"Would you like to wake up every morning with happy, positive thoughts?"
So asketh the Jehovah's Witness tract we found on our front porch.
"I'm in-right, out-right, up-right, down-right happy all the time!"
So sangeth the wee children's church kids, myself included.
Is it any wonder, then, that depression was the unnameable? It wasn't just that I was taught to "pray through it"; it went more to the core. Depression was a failure of God in my life, and therefore, unacceptable. Not that I ever actually spoke the word, or admitted to myself that it was what I was struggling with...but I still knew how to "deal with" depression. Pray it away. Be happy all the time.
A few weeks ago, I read an article on happy being the only acceptable emotion. The context was contrasting attachment parenting, where children are generally allowed to express themselves, with hyper-conservative parenting that frequently results in children too terrified (of being spanked, frequently) to show any emotion that isn't positive.
I definitely wasn't raised in that latter camp. But the same mentality showed up in my children's church, and is still being heralded as the cure-all that Jesus will bring. "I've been set free; he has made my life wonderful" was an unspoken refrain of my growing-up years. There wasn't a category for depression. The answer was always: Jesus.
No, Jehovah's Witnesses whom I'm glad we weren't home to have to deal with. Dialoguing with you, or more, attending the conference with "a live play" that you want me to, will not make me wake up happy every morning.
"Since Jesus Christ came in, and cleansed my heart from sin, I'm in-right, out-right..." That one didn't work either.
And you know what? It's okay. Because at least it isn't fake.