Today has been a “brain stuffed with cotton wool day,” my term for days when the depression just makes me feel sluggish and unable to think.  This happens sometimes: I get better for a bit, in terms of mood, and then after a number of days or weeks or even months, I crash back into depression again.  Then I blame myself and feel I’ve let my family, friends and therapist down.  But I always end up back in depression eventually.

I had another job rejection today.  I don’t really expect to get anything any more and I’m a bit scared of what would happen if I did.  After my experiences over the last year or two, I struggle to believe I could do any job well.  I applied for two jobs today, one directly (it was just a case of sending my CV) and the other by contacting an agency that is supposed to be looking for work for me and asking why they hadn’t put me forward for this job.  The job is just over a two month contract (it’s sick leave cover) and has a lot of very specific criteria for such a short-term job (some of which were revealed to the agency but not clear from the job description online).  The problem for me (aside from getting the job) is the amount of time I would need to take off in the next two months for Yom Tov (Jewish festivals) and leaving early on Fridays and before Yom Tov.  The other job-related thing I did today was emailing my line manager from my job earlier this year to see if there were any vacancies there, but no luck.

I tried to spend a bit of time on my novel, revising the plan, but it was too painful to work while feeling this depressed and I had to stop quite quickly.  I’ve cut the first few chapters completely and am trying to make another character into a bigger character and making him another narrator in addition to the two narrators I already have (changing narrative voice in different chapters).  But this was taking a lot more energy than I had.  It will make the book much less autobiographical more of an independent work of fiction, which is probably for the best.  I spent nearly £15 on research books on domestic abuse for the novel, which will be depressing reading, but necessary.

I didn’t even try to go for a walk because of the weather (rain) and feeling depressed and drained.  A run was completely out of the question.  I managed ten minutes of very basic Torah study and that was all.  I did polish some of the silver for my parents, but I managed to get silver polish down my trousers.

I finally spoke to my parents about the group WhatsApp message I got inviting me (and a load of other people) to the vort (engagement party) of the son of someone I know from shul (synagogue) and shiur (religious class)To my relief, they don’t agree with mass invites either and felt there was no moral obligation to force myself to go to the party or to give a present.  I don’t know why this (group invitations) is common in frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) circles.

I’ve been invited out for dinner on Friday at the shul friend I went to a couple of weeks ago.  Another shul friend and his wife will be there too.  I decided to go, as these are my only real shul friends, but I’m nervous that it will exhaust me before the Yom Tov (Jewish festival) season starts properly on Sunday evening.  I’m worried that I’m still recovering from dinner at the rabbi’s on Friday, although my parents are sceptical that that’s the reason.  It’s another time when non-disabled people don’t necessarily understand the “spoon debt” loss of energy involved.

I watched The Peanuts Movie with my Dad while I was polishing the silver.  He enjoyed it, but I felt it wasn’t that funny and I wasn’t sure they should have given it such a big happy ending, although I appreciate that adapting a comic strip that is significantly about failure and loneliness for the big screen is going to be problematic.  There’s the problem of audience (that the comic was aimed primarily at an older audience even though children read it, while the film is going to end up being seen primarily by children), but the bigger problem is that in print, Charlie Brown can suffer all kinds of things because we know he’ll be back again tomorrow, but on the screen, that last impression of failure would seem more final.  This being the case, I can see why they wanted to give it a happy ending, but I didn’t think it really worked.  Or maybe I’m just worried that secretly people think I’m a good person, which would spoil my self-image of being a wishy-washy failure.

6 thoughts on ““Curse you, Red Baron!”

  1. Do you ever write yourself notes when your not depressed? Something that will help hold you together during your depression? Just a reminder of how things are when things are going good… Just so you know that whatever your going through will pass. You seem like you know yourself very well so I’m sure you’ve tried everything.

    I think you should take the job. You never know what could happen. It might be your golden opportunity for a new permanent job. I might be wrong because you have other commitments. I just know how depressed I was for 8 months straight. Sick to my stomach every day all day.. For 8 months. I thought I was a failure that I was going to be poor my whole life. That I would be all alone one day… Bc the chances of me finding love is slim to none. And I would never bring children into this world… Anyway.. I finally got a chance at a good job and I really think that was the only thing that snapped me out of my deep depression. It was so bad I didn’t even shower regularly and I worked in a restaurant. Nasty.. I know.. But anyway… This job really might change things for you.

    I also don’t know if it’s a good idea to write or even think about your book when your depressed. You might feel different about your work when you are feeling positive.

    Are you bipolar?

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    1. You mean writing inspirational notes? I’ve never done that. I wouldn’t know what to write.

      Writing is the main thing I feel positive about when I’m depressed, so I don’t want to give up on it completely.

      I’m not bipolar, no.

      Thanks for commenting!

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        1. Oh, I see. Yeah, that’s good advice.

          I don’t write inspirational notes. I don’t know that I have the right mind for that. I do save positive and supportive emails and blog comments that I get from other people, although I don’t often remember to read them when I’m depressed.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Some thoughts … you say you feel you have let your family friends and therapist down. I can just about understand the first two, but your therapist? Surely it should be the other way round? … Also, just imagine you were indisposed because you were suffering from chronic back pain, or some other “physical” disease? Would you still feel guilty? Depression is an illness – and ASD is a disability. Although not everyone understands this do try to be kinder to yourself and even congratulate yourself that you are persevering and achieving against quite incredible odds.

    Job rejections – do you ever ask for feedback as to why you were rejected, particularly after a job interview? This could be very helpful. You may be missing out because you are not selling yourself – and I wonder if there is any coaching here that might help. Also perhaps consider some careers advice?

    Group invites via WhatsApp – I think this is a generational thing not just confined to your particular group. The good thing about them is you can ignore them and not come across as impolite. The bad thing about them is they are impersonal, and as you say, you can’t quite tell if the person really wants your company or not.

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    1. Maybe it’s not rational to feel I let my therapist down, but I feel it all the same. I’m dreading seeing her this week.

      I would not feel guilty if I was physically ill, no. But somehow with depression I feel I should be coping better by now (twenty years!). It’s not rational. Some of it is worrying how I seem to other people who don’t know my issues. People at shul who see I come late or not at all and who here that I’m still unemployed. Again, not rational, I know.

      I ask for feedback after job interviews, although it’s rarely helpful I find. With other rejections, they usually send a standard email saying that they have so many candidates they can’t give personal feedback.

      I am trying to get some careers advice.

      You are probably right about group invites being a generational thing.

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