I didn’t blog yesterday because there wasn’t much to say and I was busy (OK, I went to shiur (religious class) and I stayed up very late watching a two-hour Jonathan Creek special). I was very anxious and depressed on the Tube into work in the morning and couldn’t read, either Mishnah or a novel. I just focused on calm breathing, which seemed to help a bit. Work was good, though. I am actually feeling somewhat comfortable and enjoying being back in a higher education institution.
However, I’m still largely being shown what to do. The scary bit will come next week when I have to start doing things by myself, especially as there was a LOT of information to take in, and largely orally, whereas I (like many autistic people) am better with written instructions. I wrote some notes, but I’m not sure how coherent they are. There is a checklist for the most important job I have to do, though, so I’m hoping to work from that. I’m still not sure I know 100% what to do (or even close to 100%) and I will have to email or talk to people (yikes!) and go to get rare books from the vaults, which I’m worried will trigger OCD worries about having locked up correctly (or alternatively locking other people in). And I already realised this morning that I have already forgotten to do something I meant to do yesterday.
However, I kind of find myself hoping that my contract might get extended, which I didn’t think in my previous job. However, I don’t think an extension is likely. I’m contracted for January with a possibility of extension to March, but apparently not beyond that and I’m not sure why – is it financial (the perennial problem in education and in libraries generally) or is there another reason? If it’s just financial then maybe there’s hope? But I don’t like to sound positive because I’m afraid if I am I will start messing things up or they will go wrong some other way. I don’t like to hope any more.
I was thinking yesterday that if I can find a permanent job, even part-time, I should try dating again. Last year the wife of the assistant rabbi at my parents’ shul (syngagogue) gave Dad the phone number of someone she felt might be able to find me find a shidduch (match) despite my depression. This was in the run-up to Pesach which is the most stressful time of the Jewish year (think the days before Christmas, but much worse) so I said I would phone after Pesach, but I procrastinated a little and then I started dating E. When we broke up, I thought if E., who was really into me, felt that she couldn’t cope with someone who wasn’t earning enough to support a family, then no one would be able to cope, so I didn’t make any effort to look for anyone else, but now I think E. might have been influenced by the confused feelings she still had for her ex. But it’s still hard to think that someone might like me enough to look past my finances, my mental health and the fact that I’m not meeting my religious obligations as a good frum (religious) man should, in terms of prayer and Torah study. It occurred to me yesterday that a marriage is for two people, but my wife would have to accept that in our relationship she would have to be one and a quarter, maybe one and a half of the two people, in terms of emotional support and finances. That’s a lot to ask of someone and I don’t think I have enough to offer in return. So now I’ve nearly talked myself out of it again and think I should just get a pet as a focus for my affection. I mean, if I want someone gentle who will be affectionate to me and let me be affectionate to her maybe I’m better off with a guinea pig anyway.
Today I feel a bit exhausted, but not too depressed or anxious, which is good, despite lingering fears that I’m going to disappoint my boss at work. I haven’t felt like this for a long time. I’m not going to push my luck, though – I’m not doing much over the weekend. There’s a big cross-shul oneg (Sabbath event) tonight which I’m skipping because I don’t think I’ll enjoy it much and it will drain me, whereas in the past I might have tried to force myself to go. Likewise, I was hoping to go to a Doctor Who pub quiz on Sunday, but the friend I was going to go with isn’t going now, I won’t know anyone there and it finishes rather late and the other side of London, so I’m skipping that for now too. It just seemed too risky to do either of those after a week when I did too new big things (new job and new well-being course).