Trigger warning: suicide
Feeling incredibly depressed today. I got to bed really late last night. I’m not sure when exactly. I wasn’t surprised, given how much I slept during the day. Somehow I woke up when my alarm went off at 10.00am and knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep (I don’t know why this doesn’t happen to me on Shabbat), so I got up, ate breakfast, glanced at the newspaper, felt depressed. Or more depressed, as I was already feeling depressed.
I feel alone, but I’m supposed to see my sister and brother-in-law today and I want to cancel because I can’t face socialising. I suppose I felt that my sister was pushing me to see her and I wasn’t quite sure why, except that she always sees me when our parents are away. It feels a bit like she’s checking I’m still alive.
I went back to bed after breakfast. Buried myself under the duvet. Try to shut out the world, but it’s still there. No matter how vividly I try to imagine someone who loves me, she doesn’t exist. She can’t exist, I suspect. I just want someone to hold me and tell me I’m OK. I’m such a screw up.
Just feeling awful today. My parents are back tonight (they land about 1.00am so I probably won’t see them until tomorrow). I’m not sure if that’s good or bad or both or neither.
I tried a bit to use CBT to challenge my thoughts, but it’s hard, partly because they (the thoughts) started as something inchoate at the moment, emotions and impressions rather than clear thoughts (I know CBT therapists would say that can’t happen, but I often wake up feeling depressed). Trying to accept that things can get better. Five years ago, I had just finished my MA, which took three and a half years rather than the single year it should have taken. I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to work, but after a month or two of ‘recovering’ (sitting around feeling depressed), I started volunteering at a library again, turned that into a paid part-time job within a year (just), then went on to other jobs, which is all positive so maybe in another five years I could be somewhere else, much more positive than where I am now… but at the same time, I’ve never had a full-time job, most of my jobs have left me feeling useless and a burden on society and I’ve only had one real relationship since then (one and a half, maybe) and I can’t imagine any of this changing. I’ve never been well enough to work full-time or rarely felt that I’m doing good work in a job. Everything just seems so hopeless, I can see myself being in exactly the same situation in five years time, struggling through part-time, short-term jobs, depending financially on my parents, no romantic relationships, loneliness, self-loathing and depression.
I want to love and be loved so much, and it’s just been impossible for me for so much of my life. I made a couple of good friends, which is something. I can see that things have got better, or at least different, in some respects, but IF my life is improving (and I’m not sure that it is), it’s moving slowly. Geologically slowly. I can’t see it getting good enough any time soon, and probably not in time for me to ever have children.
I feel frail and mortal. I’m not suicidal, but I just wish I wasn’t here. I wish I’d never been born. I wonder if I should try to go back to my psychodynamic therapist, as I don’t think CBT on the NHS is likely to happen any time soon and I’ve got sceptical again about whether CBT is able to help me; I can’t ‘prove’ to myself that my problems are just from thinking about things “wrongly” when my problems are objectively real and hard to tackle. I have autism. I have few friends. I did not go to yeshiva, which is an important part of my religious community. These are objective facts. I suppose a CBT therapist would say that what matters is the interpretation I put on them, that I catastrophise my autism when some autistic people live happy lives, I devalue my existing friends and say they can’t satisfy my emotional needs and I catastrophise my yeshiva-non-attendance when there are plenty of ba’alei teshuva (Jews who became religious late in life) who didn’t go and thrive in the community.
I’m worried about seeing my sister and brother-in-law later. I don’t feel able to ‘people’ today. I want to work on my books. I feel I should (that word again) be applying for jobs, and cooking dinner, and doing chores. I’m not sure why she wants to see me, intellectually I can see she’s probably worried about me, but I can’t feel that.
I feel agitated and angry and despairing and I’m not good at reading people when I feel like that. I can’t intuit that anyone cares about me, I can only know it intellectually. Maybe that’s why I feel so alone, because it doesn’t feel like anyone cares about me, it’s just something I know, like the Ten Commandments or lists of Doctor Who actors and stories. Maybe that’s why I’m so desperate to be held, to make love, because maybe then I will feel loved instead of just knowing it.
Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like God loves me.
For reasons I can’t say here, I feel that I was never good enough for my ex-girlfriends, that I was a rebound relationship or someone to go out with because there was no one better. That’s probably also partly paranoia, but also partly rooted in things that were said or done to me over the years. It just reinforces the feeling I’ve had for a while that only someone who was previously in really bad, abusive relationships would want to be with me, because only if someone was really hurtful would I seem better in comparison. That I can only be second choice. That I can only be with someone who is ‘settling’ for me.
So despairing. Last night and today watched World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, which I consider Peter Capaldi’s last ‘real’ Doctor Who story (I tagged on the last five minutes of Twice Upon a Time, which I otherwise can’t stand). I’ve mentioned that my grip on reality is not the always strongest, sometimes, particularly when feeling bad, I escape into fantasy, but often masochistic, self-hurting fantasy. Imagining myself in the ‘deaths’ of all the Doctors. Imagining dying and then turning into someone else, someone alive and potent and different and not me. Better than me. Anyone else would be better than me.
I want to die, but I haven’t got the guts. I’m living for other people. I’m living because I don’t want to upset my parents, and maybe my sister and friends, and because I’m scared of pain and hurting myself permanently, but non-fatally. I don’t think good things will ever happen to me and I probably don’t believe that they should.
I finished the second draft of my Doctor Who book. Which is good. But I’m not going to have the time to do much else today, which is a pain, not least because of going out to eat.
I also went for a brisk half-hour walk. I feel calmer, probably because I tired myself out (I have little stamina these days), but still struggling with thoughts and fantasies. Apparently women with high-functioning autism are less likely to have special interests in mechanical objects (e.g. trains) and more likely to immerse themselves in fantasy worlds and to have trouble distinguishing fantasy and reality. In this, as in some other things, I come across more like an autistic woman than a typical autistic man. I fear that my grip on reality is not strong and one day I will flip over into psychosis (which I think is also more common in autistic people, although I’m not sure about that). My fantasy life is vivid, but unimaginative and alternates between narcissism and masochism associated with my suicidal thoughts, although working out which triggers which is a chicken and egg situation.