I’ve been having weird dreams lately. I don’t usually remember my dreams, just fragments at most, but I woke up in the early hours after the dream I’m about to recount and it seemed significant enough that I got up and wrote some notes on it, which say more than I can remember now. I’m cutting out some details I don’t want to share.
In the dream I was dying and I knew it. I said a tearful goodbye to my sister. I said I did love her even though I knew I didn’t show it well. I said a shorter goodbye to my parents or possibly didn’t say goodbye to them at all, although they were there. Lots of other people came to say goodbye to me, but I didn’t see who they were as they were in another room; although they came to say goodbye, they weren’t supposed to come in until I had died.
My secondary school English teacher came in, but kept his distance. I said, “Sir, I’m dying of anxiety and ennui, I’m not contagious!” (“Dying of anxiety and ennui” – even my unconscious thinks I’m a drama queen.)
Dying felt like dozing off. I felt guilty, I think because everyone was upset, but I was excited that I was about to find out for sure if God really exists and get to meet Him, but then I remembered Gehennom (Purgatory) and became worried.
As I began to wake up from the dream, I realised I was not actually dying. There was no relief, just a sense of bathos and anticlimax, as well as guilt for overreacting and putting everyone to such trouble.
I guess the dream shows how morbid my thoughts can be and obsessed with death and having some kind of meaningful life. Also that I want to connect with God, but don’t know how to do it in this world, through Torah and mitzvot (commandments), only through dying. I do think, as I said, that my dream shows that I think I’m a drama queen. It also shows that I feel guilty about my relationships with my sister and maybe my parents, that they love me, but I can’t show them how I feel about them. Maybe I feel things differently because of the autism; certainly I show my feelings differently because of it. It was also interesting that my unconscious mind used the word ‘ennui,’ which is not a word I use very much consciously.
Today has mostly been a day for chores. My new phone seems to be up and running now. It wasn’t as complicated a process as I feared. I cooked vegetarian bean burgers, which took longer than I expected and fell to pieces. They’re the trickiest recipe in my repertoire; it’s always hard to get them to cohere. My parents liked them though. I also walked to the shops and did a lot of grocery shopping. I also went to the Judaica shop to buy more tzitzit (Jewish ritual fringed undergarment) to replace the ones I failed to retie the other week. The Judaica shop has a loyalty card scheme, but you need to spend £15 in one go to get a stamp (it’s literal card, not a digital card), so I bought some books I possibly didn’t need. I have several volumes of a multi-volume edition of Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) with no translation, but the commentary of Rashi (all in Hebrew). I’m trying to get the whole set, but it’s not clear how much has been published. I do like being able to look up Rashi without needing the translation (and Chabad.org has a translation online if I get stuck), but I probably didn’t urgently need the books, so that may be £10 spent frivolously at a time when I have zero income. The books should be useful over time, though. It’s always useful to have access to key commentaries on Tanakh if you can read them in the original, rather than rely on Rabbi Artscroll and Rabbi Google.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau contacted me to say I might be eligible for benefits after all, because of my depression, but it depends on how much I can or can’t work plus how much National Insurance I’ve paid in the last two years. The information they sent me doesn’t say how much I need to have paid, annoyingly, so I will have to phone them again. To be honest, I’m sceptical about (a) whether I will be considered “ill enough” to qualify for benefits and (b) whether I have paid enough National Insurance to qualify, as I have spent the last tax year in and out of work and I have only ever worked part-time.
I also submitted the article I tried to submit to a Jewish newspaper a few weeks ago to a different newspaper. This time I emailed it to the editor, community editor and features editor, which may be overkill, but I think I’m only going to sell my writing by bombarding people with it (I’m not joking). I got no response to the previous pitch, so even getting a rejection will be an improvement.
All of that took up most of the day, which was a bit disappointing. By the evening I was getting a migraine, which meant I didn’t really do any Torah study. I will try to do a few minutes before bed. My efficiency is a lot lower than it should be at the moment. By at the moment, I mean “When I’m depressed,” which is most of the time I’ve been an adult. I’m just completely exhausted now. This frustrates, upsets and worries me.
I did at least cope with hearing via the shul What’sApp about children being born to people my age without drifting into envy and loneliness. So I guess that’s an improvement.
I’m still watching Star Trek Discovery season one. I’m about three quarters of the way through. It’s good, but also relentlessly grim, which gets tiring after a while; it’s also occasionally too gory for my liking. It reminds me of Babylon 5, which I also liked a lot, but got very grim by season four. And between this and Deep Space Nine, I clearly find the mirror universe much less interesting than the average Star Trek writer.
I’m also still reading Gershom Scholem on the history of Kabbalah, which is interesting, but heavy-going in a different way.
I think I have a new favourite bizarre Wikipedia page: List of Presidents of the United States with facial hair. Who knew that Harry Truman grew a goatee while on holiday in 1948?