Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rough patch

It's been almost two months since I posted anything here.

I'm having a rough go at the moment - the Humira doesn't seem to be working, school is busy and very stressful (whoever told me third year would be a doddle was lying), and I'm feeling first-hand the effects of Ontario's articling shortage (desperate job-hunting on top of school is not fun at all).*

Mostly, though, I'm in quite a bit of pain, and everything is a little bit more difficult. Mornings are especially frustrating: I'm up at 6:20 (super early for me) and my morning stiffness doesn't usually abate for a couple of hours, so I shower, make breakfast, dress, and lug my heavy bag five blocks to the bus in a fog of sleep, pain and stiffness. Often by the time I get there, I'm teary and angry. Then I get to school and to our awful law building, full of stairs (so many stairs!), hard-to-open doors and inconveniently placed elevators. Thank goodness for my iPod, which helps me settle down on the bus and between classes.

I know what you're thinking: why haven't I gotten help yet? I keep thinking it's got to get better soon. And in just a few weeks, by December 11th, I'll be done exams and on Christmas break. And I never know what I'm going to feel like from one day to the next - I guess I'm worried about putting a lot of work and time into arranging special accommodations and then waking up feeling great the next day. Or maybe that's just what I'm hoping.

For the past two days, I've had trouble opening my right hand. So far, I can still type, but I know that if this - whatever it is  - continues, I'll need to ask for help.

Law school is the hardest thing I've ever done. I've done hard things before, but the combined hard-thinginess of law school - the massive time commitment, the fact that I'm a hippie at a school full of corporate types, the effort of re-training my brain to think in a way that doesn't come naturally, and trying to do all of that while I'm tired and in pain - puts it at the top of the list. 

I read something this morning that helped a bit. It was something the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, wrote about the idea of vocation: just because the thing you're doing is right, he said, doesn't mean it will always be easy. It might actually be really frustrating and scary and difficult and even "dreadful" sometimes, but anything else wouldn't be true - it would be "a game, an invention."

I really do want to be a lawyer, and I keep telling myself that when I am done school and have found a place that is right for me, I will feel more confident and passionate than I do right now. I'll actually be able to help people instead of just sitting on my couch with my computer all the time. And maybe one day I'll work part-time, or work from home, or find other ways of accommodating my disease if I need to. For now I know I just need to keep my head down, grit my teeth and push through this.

*Any blog-reading Canadian lawyers want to hire a student for ten months? I promise to bake things and bring them to work.


Cathy said...

Helen, it is nice to see you posting but I am sad you aren't feeling well.

As I was reading this post,I thought about several different times in my life that when I look back now, I wonder how I ever survived. But, I also realize that my strength is stronger than I sometimes give myself credit for. You are strong and you are doing some amazing things. Take good care of yourself.

~Mariah~ said...

I could have written this post myself when I was in law school. (In fact, I probably did!!) Don't be afraid to get help - you deserve it! And try to be good to yourself. Hang in there - I KNOW you can do it!!

Polly said...

Hi Helen, Well a month's gone by since that post and you must be on your Christmas break now. I hope the rest of the term (or semester?) went better and that you pushed through it all ... and found a student job too!