I just started writing something about the bad day I’m having, but I realised (a) it was going to bore everyone if I just moan about what went wrong and (b) if I carried on writing in as much detail as I was, it would be very impossible not to write in far too much detail to protect my anonymity, so I will just briefly state that a couple of bad things happened at work that really upset me. Nothing horrendously bad, no disciplinary procedures or bruises (except to my fragile ego), but stuff that upset me a lot.
The first thing was partly caused by, and also reinforced, my social anxiety. The second thing was linked to my Asperger’s. Essentially, a student told a fairly transparent lie to myself and my boss, but while my boss immediately realised he was lying, I initially assumed that he was telling the truth and that there had been some kind of misunderstanding. Naivety is not a crime, but it is a symptom of autistic spectrum disorder, in terms of taking people at face value and not thinking that they might be deliberately saying something they know to be wrong. I know that I tend to be very trusting, and also that the students sometimes tell fibs when they want to avoid overdue fines and the like and I need to be more cynical.
I can learn to be less trusting (I no longer think it’s an amazing coincidence when a shop assistant claims that the item I’m dithering about buying is exactly the one they use), but it’s hard. I guess everything just felt hard today. I went into a downward spiral, thinking I am not suited to this job, that I should leave further education and go back into higher education where at least the library users are mature adults (except that I always felt inadequate hanging around academics) or that maybe I can’t cope with working at all and that I’ll have another episode of depression so severe that I won’t be able to work and how can I even think of starting dating-for-marriage again (and my phone conversation yesterday made it very clear to me that that’s what I’ve started doing) if I can’t even work part-time without cracking up…
…pause for breath…
I know that I need to stop the downward spiral. I know I need to spend tonight eating pizza, watching Doctor Who, forgetting about work and low self-esteem and depression and social anxiety and Asperger’s and dating and marriage and just relaxing so I can get through work tomorrow and hopefully even stick to my plans to go to a Torah shiur (class on the week’s Torah portion) in the evening (doubly nerve-wracking as I haven’t been to this one before and it’s at the assistant rabbi’s house, really out of my comfort zone). And I will probably manage to do some of that. But it’s hard. It’s hard when it feels like every few days I get reminded of how much I struggle with things that other people get to take for granted.
To end on a happy note, I mentioned the other day writing a really long and self-pitying comment on Hevria. It was about struggling to be a depressive, socially anxious introvert Aspie in the frum (religious) world. Someone wrote a really nice comment to me which you can see in the link, but I’m going to copy and paste it here anyway, because it’s my blog and I can blow my own trumpet occasionally:
Hi there. I just wanted to say that I am so impressed that rather than letting your challenges in life break you down, you are still working hard to build the life that you want for yourself and stay committed to yiddishkeit. It seems like you struggle with some things that you could use an excuse to give up but you aren’t and that is awesome!
So that does give a bit of strength to pick myself up and get back in there.