I went to bed late, the usual post-Shabbat (Sabbath) in the summer issue of Shabbat finishing late, then davening (praying) and tidying up, off-loading my thoughts onto my blog and needing some time to decompress.  I watched the first episode of the Doctor Who story Warriors of the Deep, a story I used to hate, but now see some virtues in.  I don’t understand why fandom remembers Peter Davison as the “bland and boring” Doctor when he’s actually the energetic and sarcastic one.  OK, enough Doctor Who for now!

I struggled to sleep when I went to bed.  I think I fell asleep around 3.00am.  I woke up (for the second time) about 10.00am after the dreams I wrote about here.  The dreams, and thinking about them after waking, left me in a thoughtful mood, not depressed, but not as happy as when I woke up from the second dream.  It does seem easier to make friends in dreams than in real life.  Mind you, it seems easier to make friends online than in real life too.

My mood did go down again after a while, though, and I felt quite lonely again too.  Then around 12.30pm, I was hit by a sudden tidal wave of loneliness and despair which persisted for much of the day.  It’s not just despair and loneliness, but thinking I’m too weird to ever be in a lasting relationship.  “The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.” (Mother Theresa)  I wonder if I will ever be happy and loved romantically… My parents love me, it’s true, and I know that’s something other people can’t take for granted and I try to be grateful for it.  Still, I feel romantic love is different and not replaceable with parents’ love.  Plus, lately I am struggling to express myself to my parents again.  It seems I go through phases of being close to them and then less close.  Maybe I don’t want to upset them by saying I’m depressed while Mum is ill.  Or maybe I don’t want to admit that sometimes I have begun to worry that I made a mistake breaking up with E.  I feel like I just need to be held.

I feel that I’m spiralling downwards into a pit of loneliness and despair at the moment and I don’t know what I can do about it.  I’m hoping that getting past my birthday, and past Tisha B’Av next week, will help, but who knows?

What I posted the other day (about God so to speak experiencing our suffering) no longer cheers me up as much as it did.  I have found this a lot.  CBT in particular seems to assume that if you can find one thought or affirmation that really raises your mood, that sorts out your depression or anxiety permanently.  You just have to repeat the magic phrase or affirmation.  Whereas I find that after a while, thoughts that raise my mood lose their potency somehow.  Like the Borg in Star Trek, the depression adapts to my shields and weapons (the thoughts or affirmations) and breaks through them.  I suppose I find other things to feel anxious or depressed about.  Or maybe mental health ruminations just aren’t logical and can’t be fought with logic.

***

I forced myself to apply for a job that came up.  Job adverts and related bumf is the most horribly, Orwellian, meaningless mass of jargon, cliché and meaningless phrases.  The public sector (where this job is) is, if anything, even worse than the private sector.  The purpose of the job is “contribute to the delivery of [institution’s] knowledge and library services”.  So the job of the assistant librarian is to deliver library services.  Someone thought that sentence was meaningful and non-obvious enough to be worth writing down.

Anyway, it’s another assistant librarian job that I feel I ought to be able to do, but worry that I can’t.  It’s also full-time, and I don’t think I could cope with that.  But I’m applying anyway, to show willing.  I forced myself to fill in the application, although if it’s so hard for me to fill in the application (and much of it was saved in the system from a previous application to a job at the same institution), I have no idea how I will manage the work.  Writing the application just makes me revisit all the jobs I messed up in the past.  I just feel so useless these days.

***

I went for a run and came back with a painful foot (left ankle and under the left arch) and an exercise headache (verging on migraine).  I think my trainers, which I bought last winter, are possibly not the best or don’t fit properly, as I keep getting minor pains in my feet, although this is the worst I’ve had.  I probably should have stopped halfway through the run when it started hurting, but I am stubborn and I wanted to see whether a slightly different route I was taking took my run over three miles (it did, with reasonable pace, foot notwithstanding.  It was over five kilometres too).  I felt I could cope with it.  This is what I do: I set myself a target, then I push myself to meet it, and when I feel I can’t cope, I still push on because I don’t want to admit failure (to myself as well as to others), and then I crash and hurt myself and can’t do anything for a period of time.  It’s a pattern that has repeated for years, usually with mental health, but sometimes with physical health.

Fortunately, after showering, eating and taking some solpadeine, both foot and head seem to be rather better, although both ache a little still.

I do seem to have lost some weight.  I think I’m now on the borders of being overweight rather than being clearly overweight.  This is pretty good, as clomipramine made me put on a lot of weight, but is a non-negotiable part of my treatment regimen as it’s the only anti-depressant that has ever done much for me long-term.

My mood has been a bit better since my run; still somewhat depressed and lonely, but not so much.

***

I managed some Torah study for an hour or so too, and brainstormed some ideas for this week’s devar Torah (Torah thought).  So I guess it was a fairly productive day even if I feel exhausted and slightly headachey.  I did watch the rest of Warriors of the Deep, and will probably watch an episode of Star Trek Voyager before bed.  That’s quite a lot of TV by my usual standards, but I feel I need to balance out the activity with mindless relaxation for my own mental health.

***

I’ll be thirty-seven in under an hour.  Thirty-seven isn’t such a big event as thirty or forty because humans use a base ten counting system and like round numbers, and thirty-seven isn’t evenly divisible by ten.  Still, it feels like I should have got my life together by now, that I should have a career or at least a job and a network of friends and a place in my religious community and some kind of relationship, maybe even children.  I looked up 37 on Wikipedia, but there weren’t any factoids that I could understand easily without having more maths knowledge than I have, except that it’s a prime number (which I already knew) and also normal body temperature in degrees Celsius and the atomic number of rubidium.  I worked out that the thirty-seventh Doctor Who story was The Tomb of the Cybermen, which I’ve always found over-rated.  I don’t know what this proves, except that I shouldn’t let one day out of 365 in the year (one out of 366 this year) have such power over me.

I’m not going to say that thirty-seven can’t be worse than thirty-six, because clearly it could be.  But I will say I’m going to hope for a better year.  In the immortal words of Delta and the Bannermen (going back to Doctor Who, sorry), “Here’s to the future/Love is the answer.”  (Also, “Can we have space buns and tea?”)

23 thoughts on ““If you’re lonely you can talk to me”

  1. Happy birthday! Hope you are able to enjoy your day — even a little. Good that you are applying for jobs, but why apply for a full time job if you know you need something part time? What would you do if you were offered it? … Anyway, I do pray that this 37th year of your life will be a better year for you. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      There aren’t many part-time jobs out there. I’ve been told to apply for full-time and see if they will do a job share with someone else. To be honest, I’m not so sure it’s a great idea, but I don’t have a better one. Part of me thinks I should try to do a full-time job if offered, even though that would probably not lead to a good result. I just feel bad about being unemployed and feel I should be doing more to find work.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday! Enjoy that delicious sounding cake. I can relate to your worries on some level; I’ve had those same concerns about dating at several stages of my life. (even at 60 when I found myself widowed but still young– lonely and eventually wanting to be in a caring relationship) We have little control over what happens except to continue to put ourselves out there and remain open to possibilities, even if we find them uncomfortable or intimidating. It seems very positive that you applied for the job, although it doesn’t sound like it’s suited to your needs. Still, you are reaching out and doing things that are stretching your boundaries, which is very important. It’s good that your foot has recovered! I miss my running, but it’s just too hot and humid to do so here.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy birthday!

    Oh man, I relate to the job hunt. I’ve worked in both public and private sector and job hunting is a miserable affair. I’m not sure I can handle going back to full-time work as well… Remember that you can assess the job to see if it’s a fit for you or not.

    As for depression creeping back, and CBT not being permanently helpful, I wonder if other therapy modalities might be better suited for your needs? It would depend on what types are accessible in your area though. CBT wasn’t helpful for me and I got a lot more out of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy due to it’s focus on radical acceptance and mindfulness (also sort of a Dialectical Behaviourial therapy thing) and the focus on discovering and living according to my values. Since your depression is chronic, I wonder if a therapy focused on longstanding chronic illness like Schema Therapy might be better suited for you. If you’d like, I can dig up some of the therapy self help books about those therapies.

    Loneliness is very difficult to bear. I hope you can find connection and community. Making and maintaining friendships is difficult when one doesn’t really know how to. for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      Yes, job hunting is difficult.

      My current therapist does traditional psychotherapy and existentialist therapy. I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone offering ACT around here in my price bracket. I was supposed to do schema therapy years ago, but it fell through (long story) and, again, I don’t think I’ve seen it offered. I seem to getting on OK with the current therapist (I started with her about two months ago), so I don’t want to change things at the moment.

      Yes, making and maintaining friendships is hard!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally respect not wanting to change things when you’ve found a decent fit in a therapist.

        For friendships, I got to admit I needed to learn social skills, needed to be taught what healthy friendships actually look like, as well as get some of my anxiety under control. Because my anxiety made me seem as aloof and disinterested, among other things.

        I hope things improve for you. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I’m hoping that if I get an autism diagnosis, that will lead on to some help with social skills, as people on the autism spectrum typically struggle with social interactions.

          I have had therapists suggest that my anxiety makes me seem aloof too, and autistic issues about understanding and expressing emotion probably make that worse.

          Thanks for commenting!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. One site I found helpful to some extent is https://www.succeedsocially.com/

            I don’t have autism but I wondered for a very long time if I did, because I didn’t understand “social rules” (I felt like an alien), among other things. How to make the dreaded small talk, how to read body language, how to take turns, what’s appropriate to say and when, and a lot of stuff etc.

            Good luck getting assessed and I hope you get the help you need. Because you absolutely deserve it 🙂

            Like

  4. Happy birthday! I hope you have a wonderful birthday week. As I get older, I extend the celebration. By the end of my life, it may be birthday month instead of birth-day!

    I’m sorry your foot hurt and hope you’re feeling better now. I’m also sorry you’re feeling lonely. I do think you knew what you were doing when you broke up, so I would try to redirect attention rather than entertain ideas about getting back together with E, but that’s just me. I’m learning that for myself, if I broke up in the past, there was good reason for it, so I should honor it. I’ve already done some writing about why C and I are no longer together just in case I forget or am drawn to a similar relationship. It’s a helpful habit when I write at the end of a relationship, whether it’s romance, friendship, or work.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Happy birthday!!! I hope you buy new trainers.
    CBT is only one model of therapy. EFT and Innate Health can be really helpful, too. You have innate health through tikkun I think it’s called, by you. Run by I think they’re called Rosenfelds. But rosensomething or another. Chana and Shaul I think. Gosh, not sure how I remember this.
    How are you celebrating?
    Love, light and glitter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      I’m currently with a therapist who offers traditional psychodynamic psychotherapy and existentialist therapy. I only started with her a couple of months ago, so I want to see how it goes. So far it seems helpful.

      Yes, I know of Chana and Shaul Rosenblatt! He wrote this book, Why Bad Things Don’t Happen to Good People. It’s a good book, although quite challenging.

      My sister and brother-in-law are coming over later and we’re (me, them and my parents) are going to have socially distanced takeaway pizza in the garden. Normally we would go out to eat for someone’s birthday, but I think I secretly think that this will be better!

      Like

  6. I hope you haver a good birthday, and that 37 is a better year.

    It sounds like, not surprisingly, applying for jobs takes a lot of mental energy. Is it an effective use of limited resources to apply for jobs that aren’t suitable? And a related question would be whether or not the possibility of a job share right from the beginning of a job is actually realistic. Perhaps being more selective in applying could actually result in putting together better applications.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!

      Interesting points. I kind of feel that I need to keep applying for jobs, otherwise my parents and the careers advisors and job agencies I’m using would say that I’m not doing enough. I’m not sure it would lead to better applications though.

      The real problem is that there are not many part-time jobs out there in my sector at the moment (I mean, even before COVID), which surprised me, as I assumed that librarianship was a profession where there was a lot of part-time work available. The thing I’ve been thinking about in the last few days is maybe I should leave librarianship for now and concentrate on finding a part-time admin/office-type job to give more structure and income. I don’t know how I would cope with such a job, though.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s