What person in their right mind would think this? Who would even go so far as to say this out loud? Me. Well, at least the me from a few years ago would say this and stand by it quite strongly.
Unfortunately, just because I myself have moved beyond a certain point in my life doesn’t mean that others aren’t still stuck there. The message in this article is extremely important. Digging deeper into ourselves is the biggest hurdle to overcome before finding happiness that we want.
I know what you’re thinking though, who doesn’t want to be happy?
On the surface, everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to have comfort. Money enough to be void of struggles. Safe shelter. Love and human connection. We all have ideas of what we want to be happy, through and through. We all have ideas of the end goal, big mansion, big family, whatever.
But we don’t accept the in-the-moment happiness. Especially those of us who have faced trauma in our upbringing, we don’t accept happiness. We don’t want it deep down.
Now this concept made me feel extremely broken. Why didn’t I want to be happy? Why couldn’t I let myself be happy? Why did I have to sabotage myself over and over again, find a reason to be miserable, hang onto depressive episodes? Why wasn’t I normal?
So many questions ran though my head and in the end two phrases stuck out to me.
I don’t like being happy.
This was the first one. And When I first said that out loud I actually started tearing up because I realized it was true. Not because happiness itself didn’t feel good but because there was a lot surrounding it that didn’t feel good. When I was laughing and happy, I was okay. But when I wasn’t sad every day, when I felt content, when I knew there was an underlying happiness within me, I had to stop it.
I didn’t like being happy.
First off, nothing is wrong with me. Promise. I’m not crazy either. I didn’t like being happy because I was unused to it. Compared to a decade of depression, being happy and being all right felt foreign. I almost felt worse because I didn’t know what this was supposed to feel like.
I couldn’t figure out if I was faking it, if it was temporary, if what I was feeling was even happiness. When you are genuinely unhappy for years and years, the calm happiness that eventually comes around doesn’t feel right.
It felt different than I remembered it as a kid, as it should since I was all grown up. But that didn’t stop me from feeling uncomfortable.
Eventually though, I got used to it. I got used to feeling happy so much that depression, anger, sadness, and anxiety felt misplaced and weird. They felt like the abnormal states of being that they are. They felt destructive and wrong and like something I should actively stay away from at all costs.
But what was the second phrase?
I don’t want to be happy.
This one really upset me, significantly more than the first one because it was tied so much closer to my personality. I had to look at myself, hard. And I had to change a lot very quickly because if the person I was that day didn’t want to be happy, I had to create a person that did want that.
Here’s what I mean.
I had to create a different image.
I think before, 90% of my image came from my depression. My depression manifested in a lot of ways, one of them being anger. I was so angry. To survive that, I tied my identity into my depression. People knew me as that angry, edgy, dark person. I was so, so angry and so depressed and those two things became who I was.
Of course, when that went away what was I left with? Who was I left with?
A bunch of crumbled personality traits.
So, I had to figure out who I wanted to be. And I did a complete overhaul on my style, my knick knacks, my whole aesthetic changed. With that, I changed my attitudes. I changed my habits. I changed my personality. I picked up all the pieces, broke some a little more, pieced a few together. I ended up gluing together a new mosaic of who I wanted to be.
And this person had to want to be happy. They had to abandon that old identity, thank it for its service, and move forward.
I had to be confident.
Unfortunately, self-loathing, image issues, etc were a huge part of who I was. I had to learn how to stand up and really mean it. I had to stand my ground to everyone, not just strangers or people I didn’t like.
To become happy and to want to be happy, I had to be confident enough to say I deserved happiness. This comes from my past and the pain, but who I was didn’t believe I deserved happiness. And I had to take a good look at myself and change that. The truth of the matter is that I deserve what I think I deserve. It’s all subjective. Someone else might think I don’t deserve what I have now, but I think I do and that’s what matters.
I had to become confident to support my search of happiness.
I had to abandon negativity.
This seems like a no brainer but there’s one part of this I want to touch on. I had to reteach myself how to think about things. I had to understand that there is not some cosmic scale out there that makes sure if something good happens to me that something bad will follow. That’s not how it works.
Please hear me. That’s not how it works.
If something bad happens after something good, it doesn’t matter. They are not connected. It’s just a fluke. A fluke! Imagine that, you aren’t cursed. But anyway, I had to let that go. I had to let go of all the fear that came with being happy. And there was a lot. I had to throw away all the negativity, all the fear, all the doubt and just go with it. If something bad happened, I would take it for what it was. One singular event.
So I don’t say this phrase anymore because it’s not true. Now, I genuinely like to be happy but there are still moments where I wonder if I’m falling into old habits, choosing mental pathways that ignite bad feelings.
I still actively fight to be happy. I don’t know if that will ever change, but I choose to constantly find the good. I choose to smile instead of fight. I choose to mold my identity. I choose to be who I am and represent it with every action, article of clothing, and breathe of my being.
It’s never to late to learn to like being happy.
Far too many of us are comfortable being angry. We’re all too angry and happy to be it. Change up your ways, learn happiness is a friend, and learn to accept who you really are. You aren’t your depression. You aren’t your worst self.