Sunday, September 16, 2007

Not an auspicious beginning

On Rosh Hashana, we stand before Gd to be judged. Last Rosh Hashana, I was waiting on bride-to-be Bina, organizing an impromptu shabbos kallah before her wedding to Asher; l'sameach chatan v'kallah is one of my favorite mitzvot, and I think I did a pretty good job of it. I also think I davened with reasonable fervor.

And I had the worst possible year.

Maybe not the absolute worst; I didn't die or lose any close relatives or friends. (Except for Bina, who moved to Yennensville, but we still talk on the phone about every week.)

But I was raked over the coals numerous times at The Bad Place. My current school had many unpleasant surprises in store for me, ranging from Miss Thing to Dean Evillene and The Other Bad Place. I went through another depression that lasted several months. And of course, while I went on many horrible dates and had several fruitless entanglements, I failed to get engaged or married. Or to lose any of the weight I need to lose. It was not a good year, despite how virtuously I tried to usher it in.

This year, I didn't even try. I didn't go to shul either day of Rosh Hashana, nor did I daven on Shabbat Shuvah. Why bother? There seems to be a negative correlation between how hard I try to do mitzvot and how terrible the consequences are. Like the year I went on bikur cholim on Yom Kippur and suffered a seizure. That was a pretty awful year, too.

I had good intentions, but I woke up the first morning too depressed to face a synagogue full of married people. The second day, I woke up nauseated -- a severe gastric disturbance that has waxed and waned but not abated. I'm still queasy, typing this, and fearing a recurrence of two horrific bouts of gastritis that I experienced a few years ago. Months of nausea, vomiting, and waning stamina. I became physically run down and so depressed that in the course of the second gastritis, I overdosed on my psychiatric medications and wound up in a weeklong coma. It's quite possible that these gastric symptoms are somatic signs of depression. I hate to think I'm facing another few months of constant nausea and misery.

On Yom Kippur, when I'm forced to stay at home all day, I probably won't be thinking much about forgiveness and redemption. I've been punished enough for being good and trying to go beyond the call of duty. This is going to be a year of doing the minimum and trying to fly under the radar.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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