Jim is a retired High School Teacher of History, English and Drama who spent 24 years being an effective classroom teacher and initiator of whole school programs in performance, before being diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (depression) and being medically retired.
He was then Head of Department, English, History at a school and found the pressure of a dysfunctional staff and lack of support from the executive of the school overwhelming.
He changed positions, sought professional help and spent much time and effort in attempting to continue as a teacher, without success. For the next eight years, Jim worked on recovery finally finding a path to healing through writing and spirituality, initiated by completing The Artist’s Way course by Julia Cameron.
In the ten years since Jim has deepened my involvement in writing and spirituality and volunteered in many community theatre groups assisting young people in performance.
Today, Jim is a member of Redcliffe Writers Group (Communications Officer) and is also involved in producing events where writers of all ages can share their work and grow as creative people. Working to give effective opportunities for people, especially young people to express their truth creatively is my passion.
We talk about how important it is for men to be able to share and not remaining in a competitive stance.
The pressure of external expectations was key to the rise of his health issues. He approached his students and teaching from the perspective of being of service and told his final year students that he considered that he had done his job well when they no longer needed him.
As he climbed the career ladder, interviewers became more interested in Jim’s personal success and not who HE was and the lasting impact he had on students.
When he was unable to work, he went to a psychiatrist who prescribed medication which did not avoid the breakdown.
Jim talks about the difference between achieving a life and achieving success and the role of self-care in the former.
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