When You Live Your Whole Life Through Your Ego, You Eventually Go Crazy.

Finally, you lose connection to your soul.

Shoshana Kaufman

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Photo by mariel reiser on Unsplash

This is my theory: addiction to ego satisfaction leads to mental illness. I have no proof for this: I only know what I have seen.

My theory first came to me when I was having an argument with a friend. We had been friends for about five years. I was drawn to her loud charm and outrageous sense of humor. We worked together and supported each other through the aftermath of her divorce, our struggles in mid-life dating, and, finally, the death of my husband.

I will call my friend Margaux. I will speak of her in the past tense, even though she is still alive.

She is dead to me.

Margaux had a big personality. She was tall and large. She was pushy, arrogant, and utterly full of herself. For some reason, I read this as strength. She was actually a very weak, childish person. She was obsessed with status — mostly her own lost status. She had been brought up in an upper middle-class family and she had been married to a successful, rich doctor with whom she had a child. When I became friends with her, she was a divorced single mother with a young daughter. She bitterly resented having to share custody of her five-year-old child with her ex-husband.

She was the closest thing to a best friend I had ever had in my adult life.

Our conversations were mostly about resentment. She resented her entire family, consisting of several siblings, a father and a step-mother. But her ex-husband caused the most outrage. He was sexist, selfish, and wealthy enough to remind her that she was worth less than him. I had never met him, so I believed her implicitly. That’s what good feminists do: we support our sisters against the patriarchy.

I remember our final argument. It was about something ridiculous. I was trying to back out of her garage into the narrow alleyway behind her house. I was having trouble. A man was trying to get past me, but I couldn’t maenouver my car properly. He offered to help. I accepted. He quickly moved my car out of the way, but before he could drive away, Margaux confronted him about helping me. She told him he should have let me learn how to do it myself. She…

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Shoshana Kaufman

Mother, grandmother, teacher, wife, food lover, spiritual searcher.