Return to “Life” in Israel

New Shoes

It’s not strange to be back, actually. It was stranger to be in the US than it was to be in Israel. I got so used to living in a dirty, old house that moving back in with my parents seemed like paradise, a dream. Now that I’m back, it’s like nothing has changed. I suppose it hasn’t. I’m still unemployed, still poor, still unhappy about being here. Not that being poor and unemployed isn’t a dream, but I do miss having new shoes. I miss a bathtub. I miss Bernstein’s Italian Dressing. I miss reasonably priced blueberries. I miss having a cell phone. I miss carpet. I miss surfaces without clutter.

It’s been three days.

I’m trying to have a good attitude, but there is just a very large black cloud that reigns over this place. I’m not speaking of Israel in general, but of where I live. So many negative memories haunt me here, my depression is alive and well in this place and I’m not sure I’ll make it out of here in six weeks without falling back into it. I’m very afraid of that. It sounds weak, and I can already hear what you are thinking: Be strong! It’s only six weeks! You can do it!

But, I really need you to shut the old trapper. Let me tell you, “You can do it!” does nothing for me. It’s why I don’t like telling people what bothers me here: you can’t help and encouraging me is irritating. How do you command yourself to wake up with a happy spirit? I don’t think everyone is built that way. And telling me it will all be over soon, or that I’m strong doesn’t help because I don’t WANT to try anymore. Yes, I want to be happy, but I don’t want to be happy here and I don’t know how to change that. I don’t like it here. It’s too different from what I know, from what makes sense to me. I’m isolated, I’m (besides my husband) alone and all the reasons I hated being here still exist, so I think my worry and my fears are legitimate, warranted even.

What also angers me is that it’s not even a real fight. I’m not fighting a war, not fighting cancer, not battling a lawsuit. Depression makes a person feel pathetic because the demons aren’t physical; no one can see them except for the afflicted. So in essence, they are imagined, even though they feel very real. I’m trying to be happy because I make for a miserable wife, but it’s already hard. I’m jet lagged and there are things I have to do here that I don’t want to do. When you don’t have a cheerful heart, it’s hard to make yourself do the “have tos”.

The jetlag is so intense that I can’t function properly yet and I’ve had a sinus infection for over a week that has morphed into any number of different maladies, but I, without a doubt, feel like my health is negatively connected to living here. I am ready for a job, a clean home, a back yard, friends, life. I got some advice from a stranger: Live wherever you are. I am really trying to remember that. But, this is survival, this isn’t living. It hasn’t been living for a long time.

But, this is boot strap pulling up time and I’m going to use mine. I’ve prayed and talked and written and thought about all the problems I have here and my only solution was leaving. So I left. Now I’m back because I believe that in one’s first year of marriage, one should see his or her spouse more than half of the year. I miss Ben. I miss that being in love feeling. I miss the idea of being together forever in our own home, our own clean home with a back yard that has carpeted flooring and a bathtub with good Italian dressing in the fridge, reasonably priced blueberries at the store and a Target around the corner. Soon…soon.

Heading Back To Israel

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I’m waiting to board the flight back to Israel and I have a mixture of emotions: excitement, trepidation, worry, anxiety, happiness, sadness. I wish I was the type of person who could truly focus on the positive things in life and spend each moment happy and content with what I have. But I was blessed(?) with the kind of mind that anticipates the future’s worst so I am prepared for it.

Living abroad depressed me and it took two months of living in America to restore me to who I am. I don’t want to be the person I was in Israel. She was angry, depressed, boring. That country just sucked all that was good out of me and I’m really afraid it will go the same again even though I’m only visiting for a short time.

I worry what will happen in six weeks. I don’t want to take steps back. I’m worried about my marriage: we need to anticipate being apart for a long time. I keep hearing that the first year is the hardest. It was hard before we were married and now we aren’t even living in the same country. What effect will that have on us?

Once again, I feel directionless and I’m afraid.

On the other hand, I AM excited to see my husband. He is a wonderful man and we really love each other. I just wish he was coming here instead of me going there. I’m also excited to see my pets, my in laws, my friends, the Mediterranean Sea. I’m excited to start my life with my husband and I feel like we have been on hold for a long time.

I know I am very blessed and I need to continuously remind myself do I don’t get lost in a sea of anxiety and worry. I hope you can do the same.