Authenticity, integrity and demoralization

I´ve been reading about Existential Analysis  today. (Oh, how very interesting. I´m getting seriously annoyed by the fact that my blog entries predictably start with “I´ve been reading about…”. Really shows how much of a life I have.)

Yeah, anyway. I don´t know if the link I posted above describes very well what I found striking about EA, but it was the best I could find in English, at least on the quick. Uh, yeah. I´m SO uncomfortable writing about this. It will start to sound all cheesy. EA does take everything DEAD serious, really.

Okay *deep breath*…I´m not so much convinced of EA as I´m scared of it. It gives me the creeps. It feeds my feeling that I´m wasting away my life, like by living in a dream world. And it also makes me feel very afraid of the real world, real life and the real conditio humana. The fact that it is scary, though, doesn´t prove it wrong. Because maybe life isn´t so much about being happy as it is about being authentic. A happiness that is based on lies is a worse state than honest misery. So far EA seems to fit my own ethics and ideals.

Given that I live in a dream world, given that I haven´t made a conscious, awake decision in years, and given that I feel so unauthentic that I describe myself as dead inside, though, it is clear that I cannot confirm to my own ideals. I don´t just fail them every now and then. I fail them all the time. And this has me wonder. Am I really that twisted, deformed and flawed – or are my ideals twisted, deformed and flawed?

For someone whose ideals are all about authenticity and integrity, there is nothing more demoralizing than feeling like he is trapped in a lie. And I have been feeling like that, and fighting against that feeling, for years.

For seven years, to give the precise number.

For the last seven years I have pretty much felt worthless and inadequate. And it is far from over. I still cannot seem to break free. Every now and then I feel like I´d have to do something dramatic, drastic, extreme, whatever that may be. But it is not so much about the circumstances I live in. It is about who I am. I feel like I will be trapped and numb and disconnected no matter what the circumstances.  I normally translate this with “I will never be happy, no matter what career I choose”. But this isn´t really about careers, and it isn´t about happiness, either. I´m just so scared that one day I´ll wake up and realize I´m living a lie.

And that´s the ironic thing, isn´t it? I´m not scared that maybe, possibly, likely I am already living a lie. I´m just scared of realizing it. Which might be why I´m unable to do so.

Why am I scared of realizing it, though?

I just know it all too well already. The intense, mind-shattering shame, guilt, grief, despair. All those feelings that just flash through my psyche, and I am unable to even hold on to them. They just disappear again, and what is left is that same numb, vaguely guilty, vaguely desperate feeling I am already dealing with now.  Feeling vastly inferior to anybody who is living true to themselves, feeling raging hatred towards anybody who might be aware of my inferiority, and even worse: who might have witnessed the shame and devastation it causes me. Trying to hide my rage so at least it doesn´t embarrass me any further. By denying my rage trying to deny that I even feel inferior. Then, when the fit is over, crawl back into my life (lie) and dream myself away.

This, this is what gnaws on my self-esteem; not the fact that I´m not a published multi-millionaire with a Nobel Peace Prize.

The loss of my integrity.



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