Righteous Indignation

Some may say I’m a whiner.  That I tend to complain.  Well, I’m not malcontent, but I sure as hell know how to voice my dissatisfaction.  And what I’m about to voice goes far beyond mere dissatisfaction. 

I’m irate.  And I’m going to rehab. For 90 days.  

I’ve been wrestling with the Bar Committee all summer, trying to get approved to practice in the beautiful state in which I decided to settle down and sit for the bar.   Well the bought is over, the final bell has rung, and the scores are in:  
        Bar Committee: 1
        Me: 0
Despite my disgust at having to be forthcoming, I disclosed my bipolar disorder on the bar application– which is mandatory.   I signed some waivers for them to talk to my two current providers, who I trust, and I thought the match was over.

It was not.  Next, the Committee, in all its warmth of understanding, twisted my arm and forced me to cough up 5 years worth of confidential medical records, under the auspices that my file required “further review.”  I was warned that anything short of full compliance would not result in admission to the bar.

I knew it was about to get ugly.  I braced myself for referral to a lawyer’s assistance program.  I thought they could do no worse than send me to substance abuse classes  (going rate is $100 a week) and assign me a mentor.  

I was wrong. 

And it’s gotten uglier.

The lawyer’s program called and said that, based on my file blah blah blah, they were recommending a three day INPATIENT evaluation.  

I smiled. I promptly scheduled.  I went in with a game plan: no crying, no napping, and, above all, I would pretend to be friendly.

My plan didn’t work.  
I’ve been sentenced to 90 days inpatient rehab.  

Why yes, I have been clean since May.  Yes sir, I stopped binge drinking years ago.  

What’s that you say?  It doesn’t matter?  

What are you carrying on about? You say I’m an alcoholic? That I’m an addict? That I’m in denial?

Oh, so you’re not interested in the evidence that proves that I’ve been clean for months?   And you didn’t listen to me when I described how and why I decided to get clean?

They were not much for listening.  

Well it’s not possible to win a wrestling match with the bar committee– they pay all the judges, fill all the seats, and fix the outcome before the wrestlers even take to the mat. 

And I’m irate. And rehab bound.


15 responses to “Righteous Indignation

  • cabrogal


    When do you think you go in?
    Have you got any legal help?
    Have you contacted activist organisations?
    Do you know any reporters?

    These guys are playing hardball.
    Time to pull out the stops.

    • gmercier4388

      I probably won’t got until Feb due to job stuff. The biggest problem is the fucking doctors that diagnosed me with poly substance abuse, which is the backbone of their justification for putting me in there.

      In terms of a fight, we shall see. I’m not particularly connected, be a mere middle class citizen, but we’ll see how shit plays out. And the press is always there….;)

      • cabrogal

        Are there any civil rights type groups concerned with medical privacy in your neck of the woods?
        Maybe some legal academics?

      • gmercier4388

        There might be. The problem right now is that any fighting prior to the formal committee decision is premature. And my psych records where I disclosed my past substance abuse are pretty damning. Shit just sucks.

      • cabrogal

        You were coerced into incriminating yourself by illegitimately waiving your medical privacy.
        There are laws in America, aren’t there?

      • gmercier4388

        Hahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh there are certainly rights. The way the application works is that you have to be compliant. No compliance, no admission. Which = long road to appeals and job disruption including getting fired for not passing the bar. So you sign the waivers, against all instinct of fairness and justice in the hopes that it will all go away. It didn’t, and here I am.

  • cabrogal

    Is there any friend or family member you can trust to work hard to get you out if you ask them to?

  • Raeyn

    Ugh and dafuck. That’s a horrible deal. 😦

  • Gretchen Getsinger

    I think that they’re asking a lot of you but I also see you owning your problems and think if you can be strong through the bullshit you’ll eventually be free of this burden. I don’t hear you whining, either. Hang tough and be well.

  • CB

    That blows! Sorry you have to go through this. :-/

  • riselikeair

    That does suck. However, trying to see some positive… once that 90 days is over… you are free and clear in the sense there should be no argument about where you stand and how far you’ve come – and how far you can continue to go. From now until those 90 days are up (whenever that ends up being) you have all that time to absolutely blow their minds with what you can do – what you have done. To come through all of this and to keep putting one foot in front of the other – now that’s a lawyer I’d want in my corner. I find it interesting that a group vetting lawyers isn’t interested in the evidence. Not the kind of lawyer or judge I want in my corner. Rooting for you – go in with a plan and tools to own those 90 days instead of letting them own you.

    • gmercier4388

      Thank you so much for your support! 🙂 It means a lot. When I do go in, hopefully not until February– which is when my job program ends– I’ve already got some things I plan to do. Who knows, maybe I’ll even write a book! This whole process is such bullshit and it makes me sick. It’s definitely trial by fire, and it has been for months now. I’m just ready to come out shining and strong on the other end. This won’t defeat me and it only serves to strengthen my convictions.

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