Spiritual Awareness vs. Prozac©

My eyes open to the morning light and a sense of doom invades me. I know this feeling well. No major crisis has occurred and yet some void or hole swallows me up in depressive thoughts and feelings. Am I truly depressed, beyond the help of my own awareness and action?

Sixty million people will be diagnosed with various forms of depression in their lifetime. For many, drugs will be their treatment of choice, generic Prozac©, Zoloft© etc. Many of us will lose our joy, creativity, exuberant experiences with or without this diagnosis. Our work, love and play will be diminished as we retreat to isolation. Solitude will no longer be a happy, meaningful place of peace and self discovery.

The time when our music stops, strangely enough, provides us with our finest opportunity to discover the richer inner material that is our vital self. We may need critical life events to transform our doomed feelings which often arrive before the final catastrophe. Many will choose drugs to mellow out. These drugs will also inhibit our emotional and self awareness, interfere with our ability to use our creative mind at the time that it is most needed.

Let’s assume we are immobilized, unwilling to risk a new choice or different decision. There is a banquet and we are hungry but our hands will not reach out and take the tantalizing food. We agonize to a friend , “I want my life back.” At this point we may consider therapy, drugs, books, astrology, magazines, anything that will end our chaos and desperation.

Is there a journey we can make that may bring us to a fuller life than the one that has suddenly disappeared? There are key pieces to the puzzle, our personal mysteries, which will enable us to find our awakened self. And so the beginning is just a willingness to know as much as we can about ourselves and our family legacy. We are the keepers of our wisdom locked within the story of our life and our deficits, all the parts we want to annihilate or change dramatically.

When our music dies and work, love, and play lose vitality and passion as they must, the holes or ego deficits will open up and the joy and creativity of our truest self will seem impossible to grasp. The ego deficits have the power to shut us down completely. The critic without mercy is our own demon, the potential origin of depressive thinking. I call mine my “humongous conscience.” First we need awareness and knowledge of our legacy, next we need to call the deficits or holes by a name. Knowledge of the core self is a major path to our richer spirit, to our wisdom, to a clear re-enchanting of our life.

Life is found in life itself, in the daily choices, not in the heroic acts. When we risk exploration of our mysteries, and our deeper semi-conscious or unconscious self we’re given the freedom to be who we are and we can accept all we are on any given day. We can take a leap of faith into our future, vital self. At some point we know the music will stop but we also know we will hear it once again.

If I believe that my life and the life of others around me was not about struggling with holes and voids from birth on, it would be a cruel illusion. Our genetic natures, families, and experiences provide a destiny of continual work in order for us to maintain dignity and self-worth. We restore our lost, dislocated spirit many times during our life, and we accomplish this with creative, passionate, authentic choices. When we are successful, work, love, and play bring joy and abundance to us. The miracle is that we can change our destiny by facing the voids. “There is vertigo in losing oneself” says Albert Camus, an extraordinary man and writer, “and denying everything, in breaking forever what once defined us, and which now offers only solitude and the void, all in order to find the only platform from which destinies may always begin again.”

If I can take one small step, a conversation with a supportive person, reading a book, seeking a group or class, walking, making one small decision, calling or writing a loved one, preparing a food to be shared, meditating, planting a garden, I will begin to find the richer material of my life. There are many, many small steps we can choose from.

Without a lightening bolt we may hear the faint sound of our music off in the distance playing, calling to us, and we can respond. Not all at once, but slowly, steadily, two steps forward and one step back. The critic without mercy, a major wrenching hole, fades like a ghost to another reality. If it returns, we will understand it better and diminish it sooner. All deficits or holes are benefits because they informs us that our ego has overpowered our true spirit. We cannot hear our music when our work, love, and relationships are attacked by ego threats. The life we find meaningful is within our daily life. The mundane cup of coffee, the flower opening during the night, the heart sharing of conversation with a friend, the attachment to others, or a house, or a dog, or a tree. “Life is managed, not cured.” Philip McGraw said. For many of us we will find spiritual awareness and re-enchantment of our spirit is achievable without the use of drugs.

Author's Bio: 


This article draws upon the experience of Dr. Beverlee Zell-Tamis, Ph.D., author of The Day The Music Stopped, Re-enchantment of Our Lost Spirit (Carlisle Press, Spring 2001). Zell-Tamis, a single mother with many careers has been an active psychotherapist in Phoenix, Arizona for 20 years. She gives life to her own experiences and gives the reader an opportunity to identify with widely diverse voices who tell their own stories. At a time when more of us are being pushed into drug therapy as the quick fix of depressive feelings, the author reminds us that the most creative help is from within our self.

Her book speaks openly about her own challenges and vulnerability, acknowledging that the flawed self is everyone’s beginning, middle, and end. We all share a heritage of damage to our spirit which can be understood and accepted. She offers this book with the hope that it might make a difference in other people’s lives, suggesting paths we might take to find and embrace the authentic and creative self that lies within each of us.

Beverlee Zell-Tamis invites you to share your thoughts. She can be reached at beverleesee4ever@aol.com or visit her web site at selfdiscoveryofspirit.com.

© 2001 printed with the author’s permission