I've been there before. It was the toughest decision I ever had to make. The knowledge that I was letting an entire village down - my students, my colleagues, my administration, friends & family, and anyone else who ever had a stake in shaping who I'd become - only compounded my depression.
-Teacher's who bent backwards for me since day one to ensure my success, my student's success, and, maybe most importantly, my sanity.
-Students so used to broken promises, starving for attention and structure. Young geniuses who sought direction. A few who called me their favorite teacher.
-Parents, friends, family who were proud of me, who knew of my struggles but supported me beyond measure, who respected what I got into, understood it'd be a struggle, but still believed in me nonetheless.
The hardest part about letting all that go is saying goodbye. Admitting to everyone and, even worse, yourself that something you wanted to get into for so long is something you cannot do.
Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. We all got our reasons. And I feel you on that. We are humans first. Teachers second.
But please do say goodbye. The text messages, emails, and phone calls aren't to further the guilt, but are out of genuine concern. And any sort of goodbye or closure you can provide for us is thrice as meaningful for them.
Again, keep swimming. Things look up on the other side of winter. Way up. And it's not that far away.