My kids have never been good sleepers. I think my body has conditioned itself to wake at two-hour intervals throughout the night, whether or not a child is waking up beside me. Lately, my ability to roll over and wait for the next internal wake up call has been marred by inescapable thoughts and a racing dialogue of what ifs and what could I have done differently.

I’m self aware enough to recognize that this is the ebb of the ebb and flow of my particular brand of depression. Most of the time, I live with the road I took nearly seven years ago. I feel at times now increasingly alone, even though on the outside I have a wonderful family. A house in the suburbs. A nice car. A great job. A supportive partner.

When my old Jewish self starts creeping back in, pushing out the non-Jew my body lives like, I’m quick to anger and even quicker to live internally to push her back down. Nobody – not even my lone frum friend – calls me by my name. I haven’t heard my own name in months. I’ve written a lot about my name, and I’m still not sure if I could feel better to be called by a name my parents chose over a name I chose for myself. It’s easy to fixate on the name because it’s immediately changeable. All I do is introduce myself as C to the next new person I meet.

I’m so adrift. Waiting for the boat to sail past and pluck me out of the water I’m treading. There’s still such a long way to go, and my night time is spent thinking about how I’ll ever manage to get there.


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