I feel really depressed today and I can’t work out why.  I’m utterly drained of energy, motivation and concentration and my mood is very bleak.  I can’t do anything.  I’m struggling just to get ready for Shabbat (the Sabbath) and to do my CBT homework.  I struggled to go for a short walk to do some shopping, not helped by the fact I’m still aching from running for the first time in a year on Wednesday.  I’m not even going to try to do job applications or work on my books or phone the Citizens Advice Bureau about benefits.

Perhaps this is because tomorrow is my birthday and I feel pretty miserable about it.  Firstly, tomorrow is the Hebrew date of 17 Tammuz, which is a very sad day on which a lot of bad things happened.  It’s a fast day, but the fast is postponed to Sunday (because you can’t fast minor fasts on Shabbat/Sabbath), which is something at least.  One shouldn’t mourn on Shabbat, so at least I don’t have to be miserable.  Then my Hebrew birthday (lots of frum/religious people celebrate Hebrew birthdays now rather than solar ones, although there is no real tradition of celebrating either, and some important Medieval rabbis said it’s the solar one that counts) is three weeks and a day later on 10 Av.  9 Av is an even sadder fast day than 17 Tammuz, but 9 Av is on a Shabbat this year too, so gets postponed to 10 Av i.e. my Hebrew birthday.  So it feels like I’m being told to be miserable on my birthday this year, even without taking in to account that I will be thirty-six, unemployed, single, depressed and generally feeling like I have done nothing with the thirty-six years I have already had.


Last night I dreamt I was in Oxford (I think) and was given a semi-rabbinical job giving occasional sermons in the shul (synagogue).  I was very anxious, but everyone seemed to want to hear me.  Huh.


I’m also feeling depressed by antisemitism, and the failure of people usually (rightly) sensitive to stereotypes and structural prejudice to even notice antisemitism unless it’s skinheads doing Hitler salutes and shouting “Gas the Jews!” (and sometimes not even then).

4 thoughts on ““We are far too young and clever”

  1. Well, I suppose if nothing else it gives you an excuse to feel miserable on your birthdays. I’m inclined to think birthdays should just stop existing after about 25 or so.


  2. I think depression feeds on itself and can become a downward spiral. From what your write this particularly bad episode seems to have started yesterday – with some negative and disturbing dreams – misunderstanding with the CBT therapist – antisemitism in the news etc. As you know how bad it can get, a taste of it sets you up for expecting more of the same. (Much like if you worry you are not going to sleep it becomes self-fulfilling). Also, occasions when you are meant to be happy e.g. birthdays can end up making you feel worse given the stark contrast between what you think you ought to feel and what you actually are feeling.

    I’m interested that some of your dreams do contain glimmers of hope which you are probably not up to recognizing as you are feeling so low. Your dream about teaching in the Oxford synagogue and being surprised that people wanted to hear you is positive though you dismiss it. … Hope your birthday turns out better than you fear.


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