Picking up the Pieces

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Crash!

    That was the sound of my marriage falling off the edge of the cliff. It happened several days ago. I’m now in Connecticut, at my mom’s, scrambling to put my life back together. In a couple of days I’ll be headed back down to New Jersey to wrap up my life there, then a few days after that it’s off to San Diego to move in with a friend. I’ve been cycling in and out of depression, and I’ve been nursing a cold. Miserable is too inadequate a term to describe how I feel.

    Thankfully, I know how to take care of myself. My illness has given me a few invaluable life lessons. I know there is no medication or treatment or therapy that can make me immune to depression and heaven help if there were. It’s like a New Englander getting used to cold winters – we may hate them, but we learn to manage, even thrive. Yes, I’m depressed – so what else is new?
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    My spiritual beliefs are a comfort. Many philosophies and religions teach the wisdom of finding true happiness from within, to be aware that nothing is permanent, that life can be an illusion, to recognize when the time is right for letting go, and to face an uncertain future with the grace and courage of a warrior.

    The fact that I’m in only a million and one pieces right now is testimony to the fact that some of this is working.

    Funny thing about life being an illusion. What I found myself grieving over was not the loss of my marriage, but the loss of an illusion of marriage. The marriage I was in for nearly three years was one I could not endure one more day (no blame, here – that’s the way things were). The marriage that could have been, on the other hand, that was the true cause of my mourning. But that was the marriage that never was. It was an illusion, a mirage.

    So the true cause of my misery is something that was never real. Life is an illusion. We create our own illusions. Emptiness and chasing the wind, says Ecclesiastes, that most Buddhist book in the Bible.

    So that crashing sound I heard was really my own illusion shattering down upon me. Somehow, I will pick up the pieces, even if they are of my own illusions. I will venture into the future and shape my own reality, but right now I am staring into emptiness.

    Talk about frightening …

Published On: November 30, 2006