I was sitting down staring into the air when my friend – Sarah broke the silence;
“Andrea please don’t start”.
“Start what?” I asked.
“I’m right in front of you and you’re almost activating moodiness.” She replied.
Hmm. I understood what she meant. It’s just that I can’t keep my mind from wandering. Wandering about the past, the present and the future, how impossible life is and how impossible the future looks. I go emotional about almost everything. I feel so helpless, hopeless and worthless at the sight of any little disappointment. Each time I have this feeling, my self- esteem decreases but I can’t control it. It’s just me. I’m used to it.
God has just given me a new baby boy in addition to the three I have before. He had just been christened yesterday, everybody is happy. Even the baby is kicking and rejoicing as if thanking God that it eventually survived the womb and saw the light of day. My husband? He’s the most enduring man alive. Sometimes I pity him. I’m too dull for his liking, the only time I ever get active is when I’m nagging. Still at that, he puts in every effort to keep our romance alive. Ordinarily those efforts should have driven any wife crazy in laughter and joy, me? Hell no! I am just too impossible!
“Sarah, why am I so discouraged? Why am I so sad?” I asked.
“Oh Andrea; I think its symptoms of depression. It’s one of the after-childbirth experiences. Don’t worry you’ll get over it.”
“Sarah, you are talking as if you have just known me. This has nothing to do with the childbirth o. I have always been like this now, since school days, two days in a week I’m on the mountain top of happiness and the remaining five days I’m in the valley of sadness. The only thing that have kept me from attempting suicide all this years, is the fear of eternity fa – the fear of leaving this world in sorrow and continuing the sorrow eternally.”
“Thank God you know that” she said.
“Oya now, please talk to me, you’re a nurse fa. Does this have anything to do with any biological or genetic influence?” I asked.
“Hmmm…. That’s possible.” She said.
“Biological-genetic causes of depression varies from brain chemistry, hormonal imbalance, disease, genetic influences, poor sleep, eating and exercise habits among others. But if you ask me, I think yours is psychological.”
“Do you mean to say I’m losing my mind?” I asked.
She smiled and replied, ”
of course not. If you are, I wouldn’t be sitting here discussing with you. I would have arranged with your husband to take you to the psychiatric hospital. You see, psychological causes varies from background and family influences such as conflict or lack of closeness with parent or other significant family members, stress and significant loses, learned helplessness, negative thinking, anger, sin and guilt among others.”
“Hmmmm….. I see”. I said and heaved a sigh. She had just told me my life.
And then she continued.
“If I know you very well Andrea, one thing you love doing well is thinking. You think too much. And with what I know about you, most of those thoughts are on the negative. You deliberately sit down learning helplessness. I know your background has a whole lot to do with this, but you yourself aren’t helping matters. Didn’t you say you are a Christian? How come depression became an addiction for you? Where is your hope? You act like you don’t trust God. King David in the bible showed symptoms of depression at a point in his life but overcame it by putting his trust in God. Read Psalm 42 and 43 and you will understand what I’m talking about”.
“Sarah, you won’t understand.” I said nodding my head in dissatisfaction.
“I do girlfriend” she replied, paused for a few seconds and then continued;
“You see as humans, all our days on earth will not always be on the mountain top of happiness. In fact it has been scripturally and philosophically proven that our days on earth fall into three categories, the mountain top days, where we are at the peak of positive emotions with joy, hope and delight. The ordinary days when we just go about our normal activities without joy or sorrow. And the dark days when we’re discouraged, sad and sorrowful. The difference however for a believer is that when we pass through each of this days, our faith in God outweighs the negative effects.”
I sighed again.
“Thank you dear friend, but I know all of this before now. I don’t know why it’s not working for me.”
“That’s because you’re not making it work.” She replied.
“Now you’re going to try it again. You’ll find some time to talk to God about it. After that, you get up from here and get busy. When you are tempted to start thinking negatively, get busy with the bible or some other beneficial literatures. Put in your energy doing service for the Lord and you’ll have less energy to be depressed. Get out, extend the love of Christ to others. Be a source of happiness to your home, the church and the society at large. Life is too short to be spent in the cubicle of depression” She concluded.
When next you are depressed, remember Sarah’s advice.