I feel caught in the tentacles of bureaucracy. I requested an updated medical certificate for my benefits. The surgery told me to book a telephone appointment with a doctor. I looked online; they have none available. If I booked on the automatic booking system on the phone, I wouldn’t be able to choose which doctor I got (I would like to speak to the one who wrote the original medical certificate) so I phoned, got through the long list of automated options, and managed to speak to a receptionist. My doctor isn’t available until the 17th, which is quite long to keep the Department of Work and Pensions waiting, but I feel at the moment it is better to stick with the doctor who knows how serious my symptoms are if I want to get a sympathetic hearing from the DWP.
I did struggle with social anxiety to make that appointment, so I should probably feel glad about that. I do feel that I’m just getting tied up in other people’s bureaucratic knots when I had to finish my job application, cook dinner and work on my devar Torah for the week, as well as wanting to get back into working on my novel and exercising (I haven’t been for a run for ages). Now I’ll probably need to write an interim covering letter to the DWP to explain why the medical certificate is being delayed…
I finished and sent another job application, but I feel like I’m just not hitting the mark with these things any more, if I ever was. The frustrating thing is that I can’t work out why I’m missing the target.
I cooked dinner, which took ages. Vegetable curry is not the most technically difficult recipe I know, but cauliflower takes ages to check for insects as per Orthodox Jewish practice, plus the curry itself takes a while to cook. I successfully fought a couple of religious OCD thoughts. I think I don’t note and congratulate myself for fighting this enough; I say when I struggle with the OCD, but fail to note that this is a relatively rare occurrence now. One of the things they teach you in CBT for OCD is that you will continue to have OCD thoughts in recovery, because everyone has OCD thoughts. The difference is whether you give in to the thoughts and obsess about them or ignore them.
I listened to a couple of installments of the Intimate Judaism podcast while cooking. It’s basically an Orthodox rabbi and an sex therapist talking about sexuality and intimacy issues in the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) community, in a sensitive and insightful way, not a cringey one. I could have done with something like this when I was in my teens or twenties. Still, at least it’s here now I’m navigating having a girlfriend again.
I have stomach cramps and sensitivity around my abdomen again. This has happened intermittently for a couple of months now. At first I thought it was constipation (which I’ve struggled with since I was put on clomipramine), but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s a stress reaction, as it doesn’t seem to correlate obviously with anything else (although I haven’t been keeping records, so this is just what it seems to me). It started a bit before Mum was diagnosed with cancer, I think, but I had been feeling stressed about unemployment for some time before Mum was diagnosed. And of course my relationship with E. moved back to being a romantic relationship rather than a platonic one around the same time. That was a very positive change that I’m very glad happened, but I find any change difficult (an autistic trait) and this one entails confronting the difficulties of a long-distance relationship so it would not be surprising if it manifested psychosomatically alongside the other stressors.
I did some Torah study and devar Torah (Torah thought) preparation at the same time by listening to an online shiur (class) by a rabbi whose blog I used to read (he rarely posts there now, sadly, as his posts were good), which was interesting. The shiur was on the parallels between the stories of Yosef (Joseph), Daniel and Esther.
I did some chores, but I didn’t get any further with my novel. I just ran out of time and energy, which is frustrating.
I watched episode one of the original series Doctor Who story The Awakening yesterday. It is a reminder that slightly incoherent Doctor Who is not a new phenomenon. Still, I find it easier to connect to something like this than to some recent episodes. I’m not sure how much is nostalgia and how much something else.