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Happiness, depression, and feeling like a fraud

[ 4 ] August 29, 2016 |
hand-lettered art journal page with quotes about hope

“hope” by Elizabeth M on Flickr. CC BY 2.0

Hi everyone,

I want to apologize for disappearing for the past four years. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what really happened is that I felt like a fraud, so I stopped. After all, I wrote the book on how to be happy (literally!), and then I wasn’t happy. So who was I? What was I?

In fact, I was severely depressed. The man I saw as the love of my life had been diagnosed with cancer, and in the process of taking care of him, I lost myself. Ultimately, I lost him, too.

Losing myself was worse than being alone or lonely, because those words imply that you have “one”: yourself. I felt like I didn’t even have that. Somehow, my Self had left the building, and all that was left was an empty shell.

How could I keep writing a blog about how to be happy and live your best life, when I was miserable and could barely tolerate the pain of being alive at all? What could I possibly have to say?

But here’s the thing: life isn’t a true/false question. Happiness isn’t something you achieve once, and then you’re done—set for life. The things I knew when I wrote How to be Happy were enough for my life at that time. But they weren’t enough for the worse things that were to come. I had to live through that stuff to learn how to handle it. And that’s just how life works. We grow, or we die. Those are the only options.

After a lot of healing, I feel like I’m ready to start again. I helped a lot of people once. I want to do more of that. I still believe that everyone deserves a life of meaning and freedom, and I still believe that’s something we can build for ourselves. Helping people do that is the most exciting thing I can think of.

Are you in?

If so, I’d like to offer you a free strategy session. By the end of the call, my goal is for you to be clear on what’s standing between you and the life you want—and how to start changing that. 45 minutes, no charge, no strings attached.

I’ll be frank: this is a big deal to me. I’ve spent most of the past four years hiding from basically everything—especially the phone.

But I’m tired of hiding and playing small, and I’m tired of not helping anyone. After all this time, I feel really out of touch with this community, and the fastest way to find out what you need is to talk to you. With these calls, I’ll be helping you, but you’ll also be helping me.

If you’re interested, please click the button below to set up a time.

Schedule Session

It’s great to be back!



About Cara Stein: I'm a Breakthrough Coach and Creative Director On Demand. I'm also an idealist who has stopped trying to play it cool. I offer alignment, clarity, and unshakeable belief in yourself—and then I help you bring your vision to life with great sales copy and graphic design.

Comments (4)

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  1. Buck says:

    I’m glad you are back! I, too, know all too well what depression is. In fact I still cannot truthfully say that I am over it. There are no words to accurately describe it. But I was very pleased to see an email and read this post letting everyone know you are back. It gives me hope.

  2. Oh, honey, do I ever feel you:

    WELCOME BACK! You’re one of the good ones and I’m so happy you’ve returned to us.

  3. Harvey Meale says:

    Can’t say I know what depression is like but I guess having this experience at least gives you a deeper appreciation of what it means to be happy. And more importantly, what it means not to be happy.

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