I haven’t always been good at being happy. Well, that’s half the truth. A few years ago I was in a pretty bad place, yet on the surface, I appeared perfectly content. I’ve become very good at appearing happy and stable, even when the reality is quite different. Being able to laugh and have fun in the moment despite deep emotional distress isn’t unusual or unique, but I do think that I do it well.
|Shout out to my boyfriend’s reflection!|
I’ve made a deliberate effort in recent years to be more open with my emotions, occasionally to the point of being almost blasé as I talk about how I am. It’s not exactly a perfect solution, as even though I end up talking about my feelings I’m not always really communicating them. I’m working on it.
It’s definitely an improvement over how I used to deal with emotions, meaning I at least manage to talk to friends and rely on them, something I was never very good at. I’m far from self-sufficient, but when I’m unhappy I actively withdraw and shut myself off from others. Recognising that this is unhealthy is what motivated me to try and speak about how I’m really feeling. I’m still not great at it, but it’s a neverending path to self-improvement.
Right now, my life is more stable and happy that it has been since sixth form, almost ten years ago. I finally feel like I have my feet on the ground and can really look ahead without having to watch where I’m stepping. At the same time, I feel like I have a clearer idea of what I need to be happy and how to go about achieving and maintaining it. I’ve learnt what makes me unhappy, and while I’m definitely not always good at doing what’s best for me, just knowing what is and isn’t a good choice is a step in the right direction.
I’m finally starting to feel like I deserve to be happy; like making good choices is something my body and mind deserve. I used to get stuck in a loop of feeling miserable and making bad choices because I hated myself, which just made me feel worse. I’m finally moving away from that negative cycle. For now, I think I’m going to try to allow myself to be happy.