“What does Happy look like?” asks my counsellor.
“Good question,” I respond after a while. “I have never thought of it like that.”
“If you don’t know what it looks like, how will you know when you are happy?”
“Another good question.”
Happy looks like a Sunday morning run with your wife and daughters through wooded countryside. It involves getting out of bed and pushing yourself into suitable running gear and then finding somewhere nice to run. Trail running and the like are far more preferable to road running as they provide old stagers like me with something to look at and admire whilst doing one’s duty to ones ageing frame. The empty nature of nature lends itself to a feeling of innate wellbeing, a rather clichéd oneness with the countryside and a love of relative silence. It also allows a family to bond.
Well this family, this Sunday, was not so much bonding as abandoning. Our eldest was doing a duathlon in Oxford with the university team whilst our middle one was remaining indoors to do homework and to check any social media that needed checking. My wife had had a wonderfully timed learning walk goose-step itself into her last class of the day on Friday afternoon, so she was feeling that bed was a proper place to spend the rest of her life. That left me and our youngest. Yet, I was full of beans; metaphorical ones.
In the last week I had found somebody who I thought may have disappeared off into the kingdom of Someone I Used To Be; Me!
It came as a shock when I looked in the shaving mirror and saw my old self staring back. I hummed a little Frank Sinatra tune just to check and pulled a face. To cap it all off, I did my worst Godfather impersonation. Yup, it was either me or an extremely good imposter. I knew that I had lost myself some time ago and I was in the process of becoming accustomed to this new me, Prozac Dad.
Prozac Dad is calm, he floats, he avoids confrontation, he is not competitive and he is not demanding (certainly not in the bedroom region). Prozac Dad is essentially dead. He may look like a proper human being, but his very essence has been sucked out and diverted into a container labelled, “Empty.”
This is what my life has done to me. My life has conspired with major drugs companies in order to bring me to the point of zombification. I am a walker who chooses not to feast on the flesh of the living as my chemical inhibitors stop me from doing so. If Rick Grimes was near me now, he would be sticking a sharp knife through my ear and into the useless lump that was once my brain. Prozac Dad becomes Prozac Dead.