As expected, I felt burnt out today after everything I did yesterday and all the “peopling.” I slept late and struggled to get up when I did wake up, then struggled to get going. I had a long and deep text conversation with E. which left us both feeling very happy about the way our relationship works and our communication and shared values.
After lunch I looked at job adverts again. So many institutions and companies advertise themselves as “A fast-paced environment.” I’m not really able to cope with more than a moderately-paced environment, and even that only part-time. There weren’t any jobs I was wild about, but I would have liked to have tried to apply for something, but in the event I felt too depressed and exhausted.
I did manage to do some Torah study. We’re up to the first of several weeks of Torah readings about the building of the Tabernacle, the portable Temple in the wilderness, a very difficult narrative for us moderns to get anything from – and I’ve committed myself to write about it each week, which is scary. I also managed to cook plain pasta for dinner. I didn’t feel up to doing anything else.
I cooked dinner because we had another family issue. Nothing too serious this time, but I think we all feel that things are hard right now and it’s easy to catastrophise and assume that “Everything is going wrong!” In a strange way, I think we’ll feel better once Mum’s chemotherapy starts, as events will be moving on and we’ll have a better idea of how much our lives are going to be disrupted over the next year. At the moment I have stomach pains which I’ve had periodically for some weeks now and which I think are a stress issue, although my parents want me to go to the doctor and I’m half convinced they’re right, but the surgery makes it really hard to get an appointment.
I’ve been wondering lately why my depression and social anxiety are so entrenched, particularly the depression. Reading mental health blogs, there are people who suffered serious abuse and the like who are doing better than me. The only explanation I have for my depression and why it feels so treatment-resistant is that I might have high functioning autism that somehow went undiagnosed twice already. It feels like autism alone is not enough to make me like this, which leads on to feeling that I’m weak and lazy. To be fair, I think I probably am on the autism spectrum, but I still wonder why some people on the spectrum manage to live normal or even gifted lives and I can’t. Certainly I realise that my life would be a lot easier if I was good with numbers like so many successful autistic people are. In my experience many high functioning autistic people work in IT/computer programming, accountancy and banking; some companies in these sectors actively seek out autistic workers because they fit so well.
On the positive side, I feel hugely grateful for having E. in my life. She accepts so much in my life that is negative and off-putting to most people. Still, there is so much uncertainty and frustration in our relationship – frustration at being on different continents and not knowing when or how we will be able to move our relationship to the next level. In some ways it would be easier if we knew we could get married in X number of years, even if X was a fairly large number, but not know if we’ll ever get to that stage is frustrating.
Still, I feel hugely grateful for how kind and understanding E. is. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this grateful for anything before. I don’t know what I would do if she wasn’t in my life. And I’m glad that we have the communication skills and have built up enough trust to make this weird long-distance, slow-motion relationship work despite all the uncertainty and “issues” that we both have. Paradoxically, the fact we both have issues is probably part of the key to the relationship working, as it means the relationship is reciprocal, not just one person giving and one taking, and because it means that we each know what the other is going through.
One last thing on the subject of gratitude: I saw this week’s Doctor Who one day late (it was too late to watch it when I got in yesterday) and enjoyed it. It was far from perfect, but good, at least until the cliff-hanger, which gave me bad memories of Army of Ghosts/Doomsday. So I’m grateful for that too.