After major surgery, I was given less than a year to live. As I walked to a nearby beauty shop, I was feeling sorry for myself, very depressed, and asking: “What do I have to live for?”
When I turned the corner, I noticed a young man sitting in his wheelchair smiling at the sun, obviously enjoying the morning. Suddenly my grandmother’s face popped into my mind and I could hear her saying: “There is always someone worse off than you.” And here he was, so much worse off than I was and I was feeling sorry for myself. “I can walk,” I realized. “And I have two arms,” (even though one was in a cast at the time.)
On my way home, he was no longer on the porch, so I stopped and knocked on the door. His mother answered and I asked if there was anything I could do to help them. With a look of relief, she asked if I would mind staying with him so she could go to the market. “I’ll do it right now,” I said. So I took a chair and went to his room where he was lying in bed. He told me what had happened to him. On graduation night that same spring, he had been in a car accident. He was thrown from the car and his neck was broken. Now at nineteen, he was a quadriplegic and would be for the rest of his life.
I told his mother that I would come whenever she needed to run an errand and I would sit with him. I continued doing this for over a year as my way of praying for him. What I soon realized was that in spite of all my wounds and pain, I had no reason to feel sorry for myself. I received so much from helping him. My depression was gone.
This experience echoes what my grandmother taught me: depression is a form of selfishness. The reason is most depressed people are thinking only of themselves, feeling so sorry for themselves that they become obsessed with their condition. They do not look around to see somebody worse off or to count their blessings. Or, if they do, they create an “Oh, woe is us!” party instead of a healing.
If you are ill or sad or feeling left out, you are creating a negative condition such as an accident or a suicidal state of mind. Ask yourself where you are today in your thinking process. Is it all about you? Or is it about somebody else that is worse off than you are? Is it about a person caring for you that you are abusing with your sadness and sorrow? Many of you are taking substances that create your condition. You have an excuse to be depressed. Right?
If you want to stop this condition, you have three major steps to take:
- Start slowly removing yourself from your substances – not quickly for that could be deadly – but slowly. For example: reduce you dose by ¼ each week.
- During this process, you should be thinking about and looking at the people around you who are “slightly damaged” and may need a prayer. Think of all the people you know who are ill, who are liars, who are thieves, who are selfish and who are mean. (This should give you plenty to choose from.)
- Appreciate yourself enough to heal!
Regardless of the condition you find yourself in, realize how truly blessed you are!