My letter from the psychiatrist arrived, so I now officially have an appointment on Thursday! It’s annoyingly at lunch time, which means I will go to work in the morning, come home at noon and go to my appointment, but – unless it’s over very quickly (which has happened to me before with NHS psychiatrists who just want to ‘process’ their patients ASAP) – I won’t be able to go back to work in the afternoon because by the time I get into town, it will practically be time to come back. As I’m paid hourly, that is a financial loss, but to postpone the appointment would have meant waiting until January for another one.
On the whole I felt better today. I got through over 130 records at work, which is an improvement on most of last week. I think I mostly got through the morning by thinking about whether I could own guinea pigs in the back of my mind while working; in the afternoon I was a bit more down and began to doubt whether I could keep them and whether my parents will agree to my getting them (thus far Mum has cautiously expressed abstract approval and Dad has said nothing at all). I’m glad that my rabbi mentor thinks that my owning a pet is “a wonderful idea” as, while he’s not infallible, he is usually right and he makes me feel a bit more confident that this isn’t a crazy idea. We’re not really a pet-owning family, though, and I don’t think my parents really understand why this idea has suddenly gripped me.
Reading The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome at lunch brought me down a little, as I worry again that I won’t be diagnosed on the autistic spectrum – or with anything else unexpected – and will be left floating again with treatment-resistant depression and no help from the NHS other than drugs. I feel there must be something going on other than pure unipolar depression, but I’m not a psychiatrist and I don’t know what it might be, other than guessing at autism or trauma. But I’ve been wrong about things like this before. I wish I had a psychiatrist I trusted and knew well, but the NHS doesn’t work like that. I had one for a while, but only because she broke the rules by continuing to see me. She thought I was autistic, but didn’t give me an official diagnosis and I think she came to see me as a frustrating problem patient. She certainly seemed to stop listening to me after a while.
On the way home I felt a bit more down, probably from tiredness and hunger. I found myself thinking of the wave of recent engagements of people doubtless ten or more years younger than me in my community. While I try to be open to the idea that there might possibly be someone female out there of compatible age, religious outlook and personality who can at least tolerate my geekiness, borderline autism, social anxiety and depression, however improbable that seems, it is difficult to imagine how I could ever meet her and get talking to her. I know someone who insists that there is nothing proactive whatever one can do to get married; it is completely up to God when and how you will meet your mate, but you will meet eventually. I find this hard to accept. Some people simply don’t get married and, in any case, in Judaism we are supposed to be proactive with our lives, at least up to a point (she accepted proactivity only in accepting arranged dates, but, as I’ve said, people aren’t arranging dates for me). In any case, without a well-paying job that would let me support a family, talk of marriage seems pointlessly premature. And without finding out what is wrong with me and finding a way of coping with it, it seems unlikely that I will ever manage much in the way of a career. I guess this is the problem: that my issues are interlinked and it’s impossible to deal with one at a time.
Well, I seem to have brought myself down pretty well now. I’m very tired and still somewhat hungry even after dinner. I want to go for seconds, but I’ve put on a huge amount of weight on clomipramine and am wary of eating too much. Life can be very frustrating. I fear I’m going to turn into the male equivalent of a crazy cat lady.