I feel confused. I’m clearly not happy in my job, but working out why, and what I should do about it, is harder. It’s hard even to work out if it’s actually the job that is upsetting me or if I’m upset because I’m depressed and I just happen to spend a huge chunk of my week at work, so it feels like I’m always depressed there. Working out whether I should leave and go elsewhere is harder still; finding a better job is hardest of all. Similarly, I want to get married, but, despite (because of) having had a lot of conflicting advice in the last few days, I have no idea whether I’m ready to date. My therapist says not to date, but that was conditional on wanting to date for the ‘wrong’ reasons (being lonely and wanting someone to fix me) and I have no idea if I do want to date for those reasons or not. My rabbi mentor said not to date until I’ve sorted out the social anxiety, but I’m a lot less confident than he is about my ability to do that. My parents say I should date because that might make me feel better, as does one of my friends, who thinks I do want to marry for the right reasons. Yesterday I found a draft post that stated that I want to get married so that I can give to someone, which I suspect is what my therapist wanted me to say on Friday. But I’m now so confused that I don’t know if I really feel like that or not. It’s hard to know what, if anything, to do. At least regarding jobs I can keep a vague look out for new work, especially as my contract may not be renewed at the end of the month anyway, but I don’t think I should be joining dating services or sites without being sure that I am ready to marry.
Frum (religious) Jews are apt to describe the Torah as an instruction manual to life, but it doesn’t have an index and, anyway, it’s rarely clear cut as to how to apply its teachings in the complexity of life – or is that me being borderline heretical again? It can tell you what to do on Shabbat (the Sabbath) or how to have a kosher kitchen, but it’s not always clear on what to do about the unique circumstances of one’s day to day life. I suppose this is why people go to rabbis, but my rabbi mentor has just confused and worried me more on this matter and I’m not the kind of person who takes his troubles to a gadol (great Torah scholar) for advice. I wouldn’t know how one even goes about it, although the teacher at the Talmud class I used to go to said he could arrange for us to meet one famous rabbi who his brother knew.
Contrary to what Elton John sang, I don’t believe there’s a light where the darkness ends, and I have been told not to seek someone who can heal me with her love. It all seems so hopeless. Sometimes I feel like the most alone person in the world. That’s not really fair, as I have my parents and my sister and my non-biological sisters (friends) all of whom do at least respond to texts and phone calls and who do sometimes inquire after me without my seeking them out, even if they don’t always understand why I’m so upset about things. But that just makes me feel more guilty for feeling so alone! At any rate, when the front door of my flat shuts, I’m so alone with no one to hold me or talk to me. Plus, I want the type of love that can’t be provided by parents or sisters or friends. Is that so wrong of me? And I want to be able to give to someone as well as to take, but no one seems to trust me to do that, or they have other people who do it for them better already.
If someone could say to me that I would struggle for the next five years, but after that I would be able to manage my mental health and find a wife and have children, that would be difficult, but it would be better than this. At least I would know that I won’t be lonely and miserable for my entire adult life. But no one can give me those kind of guarantees and even if I knew that in five years I would manage my mental health better, I still doubt that I could get married and have children given my age (I would be nearly forty by then), my geeky interests and atypical personality and the fact that the depression would probably still be lurking in the background.
I once came across an idea in Judaism that when someone dies, a sword of judgement is suspended over the family for a year afterwards and if they sin, they are more likely to be punished (a lot of my episodes of depression have started a few months after the death of one or more grandparents). I had hoped that the reverse might be true, that when my sister got married, maybe some of her blessing and happiness would overflow and hit me, but it doesn’t seem to have happened. I didn’t even feel able to ask for her to pray for me under the chuppah.
I feel selfish and self-centred. All I talk about here is myself. No wonder my therapist thinks I only want a wife to ‘fix’ me. My Mum says that it’s not my fault, that depression is a selfish illness, but I feel I should push past that. But I’m in such psychological pain so much of the time that it’s hard to feel anything else. Which I suppose is evidence that I shouldn’t be looking for a wife until I’m better. Except that it’s been made quite clear to me, by psychiatrists and by experience, that there is no ‘feeling better’ just ‘coping better.’ If I was in a relationship I might be better at looking after someone else. At any rate, my ex (who also had a lot of issues that she was dealing with) used to say that I was better at caring for her than she was for me and in retrospect I look back at that time and wonder if I was too caring and just encouraged her to walk all over my boundaries because she knew I would keep coming back. Or is this justifying myself? I honestly don’t know any more. After that experience, I find it hard to imagine being in a healthy relationship.
Ugh, this post is just nonsense. I’m hurting today and this is an inarticulate cry of pain. All I feel today is despair and self-loathing, I can’t even feel anxiety. Please forgive me.