Our expert says:
Interesting question, R. I wonder whether you are comparing your normal life with an ideal probably nobody actually lives ? Nobody is "truly" continuingly happy all the time, every day. And days that didn't seem so happy at the time, later, when you look back, turn out to have been rather happy after all.
An important factor is whether one works through life with realistic explanations. One might feel awful because you think your family doesn't really understand you ; or you might not actually expect them, or anyone else, to "really understand you", and feel no disappointment at all.
Some of us spend much time alone as a child, and enjoy it ; some of us don't enjoy or use the opportunity of time alone, and feel bad about it. We can get mixed up between how we DO feel, and how we feel sure we're SUPPOSED to feel.
Sometimes we're challenged by some truly frightening and hurtful experiences in childhood, as clearly happened to you. And you're faced with ugly experiences with no guide to how usefully to deal with them. Many people try drink ( which may slightly and temporarily let you feel less aware of it, though it almost always eventually makes things worse . And some try cutting, which may also for a time bring its own odd temporary sense of relief, but is never really useful.
Congratulations on having managed to stop the cutting, which isn't easy to achieve. SOme folks I know look at their scars as a form of diary of previous distress. But do remember that they are a reminder of times when one was not coping with that distress, and that there are better ways to handle these situations, even if at that time you didn't think of them.
Don't accept "that you'll never be happy". Accept that things will get better than this, and that you can learn to be happier than this. That there will again be some good times you can remember as happy, and some not so good times you will be able to work your way through
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