A Much Needed Rant

For the last three plus years, I’ve lived every waking second in some degree of pain. Up until June of this year, I endured this pain and soldiered on because I held out some hope that maybe one day things would get better. Now, the pain gets so bad that sometimes I wonder if I can take it for much longer. Most nights, I awake from a dead sleep calling out in pain. My left hand is nearly useless from trembling, numbness, and constant twitching. I can barely walk because I literally cannot tell how high my feet are off the ground and because the muscle spasms make my legs hurt so badly that the very act of walking is painful. Now, any amount of physical exertion exhausts me within minutes.

I feel used up and discarded, and for the first time in my life, I regret moving back to East Tennessee to teach. This state does not value education or educators. It does not value literacy. I regret allowing some misguided ideology that I needed to come back here and teach because if not me then who would do it. I was a fool for not moving to New York or LA and writing for TV or the movies. I should have been selfish and gotten as far away from this backwards, pill-popping, illiterate state as I could. For the first time in my life, I’m truly ashamed to be from Tennessee. I’m ashamed of this place and the ignorance and corruption which govern it.

I’m angry and bitter, and I feel completely and utterly hopeless.

7 thoughts on “A Much Needed Rant”

  1. I feel the same about Ohio. I’ve literally encountered people up here who say , “I don’t read” with a smug expression as if it’s something to be proud of. It pisses me off to no end.

  2. I’m not sure that teachers are valued in many places at all these days. THough you could move to almost any other industrialized nation and receive a ton more care than you do now.

  3. I can definitely sympathize with you regarding your home state. Mine is Alabama and it’s just as bad if not worse than Tennessee. You tried but what is that saying: ‘You can’t fix stupid’ (Ron White?). As for your health, I know it’s not much to say this, but please stay strong and keep fighting.

  4. Just one man’s opinion, but I think teachers matter even when/where they are not appreciated. Perhaps especially where they aren’t. Because there are students everywhere who need you. Even if they don’t know it.
    But yeah, that doesn’t make it easier.

  5. I have written and deleted this first line a dozen times. Platitudes won’t work; they are too empty and over used. Anger doesn’t work mostly because it is aimed at your situation and your state, not at you, and I have an idea that you have enough of that yourself. Sympathizing won’t cut it because saying “I know how you feel” is more of a bald faced lie than I would be comfortable with, even if I were comfortable with lying.
    But I wish that there were something that I could say that would brighten your spirits and let you know that, though it might feel like it, you are not alone. Hell, I wish that there was something that I can do just to make it all go away, to make everything better…. but you and I know that life just doesn’t work that way except in fairy tales. We all have to pay our own price in this world and I hate like hell that yours is so high right now.
    But (to repeat myself), you are not alone. Please realize that. There are a lot of people (myself included) who will help in any way that they can. I know that that is not much in the middle of a night like you are talking about above but it is…. well, it is what it is.
    Don’t give into this dark, Alex. You are tougher than that, my friend. There ARE better days and happier times n your future. Maybe knowing that will help you fight through this BS storm you are caught in.
    Like Cloudlake said, “Let it out. We will listen.”


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