I hopped onto Yahoo today…It’s not my usual search engine, but sometimes I like to use it to get a glance at the news before I go digging into whatever I’m looking for…and I was disheartened to see the familiar face of one of my favorite actors in another story about failed sobriety. I won’t post the pictures because it is completely and utterly disrespectful that they were ever taken in the first place, but I will tell you that when I saw them, my heart broke. The man who I always think of as the strident and charismatic Henry Tudor, suave and tortured Elvis Presley, and devious yet gentlemanly Dracula appeared utterly lost and alone, totally consumed by his demons.
Seeing Jonathan Rhys Meyers in that state was like a gut-punch. You see, I’ve kind of been feeling sorry for myself. In the spirit of being frank, I have anxiety, and let me tell you, it’s been a bear lately. There’s nothing in particular that sets it off, it’s just a general feeling I struggle with. A feeling of never being good enough. Of never realizing my goals. Of always being less-than. It’s a feeling that I think many of us struggle with, truthfully, and when you get that feeling, I call it being on the If-Only Train.
If-Only I looked as gorgeous as Giselle/Jennifer Aniston/J-Lo. If-Only I wrote as well as JK Rowling/Stephen King/George R. R. Martin. If only I were as rich as Bill Gates/Warren Buffett/Jeff Bezos. If-Only I was thin, gorgeous, articulate, brilliant, popular…my life would be perfect. I’d never be anxious again. Everything would just fall into place for me, right? No. It wouldn’t. And seeing Rhys Meyers mired in his own misery only proves that to me. On paper, he’s got it all: the looks, talent in spades, more than enough money to get by…but here he is, soaked in liquid courage, aimlessly wandering an airport. Because underneath all of that glamour, he’s human. Even the seemingly perfect among us feel the acute sting of pain.
There is nothing in this world that can make your life better than you can. No diet, no prize, no accolade. Nothing. It’s a conscientious decision you have to make. Knowing this doesn’t make the struggle any easier right now, but maybe one day it will. If I could offer any advice it would be this: know that everyone has their trip on the If-Only train – some of us just go on vacation a little more often than others.