I didn’t really want to write anything tonight, but I have a niggling feeling of needing to get speak about a couple of things before I can sleep.

It’s Rosh Chodesh Ellul now, the New Moon of the month of Ellul, the month before Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year).  It’s a month of introspection, self-assessment and personal growth.  There is a lot to say about this, and about my anxieties about the various Yom Tovim (festivals) that follow in the month afterwards, but I don’t have the headspace, energy or time to do that now.  Hopefully I will write about all this soon, perhaps a lot over the next month.

What I will say is that I had a typical Shabbat (Sabbath): shul (synagogue) last night, insomnia, oversleeping and missing morning shul (I woke up at 8.00am, but felt so depressed, exhausted and socially anxious that I went back to sleep for another four and a half hours), dozing in the afternoon again, shul again in the evening.  It’s frustrating that I want to change my life, get to shul on Shabbat mornings, stop dozing during Shabbat afternoons, but I don’t seem to manage to do it for more than isolated one-off times.  Something that happened at shul upset me too, not something that happened directly to me, but someone got extremely angry, quite unfairly, over something at shul and started screaming and shouting in a very immature way.  He has done this type of thing before.  I guess he has anger management issues.  I find that type of thing very upsetting, even though he wasn’t angry with me, and it took me some hours to feel OK again.

The other thing that upset me was that one of my friends at shul asked if I daven (pray) at such-and-such a shul during the week.  I said yes, and it wasn’t technically a lie, as I do occasionally daven at that shul (my parents’ shul), but it was really a deceit, as these days I either daven at my shul or at home.  Because of the depression and social anxiety, I generally daven at home rather than with a minyan (prayer quorum).  I know this is wrong, but I am just not able to do otherwise at the moment.  I should have said that to him, but I just panicked and lied and now I feel bad about it.  I know I should be more open about my mental health issues and the way they affect me, at least with someone friendly like this person, but I find it so hard.  I’m so scared of how people will react.  I  know if I had a physical illness like cancer no one would expect me to daven with a minyan every day, but people are not as understanding for invisible illness especially mental illness.  But not saying anything perpetuates the stigma.  It’s hard to know what to do.  I guess that’s something to think about in my Ellul introspection.

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