I feel agitated and exhausted at the same time. My Talmud shiur (class) got cancelled, so I don’t need to feel guilty about not going.
I feel lonely today, but I don’t feel particularly inclined to phone my parents, the only people who are realistically going to be around to listen to me. I don’t know what to say, and my parents aren’t always on my wavelength anyway. Very few people are. It’s one reason why I can’t see myself getting married. I can’t imagine someone who really understands me. I suppose someone once did, but she was, by her own admission, using me, first emotionally (expecting me to be there for her, but not being around for me, again by her own admission) and then physically/sexually; don’t worry it didn’t quite go that far, but she did try to push it to that, which was when I realized I had to cut her out of my life, however painful that was at the time (and it was painful).
I wish I had more friends on my own wavelength. Most of my friends have only one or two things in common with me, usually frumkeit (religiosity) or mental health issues. Neither alone really lead to lasting friendships, or not for me. I wish I could just sit and chill out with some friends. I never did that when I was a teenager or at university. My peers and my friends (I guess you could call them that – more than acquaintances, even if we weren’t really close) did, but I never joined in. At this distance it’s hard to remember if I just wanted to be invited (not out of pride, but out of fear I would offend people by just turning up unasked, that they didn’t want me to be there) or if I was scared that if I hung around with people too long, they would come to be bored by me, even to hate me and would get rid of what friendship and closeness we did have. I think it was probably a bit of both. I guess I’m too old for just hanging out now anyway. People my age are usually more worried about mortgages and kids and other things that don’t apply to me. Being Peter Pan is no fun if you’re too depressed to enjoy it.
I tried to go to some onegs organized by my shul (synagogue) last year. An oneg is basically a big chill out, a sort of Shabbat (Sabbath) party, a gathering for food, alcohol, singing, chat and the sharing of religious thoughts. I managed to go to one, stood outside for fifteen minutes in the cold and dark because I was too shy to go in, then sort of forced myself to go in with someone else, sat mostly in silence, got upset by the guest speaker, spoke to one person (who I already knew anyway) and left after an hour. Then a few weeks later there was another one and I didn’t even manage to get inside that one. I just stood outside crying and eventually went home. The guy I walked into the first oneg with saw me go. I think he must think I’m basically nuts (he may be right).
At least I managed to get to the sheva brachos (why do I transliterate that as sheva brachos and not sheva brachot? Eh) a few weeks ago and speak to some people there and enjoy it. That was progress. Today I feel like however much progress I have made in the last seven or eight months has been eroded. I’m glad I have a month to get myself together again before I go back to work, because I think I’m going to need it.
I saw something on Twitter today that really annoyed me (I hate Twitter, I don’t think you can say very much that’s original, interesting and meaningful in 140 characters). “Mental illness is so common for creatives and musicians. We need to destigmatize the conversation around it. It’s okay to not be okay.” Which is true, but it feels rather utilitarian. As if to say that if, like me, you are not a great creative, but merely a lowly assistant librarian, you aren’t worth rescuing from the black dog. Sadly, the myth of the tormented genius means that mental illness is romanticized in some quarters.
Truth be told, I worry about my creativity. I believe I probably have a tiny amount of talent for writing that I might be able to work into something better if I had the confidence to go on a writing course, to show my work to more people (or any people… of course, this would require having friends and family interested in my work and able to critique meaningfully, which I don’t have) and, above all, to keep working at it. I don’t have the confidence or, when the depression is bad, the energy and concentration (I wanted to work on my book today, but it’s easier to churn out this drivel instead). I think my writing is awful and I don’t work at it, except for these rambling nonsense posts that, sensibly, no one reads or takes seriously. I’m still smarting from my Hevria.com rejection even though the people who rejected me don’t even remember doing it or why they did it. Sigh. David Bowie said that the worst thing God can do to you is to make you an artist, but a mediocre artist; I think I know what he meant, although being lonely is worse (I guess the two can be connected).