Hi fellow Jews.
I was born and raised in a first-generation American, secular, but very traditional and very zionist Russian Jewish household. I met my girlfriend abroad and we just have what I can only describe as a profound soul connection. I used to have dreams of making aliyah, or even being a lone soldier, but now I am just a young man starting out his life in the United States. I have a stable job at a big company in New York and I need to be focused on getting my life on track here. Instead, I have been suffering clinical depression for almost a year as I felt like I needed to choose my path in life – do I stay with this girl and further assimilate? Or do I become tough and double-down on my Jewish identity. I tried the latter and it unleashed some deep-seated identity criss that sent me spiraling into a full-blown depressive episode. I’m now taking medications and seeing a psychotherapist. I reached out again to my ex and we started talking and it makes me feel better, but I just feel so trapped and my depression vis-a-vis the identity crisis makes waking up every day a struggle. I want to explore options like conversion and conservative Judaism that would help put me and my love on a common spiritual path in life, but it’s difficult to do as we live far apart. But even before I know that we can continue together, I feel like I need to better understand my own identity first. I’m really just looking for any support from someone that has dealt with anything like this. Thank you.