Borei Cafe

Posted on January 10, 2007

Shouldn’t there be a special b’racha just for coffee? It can do such wonders, bringing us from sleep into wakefulness, darkness into light, oblivion into coherence.

Today’s a better day than yesterday. At least I’m up and awake (though on my third cup of coffee). And my youngest has a play date for tomorrow.

I’m trying hard not to think about the guilt. I was in bad enough shape yesterday that my husband decided to stay home from work. He doesn’t stay home often, but when he does I feel so incredibly guilty. He’s had jobs before where his bosses were not particularly family-friendly and they didn’t care that he took time off to visit me in the hospital or take me to the doctor when I couldn’t drive. Baruch HaShem that’s not the case with the job he’s had the past three years. As long as he gets his work done and makes it to required meetings, he has some leeway. But there’s still the fear that I’m going to be at the mercy (or lack thereof) of my sometimes unstable emotions and that’s the day his work will be less than undertsanding, G-d forbid.

He assures me everything is fine and if it wasn’t, he’d tell me and we’d find another way to deal with those bad days. I have some friends, but few who really know how bad this can get. It’s not a part of me that I want to share, and I don’t ever want to feel like they’re friends out of pity or sympathy. And I fear that if I relied on my friends when things got this bad, I’d lose them as friends. Helping a friend through a difficult pregnancy or post-partum depression or an acute illness is one thing, but chronic depression that comes and goes and is lifelong? How can that not tax a friendship?

From time to time I’ve thought about talking to my rabbi about this, but then I think, “What’s the point? He can’t do anything about it.” There’s no fix for this, and no end in sight. So why waste his time that could be better spent helping someone who really needs it?

Some other time I’ll write more about something our shul tried to do a while ago. They wanted to make the shul more accessible to people with disabilities, and not just physical disabilities like use of a wheelchair or vision and auditory challenges. I wanted to speak up about people who have emotional disabilities, who need a little extra sensitivity, a little extra reaching out. But I couldn’t find the words, and it seemed redundant anyway. Shouldn’t we be reaching out with sensitivity to everyone?

But it hasn’t happened and there are times I go to shul and feel like I haven’t connected with anyone, that no one – the rabbi included – has seen the tears just beneath the surface, pain I can’t share because there’s no event, no cause. It’s just my brain chemistry again.

I feel like I need to find a way to deal with this myself, without anyone’s help. Except maybe my coffee.

Baruch HaShem for coffee.

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