And after a couple of somewhat good days, it all comes crashing down again…
I wish I could stop myself shluffing (napping) after Shabbat (Sabbath) lunch. I don’t think I can cope with such a large meal at that time of day. I couldn’t sleep last night from having slept too much during the day. Eventually I got up and did some stuff in my room (I was still at my parents’ house) while watching Doctor Who until I got tired. I am overweight and out of shape; the title quote (from Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos) is the Master’s view of the Doctor’s TARDIS, but fits how I feel about myself lately. I try telling myself the C. S. Lewis thing that I’m a soul with a body not a body with a soul, but I’m not enough of a mystic and that’s always seemed fairly un-Jewish to me (I’ve heard frum Jews quote it, but I’m not sure they knew they were quoting on of the twentieth century’s foremost Christian apologists).
This morning I inevitably overslept. I tried to go for a run, but it was pretty poor. I stopped after twenty minutes because I was feeling faint and light-headed (possibly because it was gone 3.00pm and I hadn’t had lunch, but I’d only had breakfast at noon, so I’m not sure it was that), having walked a lot instead of actually running. At least I got home before the rain. I suppose I got into my jogging stuff and out the door twice in three days, which I hadn’t managed since last August.
I read in a book about depression not to take any serious decisions while in the midst of an episode. This is probably good, as if I followed every thought coming into my head at the moment I would:
- resolve to date only women at least as frum (religious) as me;
- resolve to date only women less frum than me;
- give up on the idea of dating and marriage and children altogether;
- stick with my job;
- change job;
- change employment sector;
- change career completely and become a writer;
- write a religious science fiction story;
- give up on writing a religious science fiction story;
- give up on writing a fictionalised version of my depression/childhood story;
- give up writing my Doctor Who book;
- give up writing my blog.
Of these only the last two can really be dismissed as passing whims: I get enough out of both to want to stick with them even if the book never gets published and even though the blog just seems like attention-seeking whining most of the time. At any rate, I’ve made friends through the blog and get positive feedback from people who get something out of it, so it’s obviously fulfilling some sort of purpose, even if I’m not entirely sure what that purpose is. Of the others, I have given up on writing about my childhood experiences (somewhat to my annoyance) and also on the science fiction story (which is annoying in a different way). I don’t think I can write poetry or fiction any more, if I ever could. I’m stuck with non-fiction prose, which means confessional (on the blog) or about Doctor Who and other TV science fiction (on my other blog and book(s)), which I suspect is a saturated market that I don’t quite fit into.
You may have guessed that I’ve been feeling depressed again. Fortunately, I found out there is a heter (permission) for clinically depressed people to listen to music during the omer, so that’s helped a little bit, although I’m only listening when I feel I need to and not when I’m just bored while walking home. I’m catastrophising again, though. I feel nothing can work out well for me hence, I suppose, the comprehensive list of thoughts about what to do, or not to do, with my life, as I try to find an option that looks likely to succeed when nothing seems to look likely to bring anything other than more misery. I suppose the answer is to wait a few months until I find out if my work contract is being renewed for the next year and wait to see if I can make progress with the social anxiety over the next few months before dating. That said, I’m not convinced that the social anxiety is the major problem there, I think the depression and not being a good fit for the subculture (the frum (religious/Orthodox Jewish) world) I want to marry into are much bigger issues. Actually being able to get to shul (synagogue) for Shabbat morning services would be a good start, if I could work out how to do that.
However, while I never thought of myself as impatient person, it turns out I’m really rubbish at just waiting indefinitely for stuff that may never happen. I want to get on with my life and feel that my life as it is at the moment is both bad for me (it makes me depressed) and bad for the world (I’m not contributing anything worthwhile e.g. doing a worthwhile job well (I do a moderately worthwhile job badly in my paid work), doing something positive Jewishly or raising children). I suppose I feel that being in my mid-thirties without a ever having had a full-time job, having only had one relatively short-lived serious relationship (five years ago) and having no children, I’m entitled to feel that my life went wrong somewhere and to wonder how I get it back on track. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to other people and I know everyone has issues, but somehow I feel many other people’s issues aren’t quite as serious or long-lasting as mine. I don’t know whether that’s true. No one goes on about their issues as much as I do, but then most people don’t have a blog, and perhaps most people use social media to present an idealised perfect version of themselves rather than stressing the negatives of their life, the way I do. Perhaps I give as unrealistic a presentation of my life as my peers who (I assume) post pictures of their perfect spouse/children/home on Facebook and Instagram.
I was close to tears again while cooking dinner (spicy bean burgers, the trickiest item in my repertoire) and actually burst out crying when davening Ma’ariv (saying evening prayers). I only really cooked dinner from necessity and not wanting to be beaten after being defeated by jogging. Am I lonely? I don’t know. I don’t know that I necessarily want someone to talk to anyone, although my sister phoned before and I cheered up a bit while talking to her, if only because I feel I need to put a brave face on around other people, so I don’t bring them down and because they don’t really understand what I’m going through, even my family, who have been around me like this for years and years (I guess I assume that my blog readers either understand or don’t get dragged down by me). Perhaps I want someone to be around, but I’m not even sure about that.
I don’t know what I want right now, except that this isn’t it. I don’t feel competent to work or maintain friendships, let alone relationships or being a parent. I feel sure that HaShem (God) is gearing up to break my heart again, but I don’t know how to stop it. If He wants to do it, I don’t suppose I can, or should. I suppose it will make me a better person in fifty years time and when I get to one hundred and twenty and die I’ll reap the rewards – except that I feel I will screw up my response to the tests and end up getting karet again, and never get to know where my life was supposed to be going (although maybe that would be worse: knowing how good things could have been if I hadn’t mucked them up).
I don’t know what I actually feel competent doing or enjoy doing, except for one thing (writing about Doctor Who and science fiction TV), which I don’t know how to monetise or subsidise from paid work, nor does it feel particularly socially useful. I don’t think writing yet another book about Doctor Who is going to fix the economy, cure cancer or bring world peace. I can’t even guarantee that it will bring much in the way of enjoyment to its readers (if anyone will actually buy the thing).
There probably is more to say, but it’s late, I need to get to bed, and I feel too stressed, depressed, agitated and angry to sleep. I’m not sure what I do now to get to sleep.