Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Short, but not sweet

Does everything really happen for a reason? I try to tell myself that my trials and tribulations in life could be a gift. But some days that's a really hard sell. Looking back on my past I examine events that at the time seemed to be the end of my life, but in the end brought about great things for me. The most difficult time in my adult life, as I have mentioned before, is most certainly the realization that my first marriage was over and that I would soon be divorced. In April, I will likely post about the beginning of the end, but for now I will only describe the situation briefly. First husband, we'll call him Jackass for now, sat me down one day and revealed that he had been cheating on me with a 19 year old girl from school, and he was in love with her, not me. Not only was he cheating on me then, but it turns out he had been fucking other women on and off the entire 10 years we were together. The story gets worse from there, but I will save that for another day.

"Devastated" doesn't even begin to describe how I felt during that time period. I never thought I would survive that situation. But I did. And I am so glad I stuck it out, because I never would have met my current husband had I given up altogether. Plus, if I had not married Jackass, I wouldn't have come out to NY for grad school, and never would have met my dear current husband, who you have come to know simply as Husband. I am thankful for all that I learned in the first marriage and how it has truly made me a better partner in my second.

Now, I am trying to analogize that event to my current situation which is not having secured employment with a lala firm for the summer. To date, it is the most challenging and difficult moment of my academic experience (and believe me that's saying quite a bit given what grad school can do to you). When I am done here, I will have about $150,000 in student loan debt. That's a scary thought when you pair it up with unemployment. I have never felt so beaten down as I do at this time. So when I have the strength, I attempt to convince myself that this is how it is supposed to be for me. I fight brutally with my brain, arguing that there is something out there for me that will come, I just need to work hard and be patient. Most days, my evil brain wins the argument and I cry myself to sleep.

In the meantime, my level of stress has risen exponentially. What else comes with stress, besides the incessant chastisement in my head? Urinary tract infections. The women in my family seem to get them all of the time. Something about our anatomy makes us vulnerable to them. I speculate that perhaps we have shorter ureters than most women, but of course I don't really know that. Usually the pain sets in after a day of serious stress and way too much coffee. By the time I get home, I need to set up camp in the bathroom. With lots of meds, cranberry juice and pills, and a couple gallons of water, I self medicate until the pressure and burning subside. Unfortunately, that often just leads to a full blown kidney infection. Ever had one? They are loads of fun. And just to head off the assvice, yes, I wipe from front to back thank you very much. Oh, and yes, I pee right after sex. But, no, I have been unable to kick my coffee habit, which I know continues to aggravate my bladder. You would think that the guarantee of excruciating pain would keep me off the coffee, but no. Pain has never been a great deterrent for me. One indication that despite my over-education status, I really am just not that bright.


Not so little sister said...

Ugh. I am so sorry! I get UTIs easily too, so I can sympathize. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Just reading your post makes me cringe and want to reach for the cranberry juice. Speedy recovery! And maybe more bubble baths to combat the stress?

Bumble said...

Ouch, eina, sorry about the UTI. The worst thing is when you think you're right about to absolutely pee your pants, and only a micro-drop ends up coming out. They're not pretty things to have and the only assvice I could have given, you're already using (the cranberry juice). Hope it gets better soon!

Jenny F. Scientist said...

Ow! I'm cringing just reading this. Gee, I feel lucky; I only get colds! I'm never complaining again!

And if my spouse ever does anything like that, my daddy will get out his gun.

The positive thinking is an admirable effort, but I've never made it work. Missing the Pollyannaa gene or something.

Katie Ann said...

Hello, here by way of, well, I just found you through a bunch of random links. I like your site!
I get UTIs when I get stressed, it started recently, I thought I was the only one! I'm between jobs (=stress) and don't have health insurance (=more stress-but the current policy should start any day now) In the mean time I drink a ton of c-juice and try to relax....

Alex said...

So, in the assvice category, I used to get UTIs post-sex and while peeing after didn't help, washing did. Doubt if that's of any use, but FWIW. Also, not to challenge not so little sister, but I've always been told bubble baths can cause UTIs by irritating the urethra. No help on the coffee stuff, though, I'm there with you (not giving it up).

Um...kidney infections very very bad. BTDT. Hope you can get appropriate meds to prevent same.

Not so little sister said...

Yeah, Alex is probably right. Bad assvice on my account! Sorry...I was thinking about stress relieving and not the UTI.

Aurelia said...

Ouch, I am vulnerable to those too. I've now told the doctor I'd rather have open heart surgery with no pain killer than another catheter during a bad UTI. (Spasms lead to retained urine, leads to agony...)
I actually have a collection of requisitions, cups, & antibiotics so I can send a sample in anytime I need to, and not wait. If you ever find the magic cure, let me know!

Ol' Lady said...

*knocking on wood* I have never had a UTI but my 2 oldest girls I do know that they are painful.
Hope your feelin better soon :)

jane said...

You may have already tried this, but you can try finding a flavor of tea that you like. I had to give up caffinated coffee, BUT...I got the most delicious smelling roasted coffee candles...oh my god!

Accepting things that just are is so difficult. I hope things turn around for you financially.

Dino aka Katy said...

i can't say I know how you feel becuase I never had a UTI lucky me

as for crappy husbands - my ex cheated too but he is the reason I met Grumpy so thats what matters

I believe things happen for a reason and someday you'll see why things had to be this hard

Dianne/Flutter said...

So sorry about the UTI. It just doesn't sound like fun.

About things happening for a reason, yeah I don't think so. I do think things happen and we are better off that they happened. And we grow from those experiences. But to much shit happens, that cannot possible have a reason for.

Sarah said...

I'm not too into the concept that things happen for a reason.

But I do agree that everything in our lives shapes who we are, and that sometimes parts of you change, as a result of negative experiences, in ways that you (or others) see as positive. If that makes any sense...

And I don't have any UTI advice... Sorry! :)

BerryBird said...

Oh, Nicole, I'm so sorry about this. With everything else you're going through, a UTI is the last thing you need. I hope those antibiotics kick in, pronto.

Hope548 said...

I've had one UTI and it was horrible! I am experiencing the fun of grad school first hand right now. This is my most challenging semester yet, coupled with working full-time. I don't have that much time to be upset about infertility at the moment!

Hang in there! It's good you're trying to keep a good perspective and hopefully take something valuable away from all of this. Right!??

terri s. said...

Hi N.- I'm a long time reader, first time blogger.

V. sorry about the UTI thing.

But what I want to comment on is that the world is a more interesting place because of exceptions to the rules. And you don't appear to be someone who follows the lemmings off the cliff. You have a plethora of talent and expertise to offer, it will get noticed. Stay strong!

(I would suggest that you try to relax, that it will work out etc, but I don't want to find a virtual bullet travelling through my head!)

the waiting line said...

UTIs and the "things happen for a reason" logic - suck. That said, I certainly use the latter when it's convenient and when I feel some bad experience has made me a better person or led to some kind of revelation. Ultimately, that doesn't change the fact that sometimes shit happens (and there ain't no damn reason)..... you just keep chugging along, putting one foot in front of the other. Isn't that the essence of the human spirit -- think Sisyphus, I guess. ;-)

theoneliner said...

Don't worry about the loans...when you get to be me-4 years out of law'll *only* owe 149,999. HA!

Ok, seriously... i was right where you are when i was in lschool although not 1/2 as bright.

1. buy "the guerilla guide to getting the legal job of your dreams"

2. do what she says.

3. network,network, network. and when you get sick of it, after you've gone to 5 events in one week and you feel like you could throw up from know when the vomit is right at the back of your throat...know that you are 1% there and that you've got a whole 'lotta networking ahead of you.
you can network by joining every bar association under the sun. usually they are free for students. business orgs too.

3. use your free lexis id and go to a lawyer search..for alumni of your l-school and undergrad. look for people who do what you want to do....or who do something you might want to them for lunch. lawyers LOVE to help out younger lawyers. Seriously. we love it. I got two job offers that way...and i'm a corny chit-chatty unmannered person.

The only people who have summer jobs at this point are people who are going to summer with big firms...where they will go on to work and make big$$$ who will leave in six years and hate that experience so much that they will never practice law again. The statistics bear me out as do my big law firm friends as they complain about their jobs at happy hour.

You're in fine time. You're going to end up gainfully employed. You will. You will.

Do you ever take those Azzo pills-that are supposed to prevent UTI's? They work for me. They're all natural. You can get them at CVS. And they have some for when you have an UTI. They're always with the tampons. Why i don't know.

Go now. Network.

Feel free to email me.

theoneliner said...

BTW i barely know you and i can promise you--you have waaaayyyyyyy to much personality to work in a big firm.
sorry if that's your dream. but you might as well know now. (besides the $$ they isn't so much dreamy about the big firms)

Barbara said...

Nicole - Coffee is a tough thing to give up. I hope you win the UTI battle. You haven't gotten that job offer yet because fate is helping out some law firm that doesn't have a current opening. When that law firm posts it job opening and you answer it, you will have your job offer.

There are two new exercisers for comments! Please welcome Bluepaintred and B - my life my thoughts!

Cibele said...

Dear Nicole , I can relate with you, my level of stress has risen exponentially lately too. I am at home full time writing my thesis that keeps on growing and making less sense as the days go bay. Since I am an (legal) immigrant here under Student VISA I have to worry about my VISA status after I graduate and the VISA they offered me at the NIH requires for me to go back home for 2 years once I am done, what if I am not ready???
I have some other post doc offers... but Gosh, we studied so much to get paid so little.!!! It makes me so mad!
The burden of being over educated, jobless, barren and fat is really weighing heavily on me now. I hope that is just a phase for us girl. I wish you all the best, you deserve it!

thrice said...

Baring rape, child molestation and the like, We gain coping skills, depth, sensitivity, etc. by facing adversity.

Have you ever met someone that has never experienced any pain in her life, and then all she can talk about is shopping.