The birth of my inner Superman was an abomination of epic proportions. His death is an event to be celebrated with the fervor of newly minted parents.

As a child, I felt and believed that I had to earn love. The coping mechanism that I developed to “earn that love” was to strive to be a hyper-achiever, forfeiting nearly all joy, proper self-care, and balanced development and maturation. And so, my inner Superman was birthed and took the reins of my psyche for many years.

Fueled by the mania and distorted thinking of my (undiagnosed) Bipolar Disorder, I “learned” that life was a constant endurance test in which I had to achieve at all costs.

Pushing myself beyond reasonable human limits enabled me to realize some Pyrrhic victories, like becoming Valedictorian of my HS class and earning my Eagle Scout award at a very young age, but the toll that my efforts took on my being was far greater than the rewards.

I essentially sacrificed the fun that most people have in childhood and adolescence in exchange for these successes. And more importantly, my Bipolar Disorder was triggered and I spiraled into a severe depression and an eating disorder at the start of my freshman year in college.

Yet even as my life continued to spiral out of control and I self destructed in myriad ways, my inner Superman (whom I later “met” as I read about Nietzsche’s Ubermensch and “will to power”) continued to spur me to push myself to the very extreme limits of my human capacity.

The fact that I was functional with Bipolar Disorder through 43 years of instability and chaos AND survived to find stability and the means to thrive over the last 8 years is a testament to the necessity of my inner Superman. In fact, I am grateful he was there to, along with God, get me through Hell.

But once I became blessed with support, meds, therapy, AA, coping tools, and head and heart knowledge that no human being has to earn love, Superman had outlived his usefulness. And since, paradoxically, he had damn near killed me in the process of keeping me alive, it was time for him to die.

My surrender to a Higher Power 8 years ago terminated my inner Superman. My “will to power.”

Sometimes I take back my will and Superman is briefly resurrected, but thankfully my re-surrendering is his Kryptonite and takes him out once again.

Thank you, Superman, but I’m glad you’re dead.

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