I couldn’t sleep last night. When we came home from the restaurant I blogged for a bit, then did my night routine, but even though I got to bed late, I couldn’t sleep. Eventually I got up and ate porridge even though I wasn’t hungry in the hope that the warm milk would help me sleep. I read for a while (about the false messiah Shabbetai Tzvi – while I knew about him, his story was even crazier than I thought. I always feel sorry for him, as he probably suffered from bipolar disorder, but in the seventeenth century no one had any idea what that was, so he was just allowed to run riot with disastrous results) and eventually fell asleep. I think, as with some Friday nights recently, doing something social (dinner with family) and then going to bed without taking time to really unwind stops me from sleeping.
The heat didn’t help either. My bedroom turns into a blast furnace in the afternoons at the moment as the sun shines right through the main window all afternoon. I have the blinds drawn to keep the sun out of my eyes; I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse. It is still hot in my room by the time I go to bed.
I’m looking for proofreading work again. Someone advertised for a proofreader on the website I’m on; within quarter of an hour they had five offers. I’m not sure how I can compete with that as someone with no professional proofreading experience. I pitched for one job, potentially a long-term post, but I’m not optimistic. This took much longer than it should have done, because I felt overwhelmed and anxious about putting myself out there.
I struggled again to get an answer about whether I can claim benefits. The government website had a dead link and I struggled to find the number of the Citizens [sic] Advice Bureau on their website; when I did find it and called, it was shut for the day, even though it was supposed to be open for another ten minutes.
I’m also struggling to work out which job, of a pile of unsuitable jobs, is the least unsuitable and most worth applying for. It would be hard to tell even without executive function issues. Scarily, it seems to make sense to apply for a library assistant job, even though I would be very over-qualified, it is very low pay and has very short hours (ten or twelve hours a week). I’m beginning to think that I can’t actually do a librarian job and I should just accept that if I’m lucky I’m going to be stuck in an unskilled job forever.
I started to apply for the job, but I had to write about how I meet the job specification and I am ridiculously over-qualified (it requires five GCSEs and I have an MA) for a job that is just carting books around a library… I couldn’t face it. I spoke to my parents about it. They think I should go for it. I worry they think I’m just being difficult or precious and that I should apply for whatever work I can do. Or perhaps I should try applying for a school librarian position, but I can’t see that going well, both from the point of view of my lack of experience and my previous sojourn in further education.
I applied for the library assistant job in the end and also for a law librarian post. I’m hoping that the library assistant employers will see me as overqualified and not interview me, although I messed up a library assistant interview a few months ago so I’m possibly not that overqualified. I did keep saying in the personal statement area that I’m a qualified librarian to try to ram the point home. I feel such a screw up.
Similarly, my parents are trying to get me to do some voluntary work with a charity my sister’s in-laws are involved with. I’ve been emailed with some information, but not enough to tell what I would be doing. I want to email for more information, but they want me to phone. Like a lot of autistic people, I hate using the phone. I just get confused when I have to talk on the phone, even more so than I do in person. I’ve seen other autistic people online say, “I have an issue with X because of autism, so I just avoid it and I don’t care what neurotypicals think/say.” I wish I could be that forceful, but whenever autism comes up and I say something to other people, I end up feeling like I’m being weak, petty and precious again. Maybe what other people think only hurts because I half believe I’m weak, petty and precious myself. Would things be better with an autism diagnosis? At least in terms of self-acceptance? Who knows.
I know I’ve written in the past about not knowing what my mission in life is. I now think it is something to do with writing, but I don’t know what exactly. But I have to live, so I have to try to find some dead-end job I can vaguely do to earn a crust and try to cram writing in during lunch, evenings and weekends. When I’m writing, at least about things I know about, things actually make sense and seem achievable, which is not the case when I do pretty much anything else. On that note: I finished another chapter of the fourth draft of my Doctor Who book today.
I probably did manage quite a few hours of “work” today, between the job application, the search for proofreading work and the work on my book, although only the latter is satisfying. I also cooked dinner (very easy recipe because I didn’t have time) and went for a run – only twenty minutes as I got a bad headache again and this time was actually sick; I guess it really is too hot to run at the moment, but I needed to burn off my frustrations. I don’t think I’ll run again until the heatwave is over, unless by some miracle I wake up at 5.00am one day. I’m not sure whether I will do any Torah study today as a result of the headache, and I won’t be eating the spicy rice I cooked today. I feel better now having spent time watching TV; I didn’t feel I could give Smiley’s People the attention it deserved, so deliberately picked a silly episode of The Avengers (Take Me To Your Leader).
This story probably doesn’t reflect well on me, but here goes: I have just met (online) someone frum (religious Orthodox Jewish), female and with mental health issues. Naturally, I immediately started to wonder if we were compatible in other ways and would end up dating. Googling, I discovered she is married. A relationship created out of nothing and destroyed in an hour or so. I live in a fantasy world. Sometimes I feel pathetic.
I suppose if I do periodically meet women who are frum and have mental health issues it must be within the realms of possibility to meet someone who could match with me one day. It is hard to keep believing that when most of the women I meet are not frum or not Jewish or not single or not accepting of mental health issues. I just wish I didn’t jump from crush to crush with few things going beyond the crush stage. If I’m going to be single long-term, I’d much rather not having crushes at all. I find crushing a horrible, painful state, but I’ve been stuck in it for twenty years.
It’s not all doom and gloom: my other birthday presents arrived: the Maggid Studies in Tanakh volume on Bereshit/Genesis and volume three of the complete short fiction of Philip K. Dick. I’ve got several of the Maggid Studies books on the Hebrew Bible and have mostly found them really useful (mixture of traditional and modern scholarship). Philip K. Dick is one of my favourite authors and I have the first two volumes of this set already.
And today’s real world news makes me think there is hope for me as any clown can be a success in life (all it takes is the right schools and relatives…). It’s given me a new game too: take a famous quotation from a previous Prime Minister, add the word “Dude” and see how instantly less intelligent and sophisticated it sounds e.g. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few dudes,” “You turn if you want to, the dude’s not for turning,” “Most of our dudes have never had it so good,” and so on. Hours of fun. I think my favourite is “It’s time to put up or shut up, dude” for the image it gives of a Bill and Ted remake with John Major and John Redwood in the lead roles.