Monday, August 20, 2012

Dealing with post graduation depression

Been quite some time since I've posted. Some massive changes have taken place since the spring and I've done quite a bit of soul searching. The answers that I found have been interesting and would like to share some of those with all of you. Despite the constant protests from the media whores we all very well understand that the real economy, and not the one demonstrated by the juiced up S&P 500 index, continues to languish in a modern day depression. An economy that the powers that be desperately want to sugarcoat and hide the truth from the people. Sadly, there are many out there that continue to believe that things are ok and that if only they were "smarter" or "better" that they would be in a better position than they find themselves in. This cognitive dissonance continues to wreak havoc in many homes across the nation. Last year I found myself completely engulfed in the rat race. Focusing my time and energy on all the wrong things. Found myself angry with my position in life. Frustrated, at my so called lack of progress. Putting myself down for not being in a better position financially than I "should" have been. All this misdirected focus and energy led to me not taking care of myself and my significant other. I let my personal relationships flounder and found myself isolated and alone. Depressed, basically. I vainly attempted to put on a brave face but truth be told I was fucking miserable when I shouldn't been. In my short term depression I found myself feeling something that I hadn't felt in a very long time. I gave up. I stopped caring. For the first time in recent memory I completely stopped giving fuck about anything. All the websites I used to frequent I effectively abandoned. Market dropped? Meh. The FED refrained from additional bond purchases? Who fucking cares. Obama leading in the polls? And what does that mean for me? And it was exactly at this point when I began to see what little things I had. When you lose something dear to you, only then, can you truly appreciate what you DO have. For the first time in a long time I valued and appreciated my health. So what did I do? I hit the ground running, literally. I lost 25 pounds and am in the best shape of my life. Began to appreciate the fact that I had a job. Started taking better care of my files. Took better pride in my job. Started reconnecting with old friends again and made new ones in the process. Basically, a healthier appreciation of life. Am I in the financial position that I "should" be in? I don't know anymore. It is what it is. I know there are others that are doing better while there are others that are doing way worse. I no longer use this metric anymore. Now, I focus on ME. The things that I can control. I don't have any control over what this person or that persons life entails. But I DO have control over what happens in my life. I can control whether I eat a fatty fucking double cheeseburger or a fish salad. I can control whether I take the time to contemplate some excellent interrogatories on a slip and fall case or I can sit there being miserable that I'm in the trenches and not in some biglaw firm. I can control whether I sit on my ass for four hours straight or go for a nice 30 minute run and burn off excess calories. And for those of us that can go for that run, we should appreciate the fact that we CAN in fact run whereas so many others can't due to physical ailments. I know plenty of folks that are victims of the law school scam. Some are happy, others are indifferent, others are fucking miserable. The miserable ones tend to have something in common: they keep focusing on what OTHERS have. This guy is a cop and makes X, or this girl is a union worker and makes Y. Guess what, you chose otherwise. Snap out of it and DEAL with it otherwise your entire life will flash by and before you know you will be 50 years old, except this time even more miserable then you were before. So whenever you are feeling down about your lot in life, take a step back and appreciate the things you do have. Because before you know, what little you do have can be taken away from you. Stop focusing on what others have and focus on yourself. The struggle is immense but at least by fighting, by doing something about it, you give yourself the opportunity to make something happen. And if you fail try again. And in the end, if you do fail, at least you know you did the best you could. And if you succeed, then hopefully I'll see you one day on the slopes at Mammoth Mountain :) Peace

31 comments:

  1. I'm watching the law school scam bloggers with my drone.

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  2. Dealing with great depression can be done by exercise and yoga. Diet plan is also plays important role.

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  3. Thankyou for your post. I am a 2009 grad and really just need to move on. My outlook began to change for the better 6 months ago when I had my daughter. I am truly grateful for what I do have, but I still check the scamblogs daily. I am getting closer to letting all the bitterness go, and your post just may help me get one step further.

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  4. Great post. Made my day.

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  5. I have a son due in December. I also don't have quite the same drive to post on my blog. However, I receive many emails from people thanking me for my work. At this point, I just want to make sure that those considering law school have facts in front of them, so that they can make an informed decision. For the waterheads who decide to take the plunge anyway, nothing can be done to save them from their greed or stupidity. I am glad that you helped spread the message, subprime! Thank you.

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  6. A few points, as a 2005 grad suffering from massive depression for many years now because of law school debt and the lack of opportunities, along with the feeling that I was taken advantage of:

    1. Exercise works wonders for depression, equal, in my experience, to medication. But get medication if you need it too.

    2. The depression never really goes away. Every time I think about law school, hear about it, or have to talk about it, I feel the depression coming back instantly and it takes days to get rid of it again. This is a long term battle. Law school and my struggles in the legal profession were - are - a huge part of my life, whether I like it or not, and it is not something that is easy to walk away from.

    3. To follow on from point 2 above, I found that not checking the scamblogs works wonders for fighting depression. Avoid things that trigger these feelings, and avoid associating with people or sites that tell you - every single day - that life after law school is miserable. Find something else to do. When you feel like checking the scamblogs, go for a ten minute run instead of wasting ten minutes reading stuff you already know, and that will not do you any good. Find a hobby. Read the news. Do something other than wallow in self pity! No scamblog is going to help you if you are already a graduate. Just like alcoholics avoid walking past bars or putting themselves in situations where there could be alcohol, depressed law grads should stay away from the constant stream of bad news that scamblogs publish. Not that it isn't valuable information, but it is directed towards people thinking about attending law school and not those who have already graduated.

    It does get better over time, gradually, but it takes work. And the more effort you put into getting over it, the better. Don't sit back like I did for five years and let life pass you by. Moving on is hard work, and it does not happen passively.

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  7. ...good advice...well for me the scamblogs actually are OK. It's a reminder that I'm not alone in all this and there are many law grads facing hard times. The blogs don't make ME feel depressed...quite the opposite actually.

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  8. Did the author of this blog write this, or someone else?

    Strange.

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  9. It was a pleasure working with you Nando. We did a good thing by helping people understand the risks involved with the Law School Scam.

    @ Aug 21, 2012 5:02 PM yes I wrote this. Why is it strange?

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  10. excellent.. I'm learning to not envy other people, and I think it's helping my sanity.

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  11. Subprime and Nando, it sounds like you guys plan to stop your work. While it is true that the law school scam is out in the open now thanks to the excellent work the two of you spearheaded, I don't believe your work is finished.

    Now is the time for the two of you to spearhead a movement aimed at attempting to ameliorate the negative financial effects law school has caused on many of us defrauded grads. While none of us will ever get those 3 years of our lives back nor the stigma of the JD off our backs, what should happen is for those of us who have not been fortunate enough to procure legal or semi legal work to have the opportunity to discharge our debt in BK and start with a clean slate.

    Prior to 1996 you could discharge all of your student load debt in BK. Today, even private loans can't be discharged. There needs to be a movement to restore justice to the BK code and give all those defrauded by the higher education pigs (not just Law School ones)the chance to start fresh. I believe you guys can do it.

    Nando, congrats on your baby.

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  12. @7:08am ==> of course, now that you've borrowed a ton of cash and blown it on yourself you shouldn't have to pay it back. Not you.

    Do your parents, siblings, and friends regularly ask you what went wrong?

    Do they often express wonderment that you turned out to be such an abject loser?

    I hope they ask a lot though they likely are not surprised at all that you have devolved into a first class deadbeat.

    Simply hilarious!

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  13. @4:54pm===

    Have you ever heard of fraudulent inducement? Perhaps if law schools and legal academia put out accurate employment/salary statistics and did not raise tuition at 3 times the pace of inflation so that they could get paid 6 figures for 10 hours of work per week, then just perhaps people like 7:08 would not be in the mess that they are in.

    Anyone who participated and/or benefited from the law school or higher education scam should be forced to disgorge their unjust enrichment starting with their 401k's that were essentially funded by taxpayer student loans to their homes (assuming they aren't underwater).

    7:08 is not a loser nor a failure. That individual and many others were made "abject losers" and "deadbeats" by fraudsters who sold a bag of lies to fund their 6 figure 10 hour a week lifestyle.

    Simply hilarious!

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  14. Thank you for this post. I needed it. Truthfully....

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  15. You have done very great Subprime. Whatever you don't like about the trenches, you have stayed in the game, you have accomplished a lot.

    You are doing fantastic right now, and while I have not worked with you directly, I suspect you are a very competent attorney.

    FWIW, the economy can affect us for sure, but I don't know that it is dispositive to our long-term health and happiness.

    I graduated at the bottom of my class at a no-namer law school, I took the bar 3 times, I worked for free after I graduated, I had ever asshole experienced lawyer either tell me 1) I was going to be a failure, 2) whine about how tough the economy was which made it feel even less like a job interview, or 3) things must be very tough for me, so it was more of a condscending pity party than an occasion to ask me legitimate questions about how I'm qualified for the job. My first job paid roughly $80K with benefits, and where I'm at now pays a little less than that. I also generated roughly over $40,000 in legal fees by referring cases to other attorneys prior to becoming employed full-time, all within 4 months of becoming licensed.

    That was the biggest accomplishment for me, telling older attorneys without saying it outloud - you are not superior to me, I can get big clients and rain-make just like you, and if you play your cards right, I just might make you money.

    Not every big-money clients needs a big-money attorney, or even wants one, contrary to popular belief. Especially brand-new start up companies. Sometimes its just the guy you can have a beer or good conversation with about football. Referral fees changed my life forever, not in terms of money, but having confidence above clicking for jobs online all day long.

    I am doing pretty good right now at my job. And its a real one, with benefits, fairly good salary given my rookie status. My last company paid real good money for a newbie, but wasn't for me at the end of the day.

    I feel like I should be more pissed of at law school, but they got me every job I ever had, including my first job after becoming licensed, not including my current one. I don't really have a reason to be pissed at them, though they definitely mislead me about things.

    I don't know if it was my sheer determination the face of constant setbacks, to tell anyone "i am unaffected by the Recession, and I don't choose to be a part of it" every single time I heard a conversation about the negativity of the job market, but in any case, I continue to refuse to play victim or woe is me due to unforeseen circumstances.

    And after all that I went through, now I just care about doing a good job, and struggling with being lazy and wasteful with my money outside of work, alot of the stuff you discussed. I don't care about status or how people do or don't look at me.

    I think it is the strangest thing, but when you do step into a slightly higher earning capacity for the first time, for me at least, I find that the happiness lies in living just the way you did before you had it - hardworking, driven, time-efficient, and good-spirited. You have the same habits as someone who can't afford to fuck around, and you become smarter in the process. It's the only way to happiness, and it goes away for us partier-types otherwise.

    Now to avoid hypocrisy, time to go to work right now for rest of the day after an hour of stretching. I wish you the absolute best and thank you for opening people's eyes to making informed choices on higher education.

    And remember what I said last time, put your resume out there for, fun just to test the job market. I got my most recent job after I already had two job offers on the table, just for fun. Fuck around a bit now, and you may be pleasantly surprised =).



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  16. Great lecture by a UMass Economics Professor:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32494.htm

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  17. I'm glad you're doing so well, Subprime! Exercise indeed works wonders, and it never helps to compare ourselves to others. I hope you'll give updates from time to time.

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  20. I actually have yet to graduate from college, but I did attend an Ivy League school and recently decided to transfer because I was having these exact same feelings.

    I am seriously considering law school after matriculation, and your blog is helping me make an informed, truly educated decision. Thank you so much! Kudos to you for putting pen to paper and sharing this with the world.

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  21. Focusing on what others have will get you nowhere but depressed - it's true. It is similar with 'dwelling on the past.' With both of these, you are avoiding the real issue - what you are now, and what you can do with that.

    You can always get back in the game. Every day is an opportunity to double down and try hard, and if you do, you see the results. But it is hard to get there. I have struggled myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  23. I love your last statements, Subprime. When you're depressed, all you can think of are the bad things that you think you've done. You're focus on other people's achievements and you feel pitiful about yourself since you think you're not achieving anything. You feel you're the most unwanted person and always the laughing stock. This line of thinking must end so that you can move on and be perfectly happy. Appreciate what you have. Look at the big achievements that are different from those around you. Learn to see your beauty, not only physically, but focus on the goodness of your heart. As long as you're not doing any harm to anyone, you must be proud of who you are right now. Never let depression hinder your success since there are lots of people who are willing to help you. :)

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