Shavuot (Pentecost) was pretty good.  I managed to get to shul (synagogue) for all the services and to participate in the communal Torah study that happened every day, tikkun leil (staying up all night studying Torah on the first night of Shavuot) on the first night and a mixture of group or paired study and shiurim (classes) on first and second afternoons, culminating in a inter-shul study-and-singing event in the closing hours of the Yom Tov (festival) which was very good idea.   One thing I like about this area is that the various Orthodox communities collaborate and people attend different shuls; there isn’t so much of the “They’re too modern/conservative for us” attitude.

However, there has been a price and I feel totally drained and a bit depressed today.  I wanted to go for a run (I have eaten a lot of junk over Yom Tov…), but got up too late and I have had strong OCD over the last day or two for the first time in a couple of months, panicking about kashrut issues again.  This might be due to general exhaustion as going to shul and doing communal study is exhausting in itself, but I also found it particularly draining as I felt quite inferior during the group and paired study, as lots of people seemed to be more adept than I am.  I don’t know if they’ve been to yeshiva (seminary) or have studied a lot of Talmud or if they are just more quick-witted in a group study situtation – my shyness holds me back from asking or answering questions (although I managed to do both a little bit) and I take in information better when I’m reading by myself with time to re-read and digest, rather than in a group situation where I’m listening as much as reading and have no time to think about what I hear and process it.  Either way it brought back feelings of inferiority to other frum (religious) Jews.  The feeling of being drained and having resurgent OCD has led to worries about the date I’m going on on Sunday, worrying if I will be able to cope with it and if my mental health issues will lead to rejection at some point.

In other news, I’m still having internet connection problems in my flat.  Currently I can sometimes get a bit of a connection if I sit in the doorway with my laptop on my lap but sticking outside, but this is uncomfortable and problematic if it is raining, as it was before.  I need to get this sorted, although I suspect I will be told it’s just because the hub is in my landlord’s house and my flat is too far away (but why was it fine for the last ten months?!).

I need to go out to collect a prescription before Shabbat, as well as doing all my usual chores so I should go and have some lunch and get a move on.  You’re Only Human (Second Wind) by Billy Joel has come up on shuffle on iTunes which is probably telling me something…

2 thoughts on “Don’t Forget Your Second Wind (Post-Shavuot Post)

  1. Very quick note before Shabbos: Almost everything you described can be explained by two words – you are a sensitive introvert. We Highly Sensitive People (who are by nature introverts) simply can’t cope with as much group time – it utterly exhausts and drains us and we do not function best in those situations. Please go easy on yourself and remember you are precious and are loved for being you, not for how many communal activities you attend! 🙂


  2. I got called “sensitive” a lot when I was a child; I was never sure that it was a good thing to be…

    I hear you about being an introvert in groups. I missed shul this morning because I was too drained to get up; I planned to go in the evening, but because I hadn’t been there in the morning I didn’t hear that the times of Mincha had changed and seudah shlishit had been cancelled to allow people to see a visiting dayan at another shul. Oh well, I got more time to read, I suppose.

    It’s hard to feel loved for being me sometimes. I was thinking a lot on Friday about being inadequate as a frum Jew. Other people seem to do so much more in terms of mitzvot and Torah study, not to mention marrying and procreating.


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