Ask Fred > Career/Work > Being bed ridden, how to you keep from being depressed?

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Dear Fred

You mentioned that you are in bed all the time, except when you go to dialysis. How do you find joy and meaning? How do you keep from getting depressed?

Fred's Response

We never know what will be our reaction to being bed ridden. Paul had a formula in a verse that is often misused. He said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I believe that means "I can endure all things." I often think of the martyrs, past and present, who are going through much more than I am. I have never been plagued with depression for it's my nature to expect good things in the future as I have gotten them in the past. I find that it is hard to be depressed and grateful at the same time. Therefore, I discipline my mind to be thankful for the blessings of the present. As far as meaning, has created an outlet for my thinking and communicating. I am grateful to Brenda and Jeff for their creative work. It challenges me to provide new material as well as review that which I've collected from the past. One of the most current experiences is Fred in the Bed which is an informal conversational open house every Saturday at our house. Extremely interesting people come and we simply discuss any topics of interest that come up. I am grateful for everyone's prayers. It is humbling to know that so many are praying. I must confess that I don't really understand intercessory prayer, but I am grateful for it. A word about joy: joy is very closely associated with meaning. However, it is much deeper than happiness. Happiness is like rain over which you have absolutely no control. It is dependent on outside circumstances. Joy is a spring that often comes up in surprising places. For example, last week I had about an hour of absolute joy for no reason. As it says in Nehemiah: The joy of the Lord is my strength. Joy is an aquafur flowing deep inside of us. I know that I don't always experience it, but that its availability is always there.