I have seen countless quotes about choosing to be happy, but what these quotes lack is the reality of the choice, the work that is put in to achieve the final goal of happiness. I think it is important that we choose to be happy in the ways that we can, but it also important to take mental illness into consideration when posting these quotes with false perceptions of achieving happiness. Let's be real. Happiness takes work. A lot of work. It doesn't just happen overnight. It could take days, weeks, months, years, or even a whole lifetime, and that is okay. Everyone's achievements deserve praise, no matter how long it takes them to reach their goal.


If you are dealing with mental illness, like me, please know that you are not alone in your feeling frustrated with the idea that happiness is easily achievable. I do believe to some extent, it is a choice, but a lot of time, effort, and mental-drainage comes with it. We choose happiness every time we step foot into a therapy session, take our prescribed medication, and practice other forms of self-care, but sometimes happiness does not choose us.

Sometimes we wake up and our mental illness decides that you are not going to be happy. You can choose happiness by pushing that. By doing what you need to do in order to get through what you are experiencing. Just because you don't feel happy at that moment does not discredit your urge for happiness. It does not mean that you will never be happy. We have to remember that happiness is not a constant feeling. Even the happiest people experience some of the most intense, sad, depressing thoughts and emotions.


Happiness is not a tangible thing we can grasp. It is a state of mind that we need to work towards. You can experience mental illness and negative emotions even if you have reached your perceived full potential of happiness. This is a perceived notion because your potential never stops growing with you. As you change and mold more into the person you want to be, your idea of happiness and contentment changes with it. This means that happiness cannot be completely and utterly a choice that just sticks with us once we decide to be happy.

If it is always changing, then sometimes doing the things that once made us happy do not anymore, so we must be proactive in how we continue to live a happy life. We must discard the things that once made us happy, but no longer do. We must be honest with ourselves, with our therapists, with the people in our lives who care for us so that we can adjust to our new form of happiness and contentment.

We must give ourselves room to grow.

We must not punish ourselves for changing.

We must allow ourselves to make mistakes.

We must choose to be happy even when it doesn't choose us.