I felt quite washed out and a bit down today. I woke reasonably early (OK, about 9.30am, but that’s early considering (a) how late I went to bed last night and (b) how late I was waking up over the last couple of weeks rather than by comparison with my waking up at 6am on work days), probably the result of yesterday, not just going out with my family, but also something that happened in the evening. I had some OCD thoughts late at night and then I got very agitated about something in the Jewish world and how that made me see myself. I’m not sure what that agitation would count as, possibly OCD or anxiety, possibly neither. I did write a blog post about it, but I decided not to publish it, for various reasons. I’m actually still a bit agitated about it, actually.
I don’t really want to re-write that post here, but the bottom line is that although I know there are problem areas of my life, things I want to change and repent from, I am slowly accepting that my worst sins are generally the result of years of loneliness and bullying resulting in my mental health issues or from the mental health issues themselves (e.g. the fact that I was too tired and depressed to daven Shacharit (say the morning prayers) until 12.35 today and even then had to skip parts of the service). I feel genuinely grateful to God that He implanted a conscience and a sense of integrity in me such that there are certain things that I simply would not do even if I wasn’t told not to do them by the Torah and that however bad I think I am, most of my sins are between me and God, not me and my fellow human beings. For all I sometimes lose my temper with my family or make a joke that is a little more hurtful than intended, I would never seek to harm someone in a serious or premeditated way and I do try hard to guard my speech and actions and not to hurt people even in minor ways, even unintentionally. I don’t think this makes me a particularly outstanding human being, just an ordinarily good one, but unfortunately we live in an age where violence and abuse are rife and perhaps even being averagely good is extraordinary.
So there are mixed feelings today of depression and guilt (for davening late), but also of disgust with corruption in high places and thankfulness that God made me an ordinary person and not a psychopath, let alone a psychopath masquerading as a tzaddik (saint) (the worst sort of psychopath). I’m supposed to be getting on with some chores, but I just feel tired and lacking in motivation, as well as a bit lonely. I need distraction from brooding about myself and the ills of the world, other than internet browsing, which just keeps bringing me back to the things that upset me. I guess I just need to take the plunge and start doing something.
I realized that I am halfway through my holiday and have not done very much because of the depression. Maybe I need to let myself be depressed a bit sometimes. I have also hardly done any reading since going on holiday over two weeks ago. I haven’t really made any progress with Daniel Deronda, it’s just too heavy going, and the chapters too long, for me to feel like picking it up when my mood has been down, plus I have been watching Doctor Who as research for my book rather than pure enjoyment. As someone who always has a book on the go (several in fact: Jewish books, a novel, sometimes secular non-fiction) this feels wrong, although I have done a bit more reading than this would imply (some Jewish reading, Doctor Who Magazine, some of the latest Jewish Review of Books).