Things are mostly back to how they were before Pesach (Passover). Unfortunately, this includes the weather (a dull, wet, depressing day) and my mood, which is still low.
I’m trying to work out if I should try dating again. I suspect I’m not ready, but I also suspect that I will never be ‘ready.’ I also suspect that the only person who would be in a relationship with me is someone with similarly serious issues. This isn’t necessarily a problem in itself, but my only previous relationship resulted in my having to take care of myself and my girlfriend, while she ignored my issues and was in denial about her own (her words, more or less, not mine) and I couldn’t cope with that any better now than I did five years ago (is it really five years ago more or less exactly that we broke up?). I suspect I find it easy to fall for vulnerable women who (a) are less likely to reject me for being broken myself and (b) have mental health issues in common with me (because so few people have anything else in common with me). I also probably feel that I don’t deserve, and couldn’t find, someone without major issues willing to go out with me for more than one or two dates.
I know logically I shouldn’t be dating, but I worry that I’ll never be ready, for all that my rabbi mentor suggested that I could be a lot better in six months. I can’t see the self-administered CBT for social anxiety really going anywhere, although I’ve promised myself to have a proper go at it now that Pesach is over. Nor do I know how to deal with the loneliness. All the cures for loneliness I’ve heard of (talk to people, do a group activity, attend a place of worship) presume neurotypicality or at least an absence of social anxiety and depression. For me, doing those things just increases my sense of being socially incompetent and alone forever, if I’m even able to do them in the first place (cf. my failed attempts to get to shul (synagogue) in the mornings recently).
Another reason I’m likely to struggle to maintain a romantic relationship is the problems I have maintaining a good relationship with my parents when I feel like this. There’s a vicious circle that goes: someone shouts at me for something that is or isn’t my fault (it doesn’t matter which) –> I feel more depressed –> I snap at others –> other people shout at me –> I feel more depressed (etc.). This is why I couldn’t cope with being paired up and it’s better that I live on my own. I’m dreading having to move back in with my parents if my work contract isn’t renewed. I could cope with getting married if my wife was particularly understanding, but I don’t deserve such a wife and couldn’t get one anyway (not least because of the loop noted above, although I have lots of other off-putting bad habits and vices too that I don’t generally blog about), so anyone I could marry would likely get into arguments with me a lot, which I couldn’t cope with. Hence, I should/will be single forever.
I feel so alone today. It’s not even loneliness in the usual sense of the word, because I’m not wishing someone was here with me. It’s more feeling that no one can understand, accept or even tolerate me. I feel like I’m walking on eggshells with my parents and I suspect that they feel the same about me, with good reason, which saddens me, but my attempts to be more sociable seem to make things worse. I don’t even feel like I want anyone today, as a friend or girlfriend or wife. I just feel so different to everyone else, that no one could understand me, and that I’m such a bad person and a bad Jew that no one could ever like or accept me. I feel bad that I get no joy out of Judaism or Jewish festivals, for example (I didn’t enjoy Pesach at all, not even seder which I used to love), and telling myself that that’s because of my mental health and family situation doesn’t really help. I know other people with mental health issues and families much less religious than mine who live joyous and meaningful Jewish lives. Admittedly getting married and having kids seems to have been a big part of that, as does a period of sustained religious study in yeshiva or seminary. Still, I feel that if they can manage it, I should too and God is angry with me for not doing so, and for acting out.
The quote of the day on the Jewish site Aish.com today says, “If you are not happy with what you have, you will not be happy with what you get.” This just seems to tell me that I’m going to be miserable forever and there’s nothing I can do about it, because every attempt to move past the depression to get meaning and joy out of life ultimately fails.
There are a lot of disturbing thoughts in my head, and I don’t know how much is depression, how much is pure O OCD, how much is loneliness and how much is that I’m just a terrible, terrible, depraved person. Or just someone who can’t cope with what’s going on in his head and as a result acts out in various bad ways, of which sniping at my parents is the least problematic.
More on neurotypicality, or otherwise: when I was young, I was sensitive to certain fabrics, particularly woolly ones. Over time, this seemed to go away, but lately it seems to have come back somewhat. I have a sweater that I’m finding it hard to wear suddenly because it feels too uncomfortable, even though I’ve been wearing it for years without a problem. This is weird. I haven’t heard of sensory sensitivity like that changing back and forth over time. I suppose my sensitivity to noise varies with time, mood, activity and so forth too, but not in such a big way.