There is a strange attitude and feeling that one is not yet in real life. For the time being one is doing this or that, but whether it is [a relationship with] a woman or a job, it is not yet what is really wanted, and there is always the fantasy that sometime in the future the real thing will come about… The one thing dreaded throughout by such a type of man is to be bound to anything whatever. There is a terrific fear of being pinned down, of entering space and time completely, and of being the unique human that one is.

Marie-Louise von Franz, The Problem of the Puer Aeternus, in Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals

A good marriage is a “eucatastrophe”: it ends a phase of your life well but decisively. Not only was my time as a single person over; all the obvious narrative peaks in my life were scaled. I saw only a long corridor, then death. We conquer death, if at all, through faith—perhaps the sort of religious faith that involves an afterlife (which is never, by the way, the consolation you’d expect it to be) or perhaps just a faith that things can both die and also matter.

If you’re going to have any kind of distinctive life at all, you sometimes have to ignore your internal weather, the evidence not necessarily of your senses (though sometimes those too) but of your emotions. For those of us with mental health issues, “faith” in this sense is especially necessary. It’s a kind of faking-it-till-you-realize-you’ve-already-made-it.

Phil Christman, “How to Be Married”, in “Some Deaths Before Dying”