I don't know how to be happy…

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    Dear readers,

    I’ve come to share my truth with you, my shame, my guilt and my heartache. I don’t know where to begin, or end anymore. I don’t know how to be happy…

    The truth is, I continue to chase what may not exist. I chase freedom of responsibility, I chase the escape of reality, I run from my loneliness. I run away from my monsters inside by changing up my scenery, filling my time with people (another man), or activities that aren’t “my priorities”. I depend on others to make me happy. I get scared of not having something exciting to do. Or plans for the weekend. Because being alone, in my head is the worst and loneliest place I can possibly be.

    My shame, I was unfaithful in my marriage. I felt completely trapped, and smothered. I had no love left for my husband, I was bored, got needy, didn’t feel appreciated and was seeking something more exciting and fun. It’s been a year since this happened, and now I would have done things quite differently. I would have left, but not like that.

    My guilt, I’m a bad mom. I shouldn’t have left. How could I do that? Why did I do that? My son deserves better. I’m a shitty human being. My son doesn’t have a family. Sometimes, I don’t want to be a mom.

    My heartache, I have everything (or so I think!). I’m successful, support myself and son, am physically fit, have savings, toys, and have supportive friends and family. But inside I’m sad and lonely. I want so bad to feel cared for emotionally.

    How am I not happy? Why can’t I just be content? Fulfilled?

    I’m so lost.

    This is a snap shot of me. I’ve struggled with anxiety for years which has heightened my emotions along the way. I’ve seen councillors, I write in a journal, read, do yoga and exercise.

    Please, share your experiences with me. Are you happy? What makes you happy? What’s your story?


    Hi Ashley,

    I think a lot of happiness is being content with yourself. Perhaps when you are alone instead of thinking about all the things you wish were different, you can focus on your self-progress until you love to be alone. I like to create a list of things I wish was different, choose one, and then create a list of steps toward achieving it. Taking that first step can be a great feeling, and you can revel in that momentum at the end of the day rather than being unhappy.

    Taking the time to write down a few things you are grateful for each day can also help. Take the time to linger in that gratefulness for a while, really sense each thing you are grateful for. Helping other people is also a really good way to have something to feel good about at the end of the day, and you can meet new people. Learning something new can also make time fly and get out of your own head. Learning a new language is especially transportive to me because it forces you to use new areas of your brain.

    I know that being a mom changed a lot of things and probably made life suck in a lot more ways, but now you have a little human being that you can watch grow up and teach cool things to. You can always do cool things to make your son’s life a little better. That’e the awesome part of being a mother. You can’t change the way you left (I think we all wish we did something different in the end of a relationship) but you can watch your son grow into a great man.


    Thanks Mark for taking the time to write to me and for the great suggestions. I really appreciate your insight and positivity.

    At one point I thought I was happy alone. Then I loose myself and lean on others. Previously, I’ve wrote out what I’m grateful for. I think it’s time to revisit it. I guess I’ve forgot!

    Wishing you well! 🙂




    Firstly, I hope you consider my response. I am only 23, unmarried, with no children, so I don’t know what you are going through in many aspects. Right now I am going through a sort of quarter life crisis, which is sounds to me like you are having a midlife crisis. I am also in a state of unfulfillment in my life. I feel like I’m not happy where I am.

    I would recommended to you to travel. I have traveled overseas twice in the past four years and I cannot explain to you the difference that it made in my soul. It initiated my quarter life crisis, but in a way I am so happy for that because I am now craving a positive, healthy lifestyle– just getting to that lifestyle is a new journey that takes me out of my comfort zone in many ways.If you cannot afford to travel overseas, just travel inside your home country. I recommend traveling alone as well. Traveling alone allows you to spend time with yourself and interact with new people whom you may not have talked to before had you been with a group of peers. I also recommend watching movies about traveling and see if it appeals to you. Two I suggest are “Given” and “The Way”.

    I hope this helps in some way. I know travel cannot solve all of life’s problems but I have found no better way of learning more about my true self than through travel.

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