(I can’t claim the dubious honour of having written the pun in the title. I heard it years ago, from someone whose name I have forgotten. I guess it makes a change from lines from Hamlet and Elvis Costello songs.)
It was lucky that I am still staying with my parents, as I overslept this morning. Despite going to bed at 10.45pm last night (too tired to relax in front of a DVD), I slept through my first two alarms (or was it three?), being woken at 6.15 by my Dad and my alarm going off more or less at the same time. I was feeling pretty depressed, though, and it took me an hour to slowly get dressed (I have no idea what I was doing, probably sitting on the bed staring into space and thinking), leaving me without enough time to daven the whole of Shacharit (say the morning prayers) including the long Chol HaMoed (intermediate days of the festival) prayers. I davened a bit and felt guilty about missing so much when I could have said more had I got going faster. I then had about five minutes to make and eat breakfast in the sukkah before going to work (work being permitted on Chol HaMoed if there is no alternative or one would incur significant loss (e.g. being fired!)).
Dad gave me a lift to the station and I got to work on time, but it just reinforces the feeling of not being well, of having to rely on special consideration that other people wouldn’t need. I feel that other people are able to live a frum (religious) life without too much difficulty and even to enjoy much of it, whereas I struggle to do the most basic things and don’t really enjoy that much of it. I started crying while trying to do my daily Mishnah study on the Tube, perhaps because I couldn’t understand the Mishnah and felt so stupid in comparison with people at my shul (synagogue) who can study not just Mishnah, but Gemarah too.
Other things that have upset me today are: reading about child-on-child sexual assaults skyrocketing in the last year on the cover of the newspapers other people were reading on the Tube; reading about an abused child on a blog I read written by a primary school teacher (she has called the police, but is scared the abuser (the child’s guardian) will run off with the child before the child can be taken into care); reading real-life stories about people being murdered because they were disabled or because they were Goths in a book I catalogued on hate crime; worrying about someone who reads this blog who I don’t know in person, but who is really suffering right now; and reading in sociology textbooks I was cataloguing about the education system and how it (supposedly) works in favour of middle class, clever children, who (supposedly) get more attention from the teachers. This isn’t exactly how I remember my childhood (my teachers largely ignored me, although I had friends who seemed to be more memorable to them), but I still felt guilty in case someone under-achieved because of me, somehow.
The bottom line is that everything just seems to set me off today, even if I don’t actually cry. I feel lousy: depressed, exhausted and hungry and only the last of those has a quick fix.
There is a Simchat Beit Hasho’eva party (Sukkot party) at shul (synagogue) tonight, but I can’t face going after my mixed success at socialising on Friday and in any case I feel too tired. I wish I were the type of person who could actually enjoy things, by which I guess I mean I wish I were a normal person rather than an anhedonistic depressed one. My friend (I hope she won’t mind me calling her that) Rivki Silver posted a piece on Hevria today about the simcha (joy) that comes with persevering with something despite difficulty and eventually achieving a goal, which leads on to greater achievements, whether in creativity, marriage, other relationships or in character development. I just barely managed to restrain myself from posting a comment about the fact that I never get any joy from anything, which is why I rarely persevere with my creativity or personal growth. I wouldn’t know about marriage and relationships, as I’m not sure how good my relationship is with my parents and my sister, objectively. I guess I have a few friendships, but I don’t really have to persevere with difficulty there, because I don’t open up so much and they don’t open up to me. I’ve only had one proper romantic relationship and I persevered with that for months despite getting hurt more and more. I don’t know what that proves.