Joe had come down with a little bug called depression and he’d been feeling down and out for quite some time. His head hung low and his shoulders hunched over and he shuffled his feet along from room to room all alone in his condo. He shuffled from the condo to his Mercedes in the garage. Then he shuffled his little feet along to a little luncheon overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu with some friends. Then he shuffled back home to work for an hour or two on a website he was making that described in detail everything you needed to know about different kinds of wines and wine tasting. He shuffled into the game room to play some video games and then shuffled off to bed. Everyday he was shuffling. Poor Joe. That’s what he’d say to himself before shutting his eyes. Poor Joe.
Well, it just so happened that Joe had a little fairy watching over him. Her name was Ms. Fairy Fix It. Her ears were hurting from all his shuffling and she appeared before him.
Now, for anyone, asymptomatic of the depression bug, a rosy pink fairy flapping her little fairy wings inches away from your nose might give you quite a shock at first if you’ve never seen a fairy. But not Joe. He was in such a slump, he wasn’t shocked at all when Ms. Fairy Fix It woke him up.
“I’m your guardian fairy Ms. Fairy Fix It,” she explained. “I’m here to help.”
“I’m fine the way I am,” mumbled Joe.
“No, no. I don’t think you are fine. Not in the least. All that shuffling is making me crazy. Now, Joe I need to ask you some questions to arrive at the best possible cure for you,” Ms. Fairy Fix It stated, clearing her throat.
“Question Number One. What do you love doing?” She eagerly waited his response with pen in hand ready to document it.
“Not sure. I guess I would love to serve in some way.”
“Serve. Excellent.” She scribbled this down on her notepad. “Serve how?”
“Question Number Two. What did you do when you were young?”
“I played a little basketball.”
“Basketball! Excellent! I think you should serve children by coaching basketball. There is no “I” in team! Kids need to learn that valuable lesson!”
“Well, I don’t know. I’m not really much of a teacher.”
“I think you should go down to the YMCA and see if they are in need of a basketball coach, yes? You will be great. Now, say yes.”
“The other thing is you love is technology,” Ms. Fairy Fix It continued. “You love websites. I happen to know a wonderful internship I can hook you up with that’ll be right up your alley. You’d be working for a really great guy who just started a start up. I’m his guardian fairy too. I bet you’d love working for him. Now, Question Number Three. What’s your schedule like?” Again, she waited to eagerly note his response.
“Well, I wake up around 8. I get my coffee. I meet with my trainer. Sometimes my workout is an hour. Some days it’s an hour and a half, you know. Usually my morning routine brings me to 10 am.”
“Well…,” she said, looking perplexed by her notes. “Well, you can discuss your internship hours with your boss directly, how about that?”
“That sounds good and all, but the other thing is I hate commuting. You have to drive on the same road again and again and again. That’s something I don't want to do.”
“But Joe, if you love this job and are passionate about it, then the commute won’t matter.”
“But the thing is…”
“Joe,” Ms. Fairy Fix It interrupted. “I’m going to give you this self-help makeover workbook. I’ve done it twenty times myself. You will do every little bit of homework in here. And you’ll start with this assignment—tell me the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten.”
“I’ve never gotten any good advice.”
“Not when you graduated high school? Not when you were writing essays to Ivy League Schools? Not when you decided to launch your wino website?”
“Nope. I’ve only been given a lot of bad advice.”
The scream had come from Ms. Fairy Fed Up who had become so nauseated she had to fly in.
“Now, you are going to listen to me Joe,” Ms. Fairy Fed Up said, playfully knocking Ms. Fairy Fix It away with a swing of her hip. “I’m going to give you the best advice you are ever going to get. I want you to feel all your depression. I want you to take that depression and make it bigger. Shuffle more. Complain more. Shuffle and complain so much that it hurts. Then when it hurts, you go down to the liquor store and you guzzle everything to try to make it go away. When it doesn’t go away, go to the doctor, get some nice meds: Prozac, Zoloft, all of it. Then, you go and get some heroin. Let it shoot up your veins nice and fast. Your highs will be higher than anyone’s highs have ever been. You will feel you’re on top of the tallest, most thrilling rollercoaster then, with arms up, go shooting down, down, down into the blackest darkest hole. When you get there, feel what that is like. Notice the devil laughing at you. Notice that it is so black in that hole that darkness is its own entity. You can feel it on your skin like a wet towel. Stay there for as long as you need until you feel something holding you, until you start to cry tears of joy because all along you’ve been held. And stay there some more to love the one that is holding you.”
“Who is the one holding me?” Joe asked.
“You’ve got to go and find out for yourself, Joe,” said Ms. Fairy Fed Up.
And Joe took her advice and did everything she had instructed. And it was indeed the best advice he had ever gotten his whole life.