Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Don’t worry, be happy!
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My dad raged at my mom, my sisters, and me in our childhood. He degraded us and blamed social media for our unhappiness. I’ve never been unhappy using social media, I was unhappy with him.
My sisters got married, had children and make lots of money. They flaunt their happiness on Instagram.
I’m 33, and I’m starting to think that my dad was right. I’m hopeless as a struggling writer with no kids, husband, or money.
I feel lost, desperate, and depressed. Social media motivates me, but it seems many millennials are like me.
I can’t afford therapy, so please don’t tell me to go to one.
Lonely and unhappy
Statistics show that people in your age range are using more social media apps, texts, and time than any other generation, and are the most depressed, anxious, and unhappy: 90.4 percent of millennials, 77.5 percent of Generation X, and 48.2 percent of baby boomers are active social media users.
The best news — and the most depressing news — is that this era has produced more people who want to “right all the wrongs” in the world, instead of creating the best person that they can be, as an individual. It’s looking outward instead of inward, and not focusing on the things that matter most, such as getting married and having a family. It’s a proven fact that married people with families are more happy — long term — than single people.
Why? A simple answer from studies shows that when the focus is on others and serving them, they’ll do the same for you. Healthy and solid relationships last through money, health, and career changes, which will be plentiful. We believe relationships are all you can take with you after death.
We realize your family had someone who behaved detrimentally to you. You can’t change him, but that doesn’t stop you from trying to create your best life with your own best family.
Many people from your generation are trying to live up to a better picture of their lives than their realism. Most are living lives of comparisons, instead of genuine reality. That has subsequently caused a “façade factor” instead of authenticity.
Decide what happiness looks like to you:
Choose three important values: gratitude, integrity, and service (giving of yourself constructs more self-worth than anything) are some of our favorites.
Set timed goals for your dreams: it’s hard to be happy when rent is due and you’re hungry.
Create healthy relationships: enjoy a happy journey as much as your results.
There are many affordable, even free, counseling resources available; seek them out.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Listen to Rhonda’s podcast: bullyinglifeandstuff.com.