2 TedTalks: Mental Illness in Law School and Mental Illness is Feeling Deeply


1. Glennon Doyle Melton (TedTalks) agrees, many people with mental illness feel deeply! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHHPNMIK-fY

Some of the quotes that resonated with me:

“People think of us addicts as insensitive liars, but we don’t start out that way. We start out as extremely sensitive truth-tellers. We feel so much pain and so much love and we sense that the world does want us to feel that much and doesn’t want us to need as much comfort as we need. So, we start pretending. We try to pretend that we’re the people we’re supposed to be. We numb and we hide and we pretend and that pretending does eventually turn into a life of lies. To be fair, we thought we were supposed to lie. They tell us since we’re little, the only appropriate answer is, ‘Fine, and you?'”

This is SO SO true! Yes, that is right, so true, it requires a repeated word!

“So, in private with the food or the booze…we tell the truth. We say, ‘Actually, I’m not fine.’ Because we don’t feel safe telling the truth in the real world, we make our own little world: addiction.”
“I did not want to deal with the discomfort and messiness of being a human being.”

YES! Unfeeling, strong Mord-Sith all the way! Remember these Illyria from Angel GIFs? Angel_humanity Angel_weak

“And in the mental hospital, for the first time in my life, I found myself in a world that made sense to me…and we had to learn about ancient Rome when all we really wanted to learn was how to make and keep a real friend. But in the mental hospital there was no pretending. The jig was up…Everybody was worthy just because she existed and so in there we were brave enough to take off our capes of [addiction]…In there, people wore their scars on the outside so you knew where they stood and they told the truth.”

I think this is why people tend to form endurable bonds in treatment. We tell the other patients thoughts or past events we would never reveal to our closest friends and loved ones on the outside. We are open and honest in a way we have not experienced. Furthermore, we understand where the others are coming from. We understand them on a level that non-mentally ill people cannot. We accept each other unconditionally.

2. Elyn Saks: A Tale of Mental Illness – from the inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6CILJA110Y

She had her first schizophrenic break in law school! She was involuntarily hospitalized, but she gained control and went back. It was her first year; I don’t know if it was her first or second semester. Either way, Yale law school was nice enough to give her medical leave. I’m not bitter at all! 😉 Anyway, with schizophrenia she completed law school at the top of her class and now she is a professor at the University of Southern California Gould Law School. It is a well respected law school, ranked 18th in the country!! Her story gave me hope one night when I was dealing with suicidal urges.

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Crazy Really Means Feeling Deeply


She’s always been Suzanne in my mind. The way I use ‘crazy’ is
she’s crazy-good, crazy-fun, crazy-fun-to-play, for sure. But she’s
definitely been ‘Suzanne’ to me because I didn’t want to get trapped in
the one layer of just playing ‘crazy.’ When I was approaching the
material, I thought of her as somebody who just feels deeply. This is
someone who loves passionately. Every side of her life is a ’10.’ She
gets mad at a 10, she loves at a 10 and she’s gonna pee at a 10. That’s
how I approach Suzanne,” Aduba said. (via idigitaltimes, “Orange is the New Blacks Season 2 Spoilers”)

🙂 I like this conceptualization of crazy. In some ways I think it is spot on! I think many people with mental illness, especially mood disorders and other disorders like eating disorders, are unusually sensitive. We feel deeply. We may scare easier than others, we may feel lonely a lot, but when we love, we love passionately. In fact, emotions being too strong is why anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar, etc. are a problem! The emotions are normal, but their strength is too much to handle. Therefore, we act “crazy”. We feel so sad that we want to sleep all day or we are so terrified of whatever that we can only cope through self-harm.

…Still not working. 😡 On the bright side, lunch wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t hungry or interested in food at all when it was ready, but I ate without complaint. I feel full, but not sick-full. Sick-full is like that feeling you get after a large Thanksgiving meal, you’re overstuffed, you think you couldn’t possibly eat another morsel for a month, and you feel ill. When I’ve been restricting for a while, normal meals start to create that feeling, which is a problem since I’m living at home again.

I hope by the time I publish this (It was saved as a Draft for a few hours), I am diligently working!

can do it

Also, I forgot to show you …because I have so many people who care, comment, and read this blog 😉 … the shirt I’m wearing today! I wore it hoping it would inspire me to concentrate on studying. So far, no dice.

Photo_00009

I’m insane because of Feminism


I FIGURED IT OUT! I was born in the wrong time period! I’m currently watching “Princess”, the Legend of the Seeker episode where Cara/Tabrett Bethell must pretend to be a princess. There is an impromptu curtsy-off over who can bend the lowest. I thought to myself, “I’d already fail, cotillion and Maypole dancing failed to teach me a proper curtsy!” To check my spelling of cotillion I Googled it and ended up reading the wikipedia pages about it and Maypole dances. They’re both old. Cotillion dates to the 1700s in France and May Day is ancient, but Maypole dances in the U.S. date back to 1628.

On one hand, as I stated, my curtsies are not pretty. On the other hand, I live in the U.S. in the 21st century, yet belong to a culture where cotillion, Maypole dances, and debutant balls still exist. Here, Maypole dances involve ribbons, pole, and teenage or pre-teen girls in white dresses.

Although no one ever told me women were less than or different, I grew up with clearly defined gender roles. For example, women work in the kitchen and men work the yard. Until, my sister-in-law came along, everyone silently obeyed the unspoken rules.

At the same time, outside society keeps pushing ideas down my throat like “having it all”.

So, I have factions at war. On one side, I want a protector. On the other side, I want to be independent and self-sufficient. I grew up in a world that said, “the man takes your coat, stands up when you leave the table, leads you by the arm, etc”, but I face a world that says “you must be the same to be equal.”

I know equality does not have to equal sameness. I do not view myself as less than men or anyone else, other than the whole I-hate-myself-thing. Yet, I do not think division of labor has to equal a hierarchy.

What if, my uncertainties are because I’m trying to fit into the world at large, while still holding on to the world I grew up in? And somehow, that was twisted into bdsm? It might be a contributing factor. I do feel guilty for submissive tendencies because people keep saying woman are equal and therefore, should not submit.

I believe everyone should have the right to chose their own path. My feminism: Fighting for the right to chose any path, whether that means no kids and no partner, stay at home mom, or something in between. It is like that scene in Mona Lisa Smile.

Note: I don’t really blame feminism or my upbringing for my issues! Also, Alice Paul is my hero! Yes, I like the right to vote, own property, etc. I’m just trying to explore my personal motives in life…

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.

Knowledge is a destination.


Still no work done today. 😦 Haha, my mom always asks why I have enough “self-control” to starve myself nearly to death, but not enough to study.

Well… eating disorders are mental illnesses, not “self-control.” She should know that considering she is a psychologist! Case in point: I’m trying to set aside my anxieties and focus on school. That means eating throughout the day, not obsessing about eating disorder related things, and not going over the same fears in my mind ad nauseum. I know to be successful, I need to focus solely on law school for the next 3 weeks. Despite a conscious effort to ignore my eating disorder, I constantly catch myself thinking about losing weight or feeling fat.

I know what she means though. Most people can’t subsist on water for 5 days or force themselves to throw up any food they consume, pushing past dizzy spells, pain, and blood. It doesn’t take self-control; it takes a depth of self-hate few people understand. I wish my “self-control” extended to other areas of my life. In a way, through perfectionism, it does enter other areas of my life. However, the self-loathing and fear coming from my self-concept destroy any benefit of perfectionism. Ironically, I procrastinate because of it.

While searching for a title, I came across the quote in my title: “Knowledge is a destination. Truth, the journey.” Again it is from Zeddicus Z’ul Zorander. I’m going to try to think of Law School this way. All those foreign words and new ideas seem overwhelming and tedious. However, if I learn them all, I will end up with the knowledge needed to discover the truth (of cases). Yet, right now, I need to write a paper.