by Charlotte Fantelli


What is it to be happy? I typed happiness into Google to find out what the rest of the world thinks happiness is and it really hit home that happiness is different for all of us.

Is happiness an emotion? A state of being? Fleeting or long term? I think we can all identify moments of happiness but what about our underlying mental state? Do we have to be mentally healthy to be happy? I don't think so. OK it helps, but happiness can be found in moments, people, things; it can happen anywhere at any time. 

I remember nights sitting on my bed at 4am with a friend writing the most amazing songs, him playing his guitar singing in my ear. These were during the darkest days of my life, unable to sleep for days even a week on end, self harming, not eating, barely functioning with panic attacks and depersonalisation. Yet when I hear those songs, the lyrics that mean so much to me I almost feel nostalgic. Would I go back there - no way! It was not a long lasting contentment, it wasn't a secure warm feeling; but was there happiness in amongst the misery? For sure. 

I believe happiness is not hard to find! Recognising it, allowing yourself to feel it and making it a priority in your life, those are the hard bits!

So I asked myself, what makes me happy? 

I looked at all the pictures of myself to see what I could include in this blog, and as you can see it showed me that I smile, the biggest natural smiles when I am lit up by my family (my husband above, and my son below). So why is it that as soon as I finish work I feel pressured to call a friend, work more, clean an already tidy house,  do the 101 other things that I tell myself are 'priorities'?

The pursuit of happiness

I think that somewhere deep inside so many of us there is something blocking us, not letting ourselves be happy. This may be a controversial statement, but I believe for a large amount of people, myself included, it is because we feel selfish if we do what we want to do to feel personal satisfaction, over that which we feel obliged to do through external pressures, even when these things bring us little satisfaction at all, or indeed sap us of happiness and make us miserable to those who mean the most...

Can any of you identify with this? If so I want you to make a pact with me! I will vow (and I'd love you to do the same) that I will allow myself to embrace that which makes me happy and darn well enjoy it! I will not let moments and minutes of joy pass me by because I'm busy doing something else (usually trying to make someone else happy) and I will embrace the feeling of fulfilment.

If I can master this, if I can not only allow myself to be happy but actively pursue it, I know I will be better at the things I do for others, after all I will be doing it with joy!

Happiness exercise

Right I would like you to do this! Write down on a piece of paper 5 - 10 things that make you happy (these have to be things YOU can do, for example compliments from my husband would not be something YOU can write on your to-do list, where as 'tennis' could be) then follow this with a list of 5 - 10 things that sap your happiness. For example:

Things that make me happy

Time with my family, keeping fit, taking walks in the country, motor sport, horse riding, watching NCIS, good food

Things that are sapping my happiness

Committing to events that take me away from things I want to be doing, having an inbox full to the brim, taking on board other peoples negativity, my emtophobia, lack of time with family.

Committing to happiness

Now the good bit! Identify one thing from each list that you could change. For me, the list above has identified that I should be spending more time with the family and less time taking on projects that don't fulfil me. Also I could very easily plan to go horse riding, or a days motor sports (with the family even!) without very much time or effort. 

So why have I not done this before? It seems so simple doesn't it, but sometimes, unless we have these things in black and white it is easy to succumb to external pressures and deny our own needs and desires, this may be unselfish in the short-term, however long term your own happiness is most important to you and all around you!

Make being happy a priority :)

Charlotte x


One more thing that we have in common is the happiness found in the company of our family. My grandson is my biggest source of happiness and I promise to spend more time with him or talking to him on the phone. Thanks for the reminder to prioritise what is important to our personal happiness.

Thank you :)

Powerful stuff, I am so going to do this!

Excellent, thanks, let me know how you get on!

Important points, Charlotte. Thank you! If we all did a little more of this, the world would be a better place!

Thanks :) Indeed. Finding the balance between selflessness and doing ourselves harm by not taking care of our own needs can be tricky for caring folk, but a little 'me time' can make us a lot stronger and even better for others!

Really good points well made. I am vowing to give myself a bit more me time (which I always feel bad about) however I will now say Charlotte told me to :)

Hahaha, please do - I'm happy to take the blame :)

Narcissists can be really creative. Look, at the author of this blog. She's such a sweet caring woman right. Yeah, although it's all about her. If you read her blog posts again closely you'll see what I mean. This blog is nothing but a constant narcissistic supply. I woulf not be surprised if most of these stories are made up. I have dealt with enough narcissists in my life to spot one when I encounter one, and this woman is very suspicious. Be aware, if you intend to reveal intimate details about your life. Please at least don't reveal your name.

Hello 'Anonymous',

Thank you for saying I am creative. A Blog in it's very nature is a biographical log. As such it is about the experiences of the authour.  May I refer you to the 3000 pages of impartial information that has been written and published on mentalhealthy.co.uk - commissioned by my business and paid for through private funding. 3000 pages that not once mention me. Or the 20 other bloggers that I publish, documenting their life, and yes I said 'I' publish, because 'I' like to read other people's inspiring life events in the hope it may encourage others to try.

Sadly the only thing you now have published on the site is not a story of hope, happiness or encouragement, but one of insults and put-downs. And sadly whilst I stand by my unashamed openess and honesty, you hide behind the name 'Anon', so anon, I hope for every bitter person who reads this and it dosn't help, the others who touch my blog continue to be encouraged by my words.

Good day.

Well, thank you for pointing out how successful you are. Just in case I had missed what a magnificent individual you are, and what a wonderful life you are living. Such a wonderful individual that you even have time to throw in a few sad personal stories between the cocktail parties and the strolls on the red carpet. I'm sorry. I forgot to mention that you mingle with celebrities? I mean, it's so flashy to have some mental health problems to go with all the fame and fortune. Gives you a whole other level of depth does it not. Yes, of course you flash your name all over the place. What would be the point for a narcissist to remain anonymous... and thank you for reminding me how insignificant I am in comparison to your highness.

You're right about insignificance, because words can change people - good words can inspire greatness while insults and ignorance are completely insignificant.  I genuinely hope one day you find your own significance so you no longer need to put other people down, especially those you don't have a clue about whilst cowardly hiding in anonymity.  I'm sorry my blog has not helped you like it has many people, perhaps you should look elsewhere. I hope you find the peace you obviously need to stop thinking of yourself as a victim and have the courage to come out of the shadows and bitterness you harbour.  It is possible, our blogs are full of inspiring people who have come through, you can too, best wishes x

PS while I wish you well on your journey to recovery, any further insults to myself or any of my bloggers will be removed. 

Charlotte is the least narcissistic person I have ever known. Everything she has written comes from her personal experience and her heart. I feel such sadness for you that you can so misunderstand such a caring, honest, beautiful human being and attempt to portray her in a negative manner. Whilst we are all entitled to our own opinion, I can assure you that yours is totally misguided. I too am happy to put my name to this. Liz Lockhart
Yes. That's the one thing all narcissist need a choir to back them up and reflect how magnificent they are. But I'm glad that you find her posts helpful :) I would still urge to be a bit careful about revealing too much about yourself. It can be used against you, if she feels that you are not giving her what she wants. Take care :)

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