How are you so happy all the time?

I often get asked the question, How are you so happy all the time? So I thought I would dispel a few myths around my happiness.

Definitely a happy day. Pic taken by my eldest she is fab at photography.

Myth number 1: I am happy all the time!

It is true, I probably am that annoying person in the office that however tough work gets, i always try to find the bright side and approach any challenges in the most upbeat fashion.

And it is true that on occasion I can reach such euphoric levels of happiness, life itself is like a class A drug.

However I absolutely have dark days and moments. I suspect some of my dark days are like the lowest level on the happiness scale. Thick and clinging to your soul, drowning in the depths of despair, where it doesn’t matter what happens around you, the darkness is all consuming.

Depression and other mental health illness can be very isolating if we let them.

Myth number 2: I had a great start in life so have nurture on my side.

I am a firm believer that in everyone’s history there are those moments which shape the rest of our life. And I absolutely know that there are millions of people who had it harder than me. I am eternally grateful for all the happy and wonderful moments of my childhood that balanced the hard.

But as far as myth busting goes, I didn’t have that rosey start in life that most people believe would lead to a naturally happy person.

I lived with abuse in every definition of the word. I spent the better part of my formative years in foster care. My life for many years was under threat from my own mum. To the point where I was on the police protection list and had prohibitive steps orders to prevent her from coming within a certain distance of home or school or me and my sister. She wasn’t even allowed to know where I lived. So when she wrote me letters, on the front of every envelop the address would be written by someone else’s hand. I experienced years of extreme bullying in high school becoming totally isolated. And all this is probably just the tip of the iceberg. Suffice to say you don’t find me as a happy go lucky person now because that’s all I ever knew.

I would only see my mum roughly three times a year. Most of the time we would write or speak on the phone.

Myth number 3 : I must have a natural disposition towards happiness. -Nature is on my side.

This is another assumption I have heard attained by those trying to understand my happiness. If you hadn’t gathered already from the above. Genetically unfortunately it is rather the opposite for me. On both sides of parentage there are complex and extreme mental health illnesses.

And my own history with mental health has demonstrated a long and complicated risk of illness. I have not always managed to escape the genetically driven inclination of my body.

It is amazing the advances in science of understanding our brains and the genetics of mental health illnesses.

Myth number 4: Happiness comes easily to me.

This probably the biggest myth of all. Happiness does not come easy to me. I have to work really hard to be happy. I know that isn’t the answer most people want to hear. I think people want to believe happiness comes naturally to us all.

In my experience at least in today’s world that could not be further from the truth. If you want to be happy, you better starting working on your own happiness. No one is going to create happiness for you, the world is not going to offer you happiness on a plate. If you want it, own it, demand it, drive toward it.

I have to work hard in more ways than one to be optimally happy. This is me after a jog. And I still get it wrong and have hard days.

Why bust any myths? I wish I could be happy like you.

I have heard people say directly to me I wish I could be happy like you. I have seen so many people in my life or on social media be stuck in a dark place but failing to connect the dots that they can’t just wake up one day and be happy. I could go on for hours about how hard it gets for me but the truth is it doesn’t matter because I have found a way to live a mainly happy life.

What matters is all those people struggling with their mental health who if they just consistently tried to improve their happiness could obtain it.

What matters is all those people that have resigned themselves to at best a mediocre life at worst a life full of emptiness or sheer darkness.

What matters is trying to offer some hope to just one person that you can be happy again. It is not an easy road, and you will also find the darkness creep up on you at times, but trust me I have everything possible work against me at times and yet I am that happy person in the room and i will continue to be because I won’t give up on my happiness and neither should you.

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