How to Be Happy in This Moment

Something that has eluded me for most of my life has been true happiness. There were moments as a child I remember being happy and content, but in all honesty there has always been a black hole in my life, a void. It has been there for as long as I can remember and I have been trying to fill it, unsuccessfully, for most of my life.

So while there have been a good few moments of happiness throughout my life I cannot remember any long stretch of time where I have felt whole, satisfied with my life and happy. Well not until recently anyway.

How to be happy pin

I’ll be Happy WHEN…

I think the one of the biggest things to blame is my way of thinking. I have always been in the pursuit of happiness and while I cannot remember any extended moments of happiness I can remember lots of things that I believed would bring that longed for feeling of joy.

This belief was that as soon as I have achieved a specific goal in life with it would be a sense of accomplishment, of joy and happiness.

There are so many examples of this and here are a few of these:

  • When I turn 18 I will be happy
  • When I get my own place to live and I am independent I will be happy
  • When I have more money I will be happy
  • When I get my first job I will be happy
  • When I get another job I will be happy
  • When I get a raise I will be happy
  • When I fall in love I will be happy
  • When I can get out of this toxic relationship I will be happy
  • When I turn 21 I will be happy
  • When I stop drinking and using drugs I will be happy
  • When I reach my 1 year clean milestone I will be happy
  • When I have a baby I will be happy
  • When I give up smoking cigarettes I will be happy

The fact is that I achieved all of those goals and not one of those within itself made me happy.

In fact some of these things that I wanted in life made me more unhappy when I achieved them and I couldn’t quite get my head around this fact.

When I reached my 1 year clean milestone I truly believed it would bring with it some incredible spiritual awakening and a profound sense of happiness and satisfaction. I remember being all worked up with excitement, I had reached the one year clean that everyone so looks up to. I went down to the local Narcotics Anonymous meeting with my cakes and candles. I gave my one year share and I got my one year clean NA keyring.

Afterwards a few people gathered at the coffee shop down the road and we had a grand time for about an hour. Then people started to leave and it started to hit me. I am the same person I was yesterday and absolutely nothing has changed except that I have this silly keyring.

The truth is that I felt really cheated and unhappy with a sense of is this it? Is this all there is to life, just carry on with your recovery, carry on with the 12 steps and there is nothing more to life? No more drinking, no more using, no more wild parties?

It is interesting to note that a lot of addicts and alcoholics relapse around the 1 year sober milestone and quite frankly I am not surprised, I personally found it a very disappointing experience that didn’t come close to my huge expectations of it.

When I gave birth to my first child I suffered from postnatal depression for about 6 months without realizing it and I slipped into deep despair. I couldn’t understand why I was so unhappy and miserable when this was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. I was three years clean, I had just had a baby and I was married to the man I loved, I should be happy right?

So over time it has become clear to me that nothing will magically bring me true happiness the moment I achieve it.

What is Standing in the Way of Happiness?

The biggest thing standing in the way of happiness is ourselves. The way we think and the psychological attachments that we have.

We so often have negative beliefs about ourselves. Perhaps we self-sabotage ourselves before we even achieve anything, or we speak negatively to ourselves and often we try to fill this void in destructive ways.

In my case I tried to make myself feel better through drinking alcohol and using drugs, and as you can tell from my website this didn’t exactly work out well for me.

How to be happy in this moment - letting go of psychological attachements

How to be Happy in This Moment

I have been finding true happiness in the last few years and the place that I find it is right in this moment. It is not some goal that needs to be attained. Each moment can be a moment of happiness. Happiness happens right now and it is essential to remember that.

Happiness happens right now

If you are sitting and seething with resentment about something that happened yesterday or if you are attaching happiness to an event in the future you are missing this very moment in the here and now.

Always remember that happiness happens right now, so focus on this moment to be happy.

Think of how a young child reacts to their environment, for example when it is snowing outside and how they look around them taking it all in. Take a moment to always appreciate nature and your surroundings.

My kids even get excited when it rains. They shriek with excitement and go watch at the window. I have to agree with them watching the rain is awesome, it is good for the soul.

Psychological attachments

It is also about teaching yourself that you are worth it, that you deserve happiness and this is where you need to be able to identify these negative psychological attachments and start to replace them with positive affirmations so that you have a choice.

In this way you can choose to be happy.

Gratitude helps achieve happiness

Something that has worked incredibly well for me if I start to feel resentful or unhappy about my life is to write a gratitude list. I take out a piece of paper and I write down everything that I am grateful for right now.

When I do this and see how much I really have in life, and how far I have come in the last 8 years since I got clean I get a much clearer perspective of how fortunate I am.

Joy is found in the simplest things

The things that make me the happiest are the simplest things that happen all day every day. The way my children laugh, the funny things they say and the laughs I have with my husband.

It is not the house I want to build one day that will make me happy, but the little moments in getting to that achievement and one day when I do get to build my own house it will be the memories I create inside that house that will make me happy, not the bricks that make up the house.

It is up to me one day to make it a home, a happy home.

Being Happy is a Choice

For me being happy is a choice. I choose to be grateful and I choose to keep myself focused on the present moment and enjoy it to the fullest.

Of course I have also seen some people giving advice to others to “just be happy” and to “stop moping around”. It is not quite as simple as this and if you are depressed and feel like there is no joy in life you can still choose to change things by getting some help.

There is absolutely no shame in getting help to get your life back on track and to finding true happiness, in fact I highly recommend it!

What have your struggles been while trying to find happiness? Do you have any tips or experiences to share?


Why Did I Self Harm? The start of my dangerous journey into addiction

Addiction is a very complex and disturbing problem to have but when you think that self harm can be a form of addiction it just adds more confusion. I have often had people ask me why did I self harm. Why am I an addict?

I can only tell you what I felt and thought at the time. I can tell you what went on for me. Some of this may be disturbing to you and upsetting. That is not my goal of this post or this website.

My goals for this website are simple. I want other people that are going through the same thing to realize that they are not alone, they are not crazy. I want them to know that they can heal and they can find happiness no matter how far they have gone. There is hope. May you find it now.

Why did I self harm> The start of my journey into addiction

So Why Did I Self Harm? What brought it on?

This is not a simple story to tell. For as long as I can remember I have always had the belief that I am different, that something is wrong with me. I have felt like there is a hole in me and there has to be something to fill it.

There are some specific incidents that happened just before I started cutting myself but did this make me do it? Is this the reason? No, I don’t think so. I think the black hole that lives within me is the reason I started doing it. The events that happened in my teenage years just sparked my addiction off.

Perhaps I might not have been a self harmer, but I would have turned to addiction at some stage.

The Black Hole Inside of Me

So what is this black hole I speak about?

Well it feels like I am not enough. Yes I did say that correctly, the word is simply “enough”. I was not enough of anything in my mind. I thought one day everyone would know I was a fraud.

I wasn’t clever enough, I was stupid. If I did a test and I did well I didn’t congratulate myself and take the credit. Deep down I was convinced I must have cheated and everyone would find out.

I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t nice enough.

I can’t explain this, but what I do know now and it is a common thing with addicts. We all feel this black hole.

I just wanted people to like me, to love me, but I believed I wasn’t lovable. I believed I didn’t deserve it.

I was self conscious and I was shy. You probably wouldn’t believe it if you saw me, but that is the truth. I hid it by being loud mouthed and out there. I tried to protect myself by making myself out to be someone else. I was soft hearted and sensitive but came across as tough.

Why did I self harm?

Gossip and Lies

Teenage years are rocky for all young adolescents. For me it was terrifying. It seemed I hit 13 years old and the black hole and my insecurities grew bigger. I wanted people to like me. I also started noticing boys and my peers started dating. I wanted to join in, but I was too scared.

I remember clearly there was one boy in particular that was popular and he had the most amazing personality. He clearly showed in interest in me but I was too scared. If he spoke to me I would literally turn and run. Interesting to note that many years down the line, on a drunken night out we bumped into each other in the parking lot of a popular pub and we kissed.

So back to what happened. I was too shy to even hold hands with a boy, but I wanted to. I wanted to do these normal things, but I just couldn’t. I felt like I wasn’t good enough. If I dated a boy he would find out what I was really like and he would hate me. Maybe he would tell everyone I was a fake? It was too much for me.

One day I came home from school and my parents sat me down and asked me about things that they had heard. Some other parents had told them about things they had heard about me. From what my parents told me it appeared I was a big slut, sleeping around and doing all sorts of inappropriate things with boys. Talk about being in shock.

I was 13 years old and it was humiliating. I went to school the next day with my eyes opened. I apparently had a reputation and I was the last to find out. I was hurt and ashamed.

I couldn’t understand. Who had made up these lies, who exactly had heard these lies? How had these lies gotten as far as my parents… and what was a blow job anyway?

This went on for months. I can’t even begin to explain how I felt.

He likes me, he really likes ME!

I turned 14 and things stayed much the same until we went away at the end of the year. While we were away at the end of the year I met a boy. He was a bit older than me and he was cute. Most importantly he couldn’t have heard about my reputation. He liked me and it was exciting. We held hands and later that day he kissed me. I loved that excited feeling in my stomach.

I had to go back to my family and he asked me to sneak out that night, would I? Hell yes, of course I would. This was the best thing that ever happened to me.

In case you are getting a nice gooey feeling about how my life was turning around finally, don’t. Because as fast as I was taken up into that great feeling I was brought crashing down to earth very quickly.

I snuck out that night and he raped me. He left me crying and bleeding in the middle of the night. I had my first kiss and lost my virginity in the same day.

I was crushed, hurt and humiliated.

To top it off I was busted sneaking out before I could tell anyone what had happened to me. I thought if I said anything then that they would think I was lying and just trying to get out of being in trouble. I kept it all to myself. I should have spoken to my parents because I was wrong. My parents are amazing and would have helped me. Instead I kept quiet and a while later I tried to talk to my little sister, she was twelve years old at the time and didn’t understand what I was trying to say.

We were very close and she was getting distressed. She knew I was trying to tell her something important but she didn’t get it. I left it because I didn’t want her upset.

I withdrew a lot and I was very angry.

Here we go again!

A few months later I was raped again. I won’t go into details about what happened because this is not just only my story and I don’t want to make anyone else feel guilty or like they are responsible. That is not the point of my story, this is about something else.

What happened is that this second rape was like a switch went off in me. I turned into a very angry and rebellious person. Yes I was always a little bit naughty, I won’t deny it.. but this is when I changed completely.

I could feel anger inside me all the time, just ready to explode out of me. It scared me. I started treating my mom really badly. For some reason I decided she was the one I was angry with and she bore the brunt of my anger and actions.

I am sorry mom. I love you with all my heart. I didn’t mean to do that, it was just the way it happened.

I Started Cutting Myself

At the same as I became a bubble of anger I started cutting myself. I remember the first time I did it. I was so confused and I didn’t know what I was doing. I had never heard of self harm and I didn’t know why I was doing it.

I found a blade at home and I held it against my skin and I pushed it in. At that moment I felt nothing. I felt free. It was like bliss. As long as I had that blade in my skin I didn’t feel hurt or angry or ashamed. It was like I was taken out of my own body and held in a safe little cocoon of nothingness.

I did it a few times and each time I cut I felt better, but then afterwards I would feel ashamed and confused.

Soon after I started with self harm my mom saw blood on my school shirt, she saw what I was doing and wanted to know why. I wanted to give in to my feelings and cry, tell her everything.

Ask her to please, please save me mommy. I didn’t though. I screamed at her and told her to leave me alone.

My mom was in a place where she was too scared to confront me about anything because she was too scared of my reaction. She felt I could have done anything and I think she was right, I was out of control. She knew something was wrong but didn’t know what or how to help me and of course I just pushed her away.

On the good side I did stop cutting, well on a regular basis that is. There were a few odd times over the years that I did cut myself again but it was not a regular thing.

That doesn’t mean the problem was just gone though. My addiction just changed it’s face which I will share about in future posts.

Over the years the rapes I went through and my relationships with men formed big problems in my life. This will become apparent the more I share with you.

So Buckle Up, I plan to take you on quite a dark ride on this website and this was the start…..

If you have anything you would like to share please leave a comment.