I’m struggling today, with depression, OCD and irrational guilt. The depression is probably from exhaustion as much as anything after the last three days. I just have no energy and low mood without particular depressive thoughts. Seder has disrupted my sleep pattern again. I was up until 3.30am or so last night writing my blog, but also because I was not tired from sleeping during the day too much. I slept until about 12.30pm today and then spent two and a half hours trying to get the energy to eat breakfast and get dressed.
The OCD is about kosher supermarkets, and whether all the food in them is kosher for Pesach if they aren’t rabbinically supervised. It’s silly really, as I buy food from there during the rest of the year without feeling the need to check the hechshers (rabbinic seals of approval). I just worry that we might have bought non-kosher for Pesach food by mistake.
The guilt is the silliest thing, because it’s not even primarily for things I have actually done. I was reading Neshamas.com, a website for people within the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) community where they can post anonymously about anything non-insulting. People write really moving stuff on there about abuse, crises of faith, confusion about their sexuality and so on. I was reading posts about abuse and marital rape and worrying that if I was married, I would be abusive, even though I have no evidence for that, and possibly some evidence against. It’s silly, really. I guess that’s low self-esteem, or more likely pure O OCD, which can make people feel guilty for things they haven’t done. My CBT therapist said that people who have OCD thoughts about abuse are the least likely to actually be abusive. Then I commented on some posts on Neshamas, but felt that I had said the wrong thing and might have made things worse and felt bad about that. It’s hard to know what to do sometimes.
I guess I have some other guilt too today. I’m not sure how justified it is. Sometimes I just have to cope anyway I can. So, for example, today I’m making an educated guess that I’m doing the right thing about the non-supervised, but kosher, supermarkets and carrying on eating food from there, assuming that the desire not to is just OCD. But it’s hard to know that it’s right; it could be that I’m just trying to find an excuse to stop worrying. Other things I know are wrong, but are hard to avoid e.g. being irritable when I’m depressed (although actually today I’m not particularly irritable, just exhausted). Also, I feel that I should be preparing for my interview tomorrow or doing Torah study or something semi-productive, but it’s hard, but because I’ve got the interview tomorrow I can’t say I’m taking Chol HaMoed as holiday.
I don’t think I really want the job I’m up for tomorrow. It’s similar to the job I did in further education, but with higher education students, which should be good, but I just remember how I messed up that job and how my boss thought I couldn’t cope. There’s a job description the length of my arm and I just think, “How can I do this?” I don’t know what I’ll say if I get asked why I want the job at the interview. I don’t know where I see myself in five years either, the other question my Dad says gets asked a lot. I don’t really feel able to cope with any kind of job that involves interactions with other people at the moment i.e. most of them. I feel I could be a writer or a lighthouse keeper and that’s about it. I feel I should take some positive steps towards becoming a writer, but I’m scared and taking on a career with no experience and no sure and steady income just because a few people have said I can write well. I feel I should earn a lot of money first to subsidise myself for a couple of years while I try to write, but there isn’t much chance of that happening.
I guess I’m feeling lonely too. I wish I could connect with someone, but it’s really hard. I just feel awful, all burnt out and depressed, unable to do anything. I did go for a twenty minute walk, but that’s about all I’ve done today. I want to do some Torah study, but I don’t have the energy, concentration or really the motivation. I suppose I could try to listen to a shiur (religious class) online for a bit.
I’m not particularly anxious, because the depression is so strong today that it drowns out the anxiety, but I’m vaguely worried about that OCD anxiety, about my exhausting my parents’ sympathy and patience for me, about my career, about dating L. (I don’t feel that anyone could love someone as messed up as I am) and so on.
I just feel like I want to cry right now.
One thing I forgot to talk about yesterday/last night regarding my seder was the idea that we are supposed to imagine that God redeemed us individually from Egypt. The idea is that if the exodus had not occurred, we would still be slaves 3,000 years later, or at least that we would still have a slave mentality and not be able to live truly free lives. I find this hard. I found I could imagine being a slave and I could imagine HaShem (God) being with me in slavery and suffering, but it was very hard to see myself as actually freed. I think I may have achieved it for a few seconds, but not for long. I guess it’s good that I think that God is with me in my suffering, which I wouldn’t have thought a little while ago.