Some days I merely hate myself.  Some days I can even forget about myself for a while, usually at work, or while watching Doctor Who.

Other days I hate, loathe, detest and despise myself.

Today is in the latter category.

My grandfather used to tease me, saying I was too good, that I had no vices.  He was wrong, although to be fair, none of my vices are illegal or particularly extreme and certainly they are all common, even (especially) the ones I don’t want to talk about her.

I sleep too much, particularly when depressed.  I hurt myself sometimes.  I am self-critical.  I find it hard to keep up with my self-imposed targets for prayer and religious study.  I avoid things that make me socially anxious rather than confronting them.  I go on too much about my issues.  I procrastinate.  I want to be loved, but I get too scared to take the steps to find someone who might love me and let me love her.  When I’m lonely, it’s too easy to fall into fantasy and avoid reality, both pleasant fantasies and also unpleasant fantasies, suicidal ones or simply self-loathing ones that make me out to be worse than I actually am.

I did most of these over Shabbat and in the hours afterwards, as well as other things that I won’t go into.  It’s easy to convince myself that I’m a bad person.  I’m certainly acting contrary to halakhah (Jewish law) in numerous respects (e.g. missing shul due to depressive oversleeping and socially anxious avoidance).  It’s particularly hard at the moment to keep up with davening (prayer) and studying Torah – it’s hard to try to connect with a God who I’m convinced hates me and turns down all my requests.  I haven’t done any Torah study yet today; I did a bit amount yesterday, but almost none on Thursday.  It’s very hard to get the energy to daven at the right time, particularly in the morning.  It’s hard to carry on generally.  I thought I was losing my faith, but I’m not, it’s just hard to get the energy together to start on davening or Torah study.  I’m just too depressed, but I’m afraid of going backwards in my recovery (which is arguably not a recovery; for all that I’m still a lot better than I was this time last year, I’m a lot worse than I was in the spring and early summer).

My parents and my non-biological sisters are encouraging me to go to a different shadchan (matchmaker) after the one who didn’t get back to me.  I’m tempted, but all the frum (religious Jewish) books/websites/teachers say don’t date when suffering from serious illness.  Wait until you’re over it.  Particularly for mental illness, which can change your whole persona.  Except that I don’t think I’m ever going to be ‘over’ my depression.  It’s just a question of trying to manage it.  And at the moment I don’t feel like I’m managing it well.

I just feel I have so many marks against me when dating, that it’s not even worth trying.  I have depression.  I have social anxiety.  I may be on the autistic spectrum and even if I’m not, I have a lot of autistic traits.  I still get occasional flare-ups of OCD (religious OCD and pure O).  I don’t daven or learn Torah enough.  I didn’t go to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary).  I’m too sarcastic and irritable at times.  I’m needy and emotional.  I’m extremely introverted.  I procrastinate.  I have other vices.  I can’t see why someone would go out with me.  I have nothing really in my favour, except that I’m not violent, which isn’t very much.  I should just give up, but I’m so lonely.  I really hope there’s someone out there who I can connect with, in a way that I don’t really connect with my parents or my friends.  Someone really on my wavelength.  Someone willing to make space in her life for me.  Someone I can communicate with without the autistic communication difficulties I get into with my parents, or the fact that I can only see most of my friends for short periods at long intervals for fear of running out of things to say.  That’s probably asking too much, though.  Everything seems to be asking too much.

I probably will sign on the matchmaking site I’ve identified later in the week, although I want to talk to my rabbi mentor about it first.  I feel like I’m signing up under false pretences i.e. that I am a psychologically healthy, normal, attractive person when I’m not.  It all seems very pointless, but I suppose I need to go through the motions.  The site offers various matchmakers; I read their mini-biographies and found one studying counselling and psychotherapy, so I hope she will be more understanding of my situation.  It’s a fairly arbitrary choice, as all the matchmakers have access to the same database of clients.

I don’t really know how to end this post.  I guess I’m just complaining about my issues (another one of my vices).  I wish I was the super-adept frum Jew I want to be.  Tonight I was supposed to go to shul, study some Torah, do various chores and get an early night.  I missed shul, struggled to daven at home, have done no Torah study, no chores, am unlikely to get to bed early (and unlikely to sleep, given how much I slept over Shabbat) and will probably have to postpone most of tonight’s chores to tomorrow, making tomorrow even more of a rush than it should be.  I’ve only started my ‘holiday’ and already I’m behind on my chores, and very lonely and depressed.  I feel like I’m just rambling.  This post probably needs editing and re-ordering, or deleting, but I’m too fed up and tired.

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6 thoughts on “Vices

  1. I’m so sorry that you feel like this. You are a much better person than you think you are – but of course it’s hard to believe that whilst suffering from depression. You need to try to cut yourself some slack over observing the mitzvot. I’m sure HaShem knows that you’re trying to do your best. (I have issues with doing the mitzvot as well, with my depression and anxiety. I have to keep reminding myself that G-d values someone who tries, as well as someone who succeeds – maybe more.) Have you tried mindfulness meditation? I’ve found it really helpful – hard to do, but helpful. It gives you some distance from your thoughts and feelings so they don’t overwhelm you. I hope things get better for you. Hugs x

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  2. Hi, thanks for commenting! I do find it hard to believe I’m a good person. There’s so much stuff I don’t even talk about here that I feel guilty about. Some of it is minor, like snapping at my parents, but some of it is bigger. And I worry that I’m not trying my best, that I’m giving in to laziness too much. I feel if I used to be able to do more Torah study and more davening or to daven regularly with a minyan, I should be able to do so now, although that was when I wasn’t working so many hours (or at all).

    I often wish there was some way I could tell how hard I’m trying, like the battery level light on a phone, that shows how fully charged it is, some way of seeing how many percent I’m trying. Instead of relying on my own insight into myself, which is probably not accurate. That said, I wouldn’t judge anyone else as harshly as I judge myself, though, even if they weren’t depressed.

    I used to do mindfulness meditation every day, but then the depression got worse again and I would sit there feeling really agitated and unable to sit still, even getting up and having to force myself to sit down again. It started making me feel worse rather than better, so I gave up. Sometimes I think about going back to it, but I don’t know how I’d fit it in on work days.

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    1. If you have issues sitting still, how about trying walking meditation? You could walk to get the restlessness out and it would be a good way of getting back into it. You aren’t lazy, you just mis-label yourself as that because of self-esteem issues. I can tell from what you write that you try very hard to do things. You try very hard to keep going whilst struggling with the huge burden that is depression. You deserve praise for it – but again it’s hard to see it. Hugs x

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