Please don’t take the following essay as a sign that I am suicidal. I am not. I am sad at times regarding my circumstances, but I am fine. I’m just using some poetic license to make my point about the ego and the pain of both resisting and choosing to work with it, and the uncertainty that that entails. I didn’t write about this in the essay, but those of us who choose to deal with our egos on a conscious level are brave. We are revolutionaries!
I’m 49 years old. I’m happily married with two exceptional children. I live in a nice house in the suburbs. My eldest daughter is in college now. She’s going after her dream, to be an major actress. My younger daughter is a dancer. She’ll be going to college in there years. I’m unemployed at the moment. I’ve been on disability since 2007 when my vision had been damaged continued to deteriorate since late 1997 and early 1998. I had a rough childhood. We had a sadistic psychopath for a step-father. Nothing’s ever been “normal”. I have Depression. The biochemical and hard to treat kind of Depression with a capital “D”. It’s actually called Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and I am also lucky enough to be “treatment resistant” which means that if the meds ease to work which they have in the past and will probably happen again in the future, it can be an extremely long time to dwell in the pit of physical and psychological pain and despair. I’ve camped out in the valley of the shadow of death before. The last time I visited, I wound up living; no, surviving there for 4 long years. I though I was gone for good. Many people thought I was gone for good. My wife had faith. She saw it all, and she saw me always struggle and never back down. I may have been in bed but I was hard at work, reading, listening, watching, praying, pushing, and trying to be present for my children as best as I could.
So I’m not in Depression now. I get severely depressed at times but they don’t last as long and usually don’t go down to the depths of despair where I last dwelled for over 4 years. And I have this question: What do I do now? The false sense of self that we define for ourselves as we grow from perfect to distorted being with egos that serve to define and constrict our own view of ourselves serves some people well. They can go on a whole lifetime, perhaps a hundred lifetimes like that. I can’t. So now after being torn down and torn apart by depression, anxiety, undiagnosed ADD, misdiagnosed Bi-Polar II Disorder, PTSD, and a major loss of vision, what to I do? Who am I? And what do I do? I know that there is a Self or a Soul, a Me that is timeless but that isn’t helping me enough in this physical world. The gurus say it can. They say I can live blissfuly, but I am not so sure.
Over the years I’ve built up definitions of me and my environment that have all been shaken. This small self, this “ego” as it is used in spiritual circles, not the psychological kind, has to be torn down. More tearing down? When will there be nothing left to peel away?
The truth is that I don’t know who I am anymore. My Soul Self is empathetic, compassionate, loving, and has integrity. But my small self, my ego is a pile of both true and false beliefs that has constricted me and tried to put me in a box. But with my life, with its constant upheaval of worldly circumstances that seem to cease confounds me as if the grim reaper himself keeps chasing me down and changing the boxes. My ego used to fit into this box, but now it doesn’t. It fits in another box. Now I have to find the box. Or do I? If I could tear down that ego there’d be nothing but spirit and I guess there wouldn’t be need for a body either. Perhaps that’s when its time to die? If I wish to continue on this earth, then the answer lies in removing the false beliefs that the ego contains, and hopefully getting down to what’s Real and True. Or is that Reality the purview of the Soul only? If so, then again, why need this body and this mind? We must be meant to enjoy this life in it’s human form. It requires an ego. And it requires a Soul. But this ego must be broken down and rebuilt anew with clear intention and full aspiration in order to live a happy life.
So here I am. I am 49 years old. I’m happily married with two exceptional children. But what am I going to do now?