I’m surprisingly not wiped out and ‘mentally hungover’ today, which is good. I was expecting that there would be a price to pay for enjoying myself and socialising yesterday. I did have struggle sleeping (hence blogging at 3.00am last night) and didn’t get to sleep until around 4.00am and slept through the morning, but otherwise I feel OK.
Today was a slow day. I did some chores, including finally (I hope) sorting out the problem with my online medication repeat prescription requests and spent an hour working on my Doctor Who book (excluding time spent watching/half-watching some episodes for research while eating or dusting), finally confirming that it is just another three chapters that need a bit more detail before I can consider the second draft finished and start redrafting for style. I admit that drafting a book for content and then polishing for style might not be the most sensible way of writing, but it’s really a product of the way this project grew from a series of blog posts, albeit that it is now much more than twice as long as the original series of posts. Frustratingly, the actual writing won’t take more than a couple of hours, it’s watching the episodes for research that takes so long.
I feel like I’ve found a little oasis of calm in the last week or two. I’ve got a job I feel reasonably comfortable with (albeit with moments of anxiety), I’m pushing myself a little bit socially and that seems to be going OK, my kavannah (mindfulness) in prayer is better, I’m more motivated for Torah study, I feel more comfortable describing myself as autistic (in select environments) even though I’m aware I may never get an official diagnosis, and perhaps I’ve come to terms with the label a little bit more than in the past. I’m even feeling that maybe I do actually have a reasonable level of Jewish knowledge, particularly about the stuff that isn’t seen as crucial in the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) world although it’s questionable about how much knowledge of Jewish history or Yiddish literature is really useful to a frum lifestyle. I’m even feeling less anxious about the future. On the whole, things feel reasonably positive. I do wish I could get to shul (synagogue) on Shabbat (Sabbath) mornings, though.
I hope to have a meeting with a matchmaker from the values-based Jewish dating service next week, which is scary and exciting at the same time. It’s difficult to know how much of my ‘issues’ to mention. E. said to mention the autism; my rabbi mentor said to mention the depression, but not the autism (he was worried about stigma), but also that I should make an on-the-spot decision based on how the conversation goes. Dating is hard, especially frum dating, doubly so with mental health issues and autism. I am still concerned that I shouldn’t be looking for someone while I’m in such a low income job, but I’m assured that it’s not dishonest or problematic.
Of course, I’m aware that I have some very stressful and triggering Jewish festivals coming up in the next two months, that my contract only lasts until the end of March, that dating could be painful, that I am unlikely to ever be completely recovered from depression and that autistic people tend to struggle with employment and relationships… basically, I know that things could go very badly wrong at any time. But I do feel a bit more confident in myself than I have for a while, which is good.