I’m struggling today, depressed and exhausted. This is one of the days when everything seems too much. I would take time out, but I need to get ready for Shabbat (the Sabbath) and I feel I should at least try to do some career stuff. I’m worrying about working as a teaching assistant, with legitimate fears and OCD anxieties. I’m feeling I just can’t work, I can’t date, I won’t get married and have a family, I can’t sort out the situation with E. I read something today, on one of the few Doctor Who fan blogs I read, by someone who used her involvement with fandom to become a full-time writer and artist. Why have I never been able to use my interests to further my writing career that way? Am I just not talented enough?
Today’s Den of Geek Geeks Against Loneliness post has brought up recent feelings about having invisible illnesses and conditions (depression, social anxiety, autism). Sometimes I wish people in shul who see me coming in late or not at all knew more about my struggles. Likewise for the peers, or, now, people younger than me, who have moved on in life with careers and families and can see that I’ve essentially been stuck in my early twenties for ten or fifteen years.
I don’t know how I’m going to sort my life out. I feel like I need help with revitalising my career, but I don’t trust what anyone is telling me, mostly because they’re telling me either to get jobs that I’ve already been looking for and not succeeded in finding or winning (writing, editing, researching) or because they tell me I could be a teacher. I’m terrified to try that out without experience (and I’m terrified of getting experience). I don’t know why so many people believe I’m good with children when I don’t believe it, and don’t really know how to test the hypothesis. Even asking to do work experience/volunteering at a school is scary. I really want to be a writer, but that’s not going so well either…
Likewise, I feel I can’t sort my dating situation without finding a job. I still feel there are pros and cons about being with E., but I can’t see anyone else (a) caring for me as much as she does or (b) tolerating me being so close to E. while in a relationship with someone else. But I don’t want to break off my friendship with E. And that’s beyond the problem of my not being set up with frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) women the way most frum people meet their spouse.
Not sure if I’m going to try to go to shul (synagogue) tomorrow morning. Maybe I should try to save my energy for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) next week. On the other hand, maybe it would be useful to keep up the momentum of shul-going. They’re having a seudah shlishit (third Sabbath meal) in memory of a not-very-old unmarried man from the community who died suddenly a month ago (the one everyone was studying Mishnah for and I wasn’t sure whether to join in). This brought up a lot of feelings about what would happen if I die without wife and children, would anyone in the community notice or care?
I didn’t do any Talmud study this week, for the second week running. I don’t want to get out of the habit. There isn’t a Talmud shiur (class) this week, which means I stay ahead of the congregation, but that I can’t even use that as a bit of Talmud study this week.
I just feel such a failure today. That I’ve let everyone down. Even the positive blog comments and quotes from friends that I put on my door lately make me feel guilty, that everyone has confidence in me and an inflated idea of what I can achieve and I just repeatedly let them down. I feel that I can’t sort my mental health out, can’t sort my career out, can’t sort my relationships with my family out, can’t sort my relationship with E. and with dating in general out, that I’ve messed up my religious life again… Every year I go through Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and hope I get forgiven by God and then immediately afterwards I slip back again… No wonder I dislike myself so much.