I couldn’t sleep again last night. This seems to be happening to me more and more frequently, which may be a sign of worsening depression. I was very anxious and depressed at work again, blaming myself for mistakes, real and imagined. I somehow got through the morning. The afternoon was easier from a mental health point of view; eating really does help my mood and I wonder if I should eat more for breakfast, although that sounds quite crazy. I eat a bowl of porridge and try to eat a banana mid-morning for a boost. I’m not quite sure what else I could eat that early and without finding significantly more time.
The afternoon, as I said, was easier from a mental health point of view, but it was still hard. I was emailing departmental administrators for various departments in the university and in other local universities and art schools to try to publicise an event we (our part of the library) are running in two weeks time. I’m not good at this kind of thing. I was just glad it was emailing and not phoning. I was exhausted by the end of the day. I intended to walk home from the station, but I suddenly realised as I got there that I was too tired and I had to phone my Dad for a lift. I hate doing that – I hate having to give up my independence and I dislike missing the exercise, but I would not have made it home easily.
I felt bad about bickering with my Dad again when I got home. I read a blog written by a career for a child with severe autism. He often comes out of school grumpy from having had to mask his autism all day. My autism isn’t so severe, but it is an effort to mask it all day, plus I’m masking depression and social anxiety too. When I get home, the last thing I need is Dad doing his neurotypical talking act: making small talk and talking about people I don’t know and who don’t interest me; rambling from one topic to another; and using words incorrectly and asking questions he knows the answers to just to keep the conversation going and I become irritable and sarcastic. By that stage, I just don’t have the energy to feign an interest. I feel bad about this, but I don’t know what I can do.
When I couldn’t sleep last night I had a number of thoughts in my head, although I’m not sure if I couldn’t sleep because of my thoughts, or if I was thinking because I couldn’t sleep.
Thought 1: my Mum forwarded me an email yesterday from a Jewish advertising mailing list. A magazine (it didn’t say which one) is looking for a part-time writer to cover national and international news with excellent writing and analysis skills as well as clear understanding of the UK Jewish community. The job is partly based at home, partly in an office. I’m not entirely sure where this job is heading, but I might as well apply for it, even though I have always insisted (and still do insist, really) that my writing talents don’t really lend themselves to journalism and even though I fear that the office is open-plan and therefore bad for autism.
Thought 2: in a moment of weakness yesterday I reactivated my account on a big Jewish dating website. I only did it for a few minutes. I just wanted to get some idea of how many Jewish women roughly my age and religious level there were in the UK. I didn’t actually look at that because the home page shows you people in your area (not sure if that’s London or the whole of the UK – it’s an international site and the Anglo-Jewish community isn’t that large) who have recently joined and I recognised someone as the daughter of friends of my parents. My Mum tried to set me up with this woman a while back, on the grounds that she was frum (religious) and had had mental health issues. However, at the time she was dating someone else. That has obviously now fallen through.
I would still be open to going out with her and I looked at her profile and there are definitely some points of commonality, but I was too terrified to do anything and suspended my account again. I probably wouldn’t rejoin the site anyway, as it was rather a waste of money, but I might have asked Mum to try and set us up again if I wasn’t so depressed and feeling inadequate for being out of a job in two weeks time. Just to make it harder to justify trying to meet her, she had put on her profile that she has a professional job and seeks someone else with a career. On a non-Jewish dating site, I would read that as “no lazy layabouts” but on a frum Jewish site it’s as likely to mean “no frummies who want to spend all their time learning in yeshiva/kollel (rabbinical seminary) and being supported by their wives/in-laws/state benefits.”
I feel vaguely optimistic about this when really I shouldn’t considering I have never spoken to this woman, may never see her again, and have no idea if she would like me or have much in common with me. I’m not optimistic enough to try to meet her, though, as I would rather beat myself up endlessly for being underemployed and soon to be unemployed.
Thought 3: a friend is going through a difficult breakup. I suddenly realised that I’m going through the same feelings of desire and anger with God. That’s probably not exactly true, but it sums things up better than that awful phrase “a crisis of faith.” I don’t have trouble believing God exists, I have trouble believing He doesn’t want to hurt me because of how my life has been for the last twenty years. And yet I want this relationship to work, somehow. I want Him to take me back.
On that note, Shiur (religious class) was good today, although I’m not sure whether I can remember what was discussed in enough detail to really reflect on it, let alone internalise it. Plus there were the usual social grey areas that I struggled with. For example, the assistant rabbi said that realistically many people need to watch TV to unwind, however one should do it only to refresh oneself and only “appropriate” material. I wonder how my viewing habits would be seen to fit with this. Possibly not very much. I’m trying to psyche myself up to dressing up (cosplaying, if you want) as the fourth Doctor on Purim next week, but I’m not sure that I’ve got the courage to risk comments. Not even negative comments, just any comments. (Plus, as cosplaying goes, it’s not very accurate; I’ve got an accurate fourth Doctor scarf a friend knitted, but the rest would Doctorish clothes, a Doctorish silhouette if you like, but not exactly like what Tom Baker actually wore, but I don’t think anyone there will notice that.)