Thus spake Detective Inspector Drake in Ashes to Ashes, and it feels a lot like my life at the moment.
Lately I just want to withdraw. I spent a lot of Shabbat in bed, wrapped in my duvet even when I wasn’t sleeping. It’s a classic autistic self-comforting tactic. I’ve been wanting to do it today too, although I’ve fought against the urge.
I’m scared to talk to anyone, even to blog or to read other blogs, for fear of getting into an argument. There’s too much anger in the world at the moment.
I did at least manage to watch a talk between Rabbi Rafi Zarum (British, half Yemenite) and Rabbi Shais Rishon (American, black) about race and Judaism so I’m not totally running away from the world. It was about as depressing as I expected (I’ve read some of Rabbi Rishon’s writing before so I knew what to expect; Rabbi Zarum apparently didn’t judging by his shocked reactions), although there was one funny joke.
Achievements: forced myself to work on my novel for an hour and wrote 650 words even thought I was too depressed to write anything today. Went for a thirty-five minute run that was surprisingly good, although an exercise migraine set in hours later. I tried to do some Torah study, but the migraine set in then and I only managed five minutes. I haven’t felt well enough to daven Ma’ariv (say Evening Prayers) yet either. Going to watch TV until hopefully the solpadeine kicks in, although I feel like I could throw up any time now.
I spoke to my rabbi mentor this morning. I’m still processing the conversation. He said that everyone in the frum (religious Orthodox Jewish) struggles with trying to feel inspired or to find meaning in Judaism and that I’m not the only person to struggle with the way the frum community can be narrow-minded or lacking in dynamism or inspiration.
This is all true, but I wonder where this leaves me. I still feel that I have less meaning and inspiration going for me than a lot of religious Jews, and perhaps more frustration with the frum world than most frum Jews. Sometimes (not all the time) lately it feels like I’m very close to walking out on the frum world and there are only a few things keeping me here. If it were possible to be some kind of Jewish hermit, I probably would be one. I guess I am one, in a way.
I know I have it easy compared to a lot of other people, but that doesn’t mean I’m not struggling. A wise person once said, the worst thing that ever happened to you is still the worst thing that ever happened to you, even if even worse things have happened to other people. While it’s true that a man who has had his legs eaten by an alligator should be grateful that he still has his life, arms, eyes, hearing etc. I’m not sure that makes it any easier to cope with the loss of legs. I haven’t lost my legs, but I’ve never really got my life functioning properly and I feel that I’m running out of time to sort that, plus most of the time I feel too depressed, anxious and tired to do anything about it, not to mention too alone in the world (yes, despite family and friends).
OK, TV now, and trying hard not to throw up…