I did eventually calm down and go to sleep last night, then slept through the whole morning, waking at 1.00pm, but being too tired to get up before 1.30, despite the noise from next door (I live in a converted garage; apparently the owners of the adjoining garage are converting their side into a flat too).
I feel exhausted and depressed. I feel as if the immensity of everything, of possibly endless unemployment, the difficulties of self-employment and the loneliness of possibly permanent singledom (while carrying a torch for someone who just wants to be friends) has really hit me. That said, I don’t feel any specific anxiety. Yesterday’s agitation has been replaced with total lethargy and I can’t really think at all.
I just got a spammy email from PayPal telling me that a lot can happen in four months. Indeed. In four months I moved from single to in a relationship to single again and from employed and fairly sure I would still be employed in a few months if I wanted to unemployed. Still depressed, though.
I wonder why I left my job, as it seems impossible even to feel non-depressed enough to find and apply for a job, let alone get one, and the thought of writing for a living, even non-creative writing, seems unlikely – I have no confidence in my writing and certainly not in my ability to network, submit on spec or take editorial criticism. I just feel utterly drained today. The heat doesn’t help and it’s worse in my poorly-ventilated flat (one advantage of moving back in with my parents, I suppose).
I feel I underestimated how much the events of recent months would affect me, particularly now I’m off work and have time to think about things. I suppose this is my normal holiday slump magnified by the doubt and uncertainty and the anxiety of job hunting and career shifting. I suppose I blame myself for leaving my job and maybe for what happened with E. and I certainly can’t see a way ahead with either. I feel disgusted with myself for acting out yesterday, although I have no idea how I ended up in such an agitated condition (or what I can do to stop it happening again).
Looking at Hevria stuff online just underlines how far I am from the centres of Jewish life (Israel and America/New York), but even if I was there, I doubt I could get involved. I want to meet some Hevria people when I go to New York in a few weeks, but it’s hard to find anyone willing to meet with me. And I feel like I don’t fit in with their frum-but-bohemian lifestyles, either the bohemian part or, increasingly, the effortlessly frum part. Being frum is increasingly a hard struggle and I’ve never really seen God’s hand in my life the way the others seem to. And I don’t feel creative, although I’ve been told I’m a good writer (I find that hard to believe).
I’m thinking about moving my Doctor Who blog to WordPress, if I want to try to boost its popularity to try to promote my Doctor Who/science fiction writing/criticism. Livejournal seems to be fairly dead these days, for English language blogs at any rate. I need to blog there more often, though. I think the only way I could keep it separate from this blog (which I would have to as this one is anonymous and the Doctor Who one isn’t) is to set up a paid account, although even then I’m not sure if it would let me separate them (as I only have one email address to register with them). I don’t really mind paying £3 a month though, and it might be worth it for no ads and a blog title without ‘wordpress’ in it. I ought to learn to use LinkedIn better too. Correction: I ought to actually use my LinkedIn account. (It scares me.)
Procrastinating. I just think, “I’ll just sit here for a few more minutes. I’ll just look at such and such a website. I’ll just check my emails again.” I used to think this was desire for connection, but I’ve been in touch with friends today. I just feel lazy. I hate myself today.
My main achievement today has been to clear my email folders. I’m good about keeping my inbox under control, but lately my outbox and trash folders had become over-full, plus I still had nearly every email E. had ever sent me, which seemed pointlessly romantic and depressing because it reminds me that no one I can’t get a relationship to work even when I manage to find someone who likes me. It took longer than I hoped, but less time than I feared.
People keep reminding me about things I need to remember to do for my holiday or job search. I’m not sure whether to be angry that they think I’ll forget or ashamed that they might be right. I feel like everyone is treating me like a child, but also that they possibly (probably?) need to do so. I wonder how well I could function by myself if I had to. This is part of the reason E. broke up with me. Of course part of the reason I’m inexperienced at these things is simply that I haven’t been well enough to do them. I’ve never been well enough to go on holiday by myself before, nor have I needed to do a prolonged job search. For a long time I was too depressed to work. My first job came from a voluntary position that I talked into a paid position and my second job I just applied for out of the blue and won without any prolonged searching. So I’ve never had a prolonged period of job searching before.
I’m trying to think of intelligent questions to ask my friends who are writers and researchers about their careers and I’m really struggling. Sometimes I feel so useless. It’s hard to tell if it’s depression, autism, learned helplessness or if I am just genuinely useless.
I feel guilty about not having gone for a run yesterday or today, but I walked over to my parents’ house to pick some stuff up today and I was completely exhausted. It’s only a fifteen minute walk, but I was really slow. Every movement was an effort. My legs felt like they were lined with lead. I hate being this depressed. I ate ice cream, even though I know I’ve put on a ton of weight with my medications. Two years ago I was reasonably slim; now thanks to clomipramine I’m somewhat overweight despite probably eating more healthily now than previously.
My Dad says it’s a shame that no one from Hevria wants to meet me in New York. He says the lesson from this is that people say one thing and mean another. I think the lesson is more that everyone secretly hates me and wants nothing to do with me. At least E. is going to spend time with me although I’m worried that will be painful for both of us. I’m still terrified of getting mugged or lost or missing my plane. It would help if I had direct contact details for more Hevrians rather than having to go through the two people whose details I do have and who I think have forgotten to tell anyone else that I’m coming despite my asking them to do so.
I will be thirty-five in a few days. It’s easy to say I just want someone to love me, but it’s not that simple. For someone to love me and be able to live/cope with me, I need a full-time job or at least some kind of job that pays better than my last one. I also need to have frum (religious) friends who will set me up on dates. For that to happen, I need to be better integrated into the frum (religious) community. For that to happen, I need to have less social anxiety and to be coping better with my religious obligations (prayer, Torah study) and for that to happen I need more simcha shel mitzvah (joy from the commandments). For any of this to happen, I need some kind of medication or therapy regime or set of coping skills that allow me to cope with my depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem and borderline autism a lot better than I currently am, not just for a few months (as occasionally happens), but consistently for a period of years. This seems incredibly unlikely, given the events of the last twenty years or so.
I have probably been depressed for more of my life than not now. At any rate, I’ve been depressed for almost all of my adult life. I sometimes wonder what I would be like as a person and what my life would be like if I was not depressed. It is very hard to know.
My life seems both pointless and hopeless. I’m not suicidal, but I do wonder why I’m here. I can’t see myself doing anything worthwhile in any sense of the word, and God knows (literally) I’ve hardly enjoyed myself for the last twenty years or more, since I was a child. I don’t think I’ve grown much as a person either. It’s hard to get the energy to hunt for work, plan my holiday, meet my religious obligations, become a better person or just do the chores needed to keep my flat/life in order (or look for dates, for that matter, not that I’m doing that) when everything seems to turn out so badly for me. If I’d spent the entire day in bed today, I’m not sure I would have been a lot worse off…