Aversive Stimuli: To Quit Law School


This weekend my dad and I spoke about my “demons”. (his words, not mine) Just like my mom comparing eating disorder behavior to self-control, my dad asked how I could stand to cut my arms and yet I couldn’t read a few pages in a boring book. My mom referring to restricting or purging as self-control bugs me because they aren’t displays of self-control. If anything, they’re a lack of control. She, of all people, should know that! At first, his similar question bugged me because I thought he was downplaying self-injury.

He explained himself saying the first time I cut myself it had to hurt. However, I kept doing it and the more I cut, the deeper the cuts became. I got “better” at it. I learned to withstand an increasing amount of pain, despite its aversive nature. Thinking about it, he has a point.

Why is scarring my arm easier than reading a stupid book? What is so aversive? Well, it is boring. That hardly seems like a good enough reason. I think the problem is I’m imagining a lifetime of exceedingly boring work. It isn’t just a chapter because it represents years, which scares me. Overcoming a semester or 2 of boredom would be simple, but a lifetime is different.

Why is class so aversive? Right now, I’m sitting 30 feet away from the classroom I should be in. Why is sitting through an hour and 15 minute class so awful that I can’t bother to walk 30 feet to endure it?

Supernatural_Dean_i am crap

Well, my self-concept as an intelligent person is shaky. It is one of the few things I like about myself, but for most of my life I didn’t believe it. So, the belief is easily upset. Classes confuse me because I skip most of them and don’t read. Therefore, class is aversive because it makes me feel stupid. However, logically I know if I skip, I only become more lost. So, what is really keeping me from going to class? I am more terrified of others seeing me as an imposter than discovering I’m not good enough on my own. If I don’t read, I will look stupid if I am cold called. I’ll look especially stupid; reading doesn’t guarantee a good answer.

I think my problem is I cannot face people thinking I am not good enough. Here, that means my IQ. I’d rather hide and leave the possibility that I’m intelligent. It is a vicious cycle because the more I avoid class, the more lost I feel, and the more lost I feel, the more painful class becomes. At the beginning of each day, I tell myself I’ll do the right things. I’ll read for class  and go to all my class regardless. Yet, every day I procrastinate thinking I’ll begin reading in an hour, after the next article, or after I read all my open tabs. As soon as that happens, I invent some other excuse. Since I don’t read, I feel increasingly anxious about class and true to form, I skip it. Then I feel guilty. When I get home I know I should study, but I feel awful and the mounting absences and unread pages, makes it feel overwhelming. Therefore, I avoid beginning the task and it all starts over…

Supernatural_every wrong move_Dean

How can I fix the problem? Get more real will power? I need to change how I think and/or feel. The thoughts cause the feelings. I could manually alter the feelings with my usual coping “skills”. In fact, at the moment, I very much want to cut. Yet, even though the coping mechanisms help wash the pain away, I usually still don’t want to study because all of them tire me. So, the best road is to change my thoughts, but that is a long journey. It is difficult to catch, challenge, and change all incorrect thoughts. Plus, it takes time to actually begin to believe the changed thoughts.

Is there anything I can do in the meantime? Accountability doesn’t work, at least not with my parents, because I lie to them so they aren’t disappointed. I have the next 3 days to do better. If I can’t at least read and go to every class for the next 3 days, I’m quitting. A leave of absence is pointless because law school is the environmental factor creating my depression! Other than the inevitable ego loss from failure, I think my depression will abate if I leave. The only way a leave of absence would help is if I fixed all my maladaptive thought patterns and then tried again. I don’t think I can. I think I’m stuck like this.

Supernatural_dean crying better

I don’t know what else to do that could help me do the right things in the next 3 days/ the rest of the semester.

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Why Are Lawyers Killing Themselves?


http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/19/us/lawyer-suicides/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Oh, CNN, THAT is a stupid question! The law is stressful. If you screw up, you may potentially ruin someone’s life. It is boring and it is cut-throat.

First Semester of Law School as told by Felicia Day


Before the semester starts you’re excited! You think you’re opening the doors to a solid pay check and a great way to help people.

Felicia Day_satisfied smile

 

As the first day draws near, anxiety creeps in, but you remain relatively confident. After all, you’ve never really had to work hard in school.Felicia Day_start with a smile

 

After the first day, you’re upset; you’re already overwhelmed.Felicia Day_smarter than me

 

Two weeks in and things begin to unravel…

Felicia Day_don't know how to respond to that

 

But at least you have friends.

Felicia Day_it is easy to bond over hating something together

 

The weeks pass quickly. You’re getting worried. You’re further behind in reading.Felicia Day_am i a zombie now

 

Finally exams week is here! At least the end is in sight.

 

You procrastinate…

Felicia Day_i think that is why I like video games

 

then panic…

 

24 hours before exams begin you start making an effort.Things seem so pointless; you aren’t scared because you know you’ll fail.

Felicia Day_Peace out Bs

 

Right before the exam you get nervous. It turns out you do care!

Felicia Day_this is madness

 

You try to put on a brave face and take the exam.

 

You vow to study more for the next exam. You don’t. In fact, you don’t study at all.

 

Yet, you feel strangely confident before your last exam.

 

..Then you wait weeks for your grades…

 

YOU PASSED the first two classes!

 

What about the class you didn’t study for?

Felicia Day_happy danceFelicia Day_happy dance1

 

Wait, if I can pass without studying, reading, or attending 20% of the classes, what can I do if I stay on my meds and don’t give in to maladaptive behaviors?!

Dating, Maybe…


I’m seriously considering getting back in the game. All of your comments, likes, and talking to my brother and sister-in-law, gives me confidence. I’m even talking to people on Fetlife again. …Shh.

However, school starts again on the 9th. I need to put a lot more effort into this semester. School always causes anxiety or depression. In turn, I brush people off or ignore them, not because I dislike them or don’t care, but because I am too wrapped up in anxiety or sadness. Half of my relationships ended because of the distance I created as a result of school and more than one budding relationship stopped because I accidentally gave the impression that I did not like the person.

You Know Law School Crushed Your Soul When…


A C+ makes you happy! In fact, not having the lowest grade in the class is a wonderful thing! It can no longer be taken for granted.

lilah teasing smile

Friends’ poor grades make you secretly smile (argh, curve!)lilah paking heat

Going from low “emerging” [aka you are clueless] to “competent”, by 1 point [aka you still have a long way to go before this quality of work would not result in being disbarred], is cause for celebration!

In some classes, simply passing, no matter how low the grade is, becomes a gift from Gods you aren’t sure you believe in. Whereas, you used to cry over B+s…Yes, you were that person and look how you fell.

Lilah you make so much more sense to me! Also, woah! Lilah is a masochist, lending credence to my theory that Law School is for serious Masochists,

cordie to lilah want to punch ulilah to cordie trying to turn me on

And I thought I had issues!


LOL! Someone is bitter…

Photo_00008

I know it is unreadable, but it was the best picture I could get with my webcam. It says, “Finals monster is coming…to kill…your future in law!” I’ll probably erase it before I leave so some scared person doesn’t see it as an omen!

I’m much more confident than I should be this morning. I did not study at all this time. Ruh roh! However, I feel much less nervous than I did before my Contracts exam. Also, I saw my uber hot marine classmate (sadly, married with a child and twins on the way!) already this morning. He is nice and nice looking. :p

FYI, I probably seem proud of my procrastination or like I don’t care about law school, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m ashamed of my procrastination and I’m an awful perfectionist. I desperately want to do well, but I’m one of those people who procrastinates in order to blame my potential failure on something other than my innate worth or intelligence. If I procrastinate, I can say to myself, “I just failed because I didn’t study.” as opposed to trying with all my effort, still failing and having to face the truth that I am not good enough!  It is a terrible strategy to maintain my self-image, but I can’t seem to break away from it, despite the pain and anxiety it causes.

“14 Signs Your Perfectionism has Gotten Out of Control” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/06/why-perfectionism-is-ruin_n_4212069.html

and

I was wrong; it isn’t the end of the world


irefly_KayleeOMG1

Wow, surprisingly, I don’t feel bad about it! I feel okay! I don’t think I aced it, but I don’t think I failed either. The annoying thing is I won’t know until January and I have no way of objectively knowing because it all depends in the curve. I’m a little nervous because I felt okay about our practice midterm and I scored below average. Plus, I missed a lot of class, not enough to get kicked out, but enough that he can lower our grade “at his discretion” as much as 1/3. Therefore, I could pass the exam, but still fail the class. The policy does not discriminate between excused and unexcused absences. My psychiatrist called him a savage for not excusing my absences that were directly from Depression. For now I feel happy though because I thought I would feel awful after the exam!

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