I did indeed have difficulty sleeping last night (after having inadvertently slept for fifteen hours over Shabbat (the Sabbath)), finally falling asleep around 5.30am and sleeping through the rest of the morning.
I mostly kept today as a mental health day, as I seem to need Sundays to be at the moment now I work Monday to Thursday and have therapy on Friday; Shabbat is restful in some ways, but also often draining inasmuch as I am around people a lot at shul (synagogue) or with my parents (although not this week) and get little ‘introvert time’ when I am by myself to recharge except when actually sleeping, which be another factor in oversleeping and missing shul most weeks at the moment.
Today I did a couple of jobs that needed doing, mostly Chanukah shopping online and writing emails of complaint about various things. I spoke to my rabbi mentor on Skype and he is pleased with my progress. I told him that I’m struggling to get to shul even just on Shabbat and to daven with kavannah (pray with concentration) and he said that it is incredible that I’m working nearly full-time and still awake enough to daven at all, which I suppose is true, but I feel I should do more, and that other people expect me to do. Yes, I can see the problem there, guessing what other people think and caring that they might think me lazy even though they don’t know all the facts, which I guess is social anxiety and low self-esteem again.
I was planning to go for a walk today despite it being cold out, as I had not been out of the flat for more than a couple of minutes for well over forty-eight hours and to cook dinner, but suddenly I was sunk. ‘Sunk’ is the term I use in my head when I suddenly feel exhausted and unable to go on; the image in my mind is of a submarine that has got sunk to the bottom of the sea and can’t get off the sea bed and is slowly running out of oxygen. This happens more than occasionally and often quite suddenly. One moment I’m fine and the next I can’t do anything at all, as happened today. Sometimes, if I am at work or shul or shiur (religious class), I have no option but to try to push through it. Sometimes that works, but sometimes I just go through the motions or sit there until I can leave. If I’m not doing anything urgent, I often tell myself I should go and do something relaxing, but I neither do what I need to do nor something really relaxing (like reading a book or watching a DVD), but I procrastinate, aimlessly surfing the internet, checking emails or (as now) blogging, because I find it hard to give myself permission to do nothing.
I also feel like the loneliness that I was worried about feeling on Shabbat alone in the flat has hit me now instead. Somehow, speaking to my parents and my rabbi mentor as disembodied voices on the end of a phone or Skype connection feels worse than having no contact with anyone at all. Or maybe it’s because I sent an email to the person who was trying to set me up on a date saying that unless my potential date (PD) gets in contact with me directly, then I’m not pursuing this any more, because it’s been a month and I have not heard directly from PD nor have I heard anything definite from her rabbi, who is supposed to be the middleman. I think I mentioned that my Mum had a different suggestion of someone to set me up with, but I don’t really know anything about her, except that she has some experience of mental health issues and sounds like she’s in a similar place to me, being functional, but lapsing back at times of stress. I think I would be happier with someone who had experience of mental health issues and I thought PD sounded out of my league, but as I really know nothing about either woman, it is hard to know who, if either of them, would have more in common with me.
At any rate, I abandoned my plans to go for a walk and to cook macaroni cheese, even though it’s one of the easiest recipes I make. I just didn’t have the energy. I found myself lying on my bed, feeling depressed and angry with myself for giving in to the lethargy, and to the other negative emotions that accompany the loneliness. I think most of my worst actions/sins/mistakes/whatever-you-call-them, have been prompted by loneliness and a desire to be accepted by others. It’s not the worst character trait one could have, but I’d rather be in control of myself. Then again, it’s likely that I’m a control freak and I would be better off if I could let go in a ‘safe’ way. Not that I’ve ever done anything unsafe or illegal in an objective sense, but I should do things in a controlled way rather than in an ad hoc way when I’m too depressed or exhausted to control my actions – deliberately watch that DVD instead of procrastinating online for hours, to go back to the earlier example.
In the end dinner had to be pasta with a store-bought sauce, a trusty fall back that I’m relying on too much. I’ve done hardly any real cooking since I started working four days a week back in September and I rely on easy meals, whether cooked (pasta, jacket potatoes) or convenience food (pizza, vegetarian schnitzels, tinned vegetarian cholent). I feel bad about this, but don’t know what to do about it. There are only so many hours in the day and I only have so much energy, particularly on work days, but even my weekends are spent recovering from burn out. Similarly, I only managed five minutes of very basic Torah study today when I had hoped to do more.
And so tomorrow is Monday and work again, the last full week before my sister’s wedding…