(My post titles become more elliptical as my mood goes down. You can tell I’m not actually trying to attract readers. The reference is to Philip Larkin, in case anyone cares.)
My mood has gone back down again, mostly because of my uncertain future. I coped OK at work, but I overheard one conversation where my line manager’s line manager was advising some young people on a career in librarianship which made me realise (remember would be a better word) that I’m not actually doing anything to push my career on and wouldn’t know where to begin. Then I had a meeting with my line manager where she said she’s pleased with my work, but reminded me that my contract expires in five weeks (which I took as a sign that it won’t be extended) and asked me where I would like to gain more experience while I’m here? This offer is good in itself, but I did what I always do when faced with (a) an on the spot decision or (b) careers stuff in general: I froze and couldn’t think of anything (classic autistic executive function issues).
I did eventually say something reasonably positive, but I feel down overall. I can’t seem to work out how to do something that I’m reasonably good at, enjoy at least a bit, and which doesn’t leave me a nervous wreck the whole time. Because of depressive anhedonia, the only thing I even vaguely enjoy is writing and I don’t know how to get paid for that when I have no contacts, no confidence in my writing and a range of interests that is too wide in some ways and probably not deep enough in others. I saw this post, which should be useful for me, but it just makes me feel panicked and confused.
Now twice I’ve been asked by different line managers in different jobs if I really want to be a librarian; my insistence that I do is becoming less and less convincing. I don’t actually know what to do with my life or how to do it. I just feel stuck. I’m just waiting for someone to help me, because I do not feel capable of actually doing anything. Twenty-two years of education (approximately, on and off) did not actually prepare me for the real world, not even the career-focused MA that was supposed to train me for a career.
I literally do not feel able to function in the real world, in terms of career, socialising, family or anything else important. I admit I can function at a basic level (cooking, shopping, laundry, cleaning), but nothing harder than that. I really feel that I want help with mental health and autism in the real world, but the courses I’ve been on that are supposed to help with those things didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know. So either I know more than I think I know and need to learn how to apply it in practice or I’m not getting the help I need, possibly because of the difficulties of dealing with multiple diagnoses.
In addition, I have a meeting with a matchmaker on Sunday and I really don’t feel that I could possibly be attractive to anyone while I’m only working part-time and imminently about to be unemployed. I feel guilty for even arranging to see the matchmaker, which is a bit silly. I suppose I don’t have to go on dates, I could say my financial situation is problematic and could they keep me on file, but not actively set me up with anyone just now, but that is quite embarrassing to have to admit to. I think I will have to do so, though, otherwise I’m only setting myself (and other people) up for heartache.
I’ve returned from shiur (religious class) feeling a little better, but I think this is tiredness rather than truly improved mood. I struggle with the usual banter at shiur at the best of times, but I really wasn’t in the mood for it tonight, nor for the talk before and after of families (again) and the shul (synagogue) dinner tomorrow that I can’t go to because I missed the deadline (partly my fault, but partly because of poor marketing). I did at least eat less junk food there than usual, but I’m fatalistic about losing weight while on clomipramine (I’ve put on a ton of weight since I started taking it), and I don’t think my GP or psychiatrist will let me come off it; they insist its working and the fact that I’ve felt somewhat better lately only strengthens their argument. The weekend looks set to be difficult emotionally, between going to shul knowing many people will be staying for the meal and I won’t and the meeting with a matchmaker on Sunday (I already feel a fraud). For now, I will go to bed, and hope that I feel better tomorrow.
I know I sound like a lazy, entitled child, but I genuinely feel completely lost and overwhelmed, unsure of what I’m actually capable of doing or how to do it. The fact that I’m probably autistic means that I can’t actually do the thing that most people in this situation would do, which is network and talk to people. I was thinking of going to a networking workshop, but it’s the same day as the Robert Alter talk I already booked to go to. The talk isn’t until the evening, but I don’t think I can do the workshop and the talk in one day and still have the energy to get to work the next day. I hate the way my issues make me so pathetic and useless.