I didn’t intend to write four posts in a little over twenty-four hours, but a couple of things happened that I wanted to get down before I forgot and the day has been a rush of emotions that I needed to get out of my system.  In no particular order:

  1. I was just looking through my diary for the past six weeks or so (or two months, if you want stretch it back to when I re-started work on 21 August).  A lot has happened.  I’ve actually achieved quite a bit in terms of some social things, as well as juggling work and Yom Tov (Jewish festivals).  No wonder I’m exhausted!  That actually makes me feel a bit more positive, knowing that I have achieved some things (maybe not big things for other people, but big for me with my depression, OCD, social anxiety and Asperger’s).
  2. I spoke to my parents the other day about dating and marriage.  I said that I’m not sure whether dating is a good thing or whether I am emotionally ready to marry yet, given my mental health.  My Dad said that he felt that if I could find someone who is a good match for me, it would be very good for my mental health.  I suppose having someone who is on my wavelength to talk to would be helpful.  It is hard to believe such a person exists, though, and that my tendency to self-sabotage and my social anxiety and gaucheness wouldn’t derail things.  I hope I am ready to give to someone as well as to receive (to be fair, when I was in a relationship, I gave a lot and got very little back, so that is hopeful).
  3. A lot of people from my shul (synagogue) have signed up for a big scheme to study four mishnayot a day.  It’s supposed to take about fifteen minutes a day.  I was tempted to join, but don’t think it’s a good idea for several reasons.  I’m struggling to do just one mishnah a day (admittedly that’s with quite a bit of commentary, but I think I wouldn’t understand a lot of the mishnayot without commentary); my rabbi mentor advised me to stick to one mishnah a day; and the group study is starting with a different seder (order: the Mishnah, the primary text of the Jewish Oral law, is divided into six sedarim or orders each dealing with a different topic.  They’re starting with the second order, Moed, dealing with festival laws, presumably because it is more relevant to daily Jewish life than the first order, Zeraim, dealing mostly with agricultural laws that haven’t been practised for nearly two thousand years, but that’s where I started).  Still, it’s a shame I can’t join, as some kind of external target might have given me an incentive to keep going and while I dislike broadcasting my religiosity, it probably wouldn’t be a bad thing to show my rabbi and my community I’m not a total am ha’aretz (ignoramus, but with the implication of also not being religiously observant) because they are probably wondering just how frum (religious) I am considering my patchy attendance at shul and total non-attendance at educational events.  Religious study is REALLY important in Orthodox Judaism, particularly for men.  It’s more important than prayer and is treated as if it is more important than most of the other commandments, including acts of kindness.  I’m really bad at it, so I feel that I’m a bad Jew, and that everyone else thinks that I’m a bad Jew.  So far as I can tell, 90% of the people reading this are non-Jews and sometimes I wonder why I can’t seem to connect with my co-religionists, online or in real life.  Do they all disdain me for not being frum enough?  Or is that the social anxiety speaking?  Maybe no one notices or cares about me.  Still, joining in with my community on something would have been nice, especially as I missed the educational event on Friday and I’m not sure I’m going to get to the oneg (Shabbat party) this Friday because of social anxity.
  4. Also, right now I really hate myself for reasons I’m not going to broadcast, but I feel a lousy human being.  I’ve never read the nineteenth century Jewish mystic, Rabbi Tzaddok HaKohen of Lublin, but I’ve seen him quoted as saying, “Sometimes a person will face a test which is so great that it is impossible for him not to sin; it is as the Sages said, ‘What could the boy do, to avoid sinning?’”  It occurs to me that if this is true, then a person can be caught doing something he can’t avoid, but feeling intensely guilty afterwards anyway.  This is a hard test.
  5. Trying to watch Blade Runner, but I can’t really concentrate on it.  Doctor Who and Dad’s Army are more my level at the moment, in terms of concentration level, lighter tone and also coming in short doses (25-30 minutes rather than nearly 2 hours).  Not sure if I’m going to bother going to the cinema to see the sequel this week, might just get the DVD and watch it in bits, which is what I suspect I will do with the first film.  A pity, as I would like to use those free cinema tickets and test how I react to the cinema from an Asperger’s point of view.
  6. I just interrupted the film to check my blog reader.  I’m not sure why; call it depressive poor concentration.  There’s a blog post from someone whose blog I follow with similar problems to me, except more of them and worse.  She’s currently in hospital and suicidal after being sexually abused during a previous hospital stay.  I get angry with God over things like this.  I get frustrated enough over my own issues, but why does a pleasant and intelligent young woman with everything to live for have to get treated like this until she wants to die?  From her blog post and her Twitter feed, she sounds seriously suicidal and I’m very concerned for her.  It makes no sense to me and makes me furious with Him.

One thought on “Up and Down

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