Caught in a downward spiral
"I left the school at about 8 pm and drove home like an automaton," she said.
"Everything ached. I thought, 'I've stopped, I've just stopped.'
"I went to my doctor for a routine appointment. The doctor was new to me.
We went through the usual routine. Ten minutes later, I was on my way out of the surgery in a state of shock. 'I am sending you home for four weeks in the first instance,' he said. 'You don't need any medication other than rest.' I felt I was betraying the students for whom I wanted so much to make a difference. But the atmosphere of disbelief was now exactly what it had been when I first arrived.
"I did not know how to find the energy to start again. I had ignored the warnings of family and friends for the past several months, although I saw their distress. Now there was no choice. 'You are suffering from grief,'
the doctor said. 'These are the signs of mourning.'
"Although I love what I do now, everything has changed.
"Someone said to me a few months ago, 'I always wondered if you were arrogant or naive - I think you were naive, probably.'
"I don't think so. I had just decided to try to put my energy where my ideals were - alwaysa risk."