Done and yet just beginning

Posted on August 17, 2007

I had my meeting with my rabbi. It was very good. He will help me.

He said this was the month to do this, to get my team together, to look ahead proactively. I think it is no accident that I should first talk to him about this at the beginning of Elul. Even when the world around me is ignorant of the Jewish calendar, something inside me is well aware of it and embraces it. It becomes my inner time.

My psychiatrist’s assistant had said two of the things I should ask for are my rabbi’s support and his understanding of what I go through. In fact, in my first post on what I’d want my rabbi to know, I said I wanted him to understand me, to understand my disorder.

I started to tell him about what depression feels like to me, the things I listed in my post about depression as adversary. I fear I was not doing a very good job at first, and then he said he throught of depression as attacking one’s sense of legitimacy to simply be. It is a relief to know he understands. Only someone who understood could say that.

I told him I was not looking for therapy from him. I said only some things needed problem solving. Some of it I just felt a strong need to share and I had nowhere else to take it. Some of it involved shul and it seemed inappropriate to take it anywhere but to him.

My anxiety is a different issue and it sometimes stands in my way even when the depression does not. We talked about it a little bit. I feel I have a little clearer view of what is real and what is perceived. We will meet again just after the holidays and I feel reassured by that. I feel like I don’t have to do this all alone.

My family has been invited to Shabbos dinner at a friend’s house tomorrow. I feel so moved by that. It has been a year or more since we were invited anywhere for Shabbos. I have to try hard not to think of the past eight months, but to think of the promise for what the future holds, what tomorrow may bring.

The day has worn me out so please forgive me for any omissions. Adequate sleep is still a need I haven’t yet met.


  1. Rivka

    Jendeis: thank you. I’m glad the words were there when I needed them.

    RWAC: Thank you. I really appreciate your support. I don’t know if we’ll manage two to three weeks. That seems awfully frequent. But I looked at my calendar and the last time I’d had an appointment with my rabbi prior to this was in 2005. So every two months is a big improvement.

    Ezzie: your smile made me smile. Thank you!

    Jack: Thank you for continually checking in with me. It means a lot.

  2. Jack Steiner

    It sounds like things are progressing in a positive direction.

  3. Unknown

    I had my meeting with my rabbi. It was very good. He will help me.

    I just read this one line and couldn’t help but smile.

    As to the rest, excellent. This is an amazing positive step, and I hope it continues to go well!

  4. rabbi without a cause

    I am thrilled (and relieved) that things went well.

    I am particularly encouraged that you set up the next meeting already. I feel it’s important that both you and the rabbi know the timeframe and know each other’s expectations. This way he won’t panic that he might be called upon daily, and you will know when it is ‘safe’ to approach him again.

    “After the holidays” does seem like it’s a long time away, but at this time of year, that’s the way a lot of things have to work for rabbis. Perhaps after Succos you’ll find it helpful to meet more frequently, such as every two or three weeks, if you and he can find the time.

  5. Jendeis


    I’m so happy that your meeting with the rabbi went well. I know that you were worried that you wouldn’t be able to articulate your feelings, but it looks like you did a fine job.

    Have a good shabbos!

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