I managed to push through my usual depression and exhaustion on waking to do a few things.  I moved closer to publication with my self-published book.  It’s technically available through Lulu.com now, but I’m not publicising it until it’s available through retailers.  That won’t be until I approve the proof copy, which is in the process of being printed and sent to me from the US.  I had to fill in a form in relation to taxes on my profits (ha ha), to certify that I’m not a US taxpayer.  I was pleased that I am classified as an “individual” and not an “entity,” hence the Prisoner-esque post title.

I managed to do a lot of work on my devar Torah (Torah thought) for this week too.  I did some work on it in the afternoon and then I ended up staying up late working on it after dinner, for nearly two hours straight.  I didn’t intend to do so much, but I ended up hyperfocusing and suddenly it was two hours later.  It’s interesting that I can get the energy and concentration for that when I can’t for job hunting.  It makes me wonder if I’m looking for work in the right places, although I have no intention of becoming a rabbi.

In fact, I applied for no jobs at all today because I did not have the time or energy during the day.  I would not have stayed up until midnight doing job applications after dinner as I did working on my devar Torah, which makes me feel somewhat guilty.  Admittedly the reason I stayed up late was partly because I have a lot of shopping to do in the day tomorrow and then I’m probably going to depression group in the evening, so I needed to get the devar Torah done today rather than tomorrow.  I probably would not have stayed up so late otherwise, although it is true that when I’m depressed I become nocturnal, because my mood is so much better in the afternoon and evening than the morning.  It does show where my mind is, which, sadly, is in the autistic zone where I can hyperfocus on my interests and get bored of dull things like earning a living.

I did do some other things.  I went to my shul (synagogue) for the first time on a weekday in ages.  It was so long since I had been to the weekday premises that I had forgotten the door code, although that was partly because I have been davening (praying) at other shuls for various reasons, so it wasn’t as bad as it appeared.  I walked to and from shul too, so that was two twenty minute walks, good given that I’ve done no exercise all week.

As I said, tomorrow I may well go to depression group, despite the consequent late night, as I feel I need to talk.  I also emailed my therapist today to see if I could have some sessions in the near future.  I am trying to summon the courage to message the shiur (religious class) What’sApp group tomorrow and say that I’m missing shiur specifically “to go to my depression support group” rather than just saying I can’t make it without giving a reason as I have always done in the past.  To be honest, I feel scared that it’s just a weird thing to say beyond any mental health stigma (this is Britain where we don’t talk about emotions, and shiur is an all-male environment).  So, we shall see.

Mum had another test today and a pre-meeting about chemotherapy, which starts next week.


Today was the start of the Jewish month of Adar, the month of joy.  The Talmud says that when Adar starts, we increase in joy, at the coming festival of Purim in the middle of the month, which celebrates the Jews escaping genocide in the time of Queen Esther, and in anticipation of the further joy of the month afterwards, Nissan, the month of the redemption from Egypt and according to tradition the month when the Messiah will come (unless he comes at a different time…  It’s complicated).  In the past I’ve written negative things about the difficulty of feeling depressed at this time of year and the truth is I did feel quite depressed, exhausted and anxious today, not least with Mum’s pre-chemo meeting, but, in a manner of speaking, I’m exhausted and depressed about feeling exhausted and depressed and just want to get on with other stuff, so I’m just trying to get on with things.

6 thoughts on ““I am not an entity, I am an individual!”

  1. I would simply say that I can’t make it, without going into detail. I think that being too truthful would cause you (and them) to feel awkward. That’s the last thing you need. I hope this is a positive month for you. Just getting on with things and moving forward are key, and sometimes the best we can manage.


  2. I agree with Margaret. You don’t owe them an explanation — just to politely say you’re sorry you can’t make it because of another commitment tonight. You may decide to be more open to individual members of the group who you get to know well or to the rabbi who I am assuming is running the group.


  3. Well if they already know you suffer from depression there is no reason not to be open about it. If they don’t know it could be awkward. However, you know better than us how open and intimate the group is. If in doubt you could just say “support group”– and leave them to ask more if they are so inclined?


  4. Of the people on the list, three know a bit about my depression (but may have forgotten), one knows I have some illness but not what it is (again, may have forgotten) and three I don’t think know anything. There are another two people who go who aren’t on WhatsApp so won’t see it.

    The shiur was cancelled this week as the rabbi is ill, so I didn’t have to send a message.


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