Depression and suicidal ideation have been part of my life since my childhood. However, I did not begin therapy until the age of 16. During my twenties, I made at least a dozen suicide attempts. My psychiatrist was my life coach and helped me manage my depression. When my psychiatrist died, I was devastated. A new psychiatrist and a therapist saw me through more difficult times as a depressive trying to survive in a “normal” world. I became disabled by my illness and did very little, other than therapy, for five years.
Spurred on by my therapist, I returned to school and chose to become a paralegal, but my passion for the law grew and I made the decision to attend law school. I continued to receive support from my psychiatrist and my antidepressant medication through law school and beyond. My first experience as an attorney was difficult and found me with few clients and little income.
I could no longer afford psychiatric care or medication. I felt very capable of managing my depression. Then, I lost my job and the world seemed to crumble. I knew there were other options to get help, but I was still determined to do it on my own. I became acquainted with the staff at LCL through their work with the Minnesota State Bar Association. During my difficult times LCL staff approached me on several occasions offering help. I thanked them but brushed off their suggestions. Unbeknownst to anyone at LCL, I was on the verge of committing suicide. My life had spiraled out of control and I knew that I was not capable of effectively representing a client. I eventually sought help from LCL.
The LCL staff helped arrange other resources for my clients and made a call to arrange a therapy session for me. The therapist helped me find a psychiatrist to take me as a patient. LCL, through a law firm foundation grant, pays for medication management for attorneys who have difficulty affording it .The therapist helped me to diffuse the situation and focus on solutions to my problems. I also began attending LCL membership meetings and actively supporting LCL when opportunities arose. The continued support of LCL staff and the membership has proven invaluable to me.