I’m Afraid to Admit That I’m Happy

Last weekend, the man and I watched Girls on HBO as usual. We both love Lena Dunham, but hate the generation she is a part of…cause well, we’re old. Ok, not really….we just feel old.

Now, the episode itself was odd. If it had been a movie, with the whole situation played out, it may have been brilliant-kinda like Before Sunrise, but it is only a 25 min show, and it just hit as strange, sad and a bit lonely. But she did say one thing that really resonated with me, even today in my 30’s, “please don’t tell anyone this, but I want to be happy.”

When I was in my twenties, I remember that feeling. The feeling that in order to have this great, fabulously appearing life you couldn’t be happy. Angst made you look good, showing any bit of happiness just made you way too figured out, snobby and a bit of a dork. I’m 34, married and have a child, my blog is pretty successful and I have some amazing friends and family. I am where I want to be.

And yet…I am still afraid to admit I am happy.

But not for the same reasons. I’m afraid that if I say out loud that I am happy that those that aren’t will feel like I am shoving my happiness in their face and end up hating me. Envy is such a ugly thing, I know, cause I do it too, which is how I know someone out there inevitably will. Normally, I wouldn’t care cause seriously, I don’t know them so why should I, but I do feel guilty cause I know that I have been on the other side and it ate me up inside, this envy for the joy someone else had. It never lasted long, but those moments were enough to make me doubt myself, my life, all over again.

The biggest deterrer though? I’m afraid that the other shoe will drop and everything will be taken away from me. It’s a ridiculous fear. Really ridiculous. Yet, it’s a tiny voice on my shoulder of self doubt telling me “you are too happy, let’s put you back where you belong.” I have had a long road…of self doubt, of heartache, of loneliness and pain (sing it with me now!). For way too long than I care to even say. I deserve to be happy, hell I’ve earned it. Yet, when people ask me how I’m doing, instead of saying “I’m great!” I have to downplay it somehow. Like “Oh, I’m ok, you know, tired” or “I’m alright…too busy..but alright.”

What the hell is wrong with me? Tell me I’m not the only one on this side of crazy?


  1. Sarah L says

    Happy is a good thing. It doesn’t always stick around so just enjoy it when it’s here.

  2. Janet W. says

    Being happy is a great thing! Everyone deserves happiness. Enjoy it and feel blessed that you can!

  3. Karen Glatt says

    I agree with you that we hate to admit that we are happy! I can finally say that I am happy, and we can be proud of it. I remember my 20’s and all the stuff I did and wanting to feel that I am happy. I am older now and I hope wiser and so much more happier! I enjoy life!

  4. Sue Hull says

    I understand what you’re feeling. I felt that way when I was younger.I’m 48 and alittle wiser now.I’m a Christian and let me tell you God loves you so much and He wants you to be happy.Don’t ever feel like you shouldn’t be happy.That little voice telling you not to be happy is the devil trying to bring you down and feel bad.Don’t listen to it. You deserve to happy and to show it. Yell it from the rooftop. LOL!!
    Being happy around people that aren’t happy is a good thing because you can cheer them up.Happiness is so contagious. You seem to have a lot to be happy about,a child and a husband is great. I have a 27 yr old daughter who makes me so happy. I’ve never married but I’m ok with that.
    So I want you to be so happy and show it to the world. You have an awesome day! :)

  5. says

    Nope, you’ve got company, querida when it comes to envy and being afraid of all the happy in your life, going poof! When you get a moment, please check out my blog–www.stretchmarks.me Thanks!

  6. says

    It’s not just you. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer…but nonetheless, I feel the same way. I don’t want to, I purposely try to NOT feel that way, but I do. It’s like years of not being happy have conditioned me to have this perspective on life (and myself). And spending time with abusive (emotional and physical) men doesn’t help.

    So, long story short, I’m in the same boat but have no answers. Sorry. :(

  7. Joni Mason says

    No, you are not the only one. We women find it hard to give ourselves credit for what we have accomplished. I’m 52 and I still find it hard to do.

  8. Michelle Washburn says

    I love this post. You are so right. I am on the other side of the fence right now but working my way up to the sunny side with hope and determination. I do and have down played not only when I am truly happy but when I things are not going as well I do not want anybody to know because I fear I may somehow ruin there happiness or their feeling of entitlement to be happy. So many conflicting feelings we feel! Thanks for the post.

  9. says

    I love Girls. Love it! I think it need to be an hour long show, it’s far too short.

    I completely and totally get where you are coming from. Somehow I was raised to think that your worth as a human being was in direct proportion to your suffering. The more you suffered and persevered the better you were as a person. What a load of BS!

    I am happy right now. Things are not perfect, but everything is moving in the right direction. I have reasons to be ridiculously happy and proud of myself. Sometimes I’m in shock, like I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe things are going so well. Jealousy and envy don’t get to me anymore. I have been alive long enough and have examined myself enough to know that jealousy and envy are pointless, useless time and soul-sucking non-emotions. They are based on a belief in scarcity and I KNOW in my heart and because the Universe shows me time and time again that there is enough for all of us. I can TRULY be happy for others and their accomplishments and use it as motivation and not feel like it takes anything away from me. BUT I have a really hard time being happy for myself because what if it all goes away? What if I get excited and comfortable and then it gets taken away? It’s just silly to be that way.

    Obviously, I appreciate this post and thank you for sharing.

  10. says

    The shoe can drop at any time, whether you are happy or sad, whether you say it or not. Say it, scream it, own it. You are happy and that’s wonderful. Embrace that happiness!

  11. says

    I don’t watch Girls (I couldn’t get into it but thinking I may need to give it a 2nd chance at some point) but I do understand the uncertainty of admitting happiness. I remember once someone made a comment that they found me annoying because I “too damn happy all the time.” (Whatever that means…) But I think it’s important to recognize our happiness, our satisfaction with our lives. There is no shame in recognizing one’s own happiness. I’m learning that.

    So no, you’re not alone and glad to know I’m in good company :D

  12. says

    I’m always happy, and not afraid to admit it. Maybe that’s my problem. :) Nothing is going to be taken away from you. You’ve worked hard to get where your at and good for you. Life is grand and it’s only getting better. Love you Amiga, and if people are jealous, show em the door.

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