What's wrong with me?

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j_bird
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Joined: Tue May 28, 2013 7:24 am

What's wrong with me?

Postby j_bird » Tue May 28, 2013 7:39 am

[This is an alt to protect my remaining dignity.]

Am I just lazy? A terrible procrastinator? A perfectionist? Unmotivated?

I have this problem: I never get anything done on time. I don't know why. I even put off things that I actually want to do; it's like I can't do anything when I'm supposed to. I deliberately shoot myself in the foot sometimes. For example, I just woke up like an hour ago and instead of getting ready for work at my swank biglaw job, I'm still in bed writing this post and thinking of some plausible excuse I can use for showing up late. There's no reason for me to be late. I can just get out of bed and start my day. But it's like I have to lie here until I get myself in a shitty and irresponsible situation.

Is this common? Normal? Therapy is a nonstarter, but it would be nice to know if this happens to some other folks as well, especially in a law school context where striving is what we do. I have had some mood/behavioral problems in the past, but I really don't think that's it. I'm also a terrible hoarder—but not so bad as to justify a TV show or anything.

So:
-normal?
-how can I overcome this in law school? (anecdotes welcome)
-will this bite me later on in life?
-bonus point: what legal job can I have where this type of behavior/personality won't be a major problem? writing wills, maybe?

NYstate
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby NYstate » Tue May 28, 2013 7:51 am

j_bird wrote:[This is an alt to protect my remaining dignity.]

Am I just lazy? A terrible procrastinator? A perfectionist? Unmotivated?

I have this problem: I never get anything done on time. I don't know why. I even put off things that I actually want to do; it's like I can't do anything when I'm supposed to. I deliberately shoot myself in the foot sometimes. For example, I just woke up like an hour ago and instead of getting ready for work at my swank biglaw job, I'm still in bed writing this post and thinking of some plausible excuse I can use for showing up late. There's no reason for me to be late. I can just get out of bed and start my day. But it's like I have to lie here until I get myself in a shitty and irresponsible situation.

Is this common? Normal? Therapy is a nonstarter, but it would be nice to know if this happens to some other folks as well, especially in a law school context where striving is what we do. I have had some mood/behavioral problems in the past, but I really don't think that's it. I'm also a terrible hoarder—but not so bad as to justify a TV show or anything.

So:
-normal?
-how can I overcome this in law school? (anecdotes welcome)
-will this bite me later on in life?
-bonus point: what legal job can I have where this type of behavior/personality won't be a major problem? writing wills, maybe?



This is not normal. I think you may have major anxiety issues. Or possibly depression. Or maybe you hate law and being a lawyer? You need to talk to a good therapist.

Even procrastination is a psychological problem when it is constant. Like I said, I think it is anxiety. But ask a good doctor not us. You need to deal with this before you screw up your career.

There is no career in law where you can be late or miss deadlines.

Younger Abstention
Posts: 335
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby Younger Abstention » Tue May 28, 2013 8:06 pm

Law school actually helped me with this issue. More than likely, though, such a procrastination problem would cause most other people just to screw up law school.

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Drake014
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby Drake014 » Tue May 28, 2013 8:13 pm

I'm confused, you have a swank big law job but you still haven't attended law school yet?

Don't change a thing, you're already doing amazing things apparently.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue May 28, 2013 8:15 pm

j_bird wrote:Therapy is a nonstarter
Is this supposed to be a subtle nugget of proof that you do, indeed, shoot yourself in the foot? Go see a damn therapist dude. This is not normal and it will screw you up in almost any career, but especially the legal ones. Have you considered the possibility that you're frightened of things just being okay for a while? Some people create stress and discord for themselves because that's all they're comfortable with. Often it's all they're used to. But this is obviously a psychological problem, I think you see that too, and TLS is not the place for a solution.

Myself
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:36 pm

.

Postby Myself » Tue May 28, 2013 8:42 pm

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Last edited by Myself on Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 28, 2013 9:07 pm

FWIW, according to my pop-pysch understanding, procrastination isn't so much a character flaw occurring in a vacuum, as much as it's a function of other issues. The few I can remember off the top of my head are perfectionism (you're afraid that what you do won't be good enough, so you procrastinate so that if the result isn't good, you have an excuse, and if the result is good, you look even better); fear of success (what if you do a good job? they might expect you to keep doing a good job! your friends might be jealous! you might have to move on/change! so you procrastinate to ensure this doesn't happen); and addiction to the adrenaline rush of doing everything last minute (life is boring, so you create drama by making everything happen under intense pressure).

So I would third or fourth the therapy recommendation - it sounds like something emotional is going on. And I do think this kind of habit is hard to overcome, may well bite you later on, and I have a hard time thinking of a legal job where it won't be an issue. (I get your point about writing wills, but you'll still need to write those wills according to the clients' timelines, and if you don't get them done when the client wants, they'll be pissed.)

(If you're a fan of self-help books, I like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Procrastination-W ... 005F1MOGM/, and this one is interesting, too: http://www.amazon.com/Now-Habit-Overcom ... 001QNVP7M/. I think they're pretty reasonable and not too schlocky like a lot of self-help stuff.)

T+3
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Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:05 am

Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby T+3 » Tue May 28, 2013 9:28 pm

I'll just be echoing a lot of what has already been said here. I can tell you from my experience that what you are describing sounds like you are dealing with some depression or other mental health issues. TLS is not equipped to really help with this. I would highly recommend seeking out a mental health professional that can give you some advice/help with this. I really hope you seek out help with this.

totoro
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby totoro » Tue May 28, 2013 9:54 pm

There is a distinction between procastination/laziness (which many people have) and a more serious problem. From your post it's not immediately clear how much this is affecting your life, but since you're bothering to make a thread about it, I assume it is debilitating. If you find that 'shooting yourself in the foot' is really starting to affect things... i.e. getting fired at work would definitely be one signal.... it definitely seems like you could benefit from talking to a professional who could give you better advice than we can. Don't try to struggle with these things yourself - people are out there who care and would want to help you fix it! Good luck with your situation, OP.

Also, to your question of whether this is normal; sometimes there are just certain things that people are unmotivated by, but they are incredibly driven in other areas. You should ask yourself if your lack of motivation is just for work or everything. I think that most people bother to get up for work on time every day because we feel that we have to, are limited by the framework of a capitalist post-industrial society, and are also drones. Most people don't think about it much as a 'choice'

j_bird
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby j_bird » Tue May 28, 2013 10:41 pm

Drake014 wrote:I'm confused, you have a swank big law job but you still haven't attended law school yet?

Don't change a thing, you're already doing amazing things apparently.

No, I'm in law school...? 2LOL or whatever that was. Not sure why you thought otherwise, but yes, as far as the registrar and I are concerned, definitely in law school.

And I think you've actually identified something I hadn't thought about: lack of consequences. Nothing bad has really happened. Objectively, my life is pretty solid and it looks like I'm doing it right as far as school goes (elite undergrad, t14, lr, all the trappings). But I'm actually shitting my pants waiting for everything to blow up in my face someday when everyone catches on to how terrible/nonfunctional I can be.

Also,
BaiAilian2013 wrote:
j_bird wrote:Therapy is a nonstarter
Is this supposed to be a subtle nugget of proof that you do, indeed, shoot yourself in the foot? Go see a damn therapist dude.

I don't know. I said that it was a nonstarter because I've tried it before and walked away thinking that I was the most normal person in the room, which is why I just kind of wondered if this is a common thing that other people have experienced rather than a condition in need of treatment.

Thanks, everyone. Off to therapy with me, I guess. Dammit.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue May 28, 2013 10:45 pm

Unfortunately, people often have to shop around and try a few therapists before finding one that works. Because there are some crazy-ass therapists out there not every approach/personality works for everyone. So if you don't like the first person you try, try someone else before giving up on it.

Also, if nothing bad has actually happened yet, and you manage to pull everything off, you may be dealing with imposter syndrome as much as procrastination (though still, if the procrastination is making you miserable that's still something to address, even if the only consequence is losing your peace of mind and not a job or a good grade or something). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome

NYstate
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby NYstate » Wed May 29, 2013 9:06 am

j_bird wrote:
Drake014 wrote:I'm confused, you have a swank big law job but you still haven't attended law school yet?

Don't change a thing, you're already doing amazing things apparently.

No, I'm in law school...? 2LOL or whatever that was. Not sure why you thought otherwise, but yes, as far as the registrar and I are concerned, definitely in law school.

And I think you've actually identified something I hadn't thought about: lack of consequences. Nothing bad has really happened. Objectively, my life is pretty solid and it looks like I'm doing it right as far as school goes (elite undergrad, t14, lr, all the trappings). But I'm actually shitting my pants waiting for everything to blow up in my face someday when everyone catches on to how terrible/nonfunctional I can be.

Also,
BaiAilian2013 wrote:
j_bird wrote:Therapy is a nonstarter
Is this supposed to be a subtle nugget of proof that you do, indeed, shoot yourself in the foot? Go see a damn therapist dude.

I don't know. I said that it was a nonstarter because I've tried it before and walked away thinking that I was the most normal person in the room, which is why I just kind of wondered if this is a common thing that other people have experienced rather than a condition in need of treatment.

Thanks, everyone. Off to therapy with me, I guess. Dammit.


If you are in New York the city bar association has referrals for counseling with a free session or two. Maybe all bar associations have this. They should be able to guide you to a solid therapist. Also your medical insurance should cover a chunk of the cost. It is extremely confidential.

http://www.nycbar.org/lawyer-assistance ... m/overview

212-302-5787

lukertin
Posts: 775
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Re: What's wrong with me?

Postby lukertin » Wed May 29, 2013 9:16 am

Sounds like depression.




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