Sometimes I write here because I have something that I really want to say; other times I just want to update the people who I know are reading regularly about something that happened in my life. This post falls in the latter category and although the update isn’t particularly major, I wanted to record a small, but significant victory after some recent difficulties.
I overslept this morning quite dramatically, by about half an hour, but I managed to rush out and actually left the flat ten minutes early for work. Between arriving early for work and leaving late because I was working on something, I did nearly half an hour of (unpaid) overtime. Unfortunately my boss was not around to see this. I think I managed it because I went to bed early last night and that combined with oversleeping meant that I got nearly eight hours of sleep last night and for once I actually woke up feeling refreshed rather than lethargic and depressed, so I want to see if I can go to bed around 10.30pm on work nights in the future, even if it means getting very little of an evening, although I am not sure how I will manage it, particularly not on nights when I have Talmud shiur (class).
I managed to go to the parasha shiur (class on the week’s Torah portion) at the assistant rabbi’s house that I mentioned a day or two ago. I was somewhat nervous about going, but not as much as I might have been in the past. There were about ten people there, all people that I recognised from shul (synagogue) and a few who I would consider myself friendly with (I get nervous of referring to people as my friends, but probably one or two would count as friends). I was the first person to arrive, which may have been good – at least I didn’t have to walk into a room full of people. There was some food and drink, but I didn’t have any, partly because I’m watching my weight (I have put on a lot of weight on clomipramine), but also because I was worried I might shake if I was eating in front of other people, although I don’t generally have a problem with that at the moment. I guess I was just feeling extra-nervous. I had a slight moment of embarrassment when someone asked me to pass him a can of coke, but I did not hear properly and passed him various other things until I realised what he said.
The shiur was interesting and pitched at a good level: not so basic as to be boring, but not so complicated as to be hard to follow after a long day at the end of a long week. The assistant rabbi directed a few questions straight at me i.e. he asked me by name. He has done this before in his shiurim when I have been to them, but he doesn’t seem to ask anyone else by name, although he did ask one person if they followed a particular point. I don’t know if he thinks I must know the answer and he is letting me show off or if he thinks I am drifting off or not following and he wants to involve me. I have been told that when I don’t follow something, it is very obvious from my face and sometimes people even think from my expression that I am not following when I actually am following, so maybe that is what is going on here. At any rate, I don’t think he is doing it to catch me out or anything troubling like that as he is too nice a person, but I do worry that one day he will ask something and I won’t know the answer. I guess that would just be good exposure therapy as my new book says, doing things that feel embarrassing to learn not to be embarrassed. I do wonder why he is doing it, though. If you remember, he also tried to get me to ‘bid’ study Mishnayot in order to get an honour on Simchat Torah, which I was reluctant to do for various reasons, although he did that to other people too and he think he was just trying to involve me. The thing is, he was at school with me (he was in the year below) and his parents are good friends with my parents, so I feel like there is a connection between us there, but a tenuous one and one that I don’t fully understand. This is probably me being an Aspie again and not understanding how to interact with people.
At any rate, it was a victory against social anxiety and in favour of getting more involved in my shul (synagogue) community and doing more Torah study generally, given that I have worried recently that I am not doing enough of it.