I woke up early with some religious OCD thoughts. I did at least have the presence of mind to realise that the thoughts were not going to go away while I was lying in bed and that eating something might help as I typically wake up with low blood sugar, and low blood sugar tends to correlate with a worsening of my mental health. This worked reasonably well and helped me bring the thoughts under control. The thoughts are still there somewhat and part of me wants to ask my rabbi mentor about them, but I know that I shouldn’t as I have already asked him and I think he said it was OK (I can’t remember for sure, which is where the OCD comes in). Doubly OK, in fact, as it’s a question about a past situation, and my rabbi mentor has told me that halakhically (according to Jewish law) one can assume everything in the past was done OK unless there is strong evidence to the contrary.
I sent off three job applications today (relatively straightforward ones) and spent a while navigating through the benefits maze to see if I am eligible for anything. It’s difficult to get through to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, and the Department of Work and Pensions website doesn’t say how much I need to have contributed in terms of National Insurance while I was in work to qualify for benefits now. It is also hard to navigate through the multiplicity of benefits available, each with their own eligibility criteria. And it is hard to know what to think when I am told I am not ill enough to qualify for most benefits, but apparently have not worked enough to qualify for others.
I had some other negative money news today that I won’t go into here, but depresses me more, even though the tangible effect on me is negligible, as I wasn’t relying on the money in question.
I hate living off other people, whether state benefits or my parents. I don’t think that unemployed people are parasites. Nor do I think that peoples’ worth depends on their income or their job (what I call The Really Useful Engine Fallacy – thinking I have to be of use to others to justify my existence). I do think that work would give more meaning to my life, if I could find work that was in my scope, given my issues. I do also think that I may need to work on my self-esteem more in CBT to increase that scope, because the three jobs I’ve had in the last year and a bit have depleted my self-confidence. I wish I had a better idea of what I’m good at. Careers advisers have not really been much use here; they seem to expect you to have some idea of what you want to do and so they can tell you what you should do to get there.
At the risk of falling victim to The Really Useful Engine Fallacy myself, I feel that I have wasted today. I got up early, but procrastinated a lot. I didn’t feel too depressed initially, but by mid-afternoon I was feeling that I would never find the right job and that made me feel more depressed, which made it harder to do anything. I get the impression that I am not using PeoplePerHour.com correctly to find freelance proofreading work. I think I should possibly be pitching for work rather than waiting for people to see my profile, but I don’t really know what I’m capable of doing and am wary of committing to something and not being able to follow through.
I did go for a run, but got tired out quickly and walked quite a bit (I think I’m bad at pacing myself initially). Then I stopped after twenty minutes because I was getting a terrible headache, which still hasn’t completely gone four hours later. But it was my first run in more or less exactly a year. According to my records, I only ran nine times in 2018, so I’ve got a chance to at least try and improve on that in the second half of 2019. And I did do some Torah study (not as much as I would have liked because of the headache) and worked on my Doctor Who book for a while (another chapter sorted, but not so many words cut). So, it probably has been a reasonable day again, but again it doesn’t quite feel like it.