I was trying to get an earlyish night last night, but then the electricity fused at around midnight and we (my parents and I) spent more than half an hour trying to resolve the problem, without success. An electrician is here at the moment. Fortunately, when the house was rewired when we moved in (the old wiring was downright dangerous) the electrician put it on two separate circuits as a safety measure: if one fuses, we at least have lights and power in some of the house. Hence we have electricity for internet, for now at least. But as a result, I didn’t get to bed until late yet again. I’m not sure how late, I think it was around 2.00am. Certainly after 1.00am. Then I slept until 11.00am and woke up exhausted again, which even caffeine has not completely helped with. At times I feel too depressed and exhausted to keep my eyes open. It’s 4.15pm and I still haven’t had the energy to daven (pray). This could be the increased dosage of clomipramine, as it’s sedating. It’s probably too early to tell whether the increased dosage will make me less depressed.
I’m trying not to think about politics, antisemitism or PhDs, but it’s hard. Scary stuff just keeps coming up in apparently innocuous places. I should work, but I feel too exhausted and depressed.
I have a job interview tomorrow. I’m worried about problems with Shabbat and Yom Tov if I get the job, but also that I will be too depressed tomorrow to perform well at the interview.
It’s the Jewish month of Elul, which means it’s time for introspection (as if I didn’t do that all the time). I haven’t done a cheshbon nafesh yet. This may be the first year I don’t do one in twelve years. Cheshbon nafesh is a sort of ethical and religious self-audit, assessing how you have been as a Jew in the last year. I’ve been putting it off partly from lack of time, with job hunting and other necessary things, but partly because I’m afraid of what it will show, and afraid I don’t care. This year I intended to work on my depression and social anxiety, which hasn’t happened. I intended to daven (pray) with more kavannah (mindfulness), which has maybe happened a tiny, tiny bit, but on the other hand I daven with a minyan (prayer quorum i.e. a community) even less than last year. And I intended to study one Mishnah a day, which I haven’t done and in fact am doing significantly less Torah study (religious study) than I used to do.
To be honest, I’m worried about the upcoming Yamim Noraim (High Holy Days i.e. Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement). I don’t feel capable of spending hours in shul (synagogue) and I don’t really want to do it either. I’m not sure if I feel angry with HaShem (God), but I certainly feel disconnected from Him and from Judaism. The fact that I have no simcha shel mitzvah (joy in performing the commandments) is really upsetting me and I don’t know if it’s my fault or a product of the depression or what to do about it. One rabbi said it’s the depression and there’s nothing I can do until I get better, which I don’t really see ever happening; another said I should at least have a bit of simcha, which just makes me feel that I’m a bad Jew and it’s all my fault. I feel resentful of the fact that, until recently at least, I was trying for years – decades – to be a good Jew despite feeling terrible and having depleted energy levels and I have nothing to show for it except the feeling that I’m a bad Jew and it’s possible all my fault, but even if it’s not, then HaShem obviously hates me and doesn’t want my mitzvot. The fact that I feel completely disconnected from my community, and the fact that it looks like I’ll never get married and have children (which is a key part of being accepted in a frum community as well as something I want for myself) just makes things worse. I genuinely feel that it is at least likely that HaShem views me as wicked and hates me.
It’s a struggle to daven or to study Torah with this mindset or to do mitzvot. I’ve been slipping with my mitzvah performance a little, mostly in minor things, like following lenient views on certain matters that I wouldn’t have done previously. I worry that soon I will move on to bigger things, though.