seems to start sinking.

So why post this, because to be honest blogging is my release. It doesn’t matter whether people read it, it is like a tap. I can alter the flow. When I was younger and I felt low I would bottle it up, I wouldn’t share and I would fly off the handle and get very shoutey, I would slam doors. I was not great to be around and I apologise to my siblings and parents for that. Those outlets didn’t make me feel better. I have used exercise, sketching, walking, crying, hiding in a darkened room to various extents to release the internal pressure. I reflect I have a mind which is overactive, I don’t always advise such a thing. So today as the day has progressed, I am not in the mood to exercise, I want to hit out but I don’t, I want to scream but I don’. I want to hide but I don’t – so I blog and I will post it once on FB and Twitter as a link and it will stand as evidence of one day in my head. Some say I shouldn’t be this open but I suffer from depression I have a Mental health issue and I want others to know that it is not easy on some days. 

This August the 31st I am going to host an online chat as part of #teacher5adayslowchat3 and talk with people online about this mental health thing that impacts on many of us, that makes others judge us. Then on September 17th I am opening myself up in a room with other people, mainly teachers ( nobody might turn up) to have a conversation about mental health from the teachers perspective as the sufferer rather than the supporter. 

As I have written this post the therapeutic effort of putting my thoughts down by drawing, then typing (and correcting) have brought me to a calmer place. If you have read to this point, thank you. If issues like this affect you and you don’t have an outlet say hi – I am on Twitter at @aknill, I am on email at If that scares you, I am sorry and ignore my offer.

I am now back to midway between picture two and picture one. 



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