#112 Happy! – ‘What To Do When You’re Not Depressed’

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The wonders of happiness! Look at all those happy people on commercials, skipping through a lovely meadow, flying kites, living life to the fullest. Maybe they will even have a BBQ with friends later, or laugh gayly as they play with dolphins. Who knows, those happy folk might even bake a cake of happiness and give it out to the homeless, because they’re so happy. Although it should be said a high sugar based diet is not recommended for the malnourished. That would just be irresponsible*.

I suppose, recently, I am amongst these merry men (and women). Depression is nowhere to be found and for the first time in a long time I’m like an Andy Dufresne* figure – I’ve escaped. Although unlike Andy, I have absolutely no idea what to do with my freedom. I see the adverts of people running down beaches and paragliding but so far all I’ve managed to do is improve my form on FIFA 12 and, for some reason, agree to strip, sand and varnish the original parquet floor in the kitchen. 

If I had any suspicions as to whether I was in mania or not, that just put it to bed. When people are manic they go on shopping sprees and enter Ironman triathlons, they don’t typically want to do 40 hours of manual labour for virtually zero recompense. So via a process of simple deduction it must be happiness. It can therefore be officially confirmed; happiness has been found.

One thing I haven’t found out though, is where I sign up for my nice shiny white teeth, my lovely beach, a labrador and the perfect physique. It’s almost as if these happy images that surround us all day every day are actually not representative of the facts.

You see this is where my major point of contention with happiness comes in. Happiness is not a thing it is a feeling. Happiness doesn’t look like anything, it doesn’t cost a certain amount of money and it doesn’t come with a big red bow on it. My happiness just looks like me, the same me who looked like me when I was depressed. These pictures, images and projected aspirations externalise a feeling into the physical world. They do this because they can’t sell a feeling, but they can sell you physical things like a nice new kite*, or a new gym membership or a new sofa.

So what do you do when you’re not depressed Paul? Well I basically do similar things as before, except I am happy about them. Unless the thing is stripping a parquet floor.

Mindfump.

*Ideally you want to give out foods that high in nutrients and vitamins.

*Main character in the film Shawshank Redemption

*Can’t say I’ve been kite shopping a while though.

Read more, it’s good for you.

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31 Comments

  1. lumosvox

    Not to burst your bubble, but not all mania involves blowing a paycheck on junk. In my own fun brand of mania, I actually DO start stripping floors, or painting walls, or spring cleaning at midnight. When I’m manic, I have energy, energy, energy, so I do all the things I’ve put off in my depression. Ok, well, DO is not exactly the right word. I START them all. Then, because I am manic, my brain bounces like a pinball in a rubber room, and I never finish any of it.

    On a less grim note, I’m glad you’re happy. Maybe you should find a career as a commercial writer who actually knows what happiness and depression is? ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. desertcurmudgeon

    And to arrive at happiness, you didn’t even have to tunnel out through a sewage pipe to get there. Mindfump 1, Dufresne 0. Here’s one thing I’ve always found curious about depression: even if I am exhibiting no outward signs (maybe I even have a big, fake smile plastered on my face), my dog and cat know full well when I’m in the depths of depression. Perhaps it has a smell? If I’m sad over something that happened, they don’t react the same way. If I’m tired or angry, they don’t react the same way. It’s the full-on depression that they can detect with crystal clarity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mindfump

      You’re right, I am better than Andy Dufresne. How didn’t I release that before? Maybe I need to invest in an animal. I was one of those kids that never grew up with pets. So what sort of signs do they give you that they know?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. TradeRoutz livingStyle

    Yes indeed. The media can’t sell a feeling, but they sell imaginary that contort the mind, into feeling for the images. Then the (IF ONLY) starts to happen in your head. So, if you’re desperate enough, you’ll fly off to ‘that’ place where all the joyful, happy people are supposed to be, only to find that it’s still just you, and the beautiful calm sea that you saw in their adverts, is not calm, a storm just raged through, and it’s dark, choppy and windy. Just saying lol…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Buffy Devane

    Nicely said, sir. If I may, I suppose I’ve found happiness (when I can) in 3 ways:

    Firstly, in isolation from comparisons/irritations: i.e. away from the daily media, deactivating Facebook, and muting the TV until the adverts are finished.

    Secondly, I like the idea of “happiness is absorption” (which I think was said by T.E.Lawrence) and certainly find it in little passions, be in sudoku or engaging conversation, or attempting to write the Great British Novel (I’ve completed two WHOLE pages… cracking stuff. 😉 )

    Thirdly, in that simple state of ‘being’, without effort or activity (mirroring what you’ve said so well). A bit of Peace of Mind.
    I don’t know how I achieved it, I just know that I did… if only it were more of the time!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mindfump

      As ever Buffy, you break it down in ways I can only dream. Hitting the nail on the head. I think people over simplify it and project their idea of happiness. Whereas this is more all encompassing. I like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Buffy Devane

        Why thank you, Mindfump… glad you appreciate it. 🙂 I do agree that too many people have narrow and exclusive notions of happiness — which of course makes other people feel as if they’re “doing something wrong”. I’m glad you can appreciate the more mature notion of “following one’s own bliss” — to borrow a phrase.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. summerSHINES

    So glad you have kicked the black dog away! Dead pleased for you. It doesn’t sound like hypomania to me. I think we can get so used to depression that we think anything in the normal range of mood is being ‘high’ or elevated. Instead we’re just not fucking miserable and that feels bonkers! Enjoy it hun 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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