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.

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!

Also:

The 6 Stages of Final Exams As Told by Harry Potter


This post is similar to my stages of procrastination post. (To see them, scroll all the way down to the girl, River Tam, holding a gun.) They are in the first paragraph under that picture.

The reblogged post is horrifyingly accurate, yet funny! My version? Not so funny, more whiney. :p

I’m currently procrastinating for law school exam. The first one is on Tuesday. I’ve passed through all these stages and I’m on apathy. Although, knowing me, tomorrow I’ll revert to cramming!

As Told by Laura

1. Denial

Finals? Hahahahaha! Please. I’ve still got an entire week left. Do you have any idea what I can accomplish in that short amount of time? Seriously, there’s nothing to worry about. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna’ go paint my nails like little zebras.

2. Anger

Okay, it’s not like I’m mad about finals or anything, but seriously? A comprehensive test? How unfair is that?! And it’s worth, like, 96 percent of my grade. I’m too mad to study. School is so stupid. No, everything is stupid. LET’S START A REVOLUTION!

3. Procrastination

I’m just gonna’ go over to Tiffany’s for a quick study session. I always do my best work in groups. Oh, and Jennifer, Michael and Josh will be there too, but we’re definitely gonna’ get stuff done. Definitely…

4. Cramming

Okayokayokay. Two hours left until the test. I have four Redbulls in the fridge…

View original post 71 more words

Like taking a Maserati and using it to sell vegetables at a Market


Earlier I had a conversation with my dad. He seemed worried about something. He said he had “a daughter intent on making [him] old before [his] time…because [I] let stress overwhelm [me] too easily.” I asked if he meant he feared I would kill myself. He said he thought I was more stable than that for the past few weeks and he worried I would fail school and work as a cashier at Wal-Mart forever because that was the easiest path and (apparently) I often take the easiest path. I give-up too quickly. He compared me to my aunt who has a college degree, but worked half days at a lunch lady at a local school. For 15 years she worked there, but stayed part-time and never attempted to advance her position. She simply did the bare minimum. Furthermore, she lived at my grandma’s house for all those years, rent free, and without contributing to any bills, even groceries. Yet, she had 4 kids who also moved in when she did. He said if I resign myself to being a cashier at Wal-mart, it is “like taking a Maserati and using it to sell vegetables at a market.” In other words, while neither of us believe anyone is “too good” for a job because you should do what pays the bills regardless of your IQ, education, or any so-called “right” to a better job, he thinks it would be a waste for me to drop out of law school and be a cashier. He thinks I can contribute more to the world by being a lawyer.

I suppose I am being weak like he said, but that hurt my feelings. I am not like my aunt. I am not taking the easiest route. I don’t even know what he is talking about! I can’t think of anything I gave up because I didn’t want to do the work. Right now, I am not doing the work I need to do in order to complete the semester. I have not done that work almost the entire semester. It isn’t because I don’t care though. It is because I am scared. I realize that is exactly what he said. The difference is that I don’t want to give up. That is not my intention, yet I know by not studying, I am giving up by proxy.

I don’t know how to force myself to study. I have recordings of lectures. The recorder is sitting next to me; I am supposed to transcribe them and create an outline to take to exams. Since Thanksgiving, I have barely done anything. I haven’t even started one class recording.

I don’t know what I’m saying. He is right, but he hurt my feelings. He is only calling me out with the truth, but I am not like his sister! Even if I don’t make it through law school and I wind up in a entry-level pink-collar job, I would not be like her. I would give my best and I would not turn down offers to work more hours or promotions. If there was no hope of promotion in the company, I would find another job. *sigh*

Nonetheless, it would still be a waste. I know that and it makes me feel incredibly guilty. What little worth I attach to myself is based on others, either I have some worth because people who love me see worth in me, or I have worth because I can make a positive difference in people’s lives. I cannot make the same difference at Wal-Mart and the practice of law. I am squandering potential. While I could still make a difference, just by creating a positive and helpful interaction in someone’s day, it is not the same magnitude of difference and it is wasting the potential to make a larger difference. Purposefully wasting potential like that is wrong. It is not the same as harming people, but it is a little similar because I could have helped more people.

This line of reasoning is similar to my earlier posts. I am no super-human, I am not destined to do anything wonderful, but I do have a duty to try to damnedest and that requires more of me than it may require of someone else. As a result of innate intelligence (which is still not as high as too many other people) and gifts in life, like the ability to go to good schools, I have a duty to make a large positive difference.

No wonder lawyers are evil: Law School Hell


Wolfram and Hart

I never thought lawyers were evil. Nonetheless, I have a ton more respect for them; this sucks on so many levels. So far, today is pointless. I didn’t study at all yesterday or on Thanksgiving. I haven’t studied at all today. I woke up at 9 am, or rather I was woken up. I only got 5 hours of sleep. It was my fault (or maybe Terry Goodkind’s fault 😉 ) I was too busy reading The Third Kingdom to sleep. I kept telling myself, “At the end of this chapter I’ll go to bed. I need to sleep; I won’t be able to study tomorrow!” That didn’t happen until the end of the book.

How Law School makes me feel...

How I wish I felt about my first law school exams (yay, forced curve -.- )Angel_spine trophies pwr2

How I actually feel…

Bored nowLost_Locke there is not helping meLost_I'll fail Buffy_blah blah blah1hellAngel_violence

What I wish was possible…

BooksDark Willow

Trying to summon strength…

Face of Resolve 

I can’t force myself to study. I wish I could focus…

sleepy slayer max tears1

But in the end

Dollhouse_I'm just a series of excuses 

care

I admit this is not a substantive post. It is just me complaining, in GIF form, about things I shouldn’t be complaining about. Probably because it was fun-ish to waste a few hours finding or making these GIFs.

Maybe…

thrilling heroics

aka face my fear of failure and not being smart enough. Knowing myself, I’ll still be online in 5 hours.

Actions betray lies


*edit* This should show up as the most recent post because it was created last. For some reason it is showing up 3rd. Therefore, to clarify, I was talking about the IQ bell curve in another post. Back to this post….

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.” The Wizard’s 5th Rule from Soul of the Fire, Chapter 28, page 205.

To make sure I was not misleading anyone, I looked up IQ percentiles. I was right. However, it made me think of something a therapist once told me. I don’t remember specifically what I was saying to her, but I told her I was not good enough because of some action. She asked if I would think my friends were bad people for doing the same thing I did. I did not think they would be bad people for doing the same thing I did. Yet, I condemned myself for whatever action. She said, “You can’t hold yourself to stricter standards than you hold the rest of the world. You don’t get to make up rules for yourself.”

Since then I repeat the idea to myself when I know I am being too hard on myself. However, my previous post made me reconsider. Why shouldn’t I be held to a higher standard than most people? Yes, people may work hard at Wal-Mart. Someone is no lazy because they work at an entry level job. However, for me, with my IQ and educational opportunities, it is lazy to work at a non-skilled job. I can say I am not lazy until I am blue in the face, but if all I do is work at Wal-Mart forever, my actions betray a lie. Perhaps I am correct to expect more from myself than from people around me.

There is still a disconnect though. Imagining this scenario, I do not conceptualize someone with the same IQ and educational opportunities as lazy simply because of their job. At the same time, I specify person X as me and I see the person as lazy and bad. Therefore, the standards I hold myself to are not based on my IQ and background.

What are those standards based on? I don’t know. They are internal. I find it ironic that I hate myself in almost all respects, yet I expect my thoughts and actions to be better than other people’s thoughts and actions. If I am worthless, why should anyone expect outstanding results from me?

Are my personal standards too high? I know some of them are too high. It is unreasonable to expect perfection at all times, in everything. After all, no human is perfect. That is impossible. Others….I am not sure.

Regardless, I need to stop thinking and start DOING. I can think all I want after exams. Right now my brain power needs to be devoted to school, not thinking of all my shortcomings. I am awful at dwelling on problems. I ruminate over how bad I am and fail to look at the solution. Perhaps I need to tattoo that quote to my arm. Or since  my main emotion is overwhelming anxiety, maybe “”When you are out numbered, and the situation is hopeless, you have no option–you must attack”  (From The Adventures of Bonnie Day in Stone of Tears, Chapter 49, page 511) is more apt.