I hate New Year’s resolutions, but one of the resolutions I made for this year is to expose how fraudulent and damaging the positivity cult and wellness industry can be (Hello QAnon anti-vaxxer plandemic bullies, yes, I am talking about you!)! You know they are the same ones that hurl out platitudes of invalidation, which is known as toxic positivity, forgiveness preaching, and so much other bullshit that is quite damaging, really. Today, I will talk about something else that I am going to expose that they do. The fraudulent wellness industry practitioners will often tell you to write lists of gratitude when going through hell.
I mean, yes, I was told that when I was struggling with my son and in a dire situation with my mental health. I had a psychologist I saw at the time (who I fired quickly) who told me to write gratitude lists daily no matter how horrible I felt. And she is not the only one who makes such a suggestion. I mean, it sounds like it could be helpful, right? It helps your mind shift to the positive instead of being in a negative cesspool of toxic thoughts that revolve around failure and self-loathing, right? Okay, I mean, that is why I tried it, but writing those gratitude lists made me feel even worse!! One day I just stopped, but not permanently. But here is the bad thing. I felt guilty about stopping because even though I have had my fair share of heartache, sadness, and insurmountable challenges, I had had blessings too.
I felt guilty about stopping to count my blessings daily because ‘so many others have it so much worse’ as that is always ingrained by fraudulent wellness practitioners or love and lighters who call you a sheep behind your back when you announce that you plan to get the COVID vaccine lol! So it got to the point that I felt guilty about complaining about my issues because so many others ‘have it worse‘ on top of quitting to count my blessings. That was until I read a life-changing article. I am excited to tell you about the article right now *happy dance*!
Okay, so I stumbled upon this article called Gratitude Lists Are B.S. — It Was an “Ingratitude” List That Saved Me and it was so refreshing to read I cannot tell you how euphoric I was reading it! Basically, this woman who had significant challenges that were very different from mine felt the same way about writing gratitude lists. This is what she said in this article as I am going to quote this right here:
Gratitude lists imply that those of us who are in pain are choosing misery.
Liz Brown of Good Housekeeping
Do you see what the problem is with that? There is the implication that if you do not write gratitude lists that you are CHOOSING to be depressed or getting so deep into your woes. I am not saying to swim in negative thinking, which I admit I have been doing many during the lockdowns. However, I am saying is not to invalidate your negative emotions and the shit that is happening in your life!!!
That is where the ingratitude list comes in! Write down everything you hate, everything that is happening to you that you hate, and you can write any curse word you want, and just do it. You may need to write an ingratitude list for a while, but the point of it is, it helps you get the negativity out of your system, and it also is so validating. The worst thing you can do is suppress symptoms of depression or suppress the fact that you are feeling crappy from being in a terrible and challenging situation. The positivity cult makes you feel very guilty if you express those ‘terrible’ emotions.
I am not saying to ignore the good things in your life, but don’t only focus on those struggling because your blessings and curses in your life are equally valid and should similarly be acknowledged. If you write up ingratitude lists, you will genuinely list your gifts too. If you have depression, faking happiness is not going to help. It will only make it worse, so you are better off expressing the ugly truth of what you are feeling. And people don’t like it; then they can screw off. Life is hard, even when there is no pandemic, and life is more challenging when you have a mental illness on top of it!