I really need to go to bed, but I do need to note, if only for myself, that, looking over my last post, the self-pity really hits me. I am aware that I do tend to wallow in self-pity when depressed and lonely, and that blogging isn’t necessarily the answer to that. A better solution is to be around other people, although this is hard as I have few friends locally and none I feel able to just drop in to see. I have some friends I can text or email (or, I suppose, phone, but I hate using the phone at the best of times), but I’m always reluctant to be a burden on people by getting in contact like that. I did text some friends tonight and felt better for it.
It also hit me, really for the first time, how much I compare myself to others and how much this makes things worse by making me feel a failure and even someone who can never succeed, because I am too much of a freak or weirdo to succeed in the way ‘normal’ people can. I’m not sure where this comes from. I don’t remember doing it much at school, but that might be faulty memory. My parents certainly weren’t the type of parents who wanted their children to be top at everything; they always stressed effort over achievement per se. Perhaps it comes from seeing my life drift away from that of my peers over the last fifteen years or more as they moved into friendships, careers, relationships and parenthood and I seem stuck by myself struggling to keep my head above water emotionally and financially. This is probably silly, as my life is much better than it was even a year ago, when I was seriously suicidal, even if there is much that is still painful and difficult for me. I need to stop doing it, but I don’t know how.
There is also the confessional element in the post, which I suppose involves confessing my real or perceived failures in the hope that someone will absolve me of them or say that they are just in my head. People generally refuse to play games like this, but it doesn’t seem to stop me. I suppose deep down I really want God to tell me that I’m not as bad as I think I am, but He doesn’t speak to me either. Sometimes I think I confess my failures to try and remove them – if I admit to them, maybe they will go away. I am fairly sure I have written about my perceived failures with davening and Torah study in the past and I think I want someone to tell me I’m doing OK in these areas and am still a good Jew – except that my rabbi mentor did more or less say that to me last week and it hasn’t stopped the feelings of inadequacy, and especially not the feelings that others will see this failure and punish me in some way, probably by leaving me without friends or spouse. Again, recognising this tendency in my thought is one thing; changing it is another. This is the problem I always had with CBT: it was relatively easy to see the way my thoughts spiral in on themselves and get worse, but it is a lot harder to send them spiralling the other way, back up and out into happier thoughts.