“I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams.” Hamlet, William Shakespeare
I felt a huge amount of anger with HaShem (God) yesterday evening. I’m just so lonely and feel so useless and I can’t see any way out. It’s illogical to be angry with Him about my own failings, but I feel that if I wasn’t autistic and depressed, I wouldn’t be so lonely and isolated, which leads on to anger with Him for making me autistic (blame for the depression is more complicated). I feel if I wasn’t autistic, I would be able to function in the frum (religious) world as He wants, but as it is, I can’t function.
I didn’t know how to process the anger, so I ended up hurting myself for the first time in a while. I hit my legs with my fists while trying to talk to HaShem; later I scratched myself slightly, but I’m not quite sure why I did that. I have been fantasising about death again lately too, mainly just thinking that however bad things are here, one day I’ll be dead and unable to feel any more pain.
I’m still struggling with what to do about dating. It still feels wrong, morally wrong, to date while I’m not just unemployed, but not even sure what I want to do with my life any more. And I can’t face the thought of rejection and it seems there are so many reasons why someone would reject me (autistic, depressed, weird geeky interests, didn’t go to yeshiva or otherwise tick the appropriate frum boxes) even without being unemployed too. Nor do I look forward to having to turn down someone I don’t feel is right for me. And I’m wary of thinking that things will be better if I’m in a relationship (although it is true that I have felt better when I’ve been in a relationship in the past, even if I wasn’t “recovered”).
However, I just feel so lonely. I feel like everyone has their partner except me. This is blatantly untrue (a number of my friends are single), but reflects how I feel. I feel that I am mostly self-contained. I don’t need other people with me all the time. I have solitary hobbies and even things like watching TV I prefer to do alone (I don’t like watching TV with other people because I don’t watch TV casually. I don’t channel hop, I only watch things I want to watch and which I think are worth my time, but then I watch them with complete concentration and dislike noise and interruptions, particularly as the programmes I watch tend to be plot-heavy and reasonably complex to follow). I should really be happy living alone as I’m an introvert and a bit of a loner. But, as seen when my parents are away, when I’m actually alone, I do get more depressed, even though logically I should welcome being alone. I do, on some level, need people around me, even if I don’t interact with them much. I also need to be able to love and to feel loved and I’m rather starved of both of these things and have been much of my life. My parents and my sister do care about me, but there are so difficulties in those relationships, most probably stemming from my autism and my having different “love languages” to my family. We probably aren’t very good at showing love to each other in ways the other person can comprehend.
I try to cope with things and be self-contained (“If you are miserable alone, you will be miserable in a relationship” as everyone says), but I just feel so unbearably lonely and unloved that it’s impossible to escape the depression for long.
I saw the psychiatrist today. It didn’t go well. She focused on my unemployment, repeatedly telling me that I should get a job, which wasn’t terribly helpful. She did suggest doing voluntary work, which is probably a good idea. I didn’t feel like she was really listening, nor did I have the confidence to tell her that my depression and social anxiety are just as bad, if not worse, when I’m working, because of issues surrounding autism and mental illness in the workplace. In fact, I haven’t told this psychiatrist about my autism at all, as the last one said that if I’ve been told I haven’t got it by the Maudsley Hospital, I don’t have it and that’s final. As my GP has referred me for another assessment at the Maudsley, I’m not going to raise the issue again until I’ve had that assessment.
As well as sounding disappointed with me for not having a job, she sounded disappointed with me for not having friends. I said I had “one or two” which is a simplification (I have two or three I’m in contact with regularly, but via text as they live elsewhere; I have one or two friends who live locally, but I usually only see them in shul (synagogue)). I couldn’t really be bothered to explain as she didn’t seem interested and I was struggling to understand her accent; possibly she was struggling with mine too. She asked if I am in a relationship; she didn’t really react when I said I’m not. When she asked what I do when I’m not job hunting, I said I write a bit, which she misheard as “write a book” which is basically true so I didn’t correct her.
She asked if I have thoughts of self-harm or suicide and I said yes, because I have had them in the last couple of days, but she didn’t really seem to care as I said I wouldn’t act on the suicidal thoughts, which is probably true, and that I wouldn’t act on the self-harm thoughts, which was a lie because I did last night. I don’t know why I lied; probably because it was very minor and I just wanted to get out of the appointment room. I just didn’t feel comfortable opening up to her as she seemed to just want to process me quickly and get to the next patient and seemed to think that finding a job will be a panacea for me.
Today’s potential jobs: a school librarian maternity cover job (I don’t want to work in further education again after struggling previously); an “information assistant” that seems to be a library assistant role rather than an assistant librarian and has a lethal-looking commute; and a role billed as “knowledge librarian” but which also seems to be a library assistant role rather than a trained librarian role, judging from the lack of professional skills in the job description and which also requires SharePoint experience that I don’t have. I was then reminded that I applied for a “knowledge librarian” role a few days ago; I think it was the same job as the job descriptions are similar, although it’s hard to be sure, as both jobs are advertised through different agencies and don’t state the name of the company that is advertising the job (this happens a lot and is very frustrating).
It is probably no wonder that I really want to do something else with my life, something I find more rewarding. But, just as I don’t have the courage to start dating again, I don’t have the courage (or knowledge and perhaps the ability) to try to write professionally.
I feel like I’m coming down with a migraine, so the rest of the day is probably a wipe-out now.