I switched my previous post to private.  The antisemitism stuff is true, but this was probably the wrong time to share those thoughts.  I tried to explain the way my mind works, but I don’t think I did so successfully.  I got too caught up in my anger and fear for myself and other Jews.  The “touch hunger” stuff is true, and I will probably pick up on it again at some point, but not now.

***

There’s still an impending Bad Thing that I don’t seem to be able to get away from.  To be honest, it’s pretty much happened already, but there’s a small chance it can change.  I’m not hopeful though.  The whole situation makes me feel lonely and inadequate.  It is hard to be positive about the future when so much of the past was so negative.  Why should anything change?  I know my rabbi mentor said I have “privilege” and in some senses I do, but I have had, and continue to have, real hardships too.  The fact that I’m lucky to have loving family and a degree of financial support doesn’t make depression, high functioning autism, loneliness and unemployment easier.

Somehow I don’t seem to know how to change things so that bad stuff does not happen, or (more realistically) so that I can cope with it better when it happens.  I hope that a firm autism diagnosis might lead on to help with getting back into the workplace, but somehow I doubt it, as I’ve had quite a bit of help already, to no avail (or limited avail).  In any case, because of COVID, I have no idea when my assessment will be.  From what little information I have, eighteen months from whenever lockdown is officially over seems to be the minimum time, so probably about two years from now.

***

I’m feeling guilty and lonely again about having lost so many people from my life generally and especially recently (the last year or two).  I’ve lost far too many friends, but I’m not sure how much I could realistically have done differently, and some of those friendships were probably doomed from the start.

More tangible guilt feelings came from mulling over something from a Zoom shiur (religious class) last week.  The rabbi said that we should elevate our non-religious interests and tastes by using them for religious purposes, relaxing so we can reconnect with God, eating good food on Shabbat (the Sabbath) to celebrate etc.  Otherwise our interests are distractions from God, which is not a good thing.

My Doctor Who fandom (and other classic British telefantasy fandom, but let’s stick with Doctor Who for brevity) is something that I have invested a lot of time, money and energy in over the years, not least with writing my non-fiction book about the programme.  As an autistic special interest, it’s really important to my well-being, helping me to shelter from the difficulties of the world as well as to recharge.  It even helps me understand a confusing world a bit easier.  A lot of my general knowledge comes via Doctor Who, one way or another; even my first encounter with postmodernism was in the Doctor Who Magazine of the late nineties (I miss the crazy, silly, sarky, pseudo-intellectual fandom of the nineties and early noughties).  I suspect that I use the more emotional newer episodes to understand emotion better (if the tenth Doctor was the ADHD Doctor, the twelfth Doctor was the autistic Doctor).  But does it bring me closer to God?  I doubt it, especially with the series being generally sceptical, if not atheist, in outlook.

As Alex Drake asked in the episode of Ashes to Ashes that I just watched (season three, episode one), what do you do when the stories in your head are more real than the real world?  My answer: try to make telling those stories your role in the real world, or so I hope, but it’s a lot to stake my future on when I don’t know if I can write that well or get published.

So, I feel bad about investing so much time and energy in something that gives me pleasure and support, but doesn’t help me religiously.  Just when I was beginning to feel I was connecting to God again too.

***

My sister and brother-in-law came over for a socially distanced tea and cake.  I was mostly mentally present and engaged, despite some initial difficulty.  It does feel that every time I see them, they’ve done some additional “adult” thing that I’ve never done, despite their being younger than me.  This time it was buying a trellis for the garden.  I can’t imagine ever buying a trellis.  I wrote in my sister’s copy of my Doctor Who book, which I guess is an adult thing I’ve done that they haven’t done, even if it doesn’t feel “real” as it is self-published.

Other achievements of the day: forty minutes of Torah study (I would have liked to have done more, but I ran out of energy), a thirty-five minute run (and resultant exercise migraine – I knew it was likely given how hot it was out) and an indeterminate amount of time writing my novel – I was distracted at times, but wrote 900 words.

***

Sometimes I feel I’m a terrible person, and sometimes I want to tell people everything about me so that they’ll realise how terrible I am and stop being my friends, because I don’t deserve friends, and at least if I had no friends, it would stop me getting my hopes up about ever being happy.  I don’t think I will ever be happy, but every so often I hope that I will and it’s painful when those hopes are dashed again.

***

The BBC news site wins the prize for stating the obvious with their headline, “Coronavirus: People living alone at risk of loneliness”.  A deduction worthy of Sherlock Holmes, and it only took them a couple of months to work it out.  As someone who has lived alone, I can say that people living alone are at risk of loneliness even without coronavirus and lockdown.  I am glad I moved back in with my parents in 2018 as it has meant I haven’t been alone in lockdown.

***

(The title quote is from Doctor Who, inevitably: Kinda by Christopher Bailey.  I was going to say it’s the pseud-fan’s favourite Who, but that’s really a three-way tie between KindaWarriors’ Gate and Ghost Light.)

8 thoughts on ““You can’t mend people, can you? You can’t mend people!”

  1. My husband died in 2012 and I’ve lived alone since then. It’s been very hard and lonely at times, but during Covid19, it’s been especially excruciating. I think that taking care of your mental and emotional health(through Dr. Who and similar series) is important enough to override the mixed messages regarding religion. They can all be supports to you. Like all of us, you’re a mix of many interests and ideas, some religious and others not. Glad you got to see your family! I’m starting to spend some time with my parents again, and it’s very nice.

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  2. Two thoughts:
    “My rabbi mentor said I have “privilege.” “
    I have to say I have no time for this “privilege” concept as it is used currently. It makes no sense. It is divisive. It is a far-left device to stereotype and categorise people according to just one or two characteristics e.g. by race or by class. Douglas Murray sums it up perfectly here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF7wIyD707w

    “I feel bad about investing so much time and energy in something that gives me pleasure and support, but doesn’t help me religiously”. Well maybe not directly. But have you noticed that when you are feeling happier, whatever the reason, your faith life improves?
    Or the angst diminishes? Perhaps it is because you allow it to bear less weight. God made us whole people, designed to enjoy his creation in every way – not just through worshipping Him directly and studying the scriptures. I see your Dr Who book – and your current writing – as using your God-given talents – your creativity – to enhance the quality of your life – and that of other people. God is the Creator and we, being made in his image, have always had the drive to create and this should be celebrated.

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    1. I also feel uncomfortable with the concept of privilege, but I was quoting directly. Certainly I have had advantages that other people don’t have e.g. supportive family and no immediate financial problems and that is true regardless of whether one buys into the talk around ‘privilege’ in left-wing circles.

      I would hope that I do use my talents to enhance the quality of life of other people. I’m not sure that my faith life improves when I feel happier. This last week it’s been the reverse: I’ve been feeling very depressed and anxious and more connected to God. It is true that we are supposed to enjoy creation and creativity. I just worry about it being a distraction from God rather than an enhancement.

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  3. I’m finding as I broaden my overall interests, it helps me be mentally healthier so I can have the energy and interest to pursue knowledge about God and become closer to him. Otherwise, it’s religion overload. Having some secular interests helps me appreciate the spiritual more, if that makes sense.

    Regarding “sometimes I want to tell people everything about me so that they’ll realise how terrible I am and stop being my friends,…” I have had a tendency to do that before instead of just think it. I think it stems from very poor self esteem and a sense of inferiority and unworthiness. Just know it’s not REAL and maybe something to work on because it doesn’t serve you/me at all.

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