I was going to write a target-by-target breakdown of how I’ve been doing with the targets I set myself for the Jewish year (we’re already nearly six weeks in!) and for the half-term week, but I decided not to.  I know I’m not doing that well.  I know that the last week was pretty awful, although I did manage to do most of the chores that needed doing, despite my low mood.  I know that, whether I’m actually autistic or not, I don’t cope well with the removal of routines, even when I desperately need a break from work.  I think my ideal would be odd days off work or even afternoons off, but obviously that’s not a workable plan for a college with a strict academic timetable.

This reached a point over Shabbat (the Sabbath) where I was wondering how I could stay frum (religious) if it is so hard for me to keep the social aspects of halakhah (Jewish law) and Jewish culture (because of depression, social anxiety and borderline Asperger’s) and where I feel so distant from HaShem (God) so much of the time and get so little simcha shel mitzvah (joy in fulfilling the commandments).  Fortunately today I feel quite a lot better.  I don’t know why.  Something really scary but potentially good unexpectedly happened last night, but it will be a long wait until it comes to fruition.  Or it could just be that I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.

Certainly I tried to give myself a not-too-stressful day today, as my last holiday day after a stressful ‘holiday’ week.  I did some shopping and a lot of Torah study to try to make up for the last week when I did very little (I realised that listening to shiurim (Torah classes) on my iPod while out and about is a good way of ‘multitasking’ extra Torah into the day without having to remove desperately needed relaxation time or other needed activities).  I also worked for a while on my book, which is one of my main enjoyable activities at the moment.  I will cook some plain pasta with a shop-bought sauce for dinner and I need to sew on some buttons, but other than that I am not planning on doing much else today, just watching some TV, making my lunch for tomorrow and hopefully getting an early night.

So today I feel calm and ready to go back to work, albeit not knowing if the weeks ahead will be another storm or a period of calm.

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