Ego | noun | \ˈē-(ˌ)gō also ˈe-\
The “self” especially as contrasted with another self or the world
Po·lem·ic | noun | \pə-ˈle-mik\
An aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another
On a fall day just a year ago, I woke up early in the morning, got into my car, drove down a long windy backwoods road, and intentionally veered into a tree. I wasn’t going very fast and both myself and the vehicle survived intact, but the attempt was real nonetheless. An hour later, my friend, whose family I was living with at the time, woke up for work and found me sitting on her front door step drinking straight vodka and smoking a cigarette. We went to the office together that day as if everything was normal.
Later, this year, while living with still other friends, I watched with the rest of the twitter world as the Mars rover descended. It was amazing and glorious and perfect. Earlier that night, though, while my hosts were downstairs living their lives, I had dialed and hung up on the suicide hotline several times. My browser history overflowed with methods, techniques, perspectives, communities, and hotlines. I was in desperate fear for my life and was struggling to find a way to keep holding on. I needed someone to talk to. By then, though, I’d already felt the last adrenaline surge that comes when both real and emotional muscle are about to fail. I didn’t believe I would be able to hold on, no matter how tight my grip or who I called.
Luckily, for whatever reason, the Mars Rover event saved me that night. Go figure.
I mean, it’s not like I wanted to die – and I certainly don’t now. But the fact is, the exhaustion remains. I don’t believe I have a choice. Sooner or later, the sweat soaked grip will slip and I’ll fall. There won’t always be a miraculously timed twitter event.
All this makes me feel ashamed. It’s not like I have it rough, after all.
I have a beautiful, understanding, perfect girlfriend whose strength and honesty in the face of her own personal tragedies are nothing short of super human and are inspiring to me every day.
My job requires little effort, pays well, and is in a space that I’m comfortable in.
My parents and siblings love me, my friends like me.
I have a home.
Life is good.
I can’t do it. I’m not good at being me, never have been, and never will be. I wear my life, my relationship with the world, my sense of self all like a 100-pound one-size-fits-all halloween costume. It makes me sweat and makes me panic. Doing the simplest things is almost impossible. I can barely pay bills on time and I make six figures. One day, I will probably go to jail because I fucked up some paperwork by mistake.
My head is all noise and some days I’m frankly surprised I can speak.
Physically, I’m in terrible shape – I used to eat to self medicate and dull my senses so I didn’t *feel* anything anymore. (Protip: If you’re squeamish about drugs, oversaturating yourself with carbs, protein, and sugar all of the time every day goes along way to keeping yourself from feeling yourself.) But now I can’t do that any more, I’m left to face myself every day and I can’t do it.
Still, I do want to live. Very much so. Faced with actual death several times over the course of my life, I’ve violently rejected and refused it every time. I’m not unhappy. I love being alive. I just. can’t. do. it.
So the question then is, how do I reconcile the desire for life with the very real likelihood that exhaustion will make desire moot?
By killing my “self”. By killing off my ego. By terminating, with extreme prejudice, my external sense – born out of others eyes – of who I am. By starting over and building a new ego from scratch.
I plan on going to my own funeral this year and I hope this blog will document the process. I intend for it to be an aggressive argument against my “self” – an ego polemic.