The Summer of the Bar: Part 2. PostBARtum Depression
It’s hard to imagine that four years of blood, sweat, and tears boiled down to just 12 hours of exam taking. After I left the Springfield Western New England campus (I took the exam out there by choice to get away from all the crazed law students in Boston), I was numb. A zombie. I really did not comprehend what had just happened. This was it? It’s done? For four years I have been on the move non-stop. For four years, I have given up time with friends and family, movies, traveling, sleeping, and *GASP* reading FOR FUN! For four years I busted my ass more than I ever have in my entire life. For four years, I sat at my favorite restaurant (well, for the first two years at least) once a week, sipping my Hendrick’s Extra dirty Martini – shaken, never stirred – and eating oysters and writing amazing legal prose. For the entire summer after graduation, I read (and wrote) so much my eyes started bleeding and eventually I became cross-eyed (I didn’t really but that’s how I felt, and it paints an amazing picture, doesn’t it?) and now, it all culminated in 12 measly hours of taking a stupid test that pretty much slapped me in the face like the taco in this Tums commercial below. I seriously felt just like that guy in the commercial as I opened my exam and started reading.
Afterwards, I felt like I had nothing to give. I felt useless and worthless. I had known nothing else other than the hustle of law school for four years. Sure, people work and have jobs and families and get married and have babies during law school. But I was not one of those people. I made law school my full time job. I made it my life. I only know how to work hard, and so I worked the hardest I had up until this point in my life.
And then, in the silence of my car, with the music blaring, driving back home right after the exam, I felt nothing and everything at once. I was thinking about the whole summer, my brains were still firing panic synapses, not allowing me to think about anything else other than what I had been brainwashed with for the past 3ish months. My friend told me to call her right after and I really wanted to, but I had no words. I literally could not speak, could not articulate anything. My brain would not shut up, would not stop thinking about how much of a stupor it was in knowing that all of this just ended like the punch in the face I had been wanting to give to other people all summer long. My brain was fried and just overdone and numb with nothing, but was still thinking everything at once.
For a brief second, I thought, crap, I haven’t planned which problem sets to do tonight. Am I on Barbri Book 3, mixed set 5? I couldn’t remember. And it took me a few seconds to realize that it was over and didn’t matter and I had nothing to do when I got home. But I was still in auto pilot mode….All I kept saying to myself was, “Now what? Now what? Now what?”
And now I wait.