Having made the decision/mistake to stay up late blogging last night and then got sidetracked into reading news sites with horrified fascination, I didn’t wake up until 11.00am today. Even then it took another hour to feel well enough to get out of bed and a couple more hours of eating breakfast, going back to bed, getting up again, procrastinating by reading online (mostly political news, mostly horrifying) before I could get dressed. When my depression is bad, I try to avoid the news, but then I feel ill-informed and a Bad Citizen, so I go back to reading it and get depressed. I don’t like to talk about politics here, but, whatever one’s views, it does seem that we live in a much more unstable world since the upheavals of a few years ago (Credit Crunch, Arab Spring) where anything can happen (Brexit, Trump, Corbyn) except, of course, what all the pundits expect. I don’t know whether the Chinese really consider it a curse to live in “interesting times,” but it feels like one to me.
Something else I’ve read today indicates that depression really is making me stupider. So at least it’s not my imagination. I do wonder what my IQ is these days. I certainly seem to have more trouble with reasoning and problem-solving, although as most of my problem-solving is at work, it’s hard to tell what is social anxiety panicking me into making mistakes and what is depression making me less intelligent. I guess I did get both my BA and my MA while very depressed, so I can’t be that stupid, but it’s hard to believe that sometimes.
The only thing I really achieved today was a only partially successful shopping expedition. I ran into a load of people I knew who I would rather not have met, particularly the person several years younger than me who was out with his three children, just to make me feel more inadequate. I had a partial breakdown in the kosher deli, trying to buy bread (the kosher baker was long-since shut). They didn’t have the wholemeal bread I wanted and I stood there for what felt like an age trying to work out if I should buy granary bread or ask my parents to buy a loaf for me tomorrow (I get home from work long after the baker is shut). It was only after I had bought the granary bread that I realised that I had other, better, options: come back to the deli tomorrow or buy kosher hechshered bread from the supermarket (not everyone agrees that that’s OK and I always feel vaguely uncomfortable about it even though my rabbi mentor says it’s fine; I suspect that a lot of people at my shul would not eat it, but then I suspect they wouldn’t buy ordinary milk either and I do that… another instance of not quite fitting in to my community).
My iPod battery had died without me noticing, so I didn’t have music to distract me when I was walking to the shops (I don’t drive), so I got my full depressive internal monologue unadulterated for half an hour or more. I was thinking that I don’t know how I am going to do any cooking tonight or to get to work tomorrow, which led me to feel that I am failing with my life, that I should just resign my job and tell the shadchan (matchmaker) not to bother to set me up with anyone (not that she’s got back to me yet anyway) and generally stop trying to be a grown up because I can’t cope with it. I had thoughts of self-harm, more to do with trying to avoid work than because I really wanted to hurt myself. There was some movement towards mental monologuing, but at least I shut that off.
I’m supposed to be cooking chilli for dinner, but I don’t have the energy to do it. I don’t even have the energy to cook macaroni cheese, which is my standby ‘easy’ recipe. I’m not sure I can even just cook plain pasta. I have to think strategically about food now, because I’m too tired and too lacking in time to cook on workday evenings, have limited “freezer” space (I don’t have a freezer, just a small freezer compartment in my small fridge) for convenience food (which I try not to eat too much anyway) or cooking for the freezer and have now lost some easy meals now I don’t eat fish except on Shabbat and Yom Tov. I need to save easy meals for workdays, but that means I really should be cooking for two days on Sundays, when I feel depressed and exhausted.
I feel very listless. It’s hard to concentrate for more than a couple of minutes. I can’t really read properly. It’s hard to feel motivated to do anything, even just to watch TV. I just want to go back to bed, but I won’t sleep. I want to be alone, but I also want someone to reassure me somehow, even though I doubt anyone could. At any rate, when people try to reassure me here, it doesn’t work, at least not for long.
I’m trying not to beat myself up about these lost Sundays, as it does no good. I really do think I need the time to recover from the work week. Still, I wish I could do more and, if I don’t actively do things, I wish I would sit and read a book or watch a DVD rather than browse aimlessly online until I find something that upsets me. Sometimes it feels like I want to make myself depressed. But on days like today it’s hard to concentrate on anything or to get the motivation to do something.
I wrote the above on and off during the afternoon. At 6.20pm, I turned off the lights and went to bed fully clothed, because I couldn’t face being up any more. I lay there for a long time too depressed to do anything and eventually fell asleep. I got up a few minutes ago. I feel a little bit better, although it’s too late to salvage anything from the day. I’ll scavenge something for dinner and then go to bed and try to go to work tomorrow.