Home » Blogs » Mentoring and Recovery » You Can Be HAPPY

You Can Be HAPPY

be happyThe newest edition of “Good News for Eating Disorders Recovery” has just been released. I wanted to share this timely pre-holiday message with you here as well, since the holidays are often a time when happiness can feel less like a choice and more dependent on circumstances or other people than at any other time of year.

I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

You Can Be HAPPY

Many, many years ago, one of my mentors made an incredible statement. She said:

It takes much more strength to hold joy than to hold sadness.

I had never heard anything like this before. My yet-to-be healthy mind was RIVETED.

My eating disorder mind, on the other hand, was distressed to the point of panic at her words, having used the exact opposite argument to keep me dependent upon it for so many years.

This simple statement transformed my relationship to my eating disorder, to my recovery efforts, and, ultimately, to myself.

I began to see happy people, joyful people, as the truly strong ones. I wanted to learn more about them, so I began studying those great souls who exuded contentment, joy, a spirit of giving and service, gratitude, and humility whether in the midst of plenty or deprivation – and wondering HOW they had achieved this feat.

Then I began to wonder if I could achieve it too.

Today, I know that I can. I am not saying that I am there yet – not by any means. But I am more able to hold onto happiness today than I was yesterday, and more apt to hunt for contentment than contention when given the choice (p.s. I also realize today that I always have a choice, whether I think I do or not.)

By the way, I share this with you here only because I used to be the unhappiest person I knew. I was so miserable! I felt and acted like a victim. I was so sure everyone hated me. I hated me. I believed everyone else’s life would be better if I simply disappeared.

Today, after many years of very hard work and intensely focused personal determination and discipline, I feel exactly the opposite. I have taken charge of my daily experience. I have assumed the leadership role in my own life that was always mine for the asking, and that only I can fulfill.

Today, I am in charge of my mind and not the other way around. And while some days there is still something left to be desired in my execution of this fact, the fact itself is concrete and permanent.

If I could do this – if I could go from five-star unhappiness to days where happiness nearly always wins out over its dark twin, I truly believe that anyone can.

Including – and especially – YOU.

You and I – IF we want it badly enough AND we are willing to work as hard as it takes for as long as it takes to achieve this goal – we truly can be HAPPY.

With great respect and love,


To read the full edition click HERE

Happy woman photo available from Shutterstock

You Can Be HAPPY

Shannon Cutts

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2016). You Can Be HAPPY. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 10, 2018, from


Last updated: 11 Sep 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 11 Sep 2016
Published on All rights reserved.