A washed-out, grey, depressed day. A day of pouring rain and depression. A day when I’m too tired and depressed to do anything. A day when prayer or Torah study or chores seem almost impossible (fortunately I do not go to work on Tuesdays). A day of being slowed down by numerous minor inconveniences. A day for sheltering indoors, drinking tea and watching Doctor Who. A day of hoping that this is just a blip on the road to recovery, that it isn’t the start of a slide back into major depression. A day of not caring, or caring too much. A day of worrying about whether I will be able to get to work tomorrow and worrying about the return of antisemitism to Western society and its acceptance as a “progressive” ideology, when I really should be focused on keeping myself safe and healthy here and now.
I don’t know why I feel so bad today, but I have a few ideas. Probably the biggest factor is my sister’s engagement party on Sunday. That must have taken its toll, another ‘mental hangover’ as I call it, but I didn’t have time to recover, to get back my energy levels and to deal with the mixed emotions it provoked (all parties tend to make me feel lonely and isolated, but my little sister getting engaged while I’m still single is even more difficult) because I had work yesterday and then rushed out to Talmud class in the evening, falling asleep again before going to bed, although this time at least in my pyjamas, but with the lights on and hence with the extractor fan on in the bathroom – I hope I haven’t burnt it out.
The other factors are the two ongoing areas of uncertainty to which I have alluded recently. I hesitate to say too much, but one area, as I have mentioned, concerns work and relates to uncertainty as to whether I can take the next step in my career, increasing my working hours even more and the fear that either this option will not be available to me, or that I will take it and it will be the proverbial camel-breaking straw and I will spiral back down into depression again, something that seems more likely today than last week.
It will probably surprise no one that the other area of uncertainty is romantic. Again, I am torn between wanting to get things off my chest by writing about them here and the superstitious fear that if I say too much I will ruin everything, or that even getting my hopes up will ruin everything. Suffice to say, I am consumed with uncertainty: hope and despair, loneliness and lust, anxiety and affection, fantasy and fear… trying to parse the slightest look or the smallest word almost Talmudically in the search for a meaning that would support my hopes or fears… trying to fight my most persistent religious challenges when I have my lowest reserves of energy (physical, mental, emotional), will-power and motivation… waiting impatiently for things to be resolved one way or the other, a process that will take at least another two weeks and maybe many more weeks, months, perhaps even years.
So, I do what I can to survive, to get through the day, to get ready for tomorrow and for Thursday (training day in, of all places, Oxford, my own personal Hell, combined with networking, my own personal Hell in a different way). Dinner and Doctor Who and trying to survive.