There are so many things I need to say to you, but I’ll start here…. thank you.
Two little words to try and describe how indebted I am to you. How you saved me. And, even though you don’t know it, how you kept me living.
I remember the year vividly. In the first few weeks I was fine. Getting through life as best I knew how. Taking three AP classes (one of which was yours). Taking 2 Honors classes as well. My plate was full. So when I started having a bad psychotic episode, I started to drown.
I couldn’t read the books for your class. My calculus class was different… math came so natural to me, and for some reason the voices, noises, and delusions didn’t affect me as much. AP Government was almost impossible as well, but we came up with something to help me.
Eventually, I had to tell you what was happening. I had friends that went with me to talk to you. I was terrified. By that point, I was convinced someone named Carin was possessing me and telling me things. It was bad. And you didn’t even blink an eye.
You started by giving me extensions on the books I had to read. There was a suggestion to do book on tape, but with my mind fractured, that was soon put to rest. I struggled so much, but I talked to you every day. It even got to the point where you said I could come see you at any time, even if you were currently teaching a class.
Eventually, you convinced me to let the principle know. Both of you kept encouraging me to go to the counseling center and/or tell my parents. I didn’t do either, and since I wasn’t a threat to myself or others, you couldn’t tell anyone without my permission.
By the end of the year, I was much better. I was able to read everything I missed, and I actually powered through Beloved when it was actually time to read it. I literally couldn’t put it down.
All the things that happened were almost just a memory as graduation preparations were getting underway. I was almost alright for the next two years, and when I had a “relapse” during college, I actually wasn’t afraid to tell my parents or go to the counseling center.
But I wouldn’t even be here if you didn’t take me under your wing. Unfortunately, things have gotten worse over these past years, but with my diagnoses, it’s inevitable. I was warned by my doctors that this would happen, but it still didn’t prepare me when it did. But I thought about you when I had my first hospitalization… I remembered how much you cared.
I remember trying to look you up after that, but there were so many identical names within a 20 minute radius from high school, that I never did find out which one was you.
I hope you are doing well. You’re amazing. Thank you.