I didn’t want to write another post today (the previous one, which was supposed to take five minutes, took well over an hour and completely messed up my plan for the evening), but I slept over twelve hours last night (completely missing shul (synagogue) this morning) and dozed for another forty-five minutes this afternoon and unsurprisingly am not at all tired now. What I am is agitated and introspective, pacing my room agitatedly like Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner (I’m a pacer when I’m agitated or even just thoughtful, much to the annoyance of my parents when I lived with them and they could hear me downstairs. Solvitur ambulando, it is solved by walking (except it isn’t). Also, when am I not introspective? Maybe that’s why the depression makes me sleep so much, because it’s the only way to turn my brain off).
I was chatting to one of my sort-of-friends from shul last night. I suppose I should stop calling them sort-of-friends and just call them friends. I think they would want to be my friend, despite being quite a bit older than me, if I would let my defences down. He was asking about work and it came out that I don’t work on Fridays. So he asked what I do instead and I was too scared to say it’s my psychotherapy day, so I just muttered something about getting ready for Shabbat (the Sabbath). And afterwards I thought that this was a prime opportunity to open up a bit about my issues and I fudged it, as usual, because I didn’t know what to say and was too frightened of how he would respond; I also don’t know how to casually drop something that big into the conversation (there is only one friend from my new shul who I have told about my issues and I carefully chose my moment for that and planned in advance what to say).
Then today I missed shul in the morning, as I said, and when I went back for Ma’ariv (the evening service) I felt people wanted to know where I had been. Not in an intrusive way, but in a worried-about-me way. But, again, I was too shy to say anything, I just said I was OK and avoided conversation because I was too scared how people would react.
I’m trying to work out if, on the whole, people are OK about hearing about my mental health. Some people have been, some have not. It’s hard to tell, because I don’t really open up to people about my depression away from the blog and depression group. If I ever have to say something, I say it quickly and try to move on. I don’t really tell people what it’s like to be depressed. I have had a couple of bad experiences, although they mostly centre on dating and depression and it’s probably not reasonable to extrapolate from them to other cases. There was the woman who seemed to be interested in seeing me until I mentioned I was depressed at which point she just ran a mile and cut off all contact with me, saying she would get back to me and not doing so, but the big one is the friend I had at university who was really supportive, but got worried that I would commit suicide because of something she would say or do because I was in love with her and she just wanted to be friends. Eventually she broke off contact with me too, to the point of cutting me dead in the street or not looking at me at the Jewish Society, which was just embarrassing. I do sometimes wonder what happened to her (she was basically the first and almost the only person I may have been really in love with as opposed to just crushing on and I wonder if I will ever feel like that about anyone else, and whether it will be reciprocated). I know she moved to Israel and got married; I think she has children, but I don’t know for sure.
This train of thought got me thinking about people I have known in my life, people I have loved or crushed on, people I wanted to be friends with, but was too shy to talk to or too afraid I would run out of things to say or would otherwise seem boring and weird, people who bullied me… Sometimes I wish I could see the people from my life and tell them who I am, who I really am, with the depression and the OCD (which was worse today, don’t know why, mostly pure O thoughts about idolatry) and the social anxiety and the possible Asperger’s and see what they think of me, and how they treated me (for good or for ill). If I could be known. I think that’s what lies behind my desire for love and intimacy (which, as I’ve said before, is the main thing I want/need). To be known and accepted for who I am. Except, a few lines up I defined myself entirely by my mental health issues and neurology. Not my personality. Not my interests. Perhaps because I just want to make excuses for myself. Or perhaps because even in a fantasy scenario constructed in my head, I’m still too scared to open up about my interests or personality because that seems even more likely to lead to rejection than being depressed or neurodivergent. Because I fear I come across as a geeky freak who ‘normal’ people and frum (religious) people could never understand.
I think writing this has made me feel more agitated rather than less. I guess I should try to go to bed.
Anyway, good news: I finished Daniel Deronda after over four months! It took so long because there was a month where I don’t think I read any of it at all because I was so depressed, and many other days when I read little or nothing because of the depression. Off to read some lighter books, both in terms of physical weight (taking Daniel Deronda to work every day has not been fun, especially as I take Torah books too) and ease of reading/subject matter.