Today was a fairly stressful day, although I suppose I can look back on it and say that at least I survived it without tipping back into full depression (so far).
After the physical and emotional stresses of yesterday, it is not surprised that I am a bit sensitive today. I am not sure if I actually overslept, but I certainly struggled to get up and get going, having very little time for Shacharit (the morning prayer service), which I davened (prayed) in a highly abbreviated form (again). I dashed out and just caught my train.
I spent a chunk of the work day shuttling around the building dealing with Kafkaesque bureucracy as I tried to get paid my travelling expenses for my trip to Oxford a couple of weeks ago. The sum involved was significant enough for it to be worth the bother, but was still pretty paltry, so my socially anxious self nearly gave up. I suppose it was a victory that I managed to run around, talk to strangers, and get my money. I won’t bore you with the full story (not least because it’s so confusing that I’m not sure I can actually tell it coherently), but it took up a chunk of time I would rather have spent actually doing my job.
That said, my job today was not terribly exciting. It was necessary, but not terribly exciting. The problem for me being in a job that involves books is that it is easy to get distracted and I was probably distracted more than I should have been today. I probably set too high a standard of concentration for myself (no one concentrates without interruption for three or four hours), but I don’t know what else to do. I thought my boss was annoyed with me about something (not my being distracted). She probably wasn’t and was just stressed, but I get depressed, guilty and ashamed when I think I have upset someone. The whole situation ends up triggering unconscious memories of difficult family situations and I regress back to childhood/depression (which are closely linked for me). For an hour or two this afternoon I was quite depressed and struggled to work and wondered if I was going to have to go home. And then as suddenly as it had started, it stopped and I was able to have a reasonably productive final hour, or would have done had I not had to venture out to try to get my expenses for the third (and then fourth) time today.
Add to that a kashrut question that came up at work, which has worried me a little and which in turn is reminding me of some (probably OCD) questions that are likely to remain unanswered for a while (as my rabbi mentor is busy with his family, his grandmother having just died) and I feel a bit down. By this stage I probably need food and should make some dinner. I was going to make scrambled eggs, but am not sure I have the energy even for that; convenience food doubtless awaits, alongside some slightly uninspiring Doctor Who (the downside of watching the programme in order for my book project is that sometimes, as recently, I get stuck in a run of bad stories).
I’ve also just remembered that my sister and her fiancée no longer want Mincha (the afternoon service) at their wedding. I wouldn’t mind, but I volunteered to lead Mincha and it was going to be the main thing I did to participate, to show my love for them and to share in their simcha (simcha in the double sense of “their happiness” and “their party”). I understand why they don’t want to do it, but I wonder what I can do instead. Bentsching (leading grace after meals) has already gone to the groom’s family and I’m wary of leading one of the sheva brachos (the seven wedding blessings) because one has to hold a full glass of wine when saying them and my fear of shaking is sure to cause me to shake, as happened on the one previous occasion when I was asked to say one of the sheva brachos. On that occasion I actually had to put the glass on the table I was shaking so much; I still worry that that my bracha didn’t ‘count’ because of that. I’m not sure that I really want to do the toast to the queen (yes, English Jews still do this, we’re very conservative in our customs!) and I think it may have been given to someone else anyway and I think the toast to the State of Israel has gone, appropriately, to my Israeli cousins. I guess I need to find something else to do to feel involved, but I don’t know what. Or maybe I should just turn up, stick around as long as I can and then slip out when no one is looking? That’s my usual tactic for unavoidable parties (I may have mentioned that I hate parties). Of course, I might manage to find a “plus one” to bring and talk to by December… here’s hoping.
I think I had more to say, but I can’t actually think straight and am slipping back into the pit of despair, which probably is a sign that I’m tired and that my blood sugar level is dropping and that food and relaxation would be a good thing now, so I’ll leave it there for now and maybe come back with another post later tonight or tomorrow if I can think of anything else to say.