Finding Joy Despite Flattening

Yes, you read that right – “flattening”! It seemed the best way to describe my week. Or, if you prefer pictures, this –

DB Badge

has become this:

DB Badge Flattened

However(and I can’t emphasize that “however” enough!) I am still happy. Lacking in energy, motivation and general bounce, but still joyful.

How is this so? Well, I’m keeping the horizon close and staying in the moment. It’s that simple.

My floors still aren’t mopped; my assignment still needs completing. (To be honest, it still needs starting.) My garden needs weeding; my fridge needs cleaning. Dinner isn’t going to cook itself, but there’s always soup in the freezer. There’s a book waiting for me at the library, but it will still be there tomorrow.

In this moment, I am enjoying tapping words out for you, dear reader, to consider. A few moments ago, I enjoyed flopping on the sofa after the effort of emptying the dishwasher exhausted me. In a short time, I intend to enjoy the moment when I turn on the TV and watch The Good Wife. Outside of those moments? Beyond the scope of my attention.

I believe that if I were to widen my horizons today, I would rapidly become joy-less. I’d be frustrated at my lack of energy, angry at myself for not having started things earlier, feel guilty about considering soup for dinner when there’s the makings of a good meal in the crowded fridge, and panicked about all the things that I haven’t ticked off on my To Do list.

However, I feel none of those things. Instead, I feel happy.

It makes me happy to write these words, happy to know that you’ve read them. Thank you! And may you, too, find much joy in your day today.

xx DB


Filed under Up

10 responses to “Finding Joy Despite Flattening

  1. When I was waiting to see if Seroquel would work for me I had some of the most agitated states I’ve ever been in. Bringing the horizon in was an absolute revelation for me. If I caught myself thinking of anything NOT directly applicable to the next twenty four hours, I just said “It’s not real” and obliterated the thought with repetitions of that and by focussing on something infront of me.

    We jump through some crazy hoops but as Andrew Solomon said, there are no placebos when it comes to treating depression. If something works – IT WORKS.

    All the best,


    • Always good to hear from you, H&J. I think it’s one of the best skills I’ve learnt. Of course, unless one lives a particular lifestyle – say, that of a contemplative religious, or a hedonistic billionaire eccentric – you can’t live in the land of the close horizon perpetually; nor is it helpful to use the technique as a way of avoiding difficulties. However, as a way of managing mood, it’s right up there with exercise and breathing!

      Did Seroquel work for you? I think it’s hands down the absolute best psychoactive drug I’ve been prescribed, and I’m a boring monopolar depressed/anxious person, not the more exciting biopolar of your quirk (this was meant to be tongue-in-cheek humour, not offensive!). It was a very happy day for me when the PBS started subsidizing quetiapine for a broader range of diagnoses. Pity about the “hollow legs” side effect, though.

      Who’s Andrew Solomon? Sounds like an interesting bloke.


      • Seroquel has left me largely asymptomatic. It has definitely worked. The side effects have diminished substantially too, for a lot of the time. I feel a bit uninspired most of the time and occasionally in the evening I get somnolent but other than that, all good. I’m lucky.

        Solomon is a writer. He wrote The Noonday Demon, a book about depression. VERY good. Here is the TED talk that first got him on my radar:

        All the best,


      • Thanks! Appreciate it. I’m always on the lookout for excellent writers/thinkers on mental health issues.


  2. It’s good to be happy.


  3. The moment is a wonderful thing when we can find it! This is great to hear. 🙂


  4. Pingback: Appeasing the Inner Critic | In & Out, Up & Down: Dysthymia Bree's Musings On Mental Health and Psychiatric Wards

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