Not To Be A Downer, But The International Day Of Happiness Is Some Bullsh*t

International Day of Happiness is a bunch of nonsense. Stop telling people to be happy.

International Day of Happiness is a bunch of nonsense. Stop telling people to be happy.

Happy International Day Of Happiness!

That’s right, it’s not only vernal equinox (aka spring) but it’s also yet another (lesser known) holiday — International Day Of Happiness. Only this one, instead of celebrating the influx of crocuses and the birth of baby bunnies, honors the joy of the entire globe.

No fucking pressure.

The International Day of Happiness is celebrated worldwide every March 20th (today). It was founded by “philanthropist, activist, statesman, and prominent United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement.”

Can we just stop it with the aggressive positivity already?

This isn’t just bullshit, it’s a damaging narrative that invalidates the experiences of people who are simply unable to be happy.

And don’t get me wrong, I love an attitude of gratitude and all that crap. But sometimes you just cannot be grateful and sometimes you just cannot be happy. And it is not fair to ask that of people.

When you create a fake holiday to celebrate global happiness or some shit, you are slapping the face of every human being who cannot be happy today.

The LGBTQ+ folks (especially kids who are super impressionable and at a much higher risk for suicide and self-harm) who aren’t out or are out and ostracized or who want to be out but can’t don’t have to try to be happy.

The impoverished folks who don’t know where their next meal is coming from don’t have to try to be happy.

Folks in ED recovery for whom everyday is a struggle to do something as simple as nourish their bodies don’t have to try to be happy.

POC who are victims of hatred and crimes targeting them don’t have to try to be happy.

Folks who are clinically depressed and actually can’t be happy don’t have to try to be happy.

Folks who are mentally ill in other ways and are barely surviving life at all don’t have to try to be happy.

When you tell people to celebrate happiness, you are asking people to pretend to be a thing they are not, for the sake of your comfort. That is not fair. It is not right. It is not okay.

I am so tired of everyone telling me to be happy all the time. You know why?

Because A. I’m not always happy and B. I do enough pretending all day. Thank you very much.

It’s not enough that I have to drag my exhausted ass out of bed at 6 am after a pitiful night’s sleep and get two grouchy kids ready for school, then go to work all day and deal with a bunch of basement-dwelling assholes who feel entitled to tell me to go die under a rock at least ten times a week, then make a dinner that everyone under the age of 40 is going to complain about, then do the dishes from aforementioned hated dinner and three loads of filthy laundry (because no one has underwear) including the underwear that I have to pry out of the inside-out pants, then put kids to bed, then fall into bed myself, only to barely sleep AGAIN, and THEN get up and do it all over, it’s not enough I have to do all that, now I have to do it HAPPILY?

No, fuck that shit man.

I have to pretend I’m super excited to do my job when sometimes it sucks SO hard that I want to quit and live in a box. I have to pretend that I am SUPER EXCITED to hear about the kid in my daughter’s first grade class that ate a bloody booger, or the other kid who peed his pants, or the third kid who said “asshole” on the playground and got a citation. I have to pretend I like people who are pricks. I have to smile or everyone thinks I’m a bitch. I have to go see my grandmother even though she’s constantly telling me how much prettier I’d be if I weren’t so fat, because she’s gonna die someday and I can’t have that on my conscious.

I already spend so much of my day being a whole other person than my actual self, now I’m supposed to be happy while I do it? No. 

Instead of The International Day Of Happiness, how about The International Day Of Help Someone Out or, if you're incapable of compassion, you heartless pricks, The International Day Of Mind Your Own Damn Business. That I can get behind. But International Day Of Happiness? No. Screw that noise.


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