The house is very hot still and my bedroom seems to be significantly hotter than anywhere else even though the sun (which shines through the windows in the afternoons) has long set.  The house is also rather dark, as we’re keeping the lights off to stop heating it up any more.  I feel uncomfortable in the heat, which may or may not be an autistic sensory issue, it’s hard to tell.  It isn’t helped by having to wear so many layers for religious reasons.


I felt myself teetering on the brink of religious OCD again this morning.  The terrible “What if I’m doing X wrong?” feeling.  Apparently everyone has these thoughts, just as everyone has thoughts of “I’m stupid, I’m useless.”  OCD and anxiety start when we take the “What if…?” thoughts seriously, just as low self-esteem and depression starts when we take the self-critical thoughts seriously.  I did at least pull myself back from the brink, realising that these were just worrying thoughts with no basis, but there’s always a sort of residue of “But what if I should be taking this seriously?”  The OCD thoughts were about idol worship, so if I was doing something wrong, that would be a big thing to worry about, so perhaps it’s not surprising that the thoughts don’t go away immediately.

Since then my mood has mostly been good today, although I feel as if I haven’t really moved out of first gear, which might explain it.  It’s been hard to function in this heat and humidity.  I did a proofreading test (more on that below) and I’m reasonably confident about my abilities there, so that might be why I felt less out of place and incompetent than when I’m applying for jobs that I don’t think I can do.  I had some CBT homework to do and realised that I had missed some extra sheets on thought challenging.  I’m not sure if the therapist wanted me to do those during the whole week for tomorrow.  I’m trying not to catastrophise about that and I did at least manage to do some thought challenging today.  I also spent about forty-five minutes on Torah study as I effectively didn’t do any yesterday because of my headache.  So I did a few things, but I feel that I could have done more, certainly if it wasn’t so hot and if I’d really managed to get going properly.


Regarding thought challenging, I noticed comparing myself to others came up quite a bit just this evening and I think it comes up generally.  I see some people I was at school with in the area I live and they all seem settled with jobs (I assume), families, friends, apparently a settled religious life…  I know that I don’t really know what their lives are like.  People could have invisible health issues, strained marriages, financial issues, work issues, religious doubts and confusion.  Nor do I know what the future holds; maybe the coming decades will be better for me.  Still, I just wonder why they appear to have everything they need to be happy and I don’t.  But I suppose if I go down this path I either end up asking why I psychologically need to compare myself to others, which would be a question for psychodynamic psychotherapy, or why good people suffer, which would be a question for theology.  Either way, it’s not really a question for a CBT approach.  I suppose underneath it all is the psychological-theological fear that God will somehow overlook me or punish me and never reward me for trying to be a good Jew.  I don’t really know what the answer to that is. I don’t believe that God would overlook anyone, but somehow if someone was overlooked, I just know it would be me.  Maybe this is why I’ve often struggled with CBT; somehow it tries to get me to sweep my fears under the carpet.


On a somewhat related note, I’m probably being interviewed on Friday by someone writing a book on mental illness in the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) community.  I’m not entirely sure what she wants to ask about, but maybe it will be a chance to have an idea of whether other people in the community have similar issues with acceptance.


I struggled to sleep again last night.  My room gets very hot even with the windows open and the electric fan on.  Plus after my headache went I didn’t feel at all sleepy, but I did feel hungry, so I stayed up too long eating and pottering (I think Americans say ‘puttering’).  It’s good to potter sometimes.  Lately although I don’t actually do much, or not as much as I would like, I’m always trying to get through a long list of things to do, so I don’t really potter.  It’s good to flick through books and do odd chores and just think about things.  I didn’t fall asleep until about 5.00am, which was ridiculous and primarily the fault of the heat.  I hope I sleep better tonight.


I did a test today for some freelance proofreading that I pitched for.  I’m worried about being too fast as I was asked how quickly I can read 3,000 words and, not having proofread professionally before, I didn’t know.  If I was proofreading my own work it would not take that long, but my writing doesn’t have major errors to untangle.  I looked a bit online and 1,000 words an hour seems to be normal, but I’m not sure if that’s for ordinary proofreading or proofreading in translation.  The test passage was fairly straightforward, but I’m guessing someone who pays a third party to proofread their PhD dissertation (or whatever) is probably not confident with spelling and grammar and needs more attention.  So I’m not entirely sure what the ‘right’ answer is to this question.  I did the test in quarter of an hour for 1,350 words, which made me worry I was going much too fast.

It’s hard to start out on something new like this.  One of the friends who fell out with me recently was a proofreader, which makes everything seem more painful as I could have spoken to her for advice, but I don’t dare to get back in contact.


Freudian slip of the day: writing an email about the voluntary work opportunity my parents want me to investigate, I nearly asked what roles are “avoidable” rather than “available.”  Oh dear.  Anyway, I will be investigating this voluntary opportunity further, but I do feel vaguely that doing charity work instead of paid work is somehow a backwards step and further cements my self-image as Mr Useless Depressive Autistic Freak.

6 thoughts on “Too Hot!

  1. That sounds like a potentially very interesting interview on Friday.

    Forty-five minutes of Torah study seems like a substantial amount (at least in relative terms) that’s worth giving yourself credit for.


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