It seems I can’t cope with being on holiday. I feel very depressed again. It’s hard to do anything. I have a list of holiday chores. Most of them should be relatively quick and easy: clean the flat, make some dinners at least partly from fresh ingredients (omelette tonight, more ambitiously lentil dal tomorrow), do more shopping, continue sorting out my finances, do some proper Torah study, sew two buttons on my trousers and various other things, but everything takes longer than it should because I just want to curl up in bed. It’s hard even to watch a DVD (see below). I spend time aimlessly surfing the net without really reading anything.
I was up late last night. I told myself I was watching Blade Runner, but I actually watched less than an hour of it. I kept stopping. Partly, I kept wondering if Blade Runner is really about autistic people. The plot is about Deckard, a detective (‘blade runner’) who hunts down rogue replicants, androids that are deemed non-human because they can’t feel emotions. But, the subtext of the film suggests, this is wrong, factually and morally, and the replicants can learn to feel emotions and they shouldn’t be killed. Similarly, people think autistic people can’t feel emotions whereas we simply struggle to understand and express them. The replicants struggle to learn human emotions because although they are created as adults, they only have a lifespan of four years, so they are effectively adults learning emotions like children. This is how I feel. I feel not so much like a child, but like an adolescent, with my emotions and many of my life experiences (little romantic or work experience). Maybe that’s reading too much into it.
(Also, did you notice I automatically used “we” for autistic people without qualifying it by saying that I don’t have a proper ASD diagnosis? I guess I’ve been thinking of myself as autistic-but-misdiagnosed lately.)
It was also hard to concentrate on the film because I was angry with God for hurting good people, or letting them get hurt. I argued with Him, pleaded with Him. I don’t think He agrees with me. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t believe in Him, but to me the world only makes sense with Him. There’s too much that doesn’t add up for me without God and Torah and Judaism. So, we’re kind of stuck with each other.
Anyway, I watched about half of Blade Runner until I was too tired to go on and finished watching it this afternoon, fast-forwarding through the gory bits. I don’t think I’m going to see the sequel in the cinema, though. I don’t feel up to living in that bleak future for three consecutive days.
Getting back to how I feel at the moment, there is a quote, attributed to various people, that goes, “The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.” I have something to do, inasmuch as I have a job, during term time, although it isn’t enough to make my mood much better. I don’t have someone to love and I suspect I never will. I want someone I can love and be tender with, and who will love me the same way. I want to marry a sweet, girl-(geek)-next-door-type, but I can’t imagine one being interested in me.
And I feel like I have nothing to hope for. I’ve struggled with mental illness certainly all my adult life, going back an indeterminate way into adolescence and maybe even childhood. How can I hope for things to get better? Things are a lot better than they were… and yet I am still very depressed most of the time. I try to open up to people a little bit to make friends, but even on the rare occasions I can open up, people aren’t interested or I don’t know what to say or how to progress the friendship. They don’t respond to me. I spend much of the day aimlessly surfing the internet (do people still say that?), ostensibly searching for something interesting and thought-provoking or helpful to read, but really looking for connection, for someone who thinks like me (I’m not even talking romantically or even platonically now, just a think-piece author who shares my slightly unconventional views). Or checking email endlessly hoping someone will get in touch or will like one of my posts (I’ve given up on hoping for comments).
I feel I should give up on dating. I don’t feel ready for it. I’ll probably never be ready for it. I’m just too messed up for anyone to love. And I know that (contrary to what I quoted my father as saying yesterday), if I’m not happy by myself, I won’t be happy with someone else. Happiness comes from within, etc., but my ‘within’ is just loneliness and despair. The problem is, my parents are supposed to be trying to set me up with the daughter of friends of theirs. I should tell them not to, but somehow I can’t, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because my parents keep telling me how well I’ve been doing lately, how proud they are of me and I don’t want to disappoint them by telling them what a mess-up their son is (I haven’t phoned them today because I don’t want to tell them how bad I feel). Or maybe I just hope being set up with someone who has experienced mental health issues would work, somehow, even though I suspect we don’t have much else in common.
Half the time I don’t have the energy to move. I can’t get involved in anything. Reading is just words, music is just noise. I can’t write coherently. I have things to do and no energy or motivation to do them. I can’t use my holiday productively and I can’t use it to relax. In a few days I will be back at work and desperate for another break. I’ve only managed a few minutes of Torah study, yet I feel bad about not joining the Mishnah study scheme I mentioned the other day.
Later: I checked two eggs for kashrut purposes without slipping into OCD and then made and ate an omelette (it fell to pieces when I lifted it out of the frying pan and ended up being more like scrambled eggs). I read a Jewish book for a few more minutes while the eggs were cooking. I also submitted some mini sagas to Hevria earlier, the first writing I have sent for a major forum since my attempt to sell a Doctor Who article to Den of Geek failed. I emailed my landlady about the bathroom door jamming and I sorted out the papers in my work folder, a task I was dreading but which only took about five minutes once I sat down to it. I also set up a direct debit and a standing order to pay my shul (synagogue) fees and emailed a friend to try to organise a social thing, although I have got problems with the direct debit that I need to sort tomorrow.
So I have achieved a few things today, but not enough to consider this a productive holiday. At the same time, I haven’t enjoyed myself enough (at all, actually) to consider this a refreshing break. It’s like one long interminable Sunday afternoon, and a dark and wet autumn one at that. I wish I had someone to talk to, just to chat with (I don’t mean phoning the Samaritans), but the only people I could phone are my parents and, as I said, I don’t want to tell them how I feel. Anyway, it’s late now. Sometimes I just feel lost.