Help me I'm a failure

Shared experiences of life, and the path that has led you to where you are.

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anice_yan
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:29 am

Help me I'm a failure

Postby anice_yan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:47 am

I'm a law school student who's on my 5th year (one is supposed to graduate within 3 years of the regular course).
I suffered from depression and anxiety for last 4 years and heavily relied on alcohol to relieve such symptoms until last year.
Last month, I had a panic attack during my graduation exam.
If I can't pass this time, I have to try for the 4th time. But I no longer have any will nor power to keep studying.
I have given the head of school my therapist's note and thankfully he was very sympathetic towards my situation (board meeting for the deliberation of graduation will take place in mid-December, so I don't know the result yet), but to become a lawyer, I still have to take a bar exam, which I am not planning to do.

Now I have to seek jobs other than a lawyer but I'm too scared to do anything.
I have been studying alone for about 2years, only interacting with people I am perfectly comfortable with, so whenever I run into somebody other than my family/friends, my anxiety kicks in immediately and I freeze up and starts to stutter severely.
I am 32 years old woman and I have spent my entire 20s in academia: i.e. no proper career nor experience.
Job hunting in my country is hellish at the moment.
Yes, I do have some qualifications but everyone has high GPAs, licenses, or any other job-related-qualifications nowadays and they are either young if without experience or with experience of 5+ years if they are my age, so what's my odds?
I have spent 5 years in vain, which only led to poor health and deprivation of confidence in social skills with specks of knowledge in laws.

I can't help worries just keeping on piling on me. It's so heavy and I physically feel it.
I need somebody to talk about my worries and comfort me, but all my friends and family members are now alienated or wrapped in their own problems so that my worries stress them out.

I have strived and tried to strive so hard but everything's still so overwhelming and just won't get any easier for me.
What's wrong with my life? Why am I like this? what should I do to just get a little more comfortable?
Please help me

Brainfog
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:56 pm

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby Brainfog » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:06 pm

Hi Anice,
I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time. I can relate to your experience, as I too am in my 30's and have been trying for many years to develop a stable profession after years of study. The first question you may want to ask yourself is why am I doing this? Why is it that you want to be a lawyer? Was it because of your parents, your peers, or was it because you felt this study would lead to a lucrative career in which you could obtain status and wealth? Once you understand the reason for why you are undertaking these studies and applying such pressure on yourself you can then explore the issue further. I know it is difficult to talk to family and friends about such problems as they may not understand, or as you say they are caught up in their own problems. For me personally I find it easier to talk to people who are experiencing what I am feeling, as they may have ideas that others haven't thought of that have worked for them.

anice_yan
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:29 am

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby anice_yan » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:26 am

Brainfog wrote:Hi Anice,
I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a tough time. I can relate to your experience, as I too am in my 30's and have been trying for many years to develop a stable profession after years of study. The first question you may want to ask yourself is why am I doing this? Why is it that you want to be a lawyer? Was it because of your parents, your peers, or was it because you felt this study would lead to a lucrative career in which you could obtain status and wealth? Once you understand the reason for why you are undertaking these studies and applying such pressure on yourself you can then explore the issue further. I know it is difficult to talk to family and friends about such problems as they may not understand, or as you say they are caught up in their own problems. For me personally I find it easier to talk to people who are experiencing what I am feeling, as they may have ideas that others haven't thought of that have worked for them.



Hey Brainfog thanks for your kind reply
Well I have let go of the idea of becoming a lawyer anyway... Actually, it was mostly my parents' pressure because my father's a dentist and I'm from a rather strict family in an Asian country. Also, I had an emotionally abusive childhood so that even when I'm a full-grown adult, if my parents pressure me to do something, I am too scared to act/think otherwise than oblige them (I know it's pretty pathetic).
After a year of therapy and re-evaluation of my life, I made up my mind to change the way I am and try to live my own life.
But IT'S FREAKING SCARY. I feel like I am not ready. I feel like I am making a great mistake.
I don't think I can do this with a sane mind.

If it's okay, would you mind if I ask how you started your life outside academia? See I am sooo lost.
(Was your first job related to your field of study or something completely different?
Were you not scared of your lack of experience or any other factor that might influence your employment?
How did you mentally prepare yourself for such change of lifestyle?)

I would very much like to talk to people who share my feelings, but I have literally none so I rely on this website...
Thanks for your suggestion though, I think I might reach out to some of my real life friends if they are not disgusted with me yet..

Brainfog
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:56 pm

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby Brainfog » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:25 am

Hi Anice,
Unfortunately I am still finding my way into a profession. I was diagnosed with Aspergers this year, so I struggle with working memory, cannot multitask well and struggle to deal with office politics and chit chat. I did not go to University straight after high school, instead worked as a clerk for a few years, then completed an Accounting qualification and worked as a Bookkeeper for about 10 years. I then completed a Psychology degree and worked in Mental health briefly for 6 mths. I am now studying Neuroscience and Data Science hoping to have my own business eventually. I have changed paths and jobs many times, it is not scary for me, however I understand how difficult it would be if your parents are pressuring you. There is nothing wrong with how you feel, in fact it is quite normal to be anxious about making such a significant life change, especially considering you have almost finished your degree. Just because you haven't completed the bar exam does not mean you cannot do it at a later stage when you feel you are ready. It takes courage to make big life changes, you are not a failure at all. Many people go through life miserable because they did not take risks or make changes. At least you will have no regrets and can always go back down the path of law if you choose. Good luck.

JackieJ
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:59 pm

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby JackieJ » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:02 pm

Hi! I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling with career and professional choices. Its frustrating to have spent so much time and money preparing for a profession that you now do not feel led to work in. I changed professions after completing a MA in psychology and decided to pursue a completely different profession, speech-language pathology, which required a different BA and a different MA. My background in psychology ended up being an extra blessing to what I do now, so don't feel that your training is useless if you follow a different career path. Have you consider working as a paralegal or just getting training and education in something that you are passionate about? You are still very young. I know someone who is changing a career path at 50. Have you ever taken any tests that help determine what you would be good at? Perhaps, seeking career counseling would move you in the right direction.

anice_yan
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:29 am

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby anice_yan » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:57 pm

Brainfog wrote:Hi Anice,
Unfortunately I am still finding my way into a profession. I was diagnosed with Aspergers this year, so I struggle with working memory, cannot multitask well and struggle to deal with office politics and chit chat. I did not go to University straight after high school, instead worked as a clerk for a few years, then completed an Accounting qualification and worked as a Bookkeeper for about 10 years. I then completed a Psychology degree and worked in Mental health briefly for 6 mths. I am now studying Neuroscience and Data Science hoping to have my own business eventually. I have changed paths and jobs many times, it is not scary for me, however I understand how difficult it would be if your parents are pressuring you. There is nothing wrong with how you feel, in fact it is quite normal to be anxious about making such a significant life change, especially considering you have almost finished your degree. Just because you haven't completed the bar exam does not mean you cannot do it at a later stage when you feel you are ready. It takes courage to make big life changes, you are not a failure at all. Many people go through life miserable because they did not take risks or make changes. At least you will have no regrets and can always go back down the path of law if you choose. Good luck.


wow thank you so much for your sincere answer; I really appreciate it.
yes.. I think taking some risks might be just the things that I needed. I am so sick of walking on the rail my parents laid out for me, but who am I to complain since I am the one who reveled in the comfort of the readymade highway to a stable life. And that's a part of one of my other problems, that while I hate what I have to do, I am too afraid to take actual risks unless there're specific backup plans for every single bad-situation-scenarios in my head. I take so much time preparing for "just in case something happens", that when it's the time I do the actual thing, I am too tired and stressed out I can't care about it too much. I can't help but admire people who do things when there's nothing to fall back on.
I just hope my decision and effort on a new path will not f*** me up again so that I give up everything and drive myself to a complete desolation. Not again. I really want a fresh start that I can be happy with.

Thanks and good luck to too, good sir/madame. I wish the best for your own way into the profession. I think you'll be great in whatever you are aiming for.

anice_yan
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:29 am

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby anice_yan » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:35 am

JackieJ wrote:Hi! I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling with career and professional choices. Its frustrating to have spent so much time and money preparing for a profession that you now do not feel led to work in. I changed professions after completing a MA in psychology and decided to pursue a completely different profession, speech-language pathology, which required a different BA and a different MA. My background in psychology ended up being an extra blessing to what I do now, so don't feel that your training is useless if you follow a different career path. Have you consider working as a paralegal or just getting training and education in something that you are passionate about? You are still very young. I know someone who is changing a career path at 50. Have you ever taken any tests that help determine what you would be good at? Perhaps, seeking career counseling would move you in the right direction.



Thanks for your advice JackieJ! Career counseling sounds like the thing that I might really need and it never came into my mind until you mentioned it. Huh... I knew I can be so engrossed in my own thought but not this much so that I can't see some obvious solutions (It's not that you pointed out something obvious but that I lack so much insight and reason right now that I can't even think straight for myself). Career counseling really may be something I can seek tangible help from.
I AM actually thinking of paralegal path in short-term employment, but the possibility of running into people I used to know in the law school scares me to death. In the long-run, I want to be something different, like a translator/writer/creator, but I don't know where to start or whom to ask for an advice. The thing is, I have zero experience in the proper "work" situation whatsoever other than working as a TA and subeditor for a uni journal while doing my literature MA course (I know it's pathetic), the concept of the full-time job itself is quite baffling really.

lovingladyo4
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 9:06 am

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby lovingladyo4 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:46 am

I think it's very normal to feel intimidated in unfamiliar territory, such as considering employment outside the parameters you originally envisioned for yourself. Changing directions midway through your career goals like this is a transition that will require time and patience. Please be good to yourself and give credit where credit is due. You have gained much knowledge and it could very well be someone's wisdom some day. Think of all that has been added to your life and how your diligence has helped shaped you into the person you are. You have more going for you than you can calculate right now, and yet these high expectations can deplete you of the true worth you really do posses. I know it's hard to look at it this way, because when you are at the crossroads of life, your vision isn't exactly 20/20 like you need it to be.

It's so easy for a person to frame themselves to look like a failure - in fact I could so easily do that to myself. I can make a list so long of everything I can't do, compare myself to others, and dream endlessly of wanting to accomplish great things that God never intended for me. All that combined will ultimately rob my potential for what I can do. But what is your measuring stick that defines your drive to succeed in law? Pressure? Expectations? Overcoming intimidation? I hate to think these characteristics can so easily rob you of your personal strengths and talents.

Have you ever given thought to the fact that what you have built into your life does matter? Look at what character qualities you have; perseverance, diligence, endurance, faithfulness, commitment, persistence, tenacity, determination, dedication, and drive. Please don't ever assume that counts for nothing!!! It's ok that you may have reached a turning point. Let it be a relief instead of a brand new pressure point. No one can see into their future. God does not give us eyes for that. But He does promise to lead us and guide us when we ask Him to.

I will be praying for you friend. Please don't ever lose hope.

anice_yan
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:29 am

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby anice_yan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:11 am

lovingladyo4 wrote:I think it's very normal to feel intimidated in unfamiliar territory, such as considering employment outside the parameters you originally envisioned for yourself. Changing directions midway through your career goals like this is a transition that will require time and patience. Please be good to yourself and give credit where credit is due. You have gained much knowledge and it could very well be someone's wisdom some day. Think of all that has been added to your life and how your diligence has helped shaped you into the person you are. You have more going for you than you can calculate right now, and yet these high expectations can deplete you of the true worth you really do posses. I know it's hard to look at it this way, because when you are at the crossroads of life, your vision isn't exactly 20/20 like you need it to be.

It's so easy for a person to frame themselves to look like a failure - in fact I could so easily do that to myself. I can make a list so long of everything I can't do, compare myself to others, and dream endlessly of wanting to accomplish great things that God never intended for me. All that combined will ultimately rob my potential for what I can do. But what is your measuring stick that defines your drive to succeed in law? Pressure? Expectations? Overcoming intimidation? I hate to think these characteristics can so easily rob you of your personal strengths and talents.

Have you ever given thought to the fact that what you have built into your life does matter? Look at what character qualities you have; perseverance, diligence, endurance, faithfulness, commitment, persistence, tenacity, determination, dedication, and drive. Please don't ever assume that counts for nothing!!! It's ok that you may have reached a turning point. Let it be a relief instead of a brand new pressure point. No one can see into their future. God does not give us eyes for that. But He does promise to lead us and guide us when we ask Him to.

I will be praying for you friend. Please don't ever lose hope.



Hello Lovingladyo4, thanks for your reply.
This must be the nicest thing I have ever heard from a stranger in a veeeery long time.
Thank you so much. It means a lot to me.
I...I have never looked at myself with such qualities. I couldn't. Wow.
I am still very afraid of everything, but all these supports from you and other people make me feel so much more comfortable and appreciative.
I am not a particularly religious person, but you saying that you'd pray for me makes me so warm inside.
I hate to sound so internet-ty, but I do feel truly blessed. I don't normally pray either, but I might give it a go just for the return of yours.
Thank you thousand times. Have a good weekend.

Petert
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:56 am

Re: Help me I'm a failure

Postby Petert » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:56 am

Well, here is my two cents worth. A long time ago I discovered that sitting in a quiet place with my eyes shut I could imagine my perfect life. I visualizecd my future family, house, profession, etc. . . and worked toward that end. It seems too simple but it works! What you think about you bring about. Try visualizing your future life and watch the transformation unfold.
P.S. I suffered with depression for decades but its been several years since I was depressed. This technique works!


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