It's a joyous month, and I would truly love it if I could feel joyous for the whole month. Or even for just Chanukah, or maybe one shabbes. I'm trying to remember the last time that happened and I can't. Maybe years ago. Chabad told me, ''why complain about the darkness when you can turn on the lights?''. Well, partly because Jewish women love complaining. But mostly because I can't find the light switch. I'm in a room with millions of switches and I just hope one of them is going to work. But I'm beginning to think I've tried them all.

I know you aren't reading this. But I miss the old you. I don't know if there are words enough to sum up my love. Imagine the kind of love which led me to cross oceans, to walk through fire, to give my all and happily, too. I had that love, and I still have it. But I wish I'd crossed those oceans and walked through those flames. Instead I sunk ships and burnt bridges and I don't think you're here anymore. It's my fault. I messed up, big time. But maybe I still have a right to weep, to remember, to regret. Because believe me, I've wept more tears than I knew I had. Someone told me- maybe it was the Chazal- that even when the gates of Heaven are closed to tefillos, they're open to tears. I wonder if one day G-d will help me. I wonder if He sees me. And I wonder when He'll stop punishing me. This has to be a punishment. Or is it? I sometimes wonder if this is His way of teaching me something. Maybe he's helping me and I'm just refusing to accept it. I hope that one day the old you comes back to me. Because I'm waiting.

Honestly, I feel as if I've descended into the darkest pit in the world. But the problem is, even in the deepest, darkest pit, just a little light can dispel the darkness. Unless- there's no oxygen. No flame can be born without oxygen. So before I can light a fire, I need to get to a place with oxygen. If Kislev is the flame, the light, what's the oxygen? I can't have a joyous Kislev without it. Such a simple problem. Such a common one. But when you don't know what the oxygen is, it's impossible. Maybe I'll find it, but I can't do it alone. I know that truly I can't be alone when my soul cleaves to Hashem, but that only serves to make this all more complicated.

Rather than thinking that because Hashem is with me, it'll all work out, I feel ungrateful. Hashem answered my prayers just this morning. How long did I spend praying for a miracle? Not nearly enough time. And there; there was my miracle. I don't understand it myself; how, when so many miracles are bestowed upon me, can I be so ungrateful? How can I despair every minute of the day, hate every minute of my life, weep every minute of the night? If I don't understand it, I can hardly blame anyone else for not understanding it. If I were a member of a Chossidic community, I'd be kicked out for writing this. But I'm not a member. I never will be. I'm the one who sits in the corner on her own. And that's okay; I think it's the best way to learn about the people around you. If I were a better judge of character, I'd say more than this; but I've been blessed with meeting some very interesting people, and even a few wonderful ones.

At the end of the day, this is really nobody's fault but my own. I'm alone in this world and no-one owes me anything. I wonder where I went wrong.

Published by Lily Smythe