The improvement I experienced in my mental health last week seems to have quietly drifted away again. I feel drained and depressed again today, as I did yesterday. To be fair, I have some level of functionality, so it’s not as bad as it’s been in the past. Or am I just getting better at coping, or at doing what mentally healthy, neurotypical people would consider “coping” even if it doesn’t necessarily help me? I sometimes wonder if my mood is still very bad (although it’s objectively better than it has been at some times in the past), but I just do more things so everyone assumes I’m fine until I have one of my suicidal blips. I think people if people see that you’re functional, they will assume that you’re well, physically and mentally, until you tell them otherwise, sometimes even after that.
I did at least go to shiur (Talmud class) yesterday and manage some work on my Doctor Who book yesterday evening, while today I went to my sister’s mother-in-law’s birthday party, or at least an hour of it. I hardly knew anyone there and was very anxious so couldn’t stay longer than an hour. There were some complicated food issues so I didn’t eat much. I didn’t really talk to anyone I didn’t already know either. Fortunately my sister’s in-laws are understanding of neurodiversity issues because their daughter has serious learning disabilities.
When my sister’s father-in-law made a toast to his wife, he broke down in tears because of her ongoing cancer treatment, but everyone else in the room, including his wife, started laughing. My autistic brain couldn’t really cope with that. As the twelfth Doctor (probably the nearest to an autistic Doctor) said, “It’s like two emotions at once. It’s confusing. It’s like you’re malfunctioning.”
On the way there, my Dad pointed out the bus stop I would need if I left early, but also pointed out various irrelevant things. I asked him not to add all this detail saying that the irrelevant details crowd out the relevant ones in my brain. My Mum said that I hadn’t really explained it to them like this before and it’s easier to understand now why I struggle with my Dad’s verbosity. She also said that she has now read the autism leaflet I gave her, which is good. When I left the party she told me to focus on the fact that I went at all, not on the fact that I left early. I’ve been trying to do that, but not always succeeding. I did call myself a “defective freak” briefly, but mostly kept the urge to internally monologue about being a terrible, useless person under control.
Home now and crashing after “peopling” today. Struggling to daven (pray) a little and not even going to try more than a tiny five minutes of Torah study. The problem with watching Doctor Who according to an externally-directed order for research is when something I don’t really want to watch comes up. The Sensorites is better than its reputation in fandom would suggest, but it’s too slow and predictable for me to want to watch all six episodes (two and a half hours) in one day, so I will stop early and watch something else (probably the last episode of Jonathan Creek. He’s probably also autistic, to be honest).
I’ve been feeling lonely again today. I guess parties will do that to me. “V” commented on yesterday’s post to say that one day I’ll find someone who can love me. It doesn’t seem very likely. I can’t imagine what Someone could see in me – and my issues – that no one else has seen. I suspect my sexuality is likely to be forever inside my head, which surely isn’t healthy and certainly is not right from a halakhic (Jewish law) perspective.
This line from The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin (p.76) resonated with me: “And he had been fool enough to think that he might serve to bring together two worlds to which he didn’t belong.” I feel that I’m trying to bring together two worlds, the Jewish world and the contemporary West, despite not really belonging to either of them. I don’t know where I go from here.