Shabbat (the Sabbath) was good, although I’ve got the post-Shabbat slump at the moment. Whether Shabbat finishes at 10.30pm in the height of summer or 4.45pm in the middle of winter, I always feel exhausted afterwards, probably because, by definition, it’s dark outside (Shabbat finishes when the stars come out) and, of course, there’s always tidying up to do (which admittedly is harder at 11.00pm in the summer), and although I’ve done my share of that tonight, I was struggling a little bit with some religious OCD thoughts that came up while I was doing it. Telling myself that “My thoughts are not always my friends” does seem to help though.
Otherwise I’ve been quite well the last few days. I still didn’t get to shul (synagogue) this morning, but I think I need to psych myself up for that at some point rather than just expect to start going again. It’s a pity it’s hard to break it down to smaller steps that I can work on gradually (going later is almost as hard, in some ways harder, than being there for the start). But my mood overall for the last few days has been positive, with optimistic thoughts about dating and writing and a lack of anxiety and depression, for all that I’m a bit worried about something I did at work.
I watched Star Trek Beyond this evening with my parents. Watching films always seems to leave me drained in a way that watching TV does not. When I go to the cinema, I assume it’s probably the sensory overload that does it, but I don’t know what does it on DVD. Maybe concentrating for two hours is draining, even on days when I’m not consciously feeling depressed.
I’ve got a vague idea about writing the depression book a few people have said that they would like me to write. I think, potentially, I could wade through the 1000 posts on this site (actually probably only about 600; the others are brief, private, personal journal posts) for material that can potentially be reworked and/or augmented as a book about depression. But whereas I blog stuff as it happens to me or as I think of it, I could pick apart different themes (depression, autism, being mentally ill in the frum community) and stitch fragments of posts together to arrange the book thematically. Maybe. Or maybe this wouldn’t work, I’m not sure. It needs some thought. I don’t know what type of book people would want, what ‘value added’ they would want beyond the blog. Please let me know your thoughts, particularly if you’re one of the people who has encouraged me to write a book on depression.
I want to set aside time on days when I don’t work to write the three (!) books I’m hoping to write: the Doctor Who book that is two-thirds written and which I’d like to get reasonably close to finished by Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) in the autumn; the book on Orthodox Judaism for non-Jews; and the depression book, if I can get it to work.
CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, has sent me a pencil, badge and cardboard bookmark to mark my renewing my subscription. The bookmark says, “I’m taking my career seriously – ready for the next challenge!” which seems a bit of a stretch for me. I’m really not sure where I am with my career at the moment. I’m hoping my job gets extended past March, but I’d rather spend the non-work days in the week working on my writing than working in a library.
I’m still thinking about trying to date again soon. It requires working up a certain amount of courage. I feel positive about it, but once I stop to think, it’s harder to accept that someone could want me, depression, autism and all. I just read a couple of articles about “older singles” in the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) community, which basically means singles over thirty or so years old. They always say “X is in his late thirties and still single despite having nothing wrong with him.” I know what they mean, but it always makes me feel, “If you’re neurotypical and mentally healthy and can’t get married, we’ll feel sorry for you, but if you’re autistic and depressed… well, what do you expect?” I know that’s not quite what they mean, but it’s how it comes across.
Weirdly, I keep thinking about an acquaintance from school who I hadn’t thought about for years. I didn’t really know her (it was a big school, with 240 children in a year and we didn’t have any classes together), but she always said hello to me using my name and it suddenly occurred to me the other day that maybe she liked me. It’s weird to think that anyone at school could have had a crush on me, though, as I had terrible acne and was not good at making friends or even talking to people outside my immediate tiny friendship circle, especially not girls. So maybe she was just being friendly. But I’ve been vaguely wondering what would have happened if I had asked her out. Or even if I’d actually spoken to her properly (I don’t think we ever really had a conversation). I’m not sure why I keep thinking about her, though, particularly as I can’t really remember what she looked like. Maybe that’s it: I remember her as a cheerful, positive and friendly presence (I didn’t experience many of those at school) more than a physical body and maybe I want that in my life.