Ever since we emigrated to Australia I have struggled with dysthemia and depression.
At its worst I feel like I am being sucked out of the world, as I find no way to easily engage in anything.
Much of it is to do with my working life, the lack of meaningful work which mobilises the best in me and in which I get validated for my talents, the lack of connection and sometimes complete disjuncture between my own values and reality and much of what I see is normative around me, and the indifference at best of this context to the things that move me and seem important to me.
I tell myself I am irrelevant here, and perhaps everywhere. The ageing of my body and slightly diminished physical capacity also go into the mix. Of course I challenge this mind talk (self talk) else I would not have plodded on for 6+ years, but it can be a daily struggle, and people pick up on my low energy, lack of conviction, passion and engagement.
I create opportunities for myself with hard work, and then do not take them up as they suddenly seem pointless or flimsy or capricious. "What has this to do with me" I ask myself. I could do them but what for?
It is vital to most people that they find ways to contribute. I'm looking to create the structures and vessels for that, so at the moment am very much focussed on the kemach - the flour, the prosaic, the plodding, even to the extent perhaps of ignoring and suppressing the creativity in me, and putting aside the thirst for Torah...for sweetness and excitement and the joy of collaboration and fresh creation. This is because I tell myself/feel that what is most important for I and my family at this point is material stability, i.e been able to pay the bills in some kind of predictable fashion, and thicken our resources.
My fear is by the time I have achieved this, I will not want or be able to do anything else.
What will be will be, as my dad, zichrono livracha, used to say.