I talked about realizing that I had a very violent reaction to the suggestion to make a gratitude list. That tipped me off that something might not be right and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.
1. Part of why I am so opposed to the idea is that when one is depressed, people often try to counter that by offering gratitude as an antidote. “But look at all the things you’ve got going for you.” While that might be a good way to counteract apathy or a bad attitude, depression is far, far deeper than that. I have had conversations with myself that include “…and I have all those things to be happy about, so why do I still want to be dead?” I don’t know what anyone else’s experience is, but when I am really depressed and someone suggests I “just be grateful for what I have,” I want nothing more than to hit them, hard.
2. Part of why I am opposed is more complicated. I think I have an inherent belief that God doesn’t want good things for me, and that I have to trick him into it. Or beg. And that if I start being grateful for what I do have, that both makes my unmet desires invalid and gives God “permission” to ignore me because now I’m not needy.
Do I really believe that’s how God works?