I got up about the same time as yesterday, which was good. I felt very anxious and struggled with some OCD thoughts, but avoided asking my rabbi mentor about most of them. I told myself that I was 90% sure what I was doing was OK, and if I was wrong, it was a genuine mistake, and that not asking unnecessary questions is a positive thing for me, otherwise the OCD gets out of control. Nevertheless, I felt intermittently overwhelmed and struggled to get going. I tried to focus on gratitude for my family and friends and especially for E. I guess I do still worry that I’ll scare E. off sooner or later, either with my issues or my religiosity, but she cares about me more than anyone except my parents.
The one thing I really struggled with was kashering the kitchen sink. This involves purging the sink of any trace of food by pouring boiling water over it. There are quite strict rules about this. The water has to be boiling, not boiled, so you only get a few seconds to do it before the kettle is considered too cold. Also, only water within a couple of inches of where the spout of water hits the sink or drainer counts as close enough to still be boiling. And you have to hit 51% of the sink and drainer in this way. And, of course, it’s impossible to tell just by looking what was hit in this way and what was not because the water just flows everywhere.
The truth is, I didn’t feel like I managed it this year, but I was also worried about getting stuck in a OCD spiral of doing it again and again and again, trying to get it “perfect”. So I tried to make sure I got each part of the sink once (which still took several goes) and then I left it. I just sent my rabbi mentor an email asking if he thinks that was the right approach, especially as we don’t actually put anything directly in our sink on Pesach, which mitigates the need for this somewhat. As I said to my rabbi mentor, my intuition is that this is the best possible option available, and I also note that, while writing that email to him and writing this blog post and accepting what I’ve done, I can feel my confidence level about the sink rising a little bit.
Did I do the right thing? God knows (literally). I tried my best, and probably did as good as most people would, but they wouldn’t agonise over it. I think we have a good enough solution for now, with the caveat that we may need to ask a rabbi a question if anything drops into the sink over Pesach. At the moment, looking for “good enough” solutions is all I can do.
There then followed a slightly frantic hour or so as I tried to make dinner for all of us in a kitchen that is half unusable (because in Pesach mode, not in everyday mode, where we still are). I could feel anxiety rising in me from the sink, but also about Pesach in general, what time I will go to bed tonight, if I will sleep, if I will get up on early tomorrow morning as I want and really need to do… I’ve had stomach pains again this evening, which seems to be an anxiety thing and which hasn’t been present for the last few weeks.
I’m currently waiting for my parents to be ready to do the nocturnal search for chametz (leavened food), done the night before Pesach. I hope not to get to bed too late, although that’s somewhat up in the air at the moment. I did a bit of Torah study today, but not much, but I think I was doing important things for the family. I didn’t go for a walk in the end though which I would have liked to have done. I want to get up early in the morning (although it would take to long to explain why… another complicated religious thing), so would like to get to bed reasonably early.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog tomorrow. It’s the busiest day of the year. If not, I won’t get the chance to blog again until Saturday evening, so Pesach kasher vesameach to those celebrating, and stay healthy to everyone.