How Turning Mute Made Me Better Not Bitter #Lesson 15

When my husband insisted that I take a sickness leave I had to abandon my students all of a sudden, without a prior notice, an explanation or a good bye. “Tomorrow will be your last day to rest your voice,” he had ordered. I went home broken. Back then I wondered how life could be so cruel. How could a mother be forced to leave her children in such a cruel way. I was taught since my first year as a teacher that my students were my children. Dealing with them from this perspective we had a bond, we were close and we had dreams. They had running projects and we were used to our weekly lessons. This bitter incident made me decide to quit teaching. I was so worried my voice keeps fading and I was more worried to be taken apart from my children. I sent an email to the Chairman informing him that I decided to quit teaching because of my voice and that I needed to know what other roles I can do in the organisation with my current health conditions. I explained that I will resign if they had no room for me. 

Receiving his prompt reply was another lesson I learned from this experience. In his reassuring email he explained that the school will always be hiring me whether I had a voice or not. He advised me not to busy my mind with anything but my health and that secured me that we will discuss my future role when I recover.

I learned that hard work and devotion pay off. I had been working for the same school for 8 years and I had put my heart in my work. From his reply I learned to believe in principles and goodness. 
Read the intro to this series of articles at:

https://imanrefaat.com/2016/08/16/how-turning-mute-made-me-better-not-bitter/

  

How Turning Mute Made Me Better Not Bitter #Lesson 14

Before facing my vocal cords problem and taking my sickness leave from work my life was so busy. Socially busy. I had friends at work with whom I used to hang out during weekends and to chat regularly on weekdays. I had colleagues who filled my life with insights from professional and personal experiences. And I had amazing students who nurtured my heart and challenged my mind to always try its best. During my sickness leave all this completely changed. I found myself surrounded by my family and my best friend. I received text messages from some friends and colleagues, and emails from few students. At first I felt lonely and angry at the rest for forgetting to ask about me. Their care wasn’t up to my expectations and I doubted that they loved me from the first place. I started to categorise people based on the level of attention they paid me during my absence. I sorted them into acquaintances, colleagues, friends and close friends. And I made a mental decision that I would show each one the same level of care she embraced me with. 

After many months I figured out how mistaken I was. With one of my friends getting sick and my life being super busy; trying to find my balance back, I wasn’t able to offer her the level of care she expected and though I sincerely wished to support her. 

This experience taught me many lessons. I understood that I must have no expectations from anyone because I can never know what people are going through. That many people wish to be more caring and more supportive yet they stumble and screw up and sometimes it’s out of their hands. That sick people need emotional support. That I must never categorise people. And that the best thing I can do to be happy is to give out love not to wait to receive it. 
Read the intro to this series of articles at:

https://imanrefaat.com/2016/08/16/how-turning-mute-made-me-better-not-bitter/

  

How Turning Mute Made Me Better Not Bitter #Lesson 13

During my obligatory sickness leave from my work as a teacher to save my fading voice I had plenty of time; ‘me time’. While writing my personal mission statement I started to think of what mattered to me the most. I was fearing to live forever as a mute person and to lose my job. I asked myself about the one thing that would keep me alive and would prevent me from feeling worthless. I became obsessed with this question. And while feeling broken for not being able to work as a teacher, I recognised that my family is my first priority, that they weren’t only alive, yet very supportive to me in my sickness. My anger decreased, I found more clarity and I started to think of my second priority. Contribution. I couldn’t imagine my life without contributing, without touching people’s lives, without making an impact or inspiring others to become proactive and to make meaningful contributions to their communities. Guiding, inspiring and unleashing teenagers’ potentials was my second priority. I knew I wanted to reach them and I wanted to do this face to face, as an educator in a classroom. This conclusion made me decide to do whatever it takes to have my voice back. Restoring my health became my top priority in the next months. And instead of just focusing on resting my vocal cords, I focused on getting rid of the reasons that made me lose my voice from the first place. I realised that I had to adopt a new lifestyle free from fatigue and stress. I had to replace my habits with new ones. I had to work on my thoughts. And most of all I learned to differentiate between the reasons and the symptoms, and to study any problem I encounter. 
Read the intro to this series of articles at:

https://imanrefaat.com/2016/08/16/how-turning-mute-made-me-better-not-bitter/