Whatever it was that upset me yesterday has really taken it’s toll, much more than I expected.  I went to bed about 1am, which was ridiculously late, having stayed up late working on my shidduch (dating) profile and blogging.  (Weirdly, I got eight likes on the post that I thought was melodramatic and awful.  Shows what I know.)  I woke up about 7.20am, freezing cold.  After half an hour in bed I decided to get up, even though I was very tired, but then decided to try making a hot water bottle first.  Of course, I fell asleep again.  I woke up a couple of times in the morning, each time after strange and disturbing anxiety dreams that I only vaguely remember now, if at all (but partly connected with work, I think), but I didn’t wake up and get up until gone 1pm.  Even then I only really got up out of necessity as I knew I had a lot to do and a time limit, as I was meeting my sister for dinner.  Still, it was almost impossible to get going.  I just felt drained: exhausted and depressed (with a touch of loneliness) without really knowing why.  It’s hard sometimes to work out what exactly triggers me; it doesn’t help that I have multiple and uncertain diagnoses, aside from severe, treatment-resistant depression, which is pretty obvious.  I think that’s the only thing I’ve ever been “officially” diagnosed with; all the others (OCD, social anxiety, Asperger’s) have been conjecture on my part, although the OCD in particular was obvious enough that I don’t have any doubts about it unlike the Asperger’s; the social anxiety is somewhere between the two.

It was hard to get dressed.  I was still in my pyjamas at 3.15pm.  I surfed online without really being able to read anything properly, played music without listening, picked up a graphic novel and put it down again, went back to bed repeatedly and got up repeatedly.  I cried a bit.  One of my friends sent me a link about anxiety; if, as it said, pacing is a sign of anxiety, then I was very anxious.  (Actually, if pacing and irritability are signs of anxiety, then I’m generally much more anxious than I thought I was.)  I davened Mincha (said afternoon prayers) at the last minute, with zero kavannah (concentration), davening largely by heart, even though I hate doing that, because I was too exhausted and depressed to focus on the words on the page.  I had lunch at 4pm, which was silly when I was due to go out for dinner at 7pm, but I needed to restore low blood sugar.

I had several major jobs to do today (clean the flat, do more window shopping of books (online this time) for work, work on my shidduch profile) and some minor ones.  All I did was daven a little bit and eat, then go out to eat more with my sister.

I have done very little this holiday, although I guess it’s a hard holiday to do anything, particularly if you don’t celebrate anything: cold and dark and everything shut.  I haven’t even done much work on my book, because I’m reluctant to sit and just watch TV, even in the name of research.  I just set myself targets to do things and then feel depressed and procrastinate and do nothing and then beat myself up for falling short of my targets, when I should at least just sit and watch a DVD and enjoy myself.  I spent my term waiting for the holiday to get away from the stress of work and now I’m more than halfway through my holiday waiting, albeit nervously, for work to restart to get some structure back into my life.

I did manage to drag myself out the flat and off to have dinner with my sister, the first time I’ve seen her without other family members since she got married a few weeks ago (her husband being out for the evening).  She seems very happy, which is good, if a little stressed by having to move all her things from her old flat to her husband’s flat, discarding things for which there is no room as well as dealing with the email backlog from her honeymoon.  We had a good time and I actually felt happy (I think… ironically, someone was just asking me about my alexithymia (inability to identify emotions)) for the first time in far too long.  I guess there’s a lesson in there about my need to socialise, albeit in one-to-one or small group situations.

I decided to work on my shidduch (dating) profile when I got home, despite it being late as I felt wide awake.  I never know how to pitch these type of things (dating profiles).  My inclination is always to be quite specific in order to weed out people who are a really obviously bad fit before it even gets to a date.  So I’ve put that I’m interested in the thought of various contemporary rabbis (which is true) all of whom are controversial for various reasons, so anyone who reads the profile who sees them as too ‘modern’, ‘secular’ or ‘Zionist’ would not want to date me.  (I didn’t put them because they were controversial; rather, they are thinkers who matter to me, but who I know are considered controversial).  I would consider this a worthwhile move, saving me a date that will go nowhere (which I think most people would want even if they didn’t have social anxiety or Asperger’s), but I’m worried the shadchan (matchmaker) will tell me to be more general so as not to put people off.  This type of thing can get very silly and political (in a broad sense): if I mention this, they’ll assume I do that, but if say I follow him, they’ll assume I think the other.  I’ve found myself using more Hebrew than I normally would in general conversation, to say, “Look, I may not have gone to yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), but I can still talk the talk!”  I didn’t mention Doctor Who either, although I did mention being a science fiction fan.  I don’t specifically need to marry a Doctor Who fan and I didn’t want to risk sounding like I do (or sounding like an obsessive fan with no other interests).

This type of thing is a can of worms even for people who don’t have borderline autistic issues with communication!  It doesn’t help that I’m not too sure what is required.  I wrote quite a bit about myself (basically a job application for the job of “husband to a sweet, frum, geeky girl”), but from the comments I’ve seen online, I think that should only be a short paragraph and the main thing is to write about the religious backgrounds of one’s parents (I wish I was making this up, but I’m not).

Also, I’ve discovered that I’m a more interesting person than I thought I was.  I look forward to meeting myself one day and maybe finally becoming friends.

I feel the usual mixture of excitement and fear about dating.  I’m excited that maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who is an amazing match for me and maybe I’m even an amazing match for her.  However, I’m scared about dating.  I’m scared about doing the wrong thing.  I’m scared of rejection.  I’m scared that I’m not ready for dating and I’m certainly not ready for marriage and I’m going to hurt myself and, worse, someone else.  I’m scared about the “unknown unknowns” I don’t even know to worry about yet.  I’m scared that the only person who could love me is someone even more messed up than I am, who would ignore me when I need help and would expect more from me than I can give and would trample all over my boundaries (this has happened to me before).  I suppose one just has to dive in sometimes and hope for the best, alien though that is to how I usually like to behave.

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