One challenge is that I'm all packed full of socially unacceptable emotions.
Real happiness, whatever you take that to mean, is obviously good fortune and arguably good skill, but people forget that sadness is also good luck. Not everyone can afford sadness. Like my friend isha-bear; tense and bitter and ironic and tired, and almost entirely focused on Now Lets Keep Surviving, have a little fun if and when we can. Worry about that emo shit later. Like never, that could be good.
When you can't handle the sadness, there's bitter, angry, and numb. I mostly shoot for numb; better than bitter or angry, right? Soma please. Excessive food, or no food, television, someone else's problems, elaborate plans for the future that I will never follow through with. Exercise used to be good--exhaustion is unreal happiness. Numb can be much more functional than sad.
Numb is more socially acceptable, too. Sad makes people horribly uncomfortable; you have to at least try to hide it, maintain the charade, or they'll feel like they ought to do something for you, like it's their job to fix it. It isn't--it really, really isn't, but for some reason almost no one will act like that, even if deep down they do believe it.
I wish we permitted honesty and company at once; I'm tired of numb.
Also of sad and lonely, but one step at a time.