The other day, I was sat thinking about one of the major times I felt happy. I think when you suffer with a mental illness of any kind, or even just feel like life is against you, it’s hard to remember those times. If you haven’t been happy in a long time, it’s inevitable that the feeling you get when you finally do feel happy is euphoric.
As a society we tend to focus on the negatives a lot. It’s easier to be that way sometimes. I’ve noticed in the blogging community especially, people (including myself) focus on statistics, follower counts, etc. Unless people specifically write about it, we never hear about those moments. The one moment, the several moments, people knew they were happy. Or even, confident, loved themselves, moved on, felt free, etc.
I wanted to hear those stories just as much as I wanted people to have a chance to remind themselves. Of course, throughout your life you will have many of these moments. It’s the ones that you remember in your darkest place, that are the most important. It’s also vital to realise that sometimes it isn’t one moment, it’s weeks or months or years of progress. You will hear about all different types of moments.
I collaborated with 13 bloggers on this post, all of which are beautiful women with amazing stories to tell. It was so fun for me to receive their little bits of writing.
Each person will have a link to their blog – just click on their picture next to their story. You can also check out their social media, which is linked as well.
So, let’s tell you about the moment we knew:
“I was in a relationship for 7 years and at first I was happy and content after a while I was getting depressed and from depression I got carried away with my body I didn’t take care of myself I would eat every time of day and night. I cried myself to sleep praying for better days. One day I took the courage and broke the
relationship it was too toxic, not healthy at all. At first I thought I couldn’t make it on my own, I moved out got my own apartment and slowly I started to feel like my old self again. As weeks and months pass by I felt happier than ever. I felt free I felt that heaviness on my back gone..totally gone. I was so happy, stress free and started focusing on my well-being. That’s the first time in YEARS that I knew I made the right decision and I was finally happy with myself.” – @TheJourney215
“We spent what felt like forever trying to get pregnant, and after nine months, it happened. Two lines. Faint, but present. I wanted to wrap myself in cotton wool. Ewe were over the moon with our little seed. Then a telephone call was made to us. They had found a problem with my placenta.
Our baby could be born early and still born. Panic and fear set in. We had wanted this baby for so long, we took for granted the fact that it would be a smooth nine months. Just six months later, our premature baby girl, Lily Adeline Sophia was born six weeks early. She was born healthy, 5lbs 4oz and breathing on her own. Perfect. Our 7 year old was brought to the hospital by my father, he walked excitedly onto the ward and proudly held his new tiny sister in his arms. This was the moment I knew my family was complete.” – @MummyAvecAmour
“…and there we were sat on a park bench. After weeks of discussion if we were meant for each other, or if we could make it work. The fear of my past creeping in to ruin it all. I closed my eyes, and it was sealed with a kiss. [don’t read this bit if you don’t like cringe] It was the most special kiss I had experienced.
Almost five years later I still remember that exact moment, the feeling that I will never forget, the love that I know will never let me down. It was like a firework had gone off inside me. After such a terrible time, this was the end, but also the start. The start of my life how I wanted to live it. No one there to hold me back, put me down or change my outlook. Looking back, without him, I would have never survived. He says that’s not true [modest] but the truth is, I have only regained my strength by his belief.
…and that’s when I knew, my life, with Ben, was finally free, finally happy, and finally fine.” – Instagram & Twitter: @BloggingBySoph
“I’ve always had self-confidence issues since a young age. That lead to a lot of mental health issues and I think the turning point in my life was probably when I was about 16 and was about 6 months into a new relationship.
I just suddenly felt a lot happier in myself that there was something who actually loved me for who I was and after that I just started looking at life in a much more positive way. I actually was able to look at myself in the mirror and not hate what I saw. I had a drastic wardrobe change and new hair colour and I felt so much happier.” – Instagram & Twitter: @TheDiaryOfEllie
“When I was asked to write a short note on the moment I realised I was happy and truly felt I loved myself, nothing leapt to the front of my mind. I didn’t suddenly relive a moment and feel suddenly overwhelmed with pride and thoughts of the past. Nope, none of that, I just sat here, and seriously thought, like I thought a lot. I realise, this suggests I am unhappy and do not love myself, but I do, I just don’t know when I entered such state.
Happiness is not a constant, it is human nature to have bad days, which is why I guess I cannot pick a day. However, what I certainly can say, without doubting my accuracy, is that the progressive change of my attitude made, the feelings of happiness and self-love significantly more regular. When I stopped comparing and caring, when I started loving and living, that is when happiness and self-love became friends not just acquaintances in my life. It wasn’t a moment or a flick of a switch but a process, a process that has changed my life.
Before this, I had moments of happiness, and absolute self-love but they didn’t initiate a constant tone, changing my thought process did. Realising I am the master of my future, and hold the key. “ – @today_t_forever & Insta: Todaytomorrowforever.ella
“She was a storm within herself, she was one passionate being, but her soul was crushed. She was shattered with the fact how the society looked upon her. The stereotypes formed in their mind of what beauty looks like disturbed her. Every day was a new challenge for her as she was not like those slim babes with shiny hair and a perfect figure. Every time they made her feel inferior despite her being a humble soul. Though she showed that she doesn’t care of what people think of her deep within she was sulking when away from crowd.
Dieting didn’t help her, workouts didn’t work, medications failed, and that’s when I saw her giving up for the first time. That is when I realized how important it has been for a woman to look her best for the approval of the society. From the time I was born I never saw this female settle for something which was not the best but for the first time I saw her settling for something which was tearing her away. It was her 40th birthday and all I could do is send her a hand-written card and the day after I saw her all new. She wore her favorite blue dress after a long time, that smile I still remember, that spark in her eyes of a conqueror was coming back.
The letter wrote “For the world you may be someone, but for me you are the world and my world is the most beautiful one”. She is still strong and inspires me no matter what. A little spark is enough to brighten up someone’s life.”
“It took me 21 years. After a horrendous few months of going through turmoil with my physical health and a diagnosis of a chronic illness, I came to a conclusion. I was actually doing a lot better in life than I previously thought I was. The hate I constantly directed at the physical appearance of my body lessened when I realised the poor thing was doing its absolute best to keep me alive and because of that, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like. Someone also reminded me that the only person who determines your success is yourself which resonated deep within me.
I had to try to love myself for me and the people around me to aid my recovery in both the physical and mental areas. It took time, there were tears and I still have bad days but despite my struggles I am SO grateful to be me the majority of the time, which is something I never thought I’d be able to say. Your whole life and outlook on it changes when you value yourself and know your worth. I may currently be too unwell to work, awaiting surgery and not have a penny to my name but I define myself as successful because I’m happy, strong and surrounded by people who love me for who I am.” @blcktulipbeauty & Insta: BlackTulipBeauty
“Being a teen girl in today’s society is definitely difficult. Social media set a standard for where you need to be in life and constantly makes a definition for how you need to look to be considered pretty. It took me until my senior year of
high school to find out that it’s really all about whats within and I know that sounds so cliche but it is definitely a true statement. I may not be the prettiest, I might not have the perfect body, but I have the heart and soul that this world needs and that makes me so content with MYSELF and LIFE itself. I have the personality where I can converse with anyone and put the brightest smile on someone’s face. I am so imperfectly me and I take pride and joy in that.” @DaisysBeaute
“I’ve always battled anxiety, the kind that hits you while you are in the middle of the grocery store for no reason at all, the kind that makes you feel scared of the smallest things, that doesn’t make any sense. The kind of anxiety that almost seems like an old friend. You know – the dramatic, annoying one that shows up when you are trying to have a mellow day.
The first time I really felt like I had overcome anxiety was this year. I felt like I could breathe, like really breathe, without weight on my shoulders and a knot in my stomach.
I felt comfortable going to the coffee shop alone, going to the grocery store alone, and not living in fear of a panic attack. Panic attacks are real, and they suck! Your heart starts racing, your hands get sweaty, sometimes you feel light-headed, and you can’t catch your breath. It’s embarrassing and very humbling to say the least. But, with the changes I’ve made, and having an incredible support system, I can feel comfortable going out now.” – @Tateonna’s
“Frequently moving continents and cultures can leave you feeling isolated, alone, and unknown. I felt desperately alone, even in crowds, for a fair chunk of my life. Sometimes I still do. Years crept by with a kind of lonely dark
numbness as I wondered if I’d ever feel a sense of belonging and a sense of real, genuine joy again.
One day it hit me that that painful raw emotion was just a remembered ache. Though it was still a part of me, it wasn’t so sharp anymore. I DID feel joyful. And more to the point, I could see the little details all around me in life as things to find joy in and marvel at the wonder of life. I had learned to find joy by seeking it out in the small things around me. Even if the community I longed for wasn’t forthcoming, life was still beautiful.” – Twitter & Instagram: @bustinoutbeauty
“I scrolled down through my Facebook timeline and felt bad for myself. I was jealous of the younger me; the girl with a slim waist and a contagious laughter who did not worry too much about her future or her weight. She made friends easily and kept in touch with them. She struggled and fell down but never let go of her positive outlook towards life. Keeping my phone away, I looked at myself in the mirror. “I’m no longer that girl in her twenties. Tomorrow, I will wake up as a thirty year old woman,” I sighed.
Turning thirty was not a big deal. But the list of my unattained ‘pre-thirty’ goals was holding me from embracing this new decade of life. Six months passed by, feeling ashamed of not being able to reach most of these goals. The happy status updates from my friends on social media made me jealous. People were getting promotions, enjoying vacations, and I was thirty and accumulating jiggling layers of belly fat!
One afternoon, I uninstalled the social media apps from my phone and went out for a long walk. I had finally reached a point where I understood that my life’s goals were not to be compared or influenced by those of my friends. Everyone has a different pace. I needed to focus on my path and give it my best shot. At that very moment, I realized that thirty is actually a good number!” – @pushpanjaliroy
“All throughout college I tried hard with my friendship group to no avail, I would be constantly putting in the effort to meet them, with birthdays, with events of any kind. They would criticise me for my hobbies outside and for my blogging too, to the point I eventually quit. Eventually, I realised that they weren’t true friends and we parted ways which was honestly the best decision I have ever made.
Now, I’m going into my third year of university, I’ve got new friends who, although I may not see all the time, know that they’ll be there for me at the drop of the hat if I needed them. I have the confidence now to be the person I wanted to be in college but was shamed and bullied for, I have been blogging properly for just over a month now and I am so happy with how I am doing. I love myself more than ever now for the decisions I made and I love the people who I surround myself with. It took me a long time to realise the toxicity of who I spent my time with but I know now that regardless I should never have let them stop me, from being me.” – @imo_m11 – Instagram: imogenm27
And finally, these wise words from @SensitiveNimbus – She also included a poem, which is a nice touch to finish this post.
“I don’t think there’s ever been a moment that solidified my self-love. I don’t think there ever will be. The times I love myself the most are when I’m writing poems, looking at a page and smiling that I’ve been able to process what’s been on my mind. That’s when I’m most proud of myself. I’ve spent a lot of time holding in things people have said to me, letting it simmer in the back of my mind, and letting it destroy me. But now, I’m becoming more independent, and no longer seeking validation in strangers. The small steps I’m taking to make my younger self proud is my journey to self-actualization. Everyday, I take those steps. But it’s a journey I think I’ll always be on.”
| 7.2.18 |
my life currently
consists of my
mom’s orange bag
and lady bird
hitting a little
too close to
home, unanswered texts
wallowing in my
phone. certain that i
want to move
to arizona and
that i actually
do miss him.
uncertain about where
my next check
is going to
come from and
when he’ll call
again. i’m sure
that i’m alive
and i was
born to be.
Tell us about the moment you knew in the comments, or tweet at us on Twitter. We’d love to hear your stories.