I currently have three mental health professionals I see regularly. Monthly. So basically about once a week I am seeing someone. It is for three different reasons and I am perfectly sane. I feel about mental health the same way I feel about exercise. It is a preventative measure for me. I see therapists so I don’t go off the deep end. I exercise so I can still fit through my front door.
My main therapist and I have been focusing on my anxiety as of late, mainly how I can manage it better. I am prone to “catastrophic thinking.” I have been this way all my life, it is only in the past few weeks I have discovered there is a word for it. I would Google it and tell you more about it, but Googling health conditions is strictly verboten for me.
I received a jury summons on Friday. This is my exact thought process… edited down for clarity:
Oh my God, I don’t have time to serve on a jury. Maybe they won’t make me do it since I am a student.
I read the pamphlet. It says three different places that being a student is not an excuse.
Okay. This is okay. I can postpone it. I watch West Wing. I know you can postpone jury duty.
Maximum postponement = 90 days.
90 days. Three months. I need to serve in the middle of February. Postponement would put me in the middle of May. In the middle of FINALS. Okay, okay, okay. Is it postponement from the day I received the summons or from the day I am expected to serve?! Where is the phone number? Oh no. It is 10:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Maybe someone will be there? Please let someone bet there?!
No one is there.
Okay, okay. Lets see, viable excuses. Convicted felon? Fuck. Damn me and my law abiding ways. Over 70? Don’t think I could fake that. Nursing mother? Possibly fake-able? Do I know anyone with a baby I could borrow? Active military service? They would definitely find out if I lied about that. No viable means of transportation? Yes, yes, yes! I don’t own a car! I live in Calabasas! NO PUBLIC TRANSPORT! This will work….
But. That is kind of a crappy excuse. I wouldn’t buy it. They are probably going to make me serve anyway. What if I end up on a big murder trial like with OJ? What if I get sequestered? What if it is like that episode of CSI where they wouldn’t let the juror leave to go to her own wedding and she killed another juror because of it? What if I get on a big murder case, am sequestered, and fail my finals because of it? That is definitely what is going to happen. I know it.
This is what happens to me. A lot. But, due to therapy, I am able to talk myself down from this with relative ease. It goes something like this:
Really, how many students have failed out of law school due to jury duty? Probably not that many. Right?
They probably wouldn’t pick me anyway. My dad was a lawyer. He is currently a cop. I am a law student. I have biased written all over me. No defense attorney would want me.
And really, I am sure they are fine with postponement until the end of semester. I mean, that makes sense, right? Otherwise students would riot. That would be absurd. Deep breaths. Just call Monday and be super nice. These are real people to, right?
Back in the day, I would have been on the phone at 7:58 a.m. Monday morning. I called on Monday at 1:00 p.m. Baby steps, people! Sitting on hold was nerve wracking but I got to a live person and was super nice. My summons is on hold until they receive my excuse. Then we move from there. Even if I have to postpone, I will end up serving in the middle of summer. Which is just fine.
I will proudly do my civic duty.
Just not during finals.
PS: If you are tired of the West Wing references, stop reading right now!!!
I met Martin freakin’ Sheen! He was on campus. I nearly DIED.