I was a success. Nothing huge or anything. I wasn’t president of the United States, and I didn’t win a Nobel Prize, but people said I was a success, and when my head swelled up the doctor confirmed that it was due to success. He said that success had gone to my head and that that was what was causing the swelling. He said it was a pretty common side effect of success.
The doctor said he wished I’d come to him sooner, because maybe he could have operated, but my head was fully two-and-a-half times the size it had been, and he couldn’t operate like that. He said he didn’t even dare install a shunt because it could cause my head to explode. He said all I could do was take ibuprofen and fail at a few things.
The doctor seemed like an idiot to me. I took ibuprofen because my head hurt like hell all the time, but it was obviously stress related, so I followed up on my success.
Over time, the swelling went down a little bit, but then my ego started to grow. I’d go places and it would be hard to get through the doorways. After my ego ripped out the doorjamb at my in-laws’, I had to start leaving it outside.
It was disorienting being without my ego. I’d sit in rooms and watch stuff happen and I’d have no idea why I was there or what any of it had to do with me. I took up smoking so that I could go outside to be with my ego.
I went to see a bunch of doctors, and they all said it was success. They said success affected everyone differently. They said some people couldn’t sleep and some people suffered sexual dysfunction, and some people were fine, but swelled heads and inflated egos were the most common side effects. They said that failure was the only cure.
I started a campaign to warn people about the dangers of success. I wrote a book telling my story and published pamphlets explaining the side effects of success and how to spot the symptoms. The campaign has been a total failure. I’m broke, and people think I’m nuts, including my wife who’s left me. The whole thing is a lucky break. Otherwise I’d still be dealing with blinding headaches and an ego that wouldn’t fit in rooms. I might even be dead. Instead I feel better than I’ve ever felt. My doctor says I’m in good shape for a person half my age.