I still feel very depressed. I seriously overslept this morning and was a couple of minutes late for work. I was lucky it was only three minutes, as it could have been a lot worse.
I haven’t really got the energy to write much, but I want to offload a few thoughts, as I have another four hours of work followed by depression support group, so I probably won’t get to really relax for another ten hours or more.
I feel that I’m struggling a lot to stay frum (religious). As I said yesterday, I still believe, but I lack the energy to perform the mitzvot (commandments). Not just, or even primarily, physical energy. At the moment Judaism just takes from me without giving back. I’m not looking for reward, but trying to be frum, even in the inadequate way I do it, leaves me very depleted in terms of energy (physical and emotional) and it’s hard for me to get that energy back. It’s a huge drain on my psychological resources, which are not that great at the best of times (this whole question was at the root of my breakup, because E. has weak psychological resources too, which was the source of our financial woes).
I know it’s difficult for everyone to be frum, but other people get that energy back from Judaism in other ways: meaning, inspiration, friends, community, family. The feeling of trust in HaShem (God) and being loved. I have family, at least to some extent and I have Shabbat (the Sabbath), although I largely sleep through it at the moment, but I don’t have those other things. I suppose I get structure a little bit too, but it doesn’t really feel like enough.
Everything in my life seems a struggle with little reward. That includes my job too, but my job at least has concrete rewards (salary and perhaps self-esteem, or at least I would have less self-esteem if I was unemployed) and is not really negotiable in the way that Judaism sort of is.
One thing I was probably wrong about in this regard was dating. It probably wouldn’t be much easier to date if I was not frum, particularly as I’m pretty sure in my mind I wouldn’t want a casual liason. It would widen my dating pool enormously to date non-religious Jews or even non-Jews, but I think I’m sufficiently weird/mentally ill/autistic as it is to be hard to match and the salary/not working full-time issue would still remain (in my experience, despite decades of feminism, most people seem to regard it as normal and ‘right’ for the man to be the main breadwinner – from that point of view things would probably be easier if I was a woman). Plus my lack of romantic experience would be more obvious and burdensome/laughable in a community with a freer ethic.
There probably is more to say, including my fears of going to depression group tonight (simultaneously wanting and not wanting to talk and being worried people will try to solve my problems and end up belittling them as I felt happened last time I went), but I’m almost out of lunch break, so farewell for now.