Happiness

Happiness is a strange thing isn’t it? I’m not even sure if I can detect when I am happy and when I am not. I know immediately when I feel sad. I am getting better at recognising anxiety, which is positive because it enables me to deal with the impact of it more proactively. It’s often related to fear. But happiness is not as easy. I think sometimes those moments of joy and pleasure pass me by without my awareness.

Maybe I was better at being ‘happy’ when I was younger. I look back at childhood moments and I can relive feelings of total happiness, like Christmas night and jumping in a pool on a family holiday. Happiness came with a sense of glee and excitement. As I moved into my 20s and 30s it was linked with having a good time, usually with booze heavily involved. I was always happy when I was drinking. Wasn’t I? I think we all know the answer to that question. Then, getting older, I guess my happiest times were my wedding day and having the boys. Experiencing motherhood and the overwhelming happiness it brought me. Feeling their love, their excitement and their sense of glee. Nothing made me more happy than hearing them squeal with delight at a new toy, watching them run around the garden or cuddling up with them on the sofa to watch a favourite TV programme. Their total adoration because I am ‘mum’ brought me pure joy.

It seems a little trickier now for some reason. I don’t think it’s that I’m not happy, I just don’t seem to take the time to realise those moments when they do occur. They do still happen. There is a difference now though. My happiness comes from within a lot of the time. It isn’t out of a bottle of wine. It’s generally not because of a new purchase, though I am a sucker for gifts. It comes when I’m feel content and comfortable in my own skin. Being a mum still brings me happiness of course but I can’t rely and depend entirely on others for joy. I miss those moments of pure hilarity or craziness that used to happen years ago. That said, there are times recently where something or someone brings a smile to my face, makes me laugh right from my belly, triggers those old childhood feelings of excitement and joy and absolutely, without doubt, makes me happy. I am very grateful for that.

Claire x

29 thoughts on “Happiness”

  1. Interesting post Claire, and a timely reflection on what really makes us happy. Glad you’re still enjoying some moments of joy and happiness. All of us that experience moments like that should be grateful for those moments. X

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    1. I think it’s sometimes about appreciating those moments and understanding what it is about them that makes you happy. Maybe then you can find more of the same? Xx

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  2. These “entering middle age” years are such a weird transition. Is this how it is supposed to be? What’s next? There is something about this time that is so unsettling…but at the same time, I sometimes feel like I’m settling into something better more comfortable (dare I say wiser?) maybe. For me, happiness comes now most often when I slow down and pay attention to something beautiful. Sending hugs, my friend! ❤️

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    1. I totally agree. I think I miss moments of happiness sometimes because I’m busy busy and then stressed. When I take time and just ‘be’ I often find that I am happy and content. Little special things make me happy now and I want to start making the most of those. Hugs back to you ❤️

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  3. This is just so spot on! plus, I needed to hear this! You are so special and helpful! I’m so glad you are on WP. Sometimes I see other people that seem to be happy, like all the time. I think I need to work on my own happy and feel more comfortable in my own skin. Thanks for posting this and I wish you all the happiness in the word my friend! ❤️

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    1. I do t believe people feel happiness all the time, even if they display that to the world. It’s definitely a different as I have gotten older and I do miss those wild abandonment type happy moments. I guess it’s all about change and flowing with that. I wish you happiness to lovely xxx

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  4. Your post made me think of this quote that I like: Happiness is a choice, not a result. Nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy. No person will make you happy unless you decide to be happy. Your happiness will not come to you. It can only come from you. – Ralph Marston Happiness will not come to you in wine, or people or material things from the external world… it has to come from (within) you. You are right on, Claire! Xx

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  5. Love the comment “feeling content and comfortable in my own skin”. That’s the best feeling. I’m like you and find it hard to put a finger on happiness, but then when I feel sad I’ll look at a day and think that was the best time and have actually not realised it in the moment x ♡

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  6. I think it changes as you get older. I used to be very happy and carefree, very lalala about things (thinking in my teenage years). I have been through a lot of tough years, and am now incredibly fortunate to live a relatively easy life with the best partner I could imagine. But am I happy all the time? Nope. Lots of times because I am unhappy with how I have handled things (see my drinking blog…) But also because I think as we age we realize how fucked the world is, how unfair it is, and how our own situations could change for the worse at any time. So, trying to enjoy what I’ve got while I’ve got it….

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  7. “My happiness comes from within a lot of the time.” That sounds like joy to me. Someone once told me that “happy” is fleeting- associated with getting something. Joy is part of our nature and can be present even in not so happy times. It’s much deeper and it needs to be cultivated and nourished with a grateful spirit. Great post, Claire!😘

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    1. I was actually wondering about that … the difference between happiness and joy. I know they are only words and we each define them our own way, but for me there is a difference. I have felt moments of joy and peace since become sober. It isn’t consistent but I believe it can be a state of being. It comes from within. Maybe that’s the difference, happiness comes from outside. Thanks for the comment. X

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  8. wow I can resonate with do much of this (except the happiness of motherhood 🙂 ). When i first quit drinking I thought I was “broken” because of an innate inability to feel joy. I thought my identity as “someone with depression” would prevent me from ever experiencing the joy I felt with booze but from within. Fast forward almost year and I feel so much more joy… it’s like there is a “happiness muscle” that you can train and that helps you feel the joy in the present moment. And drinking was … well… (to finish with the muscle metaphor)… a crutch, literally. xxxx ❤ Anne

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    1. Since writing the post and reading comments I have come to that very same conclusion. It is almost as if happiness and joy breed more happiness and joy. Once you recognise the emotion and acknowledge it, you are able to see it more clearly when it happens. Or something like that 😂😂❤️❤️

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  9. so much i enjoyed here…even the comments . There was a time when i deeply analyzed this for myself and was convinced that the reason was that since i was so damn familiar with sadness, depression and anger and anxiety, they were easier to fall back on( go-to emotions). I don’t think anyone knows a true secret to happiness as a 100% thing( if so -they could bottle it and make a mint!) but i do believe that we each learn our own version of it as we go. Additionally, i know that many people use crutches to find it ( not just alcohol) but as u mentioned, purchasing something new, , taking a “vacation” , immersing themselves in a project or even the pride of disciplining themselves with food or exercise. We all know moderation is key with these things , right? They can bring happiness…but that deep sense of contentment is something else altogether. For me, it is when i realize that i am not in control of everything and i can let go a bit, sit back and count all of the things that are right in the world.I mentally list all of my blessings and focus on that.It;s not perfect but it does help…namaste:)

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    1. My inability to moderate does impact on happiness for me and I am very guilty at trying to find external things to make me happy. I’m starting now to accept that life isn’t always where you want it to be but that shouldn’t stop you feeling joy or happiness. It’s a waste of life if you are always waiting for ‘this’ or ‘that’ to be so. Xxx

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