I feel exhausted, physically and emotionally. The last two days have been difficult, and I have a stack of mostly boring chores to do during my thirteen days off (“holiday” if you like, but I’m not going away and probably not relaxing much, between depression and chores, although I intend to enjoy not having to get up around 6.30am). I can’t go into all the details publicly, but here is what I can say.
I was over-stretched at work yesterday because three people were off sick out of a team of seven, so I spent five and a half hours (out of seven excluding lunch) on the issue desk to cover for them, which was very difficult. I found it hard to concentrate on my other work: I tried to catalogue while on the issue desk, but it was difficult and cataloguing meant I was less aware of students coming up and asking questions or returning books, so I kept having to respond to coughs as they tried to attract my attention; eventually I gave up on cataloguing there. I am still having difficulty with some requests and have to ask my colleagues for help or advice, which I feel bad about. I feel I should be settled in the job by now. I also tend to mis-hear requests or need to ask people to repeat what they said because I’m so socially anxious that I can’t concentrate on what they are asking at first, because I’m too busy thinking “Oh no, someone’s talking to me! What should I do?” I was upset by something unpleasant one student said (not about me, but it was still upsetting to hear), which I had better not repeat here. One adult student said I’m friendly, though, which was nice and unexpected.
Yesterday was the last day of teaching, but I had a staff development day today before my holiday starts. It was OK, not really worth talking about here. We had an activity in the afternoon that has left me completely exhausted, not helped by disrupted sleep the last few nights. I keep waking up in the middle of the night and when I look at the clock, no matter what time it is, I think I’ve overslept and then think maybe I haven’t overslept after all and can not remember what time I’m supposed to get up and what order the numbers come in. This isn’t insomnia and it’s not exactly depressive ‘early waking’ either as I fall asleep afterwards. I don’t know what it is, or if anyone else suffers from it.
I should probably cut this paragraph, because I don’t come out of it particularly well, but here goes: I just saw a post on Hevria that upset me, through no fault of its own. They are really building up a community there and I feel excluded on multiple counts: because I don’t live in New York to take part in meetings, because I would be too socially anxious to go even if I did live in New York; because I’m not sure I can justify to myself donating the money they are asking for on my current income; and because I really wanted to write regularly for them at one point. To be fair, Elad did say a while back that he would like me to write more regularly for them, but nowadays I don’t see myself as a Hevria writer. I’m too depressed and depressing, not creative, radical, optimistic and spiritual. Anyway, I’m a very bad writer. And all my writing time (such as it is) goes on my Doctor Who book (which will never get published because it’s a saturated market and, as I said, I’m a very bad writer) or blogging, which is procrastination and venting, really, but necessary to get stuff out of my system and function, like sneezing (and about as literary). Like this post, really, which is just a blatant attempt to fish for compliments (again).
Still, it upsets me to see this big club which I’ve never quite managed to join, even though I know a lot of the people involved are really nice and I would like to be friends with them, but they live on another continent and they wouldn’t want to know me if they met me in person, because I’m weird and boring and not creative, radical, spiritual, optimistic etc. etc. etc. I do wish I had a community, though (I also wish someone would pay me for my writing, which is vulgar, but it’s about being valued as much as the money). My shul is doing a communal Friday night dinner in a few weeks and I know I should go, but I also know I will feel lonely and depressed because I will be practically the only single, childless person there (it’s billed as a family event) and will probably be too shy to talk all evening and maybe not even able to sit with anyone I like, so I’ve been procrastinating on paying for a space. I feel such a freak
On a related note, various friends and relatives are trying to persuade me to go to a shadchan (matchmaker) after the one I contacted a few weeks ago did not get back to me. I feel reluctant to, because the service it makes most sense for me to go to requires a monthly payment (it’s essentially a cross between the traditional shadchan and online dating) and because I’m a freak (I may have mentioned this before*) and not only do I feel unable to mention my Doctor Who geekery, yeshiva non-attendance, mental health issues (and their religious impact) and general religious struggles to a date, I don’t even feel I could mention them to the shadchan because I feel so ashamed of who I am and what I do. But I don’t have any other way of meeting suitable women, so it’s either go or be single forever. I do wonder if I’m too depressed to date, too lacking in energy, concentration and time. I’ve been told energy and so on will come if I start dating, which doesn’t seem very likely. I’ve also read that one shouldn’t date when very depressed, which would mean never dating in my case, as my non-depressed periods only last a couple of months; just as I think I’ve “recovered” (whatever that means) and can think about moving on with my life, I start feeling depressed again.
I suppose I might as well admit that I’ve been having vague suicidal thoughts again. I don’t want to kill myself, but sometimes I fantasise about doing so in an unrealistic way and a lot of the time I just wish that I wasn’t here. There doesn’t seem to be very much going on in my life that makes me want to look forward to 2018, let alone 2020, 2030 or 2050 and, as I’ve said before, I don’t feel I have the usual religious get-out of reward in the next world, because I think I’ve sinned too much and that God just hates me. I feel guilty about this as I know I have a few friends and family who would be upset and in any case, I don’t approve of suicide religiously, but I can’t really control where my mind goes (the reason CBT never worked for my depression) and trying to do so just provokes guilt for thinking of ‘forbidden’ thoughts.
This post sounds so adolescent, I can’t believe I’ll thirty-five next year. I feel like a sixteen year old. Actually, I wasn’t even this adolescent when I genuinely was a depressed sixteen year old. Be that as it may, pizza and the start of Peter Davison’s time on Doctor Who beckons, if I can get the energy and motivation to daven Ma’ariv (say the evening prayers) and actually cook the pizza.
* Wasn’t I trying to stop the negative self-talk? It’s very difficult, because it seems so true.