I’ve got a problem.
It’s hard to explain what the problem is exactly because the problem itself is always morphing into something else.
It seems as though there is a void (not the medical term) within my bodily structure that needs to be constantly fed with what I like to call “problems” or “worries”.
These problems started at an early age. I know this because I remember being thrilled at my 12th birthday party, but worried because I was 12 years closer to death. This was a problem.
In those days they weren’t giving Prozac to kids (thankfully). We had 2 treatments available to us, as Gary Gulman once explained.
The first was 2 spoonfuls’ of “snap out of it” and the second was a good dose of “what do you got to be worried about”?
Both treatments had a lackluster effect on me.
Whenever I found myself cheerfully walking the streets without a care in the world, that was a warning sign, the void was hungry and needed to be fed!
People laugh at Karl Pilkington and think he’s a moron, Rick Gervais calls him “a shaven chimp with the head of like a fucking orange”, But I think some of his insights border on genius.
I wondered if this was only a human condition?
I had a dog when I was a kid, he always had a strange expression on his face.
My Mother said it was hunger, but to me he looked worried.
Maybe it was both, maybe he was worried about being hungry?
Whatever it was, he had me chasing him around the entire neighborhood one summer, I was sure he was trying to tell me something, like “Come quick, Timmy’s fallen down the well!”
Timmy was fine as far as I could tell.
Sure, the dog had outsmarted me, but I was only 12 remember.
I did eventually clue in that he just liked long walks.
Our cat came barreling down the stairs to my office the other day, with a very worried look in his eyes.
My wife said he just wanted me to let him out the front door, but how would she know?
Maybe there’s a bully cat in the neighborhood shaking him down for money, or mice.
To be fare, he’s not my cat, I bought the animal for my wife so I don’t have the same connection or insight as to how the animal thinks.
Anyway, I’m not sure about the animals.
The problem is, that I never seem to allow myself to be content.
My son has decided to take his Masters degree of Architecture in Italy, isn’t that fantastic?
I mean, what parent wouldn’t be totally over the moon having their son or daughter studying abroad in Europe, learning the culture, broadening their horizons?
But all I think about are the bad things that can happen.
What if he falls off a gondola, or gets his hand caught in a pasta-making machine? I’d be miles away, that’s a real problem.
I worry about US politics, yet I’m a Canadian.
I worry about being overweight, yet I’m thin.
I worry about death, yet I’m alive.
I worry about money, yet I’m doing fine.
I worry about losing my hair, yet I have none.
I worry about libido, I won’t go there.
I worry about Covid, yet I don’t leave the house.
I worry about not being liked, but don’t socialize.
I know what your saying, but I’ve had therapy, taken meds, meditated and exercised, I’ve done it all.
But sometimes, it just is what it is.
We all have different crosses to bare I believe. Sometimes I use humor to mask the true feelings I have towards anxiety and mental illness, to which I have a heaping helping of both. But I think about how bad some other people have it, bless their hearts.
While mental illness, including addictions, has become more top of mind for the media, it’s fair to say that most people still don’t have a true understanding of just how big, onerous, and potentially damaging the crisis really is—on both a societal and personal level.
We all need a little more compassion in this life. We all need to walk in someone else’s shoes. Most people are trying their best.
Sure, there’s a bad apple now and then. But I think it’s important to help one another out in this life, a smile doesn’t cost a thing.
I have a happy marriage, a beautiful smart young son, a loving Mother. I don’t want for anything. All I can say is today is a good day. What problems do I have today?
I got lucky.