This is the worst feeling. For much of the afternoon I’ve had a mixture of depression, agitation, despair and loneliness and maybe anger, envy and paranoia running through my head. I feel that God hates me, that my life is awful and will always remain awful until I die, that everyone hates me, that even my friends and parents only talk to me out of pity and that they secretly don’t like me. I feel that nothing can ever change for the better and that I am powerless over my own life. I just want to die and fantasise endlessly about hurting or killing myself, without having the guts to do anything about it. I wrote stuff I shouldn’t write on Hevria again.
I know that no one can ever love me unless I love myself, but I don’t know how to love myself when there is so little about me that is lovable, and the proof of that is that no one loves me, so how can I break out of this circle? My therapist once said I was “lovable”, but I don’t see anything about myself that seems remotely lovable. Surely if I was lovable so people would, you know, love me?
I even found a proof-text that God hates me: “[Rabbi Chanina ben Dosa] would also say: One who is pleasing to his fellow men, is pleasing to God. But one who is not pleasing to his fellow men, is not pleasing to God.” (Pirkei Avot 3.10, translation from Chabad.org because I was too depressed and lazy to look elsewhere or translate it myself.) I don’t think I’m very pleasing to my fellows, given that I have about three real friends at most (as in people who actually contact me rather than waiting for me to contact them) and I worry they only contact me out of pity or worry that I’m going to hurt myself. I seem to alienate all my friends sooner or later with my depression (or by falling in love with them, I’ve done that a few times).
Or maybe I alienate people by saying that they don’t really like me, as I did here. It’s very confusing, when you are not good at reading people, to tell if people really like you, particularly if it’s a long-distance friendship over email, text and blogs, as all of my close friendships are (if that doesn’t stop them not being close friendships. I mean, I would associate close friendships with actually seeing each other sometimes). I guess that’s why I see marriage as the ultimate seal of approval, because then someone would have chosen to actually see me every day and not just that but to live with me. So then she would have to really like me. Except that I would probably worry that she didn’t love me any more and would probably end up pushing her away with my self-loathing and paranoia.
A blogger I really admire who recently got married at the “ancient” (for frum Jews) age of 32 (younger than me) said frum singles should trust in God because there isn’t much else we can do. But what do you do if you are convinced that God hates you and is deliberately sabotaging your life to make you miserable for reasons unknown (but probably to do with you being evil and wicked)? And that He wants you to be alone and miserable forever (because you’re so wicked) unless you repent (which you can’t do because you’re too wicked and also too mentally ill and because He’s really trying to make it as hard as He can, within the bounds of free will, for you to be frum because He hates you)? There isn’t really a lot you can do if an omnipotent being is out to make your life miserable.
I feel like my reasoning went wrong somewhere in this post, or maybe in several somewheres. Maybe my friends do like me and I am lovable and God doesn’t hate me. Maybe. Maybe, as Philip K. Dick said, I either invented a whole new logic or I’m not playing with a full deck. Maybe. Either way, it doesn’t change what I feel and the way I get carried away by my feelings when the depression and agitation are so powerful, like an ocean wave against the tiny wooden canoe of my reason and self-esteem.
(At least I’m a bit better at recognising and distinguishing these emotions than I used to be – alexithymia.)