You listen, of course. You listen to him tell you he can’t figure out what is wrong with him. Wonders why he doesn’t seem to care. About much. All you can do is listen until there is a pause, a break from his stream of words.
Then you tell him what you think. Where the problem might lie. You tell him that it is most likely not something current that has caused him grief, to give him the feeling of giving it all up. No. You tell him you believe it may have to do with a time long ago. During his youth. That for some reason, as a small boy, he seemed to feel not-so-very-loved. That specific moments could have dirtied his mind. Ingrained themselves into his psyche.
You also tell him that maybe he’s spent his life trying to please someone who is no longer around to please. You tell the crying man he needs to find it within himself to believe, to know, that he is indeed worthy. Worthy of everything he’s accomplished. And that if he can find it in his heart, his mind, and his soul to believe how valuable he is to the world. To his wife. To his children. He will feel rewarded. Happy. And full.
That unless he discovers his value, deep down, he will always have a hole where all the good things get washed out, plugged up by the bad.
It’s psychological you tell him. That it’s absorbed in his mind.
So, you make a suggestion.
Find that person in your memory. That person you’ve been trying to please. Find his face. And tell him you are okay. That you no longer need anyone’s approval. Only your own. And then you will see. Life will brighten. Feel lighter. Less harsh. And only then will you be truly happy.
In response, the tearful man will say to you, I think you are right. I think I am holding onto something from long ago. Something that is hurting me. Hurting my life. And my relationships. Then he will breathe deep. Wipe away the tears that have fallen. And embrace you. Hold you tight. Because you are the person he trusts the most.