I feel awful.  The month of Tishrei (the month chock-full of festivals, each with their own unique stress for me and my issues) doesn’t even begin for another hour and a half, but I already feel exhausted.  I don’t know how I managed to get up this morning.  I just wanted to stay in bed.  I still want to go back to bed.  I somehow dragged myself out of bed, ate breakfast and davened (prayed) a tiny bit of Shacharit (morning prayers) at the very last minute.  (I almost never have the time and energy to say much of Shacharit, which is quite a long service even on weekdays without the extra Shabbat and Yom Tov (Sabbath and festival) prayers, and I usually daven it at the last minute.  Mornings are my worst time for depression.)

I’m back to how I was feeling last year, more or less hoping that I don’t get written for another year of life because I just can’t cope with this world and feel I’m not contributing anything to it.  The chance of God inscribing me for a good life seems so remote as to be impossible; death really does seem the only way out.  I’m not suicidal though.  I just want not to be here.  I don’t think I’m going to manage to finish my novel; anything else (career, family, community) seems even more impossible.  I’m not suicidal, but I really feel that I don’t want to be here any more, for all that I know my family and E. would be upset by that.  I do feel guilty (for my family and E., not for the religious reasons God wants me to stay alive), but also worn down to nothingness by my life.

The weather (wet and miserable) isn’t helping my mood at all.  I feel like I don’t care whether I make it to shul (synagogue) over Yom Tov (festival), not even for the shofar, the blowing of the ram’s horn trumpet, the primary commandment of the day.  People blow the shofar outside of shul for people who are sick and can’t get to shul (in my previous community the rabbi used to walk to the local hospital to blow for Jews there), but I haven’t got the courage to tell anyone that I might not hear it and arrange to hear it privately or with other sick people because feel guilty that I’ll miss shul because I’m depressed and asleep.  It doesn’t feel like a valid reason to ask for special treatment.  I don’t know if I care or not about missing the shofar.  It’s hard to tell.  Right now I feel like I might not not even make it to shul in the evenings, even though I usually find those services less stressful.  I just want to withdraw.  I  just want curl up and sleep.  I don’t trust myself to pray spontaneously to HaShem (God) because I’m worried what I might say to Him, that I might ask to die or something.  I’m safer with the set prayers, but I’m not sure how much energy I have to read the very different and longer prayers of Rosh Hashanah.

I just feel barely functional today.  I didn’t manage anything other than Yom Tov chores – no working on my novel or studying Torah.  I don’t know how I’m going to get through shul tonight at all, and it’s not even a long service (about forty minutes).  With our previous rabbi, people used to stay behind after first night Rosh Hashanah to get a personalised blessing from the rabbi.  I’m not sure if the new rabbi will do that.  I’m not sure how I feel about that generally (asking for blessings from people is something that I feel uncomfortable with, at least with the way it’s done in Haredi circles) and I’m nervous as to what he might say.  The previous rabbi knew about my issues last year and wished me a year of equanimity, which was nice even if it didn’t really happen; the then assistant rabbi blessed me that I should get married, which was meant well, but I think ultimately fed my feeling that I need to be married to be accepted in the community.  I’m worried the new rabbi will do the same as he doesn’t know about my issues, just that I’m single, and in the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) world being single is about the worse thing that can ever happen to you.

So, no computer, phone or internet for me for two days.  Shana tova tichtavu ve tichtamu/may you be written and sealed for a good new year.

7 thoughts on “The Day of Judgement

  1. I’m sorry you are struggling so much at the moment. It sounds a bit like the perfect storm which has been building up: the book and job rejections, the demands of your religion especially at this festival season, the miserable weather … even the dire state of the country and politics. You are not alone in feeling hopeless. Encouraging you to hang on in there and be less harsh with yourself. If you were suffering a bad bout of flu you would no doubt take to bed and not feel guilty! Yet depression is far worse than flu. I also wish you were able to focus on those attributes of the Divine which are not just about law and punishment. I’m not Jewish myself — I’m a practicing Christian – but as you know we believe in the God of the Old Testament as well. I believe He is a God of compassion and mercy and he knows what you are struggling with and takes this into account. Hope you feel better soon.


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