Today I had one of my 11 year old students in for her usual Thursday lesson. Every day she comes in with a beaming smile ready to dance. But today she came in red faced, puffy eyed, and sad. I obviously had to ask what was wrong because this was not normal. She said she was fine and I then I looked at her mom who’s eyes quickly became tear fill. This was also, not like her, so I took her in the back to talk.

She began to tell me that my student suffers from depression and anxiety, AT 11! With tears streaming down her face, she explained that she has her in therapy and taking medication, but she’s started jr. high and everything has just been adding stress. She continued to express to me that she felt as though she was to blame and didn’t know what else to do to help her daughter. I told her if they needed a break I understood and not to worry. She then looked me straight in the eye and said, “No, I can’t let her do that. She needs this. She’s talented, and when things get too hard she wants to quit. And she loves to dance and you have helped her so much. You understand her and you see something in her. You break through to her and no one has ever done that before. I don’t want her to be away from you, because she needs your help. I could keep the water works when she told me this. It hit so many heart strings and personal struggles. I just gave her a hug and spoke to her straight from the heart. I explained that I too have struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to have parents that paid attention or cared enough to help me through it. I told her I’ve never taken medicine for it because I don’t believe that that’s the solution and gave her some ideas of what I do to help curb my thoughts and emotions. I also told her that she was an amazing woman for trying to help her daughter get through this and that I would help any way I could. She told me that she and her daughter loved me and that they looked at me like family. It was so filling to know that what I am doing as a teacher is helping a little girl who struggles with something so sadly common in this society. My heart just about burst into a million piece today from all the love and gratitude. I’m going to bed very peacefully tonight. ✌️💜