It was struggle to get up again with depression and exhaustion. I somehow managed it. I’m not quite sure how I did it.
Physically, Mum seems not to have a cold, which is good, but Dad is reporting a cough and general run down feelings. I worry that we will be in lock-down by the end of the week. I’m not worried about myself or Dad, but Mum’s immune system is weakened by the chemotherapy, making her vulnerable. My shul (synagogue) has cancelled the kiddush (refreshments after the service) and is advising people who are sick to stay away, but my Dad’s shul has not done anything like that.
My Doctor Who book has a page on Amazon! You can’t buy the book yet (it’s listed as “Currently Unavailable”), but you can see where it will be soon, hopefully. (And, yes, I know, E., Amazon is Evil. But still!) Nothing on Goodreads yet, though, even though the book list on Goodreads is linked to Amazon. But it’s a start. It cheered my parents up a bit if nothing else (Mum wasn’t well enough to go in to work today).
I spent half an hour working on my novel. It was OK, but I’m still not sure about the quality of what I’m writing and where it’s going. I tell myself it’s a first draft and try to ignore the voices I’ve written about before who say that a first draft is 99% of the final draft.
I watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager that focused on the Vulcan Tuvok. As with the half-Vulcan Mr Spock from the original series of Star Trek, Tuvok has no emotions. Amanda J. Harrington (I think) wrote about high functioning autistics often wanting to think of themselves as logical, emotionless Vulcans, but actually being highly emotional, albeit perhaps repressing some of those emotions (can’t seem to find the exact quote; this is the nearest one). People on the spectrum may aspire to logicality, but rarely get there (I haven’t seen much of The Big Bang Theory, but I would say Sheldon fits here). It definitely applies to me. I remember my therapist asking why I feel the need to justify all my actions logically.
I have, over time, slowly learnt that emotions are just as much a part of me, and are as necessary for decision making, as logic. I have also recognised that I experience emotions more than I realised, particularly depression, anxiety, fear, despair, loneliness and other negative emotions that can feel like my default settings due to over-familiarity rather than transient feelings that are passing through me.
I have also learnt that Judaism, when experienced properly, is a system that integrates logic, emotion and physicality. It’s sad that contemporary Orthodox Judaism largely focuses on the logical, in the form of Talmudic and halakhic (legal) study and ignores the creative aspect of aggadatta (the non-legal portions of the Talmud and other texts of the Jewish oral tradition). I find aggadic thinking more rewarding for myself, easier to understand and to teach to others and to apply for life. My divrei Torah (Torah thoughts) tend to focus on aggadic material. I also think it is a shame that Orthodox Judaism has such a problem with the physical aspects of life when Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and the Talmud have a much more accepting approach to the physical.
I feel there is still a lot for me to do to integrate my personality, particularly the religious parts of me. My emotions still scare and frustrate me, while I am still capable of self-deluding sophistry while convinced that I am being logical. Similarly, I find the more physical aspects of life to be often a struggle on multiple levels.
There is, as ever, more to say here, but Shabbat approaches and I must go…