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.