I understand the whole be happy your alive and the it could be worse stuff, but I am so sick of my life. I have always worked hard, but I am never respected in my field. I am broke all the time. I do not have a family and the friends I have I don’t like to hang out with them because I’m always so miserable compared to them. I just spent all my money and worked hard to make a career change that I thought would make me happy and give me more time to work on my painting career. I am now broke, can’t afford to live in my apartment (I am going to live out of my car starting next month). Nothing I do makes me happy anymore. Art used to always make me happy, but I am so upset I can’t afford to do it any more I feel sick thinking about it. I really don’t want to live without having a family. Nothing I do anymore matters. I do not qualify for any help programs because of my previous job, but all the money I made from that went into changing my career and I have nothing now. I got my new credentials to do the new job, but I’m completely broke. I really don’t want to live a life of being broke all the time. It is so stressful to worry and I am not a person that can handle it. The constant phone calls from collects, losing my apartment, scared to buy food every meal. I have been disappointed with my life for the past 19 years. Everything I try at, I lose or fail. I keep trying to continue on, but I don’t want this to be it. I’m getting too old to be know where and failing this badly. I so tried of feeling like trash everyday, I just want to know how to deal with living a life you don’t want and how to find happiness when there is nothing in your life to be happy about. (From the USA)
What comes through your email loud and clear is that you have one of the most important character traits a human being can own: grit. Almost every sentence identifies you as persistent and resilient. No form of success is a straight line. Here is a brief video on some famous failures that show how important it is to honor your capacity to try again and again: https://youtu.be/zLYECIjmnQs. As Muhammad Ali has said: “Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”
I wouldn’t pretend to know exactly what you will need to do to feel better — but I know there is something inside of you that will keep pushing for it. Even your email to us is a sign that you may not know how, but you are willing to look for answers. From everything I’ve learned about happiness and success– that is the essential ingredient.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). How to Be Happy When Your Life Sucks. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 4, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/07/29/how-to-be-happy-when-your-life-sucks/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Jul 2017) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.