I’m still at my parents’ house, having been here for nearly two weeks now. I hope to get back to my flat this evening, but it will depend on my parents. They are going to my sister’s future sister-in-law’s birthday party soon, which I have ducked mostly because I felt I just would not cope. I don’t drive, so I need a lift to take all my stuff back to the flat. Although I have a lot to do, I wanted to take today as a mental health day to recover from Simchat Torah, but had to help Dad take down more of the sukkah and then go to Brent Cross Shopping Centre to buy a dinner suit (translation for Americans: tuxedo) for my sister’s wedding. I hate shopping, I hate shopping for clothes and I hate big busy shopping centres (I’m not by any means an anti-capitalist, but I felt a bit sick about the advertising and consumption and that’s aside from the sensory overload and the people), so I’m glad I’m not going to the party. Even without that, I’ve got to do some Torah study and cook dinner as well as packing and getting home in time to get an early night before work tomorrow, so I doubt I’m going to get much of a mental health break. It will be nice to have the house to myself for a bit, though.
I’m still slowly working my way through Daniel Deronda and came across a great quote that I meant to append to the Simchat Torah post, but forgot: “To be an unusual young man means for the most part to get a difficult mastery over the usual” which sounds a lot like me and Asperger’s/mental health/generally being considered academically ‘gifted’ and socially inept.
I had my end of probation period review at work on Wednesday. My boss seems pleased with my work and I was surprised and pleased to get an “excellent” for the “Work relationships (team work and interpersonal communication skills)” tick box. I’m not sure how much that relates just to working with the team and how much is about interactions with students, but either way it’s good.
The slightly negative thing that happened at work is that I have to work this coming Friday because of a staff development day that my boss wanted me to attend (I usually work Monday to Thursday). She has said that I can leave early to get home before sunset and the start of Shabbat (the Sabbath) (I want to leave at 3.15pm, but may have to leave at 3.30pm which will be tight) which I hope will be OK. I can see her point in wanting me there for team-building reasons, but it is another disruption to my routine after months of enrolment and Yom Tovim (festivals) disrupting work. I think I’ve only had one or two ‘normal’ weeks this term, if that, and it’s half-term the week after next. On the plus side, I am getting Tuesday off to compensate and not only have I been able to switch therapy from Friday to Tuesday for one week (therapy has also been disrupted because of Yom Tov and my therapist being away), but I will at least have some time for the chores I won’t be able to do today.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been listening to Lehodos Lecha by Eitan Freilich, a modern arrangement of a traditional Jewish prayer that translates as “If our mouths were as full with song as the sea/And our tongues with joy as the multitude of its waves…/We would still be unable to thank you/HaShem our God and God of our forefathers.” I try to feel this, but I don’t. I feel like a hypocrite, particularly as the song is catchy and I find myself singing it. If Yisrael (Israel) is One-Who-Wrestles-with-God, Yehudi (Jew) is One-Who-Gives-Thanks, but I can’t feel grateful. I’m better off than a lot of people, but I just feel lonely, depressed and social awkward and isolated. I’m supposed to feel happy with my lot, but because of depressive anhedonia, I can’t enjoy anything, not even simple pleasures or mitzvot and it’s hard to be grateful if you feel like that. I just feel frustrated with my lot and occasionally angry and bitter.