Sometimes, the happiest people are the saddest
The lights have gone out, the boisterous applause now a distant whisper, and children with smiles etched by Edmund’s finesse are streaming out of the venue. It has been many hours of joy-making, and Edmund is physically and mentally spent. Most performers would pack up and call it a day, but Edmund has something pressing to do — a creeping desire gnaws at him. He reaches into his bag, retrieves his phone and launches the app “Shadow Era”. He readies himself for an online match with a disembodied gamer halfway across the world. There in the vacated venue he loiters, all alone, eyes fixed on the screen, whisked away to another world.
“I went through a dark period when I developed a serious addiction to mobile gaming, and it led to a downward spiral: It took up a lot of my energy, and I did not have enough time to run my business. I simply lost focus in life.” His wife, who helps at his events, had to bear the brunt of his festering frustration. Edmund would micro-manage her, and snap at her whenever she made a mistake. Onstage, he was this loveable, larger-than-life character, but offstage he was, by his own admission, short-tempered and at times downright nasty.
His career hitting a plateau, Edmund was like a boat impeded by blinding blackness of the night, directionless, carried forward only by the waves. “I kept wondering about what my next move would be, and I didn’t know where I was headed, career wise. My income began to dip slowly.” Another problem was plaguing Edmund as well: His health was debilitating, his weight gain brought on by unhealthy eating habits. “After a show, the last things I wanted to eat were sweet potatoes or oatmeal. I would scarf down high-fat foods such as chicken rice, fried noodles and the like.” At just thirty-three, Edmund became at risk of diabetes as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure. He also experienced persistent throbbing pain in his right knee.