Friday, July 25, 2014

Law of Attraction and Depressives

It’s been a while since I’ve done any writing in this particular blog, mostly because I’ve been blogging at my personal blog, . There I tend to really express my feelings regarding my move to Houston, Texas from Massachusetts. I thought that this topic was more relevant to the purpose of this blog, however, so I thought I’d post here.

Lately I have been thinking about the “Law of Attraction” and its mechanics. It’s something that has been preached in various modern philosophies, and has made a lot of money to the author of the book “The Secret”. It’s not a modern concept, however, but it has made its way into the mainstream. The Law of Attraction is the idea that if you put forth and project and live life accordingly, usually in a positive manner, then the Universe/Deity/Life/etc. will bring more positivity your way. You are attracting what you desire. This can be made manifest through things like Vision Boards, wherein a person can use positive mental intention to attract the good things in his/her life. Personally, I like to use Pinterest for such boards. I have a dream home board, a board with positive messages, a clothes-I-wish-I-had board, and even a career dream board. I have other boards, too, but the point is that I use these like vision boards. The issue is that not only do you have to construct the vision board, but you have to focus energy on it every day, sending out your positive intent and desire into the universe. In the way of cosmic harmony eventually what you want will manifest in some way. For Christians, we like to use the verse from the Gospel of Matthew, “Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7). But it’s the same concept. Ask God and He will grant you the desires of your heart.

The caveat to all this positive thinking and this abundance of the universe? One must be in the proper positive mindset. After all, in the Law of Attraction, like attracts like. If a person is happy, content, joyful, and positive good things will come to him or her. If a person is negative, sad, and miserable then that person will only attract negativity into his/her life.
For a depressive that seems a lot like victim blaming, and a hopeless cause.  In depression, the concept of “happy” and “positive” can be very elusive. A depressive is not a happy person, not in the sense that people understand, anyway. A depressive isn’t a sad person, either. Depression is like drowning in a well of apathy, encumbered by a lack of emotional energy to pull oneself out, and a physical manifestation of pain in aching limbs and muscles that reaches deep down.  However, it is easier to be “sad” than it is to be “happy”. It is easier to be negative than to be positive. It is easier to attract negativity, not because we are generally negative people, but because we find it so hard to be positive. Depression is a disease that can cripple even the strongest person. It is not an easy disease with which to live, and when major life events happen, the law of attraction can seem to work against a depressive.

Example – I am a depressive. I have been for many years. It is a disease and an illness I cannot cure. I can only treat it. I have good days where I just keep moving forward and don’t really notice the disease, and not so good days when nothing seems to go right, and I can’t be bothered to care about anything except sleep or watch TV, or read because I need to distance myself from the self-recrimination and apathy. But I don’t know what it is like to feel happiness or joy. It sounds like I’m being melodramatic and hyperbolic. I’m not. Many depressives can’t recognize happiness and joy because it is often clouded by doubt, and self-loathing, and apathy. When I first moved, I thought that things were finally going to start getting better. I had graduated with a master’s degree, I had a great job wherein I was going to help people, and I was going to have my own apartment. I was ready for the next phase of my life. I had high hopes that it was going to get better because I had been so utterly unhappy before.

Well, when I moved, my apartment was infested with roaches thanks to the previous residents. I have a fear of roaches, and it was just the beginning of my new life. Shaken, I continued, started my new job, loved it, but it became emotionally draining, and it was difficult to be away from home, friends, and family. I was homesick, and I didn’t know how to make friends very well. Eventually my mother came, brought my dog, and helped me buy furniture. I met people through Meetup, and though I was exceedingly uncomfortable because I don’t like meeting new people (yay social anxiety) I managed. But these weren’t my friends from home. These weren’t the people I knew for 5+ and 10+ years.  Slowly my apartment lost its roaches, and it would seem things were supposed to be improving…. Until my car lost its air conditioning during the hottest months of the year in Texas. I was hating life. My job’s demands became increasingly more difficult and eventually my car broke down entirely. I had to take the bus to work for nearly 2 months, which, in Houston, is a death knell to any life. I also lived alone, and it was a lot to take on at once. I was lonely, and upset all the time. I didn’t have a car to be sociable, and even when I did, I wasn’t very sociable because I didn’t know how to be, and I didn’t feel comfortable half the time. I worried about bills, and what I would do if I couldn’t fix my car. I thought about my family, and how even though I was so unhappy in Massachusetts, I was unhappy here in Texas, too. And I had no idea how to fix it.

After Christmas, I learned my job was in jeopardy. New rules and requirements from a funder required more than I knew, more than I could give, and I was already emotionally tired and drained from living alone, the stress of the job, the car situation, and the inability to adjust. By Valentine’s Day I was out of a job. And to boot, my dog had kidney failure. I managed to get another job, but I hated it. I stayed at it for about 4 months, however, and in that time I also had to put my dog to sleep. Two weeks after that a new dog came into my life. Then, I lost my other job due to lack of funding. And I turned 30. I was now alone, unemployed, and dealing with a new, very energetic dog with whom I get more annoyed than pleased because he doesn’t let me sleep past 6 am, even when I go to sleep too late.

I can’t even begin to count the number of nights I have gone to sleep crying over the past year. I can’t even estimate how much I’ve prayed and asked God for help, for guidance, for peace, and stability. But, as a depressive I can’t find joy and happiness in the little moments, though I’ve tried. I’ve tried to take up meditation, and yoga, and walks in the park, to try to find peace in my soul, but all that I can see is the depression. In the Law of Attraction where does that leave me? Constantly getting more negatives in my life and things not working out because I can’t muster positivity on a regular basis to “attract” more positivity? How does that help me? It’s the same as telling a depressive to just “be happy”, or to “stop being sad”. I can’t find my joy for life, my joie de vivere. I can only exist. I can only continue, but not live. Is it surprising, then, that as far as the Law of Attraction is concerned all I can attract is Murphy’s Law (Whatever can go wrong will go wrong)? How, then, can I make the Law or Attraction work for me?