So, here it is, after 7 p.m. and I'm just now sitting down to write this. This day...this week - have kicked my butt. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm a "fixater" - I get something in my head and I fixate on it until I have driven myself and all those around me completely insane. Well, this week I have been fixated on the same thing that has held my attention for a while - a B felony criminal matter marching its way toward Jury Trial. The last two days I have spent in depositions for this case - the five days prior to that were spend freaking out about the depositions. I have been overly focused to the point of lack of sleep, anxiety and absent-mindedness which is not, in general, a smooth way to run a law practice.
I get so completely worried and concerned about doing everything perfectly, and, when faced with a situation I have never faced before, work myself into such a state of concern - trying to plan for every possible situation, projecting my feelings of inadequacy on those around me, afraid to look or seem like I don't know what I'm doing, that I screech to a halt. Immobilized and unable to do anything but contemplate the worst case scenario. I have experienced this cycle of anxiety/stress to crash about four times since this B felony case came into my life. It is testing every bit of confidence I have in myself and my ability to effectively practice law.
This level of anxiety and stress, in me, always culminates in a huge crash - once the event that I have obsessed and fretted about fr so long and so thoroughly is over, my body physically shuts down. I get extremely fatigued- kind of like when all the adrenalin leaves you after a run - you just fall, and it takes a little while to get back up again. I wish that I did not have to deal with this anxiety issue, and, the good news is that it doesn't happen very often. The better news is that I have always completed the task I was in such fear or completing and haven't had a single ethics complaint or malpractice suit! The best news is that, in most cases, once I have met the dreaded challenge and survived, it is much, much easier and less stressful the next time.
Some days I still wonder what the heck I'm doing here - I hate confrontation (I used to get sick to my stomach just to raise my hand and ask a question in law school), I have an almost pathological need to be liked and I am easily over-shadowed by those "loud" ones. Definitely not your stereotypical TV lawyer. My law practice has stretched me, pushed and challenged me to do things that I would never have thought I could do. But I am a much stronger, braver and confident (most of the time) person for it!