I possibly did too much yesterday as I feel really drained today. Also despairing about the future (career, writing, marriage, family), which I was trying not to give in to.
I had to go to the pharmacist to request a repeat prescription. Perhaps surprisingly, I wore a mask for the first time in the pandemic. I haven’t gone on public transport since lockdown started, which is the only place masks are compulsory in the UK. It has become an accepted thing to wear them in shops in recent weeks, but I haven’t been going shopping either. I was very anxious and apprehensive about it, stupidly so. Some of it was worrying that it would be uncomfortable or that I would inadvertently spread germs taking it off wrongly or adjusting it. I guess it also feels wrong not to show the shop assistant my face when we’re talking. However, I think much of the anxiety was autistic issues about doing something new. I remember years ago I went to an art gallery in Tel Aviv and there was an art installation there that was made of some kind of dangerous material and you had to wear a mask to go inside the room. I just completely freaked out about that and refused to go in and I couldn’t work out why, I just felt stupid and useless. I guess it’s an autism thing, although I’m not sure if the issue was fear of discomfort or of new experiences.
Once I put the mask on, I did feel very uncomfortable, both from the actual touch on my face and from the smell of it. It made my glasses steam up too. I cut my walk short partly because I couldn’t cope with it, but also because it was cold out (despite having recently been unbearably hot) and because I was exhausted from therapy.
I had a difficult therapy session. It was difficult because I was speaking about difficult subjects, particularly my feelings of lack of control over future events and fear of never having a job or getting married. This led to a lot of uncomfortable physical tension in my body while speaking. We spoke about my tendency to catastrophise being a way of coping with uncertainty by fearing the worst instead of being open to uncertainty, but my therapist said that it’s a form of hurting myself by going to the worst possible outcome, strengthening my inner critical voice. We also spoke about being more accepting of my physicality/physical nature and she gave me some tips for dealing with feelings of physical tension.
My therapist also spoke about dealing with loneliness by reconnecting with friends. The problem with that is that I don’t have many friends, not least because I’ve lost so many in the last couple of years. This is at least partly my fault, which makes me fearful of alienating more people. I can try to email a couple this week and check in with them and see how their lockdown is going.
I spent two hours working on my novel. I wrote 550 words, finishing a chapter and then proofreading it, but I was very tired while doing some of the proofreading and will probably have another look at it tomorrow. I’ve written about 53,000 words in total so far. I’ll need to get to at least 70,000 words, ideally 80,000 to 100,000, for a complete novel. I have the rest of the chapters planned out, but I worry I haven’t got enough incident to sustain 30,000 more words.
I also somehow did forty minutes of Torah study when I was feeling exhausted. This was good, but I hope I have not overdone things as I’m absolutely shattered now. I’m going to chill out with Doctor Who for a bit (Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS)/