I got up at 11.00am again today, although as with the last few days I struggled to get going. I wasn’t feeling overtly depressed in the sense of despairing, but I did lack energy and motivation, which I guess is still depression of a kind.
I weighed myself for the first time since Pesach. I have put on weight, but not much (half a kilo), which is a weird kind of victory. I feel fat though. Some of my clothes don’t fit so well (despite buying some larger ones a while back) and I know I’m two or three kilos overweight, which I haven’t been able to shift for years, since I was put on clomipramine. I did go for a run again today. I ran for most of the thirty-five minutes without going into a walk much, which was good.
I discovered that my self-published Doctor Who book is now available from Barnes and Noble as well as Lulu.com and Amazon UK. I still can’t find it on Amazon US though. I had an email from Lulu on Friday saying I should receive payment for the copies I’ve sold so far, but the money hasn’t reached my account yet.
I finished the short story I was writing and sent it to E. to see what she thinks. E. and I Skyped again as we have been doing most days since the lockdown started. I did twenty-five minutes of Torah study too, although I would have liked to have done more.
I spent nearly two hours looking for a therapist online. I tried the questionnaire to find a therapist at welldoing.org. The questionnaire had a long, long, looooong list of possible issues and I could easily have ticked six or seven that pertain to me, but I was only allowed to click three, so I went with depression, autism/Asperger’s and interpersonal relationships. I hope the latter can cover my relationship with my Mum and need to come to terms with her mortality as well as my relationship with E. and understanding the changes that could entail in my life. Autism isn’t exactly something I need to discuss in itself, but it informs my thoughts about my relationship with E. in particular and I would like to get someone who understands it if possible. I think in many ways I’d prefer a therapist who understands autism to one who understands Orthodox Judaism, as I have a lot of experience explaining the latter to people, whereas autism is much harder to explain, especially as I feel like I don’t fully understand how it manifests in me.
Narrowing down the list of therapists is difficult, especially as I would be willing to do Skype sessions and would have to start with them. I know it’s slightly weird to say this, but I have had male and female therapists/counsellors and I find it easier to open up to women than men (despite having had one positive male therapist and my rabbi mentor being male). So I found myself biased in favour of women, even though that’s somewhat irrational. Although a disproportionate amount of therapists and counsellors are female anyway.
Aside for checking BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy) membership, so far I’ve narrowed down primarily by cost and partly by locality (just in case I ever want an in-person meeting post-COVID-19), and also by type of therapy. I am quite clear that I don’t want CBT, as it has never helped me much (except with my OCD, but that’s a different type of CBT) and, having had a some psychodynamic therapy in the past (I think… therapists do not always make it clear) I was interested in trying a new approach. I looked primarily at therapists offering existential therapy, although I know little about it. I did this because of my interest in Jewish existentialist thinkers, although I’m not sure how much overlap there is (therapists would probably have heard of Martin Buber and maybe Emmanuel Levinas, but are less likely to have heard of other Jewish figures). Existentialism generally focuses on issues like purpose, choice and authenticity, which obviously inform my thoughts on a lot of subjects I would like to address, like my relationship with E. and my attitude to my sexuality generally, my position in the wider world/working world and my relationship with the wider Jewish community (the latter two not issues I would bring to therapy per se, but which are likely to come up in passing).
Tomorrow I might try to find some other names and then narrow down the list to a few who I can email to ask for more information about their fees for unemployed people. Most therapists seem to offer concessions for those in financial need, but I need to see if I would qualify and what the concession rates are.
Overall it was another good day and I’m glad to have made progress with the therapy hunt. Now that Pesach (Passover) is over, I feel like I’m coping with lockdown quite well. There are no jobs to apply for giving me time to help around the house and write and study Torah, although I probably procrastinate too much and I struggle with mornings and compensate by staying up late, which probably isn’t healthy. E. and I have been able to Skype most days because of the greater flexibility she had when working from home which paradoxically may have been good for our relationship (not that I wanted her potential trip to the UK to be postponed).