The Moodscope Blog



It just takes time

Tuesday March 17, 2020

I'm not very good at writing about how I feel, and sometimes I really don't know myself.

I try to do my scores daily, but sometimes I don't want to see the numbers. If anyone else feels that way, trust me I understand.

I try meditation but I'm not very good at it, but I do like the mindfulness meditation, it's just easier for me to focus while walking or just take a break and notice what's going on around me.

I still have trouble with pain and tension in my body, so I'm a work in progress.

I read a lot of everyone's thoughts on Moodscope and it helps me a lot to just keep trying.

I just wanted to say I wish everyone the best and if you just keep trying and believing thing's will get better they will. It just takes time...

Best wishes.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



I caught myself walking up to the shop on this beautiful Saturday morning, already feeling low by borrowing from the way I felt about an uncertain future. I was drawing down on a future that didn't exist!

How crazy is that? Saturday is my day of rest and I love it! Yet, here I was feeling depressed about a future that hasn't happened yet, and may never happen!

That kind of 'wisdom' certainly isn't heavenly!

I'm so glad I caught myself being daft... and, as a thinker and writer, I got to thinking and then writing!

Here's the big take out:

Q. What are you borrowing from the future?

A mortgage is a positive example for many. They borrow from their future positive earning potential to enrich their current experience by living in a home that they love.

Imagination is similar - we borrow from a future we imagine to influence our feelings in the present!

It's Time To Imagine... A Better Future!

Could your future be better, brighter, bigger, bolder?

I'm not asking you if this is likely. I'm asking you if there is even a remote possibility that this could happen?

Could you discover that an unknown relative leaves you a huge amount in their will?

Could medical science discover a cure to whatever may ail you?

Could you suddenly switch the way you think so that you 'see' opportunities in every adversity?

Could everything turn out well?

Of course it could!

And while there is even the tiniest of possibilities, it is worth giving them your full attention!

I know why people convince themselves not to do this. They tell me it is because they don't want to be disappointed. But I know how I felt earlier this morning - worse than disappointed and nothing I was fearing had happened yet!!!

Why not rather choose to feel good? It's far more productive!

"Well, Lex, I can't just switch on feeling better!"

You are absolutely, one hundred percent correct!

But you can choose what you give attention to.

I'm sitting down now am I writing out one hundred credible ways my life could get better. Wherever possible, I'm going to focus on ones that I can at least influence if not control.

Will you join me in this exercise to imagineer a better, brighter, bolder, bigger future? Then, maybe, we can borrow feeling better from our better future!

Thank you!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Filling The Void

Sunday March 15, 2020

When I've lost a loved one
I desperately seek
To fill the void.
Using distraction devices
rather than working
through these heavy emotions.

Loss can create blankness
Very painful to face.
So I may be in denial
Swimming among the crocodiles,
Negotiating turbulent waters
while deciding not to go there,
tossing and turning in every direction.

Sometimes anger can be
an overriding emotion.
I may feel furious
at being abandoned.
Why did that person leave
at this point?

I have felt guilty
Something to which I'm frequently prone.
However, unless I recognize
These negative emotions,
facing them courageously,
there's a risk
of spiralling into negativity.

Filling the void
Can be eased
By all the happy memories;
fun things done together.
The outings, the jokes
The laughs shared.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



The kindness crème

Saturday March 14, 2020

I have an empty plastic pot, clean, with a lid, waiting to be used in the drawer under my bed; but it doesn't matter if it isn't. It has been there for 9 years and will probably continue so for many more. Originally it held an inexpensive face and hand crème, all of which I used. Then washed it and put it away.

Nine years ago I was a patient on a psychiatric ward in a city nearly 40 miles from home in order to have ECT. I was severely depressed (again). I didn't know anybody. I was withdrawn and uncommunicative.

Shortly after I was admitted I was taken one evening, with other patients, to the social centre where the evening's activity was bingo. There were various staff members who also joined in. The winner of each round could choose a small prize.

I didn't win, but one of the winners was a support worker who said she would give her choice of prize to a patient. She chose me. I chose the kindness crème.

Every time I used it I could remember that small, spontaneous, unsought, unselfish gift, given to me despite what I was. I didn't have to 'deserve' it, just accept it. I try to be a gift giver now.

Nothing is good enough to put in the pot!

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.




Friday March 13, 2020

I often feel very grateful and less alone when I read other people's blogs. It takes time, strength and courage to write from the heart or head depending on where you are at.

As a therapist, there is an assumption by some close friends that I "ought" to be ok and "should " know what to do to make things better for myself.

I can feel so lost at times that I let these assumptions and expectations of others add weight to my distress and I spiral down further adding negative beliefs about myself. I seek refuge in alcohol and withdraw with the label "I am failing on all levels."

It is only through reaching out to my own therapist that I can see myself through a more compassionate lens. I think I was drawn to my profession to help others - it isn't an unconditional role I get from supporting others and holding them in thier darkest moments. It is a privilege. It also lets me hide.

If I am helping others I am fulfilling a need - my need to help. In such an emotionally challenging role I have little energy or will to look at the emotional me. The part that is so hurt so alone so weak.

Personal therapy, as hard as it is, can be the most rewarding place to sit. I have growing awareness of my self, my way of being. Yes it isn't going to change dramatically, the sky isn't suddenly filled with sunshine, but I can no longer deny what I do to avoid.

I recently said goodbye to my soulmate Tippi my 4 legged collie cross. Tippi was my unconditional support, best friend, companion. Thirteen years ago we met at a rescue centre and I truly feel she actually saved me. I am lost without her its been only 5 weeks. I went to therapy not appreciating just how broken I am in my grief as I was listening to "I ought to be ok" "I ought to know what to do".

And I listened, I hid in my work and I unravelled.

I am painfully trying to change my lens - look inward and not rely on outward opinion, comments or reactions for what to do. I have to look at how I want to be, how I currently am and start to break the cycle.

Its my cycle, its my journey and I will get there in my own time.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Being sensitive

Thursday March 12, 2020

Growing up I'd always been criticized for being 'too sensitive' or 'over sensitive'.

Too sensitive meant feeling things too deeply, worrying excessively about people or animals in difficult situations, finding injustice intolerable. It meant that I cried easily.

What people never realised, though, was that I was not always upset when I was crying. More often than not I was actually angry but had no means or ability to express that anger as the fire that it was. I felt so much and so deeply yet it never allowed me to reach 'burst' point. So I cried instead.

I was under 5 when I remember feeling very worried about the chickens in a chicken coop out in our garden one hot and sticky summer's day. They had no shade and, I thought, looked really sad. As I gazed at them I had a sudden idea! I remembered a pile of sand we had around the back of the house. Not lovely and golden as I would have liked but grey. Still, it was all we had and I didn't think they'd mind. It was the thought that counted, right?

I filled my beach bucket to the brim and carefully dragged it to the chicken coop. Once there I tipped it in. The hens scattered. After a further three trips I was satisfied that I had, indeed, give them the beach I had imagined in my head to enjoy.

All I can say is that I am so extremely grateful that I didn't follow that up with any water to be the sea because my grey sand was not, in fact, sand but... cement rather!

Years later I was to discover the principles of being, what Dr. Elaine Aron called a 'Highly Sensitive Person'. By then I had been a teacher for some thirty years, teaching children aged 3 to 18 and student's aged 18 - 7O. It included both people with learning disabilities and people without.

I realised that it was my sensitivity that had made me the best teacher I could be. The teacher I had always aspired to be. It mean't that I had the ability to step out of myself, a process I called 'going empty' in order that I be able to see each learner individually more clearly and know, intuitively what they needed in order to access the session content and the skill. Sometimes there was as many systems of learning going on as there were children or students in the room.

Now I don't mind a bit when I'm called sensitive or even over sensitive because I know that everyone in my life, from learners to friends have all, without exception, experienced the best of me, have gained something 'extra' just because of that sensitivity.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Helen's mother died a few years ago. She was 93 and had led a full life; she was ready to go.

Before she died, Helen spent some time with her mother, talking to her about her childhood in Australia – about what it was like growing up in that time. It was a time of poverty and hardship, yet there was a lot of laughter as her mother relived those memories.

Helen recorded those talks with her mother, and on Sunday she proudly shared with me that she had finally completed the task of transcribing those recordings for her siblings, so they could all read them.

"I've got a list of tasks for the year," she told me, "And now I can tick that one off!" She was delighted with her achievement and I am sure the rest of her family will appreciate the thought and hard work that went into it.

Yesterday I held a business meeting with a very driven and organised young man. At the end of the meeting I asked, "So, would you like to work with me?"

"Yes," he answered. "But not right now. It's the end of the tax year in a month's time and I cannot afford to spend that time with you right now."

He paused and then went on, "But I can see this is important, and it would be a good investment. After April, I will contact you again."

I suppose my face must have shown my reservations, because he continued, "I have a five-year plan, a yearly plan, a quarterly plan and a monthly plan. Working with you will go on my monthly plan for April."

I don't think I have ever met anyone that focussed and organised; not even my daughter, who schedules her revision timetable in minute detail, even including "Planned Procrastination" sessions!

I rarely make detailed plans for anything. I have a few things I would like to do and some intentions, but I rarely make such organised plans as Helen and this young man. But maybe I would achieve more if I did.

I already plan my menu for the week and shop accordingly. My husband would prefer I plan for the month, and maybe I could consider that. So many of my friends rave about how beautiful Barcelona is and so maybe I could make a plan to visit, and plan who to visit with. I could make a detailed plan of my social media posts for my marketing. I could plan to visit my friend in Washington DC again.

I could plan instead of dreaming.

Plans do not necessarily tie you down; plans can change. Circumstances alter. After all, if my friend moves from Virginia to Fairbanks, Alaska – then the plans change. Certainly, we would change our planned activities: I am sure there are many fewer craft stores in Alaska than in Virginia!

So, now I have a few plans and I'd love to hear about yours.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Clucky friends

Tuesday March 10, 2020

In 2017, whilst on a motorcycling touring holiday in Morocco my husband and I were driving off-road. At first it was fine but then we came to a damp patch, the front tyre clogged up with wet clay and the bike wouldn't turn. We both fell over to the left and being on the back I fell from about eight feet onto the left side of my head. From that height it was quite a heavy impact but my crash helmet was undamaged and neither of us appeared to have any ill-effects.

However, three days later I collapsed in our hotel. My husband thought I was dead but it turned out to be a subdural haematoma caused by three days of bleeding into my brain so I was rushed to hospital.

The hospital operated on me that night and I was there for about four days. Soon after I was admitted to the Royal London in Whitechapel. I was there for about another week to build up my strength and make sure I could walk, talk and balance and that there was no lasting evidence of my brain injury.

In order to help him deal with the situation my husband had emailed all my friends to keep them updated so later on I was inundated with inquiries as to my health.

One particular group who are mostly mums and grandmas, proceeded to tell me I should be more careful and shouldn't go near a motorcycle again. I thought this was most unfair as I wasn't even driving!

The year after all this we were invited on a motorcycle touring holiday to Sicily and I was in two minds whether to go so did a trial run with my husband. During this I decided if anything at all felt wrong I'd stay at home and let my husband go on his own. However it all felt fine and at the first coffee stop I treated myself to a little alcohol to celebrate being back.

A year after that I got my licence back from the DVLA who had banned me for a year in case of seizures and my husband took me out to a quiet car park just to see how I got on back on the bike. Everything was fine and I contemplated driving on the road but couldn't quite pluck up the courage. However I was pleased with my progress and thought I'd wait until this spring to go back on the road.

People who are motorcyclists see my caution as understandable given the circumstances and point out that it was a very rare set of circumstances which caused my injury which would make it unlikely to happen again, whereas those who are non-motorcycling friends think I'm mad to even consider it and they are not doing much for my confidence.

The upshot is I'm not sure what to do now, I feel if I don't act soon I'll lose my independence and be stuck on the trains and busses forever. I'd like to get back on the road and feel confident enough but could really do with some advice.


A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Rise and Shine!

Monday March 9, 2020

You are of Noble birth.

Over the centuries, generations bought into the idea that some are of a different class to others, but that is nonsense genetically, scientifically, and ethnically.

Not only do you and I have noble roots, we also have the option and the opportunity to live nobly.

"Men do not care how nobly they live, but only for how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man's power to live long." Seneca

Spoiler alert: I am about to reveal the climax of the plot of, "Wonder Woman," which I watched to relax. I thought "Wonder Woman" would be pretty undemanding intellectually... and I was right. But it wasn't undemanding ethically. It's a superb movie in the style of a Victorian Moral Tale.

Diana Prince (aka Wonder Woman) is a goddess, daughter of Zeus. She ends up in conflict with Ares, the god of war. He doesn't want to be in conflict with her, but rather for her to wake up to the fact that humanity is a lost cause – addicted to violence and evil – and worthy of complete destruction. She comes to partially agree with him, but then asserts that we humans are all that – and a lot more. Yes, we have a propensity for evil, but her mission has nothing to do with what we deserve. Her assertion is that only love is the answer.

Thus, when tempted to leave us humans to our own devices, she makes three choices:
to stay
to fight, and
to give.

I felt this was a personal call to action: to stay committed to those to whom I am committed – independent of any 'deserving' of this; to fight for what is good on Earth while I still have strength, and to continue to give expecting nothing in return.

I'm not Wonder Woman. I'm not even a Superhero. But I am noble. And so are you.

Noble by birth, and noble by choice.

Stephen R Covey in, "First Things First," is keen for you and I to commit to 'Character' over and above 'Personality'. Stephen urges us to choose, "Integrity in the moment of choice." In the space between stimulus and response, to make a noble choice.

I write this longer blog today because I believe we have members who are tempted to quit and leave, whatever 'quit and leave' means to each one of us. Instead, I'd invite you to stay.

I write this today because I believe some of you have given up the fight or are about to. To you (as I say to myself), we are at war and we always will be. We are at war with depression, we are at war with injustice, we are at war often with ourselves. We can make peace with only one of these three!

And I write this today to those of us who keep giving and don't receive a fair return on our investment of love. To us, I say, "Keep giving." The Apostle who said, "Love never fails," also said, "Let us not grow weary in doing good for, in due season, we will reap a harvest – if we do not lose heart."

You have a noble heart. Stay. Fight. Give.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Not what I expected...

Sunday March 8, 2020

It's good to see blue skies again after this deluge of rain which we have all endured.

It will be 10 years this coming August that, after 32 years together, my husband unexpectedly walked out from our home. We were divorced and he remarried a woman 14 years his junior.

Life has been very difficult for me, as to be a woman alone then at 65 was not what I expected my life to be. Our one son has since married (it was a difficult day for me to be there alone with my husband there with his new wife)! I am now grandmother to a gorgeous boy and I try to see him as much as I can... at least once a week. I have never met anyone else as men my age all seem to want younger women!! As proved by my ex! I did write a short poem to try to see past sadness and this is it...

The first snowdrops thrusting their ways
through cold dark earth to sunshine's rays...
Coyly bowing goodbye to past winters chill
and spreading new hope with the daffodils frill
and the skylarks trill on the clear cool air.

All is fresh and bright and clean.
Gloom caste aside with new chances and dreams.
Warm rain to wash cheeks moist with tears...
another beginning and a good new year.

I hope that my hopes continue and I wish all who are sad very great happiness.

Lyn x
A Moodscope member.

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Too much knowledge

Saturday March 7, 2020

I heard a news item about people being 'deprived' of new technology (G5, latest, woss that? Thought it was what happened when you were shot into space).

It appears fastest way 'stuff' moves around, and there are poor folk who cannot get a choice of 130 films on their phone. Films, on a phone? How can you watch a chariot race on a phone? Apparently these people are seriously deprived.

This is not a 'rant' piece, but that too much technology is actually spoiling my one time unsophisticated enjoyment of films and books.

I must admit to the marvels of Amazon. I never watched 'Call the Midwife'. Now addicted, because the era was when my children were born and the area where many of my rellies lived before both world wars. So, bend my credit card again with earlier series on Amazon, and 'Who do you think you are?' (always presuming I can find my password).

I am totally fazed by Podcasts, BBC sounds, the Red Button, Netflix, Streaming. People talk about 'spoiler alert' because it appears you can almost watch something hot from its birth, before it is issued to the hoi polloi.

The access to a world of encyclopaedic knowledge via wikipaedia etc is what is spoiling much of my enjoyment in a weird way. This is allied to my insatiable curiosity, and tying events together which are generations apart. I had to do a broadcast on local radio last week on Brexit. A stiff challenge. A week steeped in French, reading, listening, pronouncing, history of EEC (all in French).

Also that week were harrowing broadcasts of the 75th anniversary of the holocaust. I was nine when Belsen was liberated. My father was in the Royal Marines, and my Mum kept all newspapers away from me, but she did not hide the pictures of Belsen quick enough. That horror has lasted all my life.

A neighbour, very erudite, very right wing, lent me a book on London, written by a French diplomat. The book is fascinating; his vocabulary enormous. He was very unflattering about the Jews. I HAD to 'Google' him. He was an extreme anti-Semite, collaborated with Vichy during the war, and de Gaulle tried to stop his admittance to the Academie Francaise (akin to our Royal Society). I nearly stopped reading the book because the author seemed rather nasty, and very superior. But I would have missed an excellent book. Then I got a film out of the library, excellent, loads of Oscars. Then I saw in the credits 'Harvey Weinstein' and thought 'I am not going to watch a film directed by that awful man'. How stupid can you get? The film was the thing that mattered; his personal deeds are external to that.

I remember being furious when the actor Nigel Hawthorne 'came out'. Not that I am homophobic, but furious that this poor man had to 'come clean' about his private life (not illegal, either) or be badgered into a nervous breakdown. Can you keep truth and fiction apart?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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Friday March 6, 2020

What I love about this community is sharing. I have done many stupid things in my life and consequently hated myself more than any other person could do. People have said for years (different ones) that I am too hard on myself; I didn't know how to be any different. It seemed the natural way to cope with life's vicissitudes. I grew up hating my Mother because I felt she hated me; I felt a pest, in the way.

My Mother is a very damaged person; believing she was never wanted. (Nan told her she cried when she knew she was expecting ).

I was diagnosed with depression in 1991, the GP asked me what I liked doing; I couldn't think of anything. Not a thing.

In a year I had got married; had my 2nd Daughter; moved house; said goodbye to two lots of friends who moved from the Midlands to New Zealand and Australia. It was all too much. My husband knowing I was struggling would tease me about going to the 'funny farm' when I had Psychiatric appointments. He also threatened to sleep with other women if I did not cooperate. He also insisted I wear wig, make up and short dresses "So I think I'm with another woman.
I believed everything was MY fault; I had OCD of 'germs/dirt' so he said "You'll end up like Howard Hughes, isolated and lonely". At the same time I was being harassed by a very unpleasant young neighbour – whose family boasted that she was expelled from school for beating up a Teacher; and later on "She only sleeps with married men".

Sometimes I marvel that I'm still here and negotiating the highs and extreme lows of mental ill-health. There will be another instalment when I can face writing my failures down.


A Moodscope member.

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...distracting me from what I mean to do. Once leaving my wallet in the fridge, or getting to my room and realising that I have forgotten what I came for.

Perhaps you might relate.

To me, this is the first and most easily-seen 'animal' involved in my 'condition'. Let's focus on the creature (not the condition). It is set off by external things. Anger (in its many forms) is usually involved. You know the sort of thing "If I had said that, then they would have said this, then I could have said the other, and I would have won (not lost/been humiliated/etc.)" It's amazing the elections my rabid dog has won in my head. Sadly this does not seem to obey the law of thinking positive things into existence.

The harpies I want to talk about – but a 600 word blog limit prevents me. Suffice it to say these are the critics in my head. Note they always say I am an idiot – not that I did an idiotic thing. Brené Brown covers the difference magnificently on her YouTube video "Listening to Shame".

My next companion I have always had. If Cerberus – the three headed dog guarding the gates of hell (to keep souls in or out - because he's always pictured facing outwards, eh?) – had one head, then that would be my beasty. Only he has black short curly fur punctuated with broad shoulders and dark eyes that pierce granite at a thousand feet. It sits there unmoving looking directly at me, and it's really good at looming. Sometimes it's looming in the distance. Sometimes it makes me jump as I realise I'm standing under its looming chin. It does not drool which is a good thing, but that level of self-possession makes him even more scary somehow.

My true failures in life make him loom bigger. Not work failures, or side swiping a car after an ill-advised manoeuvre to pass it (my rabid dog was definitely a factor in that, btw). I don't need to define or exemplify my true failures, do I?

Well maybe just one. I promised my music teacher - who really wanted me to do well, and I really wanted to do well for him – to practice every day for a week. I remembered that promise every day, realising I had again watched TV instead. His disappointment was so real, that it hurts me even now thinking about it nearly 60 years later. So guilt is usually involved. Self-criticism – the sort I cannot dodge. The failures I really own and really really don't want to think about.

I have other beasties... but those are my three main ones. What are your main ones?

Anger, Shame and Guilt are the 'Moodscope' cards they map to. What about you?

But how do I – as Lynzi Ann rightly suggested - accept and welcome them? Are they really spirit guides here to help?

Certainly my black dog seems to be the most authentic (if loomingly silent) spirit voice in my crowded head... the centre of gravity of my many-layered iceberg.

I suspect (but don't know) that it's only when I actually do start working towards my truest desires or vocation or soul-calling if you will, that my black dog with its curly hair will start cleaning his paws then eventually curl up in front of the fire, or maybe on the settee.

As I write this I imagine him resting his head on my lap as I stroke his fur in the evening quiet.

May I, may you and may we all - make peace with our beasts.

A Moodscope member.

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The Value of Silence

Wednesday March 4, 2020

This month my business book club (yes – I am that sad person who belongs to a business book club – and a normal one too) has been reading "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss, who for many years, was the lead kidnap negotiator for the FBI.

I hope I never need to negotiate with a kidnapper, and I'm guessing neither do you, but we negotiate small things every day of our life. We negotiate at work; we negotiate socially, and we negotiate most of all with our family.

What Chris Voss says, is that while his technique works for business deals, it also works when negotiating a bedtime with your nine-year-old daughter. And I'm guessing I know which one is the harder sell. I know I negotiate with my husband and children every day.

So, what does all this have to do with silence? I'm coming to that – hold on.

Voss splits us all into three types of negotiators, the assertive, the accommodators and the analysts – and it is vital to know which type you are dealing with.

Assertive negotiators want to get to the deal. They don't need it to be perfect, they need it to be done. Their over-riding need is to be heard and so, if the other side goes quiet, they will talk more – and then some more. They can ride rough-shod over the other person and reach a deal which is just not workable. The other person has said yes, just to shut them up, but has no intention of following through.

Accommodators want a peaceful solution where everyone is happy – and they will sometimes subjugate their own needs to achieve that outcome. They don't deal well with silence as they feel threatened; interpreting silence as anger or criticism. This means they will sometimes just walk away from the table and so nothing is agreed at all. Their own silence means they're unhappy.

Analysts need all the information before they will decide and need to think things through carefully. This means they are comfortable with silence. Silence just means time to think. If the other side is an assertive negotiator, talking and still talking, the analyst becomes annoyed, thus souring the deal. If the other side is an accommodator, the analyst will look up after thinking it through, and find the other person has left the room. They will then conclude that the other person doesn't really care and has wasted their time.

I realise now that I am an accommodator, married to an analyst. There have been many times when I have retreated because he has "gone quiet", and so many important conversations have not been completed or even started.

These incompletions are an ongoing cause of upset – the niggles that all build up to unhappiness.

Next time we talk, I will try to remember that silence has a different value for us all and include that in my approach to the conversation.

What does silence mean for you?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



We are currently looking for members who would like to contribute a piece to the Moodscope blog.

If you have a story to tell, some advice to give or an experience to share, please write about it and send it in to us. Contributions should be sent to

We don't have many rules, but we do ask that your blog is 500 words or less and we prefer to steer clear of political or religious blogs!

If you have an idea and are not sure whether it's suitable, just ask us to take a look and we'll let you know.

All contributions will be reviewed and may be edited if necessary before publishing.

We'll let you know when we're sending your blog out so that you can reply to member's comments if you wish.

If you have already submitted a piece for publication, don't worry, we will be sending them out soon.

Time to start writing...

Many thanks.

Caroline Ashcroft
The Moodscope Team

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Lightning Strikes

Monday March 2, 2020

It has been an irritating morning. Up at about 4am with a flow of ideas and inspirations only to be thwarted by 'stupid' computers (plural). When the inspiration flows, I need to act fast or it is lost. My creativity is highly valuable to me but it is fragile and easily gone. 'Ratty' would be a useful Moodscope card for me but for now, 'Irritable' and 'Hostile' and 'Jittery' can have a '3' each!

Someone outside of our community, who I feel very cross with, crossed me again, and it was all I could do to stop myself from giving away too many pieces of my mind! Trouble is, when you keep giving people a piece of your mind, you eventually lose your mind... and your dignity... oh, and friendships.

I've been ratty for weeks, and oh so tired. However, I've also been soft-hearted and open to learning, and learning I am!

Today's learning for me was about lightning. I'm a storm waiting to happen. The grace that has come to me is that the ground has very little to do with the lightning when it strikes. It's just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The lightning needs to go somewhere and the tall tree, tall building, or other target becomes the path of least resistance. It's not really the tree's fault, or the building, or the target of the strike.

The infractions of this person who has annoyed me are minor in the extreme. In the grand scheme of things, they are nothing.

The person who has annoyed me has annoyed me because I am already annoyed. That annoyance is rooted in something very different – in all likelihood a fear of the future and a sense of impotency. When I'm panicking internally it is all too easy to find a pseudo reason, externally, for venting my rage. The truth is, I'm frightened.

Lightning is a powerful force of Nature that could be harnessed for good, I'm sure. At this stage, I'm not sure where to usefully channel the energy and thought I would ask our members how they deal with fear, rage, anger, and frustration. I know this isn't a jolly blog like I usually deliver, but there is wisdom in our community that I'd like to tap into...

What are your recipes for letting go of tension, for letting off steam?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



A Blank Question Paper

Sunday March 1, 2020

I read this short story recently and thought it was worth sharing...

One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone's surprise, there were no questions, just a black dot in the center of the page.

The professor seeing the expression on everyone's face, told them the following, "I want you to write what you see there." The confused students got started on the inexplicable task. At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet etc.

After all had been read, the classroom was silent. The professor began to explain, "I am not going to grade on you this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot and the same happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. We always have reasons to celebrate, nature renewing itself every day, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see every day."

"However, we insist on focusing only on the dark spots, the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friends etc. The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds. Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. Be happy and live a life positively!"

Moral: As the professor explained, life is a bag of good and bad things, we all have positives and negatives along the way. But we must always concentrate greater on the positives for a healthy and happy life. Life goes on no matter what so do not waste your time thinking about the negatives.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



This Modern World

Saturday February 29, 2020

Today I was recording my moodscope score whilst being put on hold to sort out my mortgage. A sometime fan of double timing it, I was interested to see how in this instance, that my score dropped. I was wound up, not so much for being on hold, that's standard, but because of the systemisation of everything. The lamenting of the lack of ordinary human help.

I wonder why myself, and so many others struggle when we now, have so much more material, medical and technological marvels to support us than our ancestors. Partly, perhaps, because our systems, systemise us. But we ourselves are ill-used as parts of an algorithm, dare I say …. commodities. As the prisoner, said, "I am not a number! I am a man!"

Last time I checked, we are Carbon based beings, and whilst we understand some of the profoundly complex chemistry of our lives, I believe we are endowed with innate intelligence which defies our understanding (Richard Dawkins wouldn't like that, but Russel Brand would). We are certainly not Silicon based chips, no binary processor. We are not happily ranked, ordered or processed. We create, a Turner painting, a Bach fugue, we dare, dying at the South pole, a black lady on a bus defying racists, we find our redemption, an alcoholic says no more, a slaver turns emancipator, we find our love, just a good mother or father, or son or sister...

Now at work, I am pressured to carry on this ranking and ordering and testing and systemising. Must everything have it's spreadsheet value! We are of a type for sure, but should we be made to feel we are not so good in ourselves, we must be as good as them? we must excel, or at least conform to be recognised and valued? and if not? what then?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.




Friday February 28, 2020

I am no professional expert on bullying but can only write from my experience and by observing and reading about bullies and their behaviour.

I was reading something the other day about an alleged case of bullying. The person accused of bullying said that the person had never come to him with a complaint or to talk about being bullied. Of course not!! I mean how could a person being bullied actually bring the subject up with the bullying person? He or she would have them for mincemeat.
However, what struck me about this reaction was that the bully had no idea how difficult this would be for the person who felt bullied.

Another thing I have learnt from bullies' behaviour is this. If a problem is presented to them by email or text, their preferred method of dealing with the weak and vulnerable is face to face.

I have before received a text from a workplace bully saying "Look let's discuss this face to face" which sent me running. So the bully wins either way. I wish I'd known then what I know now and that is to insist that all conversations and discussions with bullies take place solely in writing and this includes in the work place. No meetings please with the bully present.

Next a bully always denies bullying and will deny it forever. Bullying more often than not, takes place verbally and unless you are in a position to record the bullying words on your mobile for instance, it's always your words against theirs. Almost impossible to prove.

Another tactic of a bully is to single out one person to attack. Someone who appears weak, nice, kind, self effacing and vulnerable. This is obvious. But what is not obvious is that the bully will be nice and charming to everyone else so that confused messages are sent out and the bullied person begins to doubt themselves which is exactly what the bully wants.

Others on Moodscope will know and have experienced other tactics of a bully. It happens so often and not just amongst school children. Work place bullying is rampant. Managers are too frightened of the bully to investigated properly. It can happen in families.

It's sad and plain wrong.

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.



Slippery Slope

Thursday February 27, 2020

[Today's blog post by Lizzie is her personal experience of feeling suicidal. We thought it might be pertinent with the sad news of Caroline Flack (40) taking her own life. It may go some way to explaining to people who just can't imagine what it's like to have such feelings, what severe depression can be like. Caroline, Moodscope]

This is the progression of my suicidal thoughts:

● I don't want to be here anymore - this comes with my depression. I just want to be taken away from it all. I feel like running over the hills and just keeping on going and not coming back. Or getting an illness that I can't fight and fading away.

● Lock me up - I want to be locked up in a little room on my own away from everything and be looked after. Disappear to a house by the sea on my own. I can't take responsibility or think through plans.

● Thinking about suicide - how do people do it? What methods are successful? Who has taken their own life and how? Constant googling of suicide related information. Songs about suicide, films, books...

● Working out possibilities for my own way out. I think about each method and whether it would work for me. Now it is part of my usual pattern of thought.

● Constant thoughts of suicide. I can't get them out of my head, they come in when I'm on my own, walking, out with friends, in work, in bed. They don't have any etiquette or boundaries. They upset me so I self harm so you can see on the outside that there is bad inside. It is real, look.

● Seeing those possibilities around me - I feel reckless. Crossing the road and knowing I could step in front of something. Opening a drawer and seeing the knife I could use. Going for a run and looking for the route that will take me away. Walking by a river or the sea and resisting just wading in. Crossing a bridge over a train track and thinking it's waiting for me. Wanting to be on top of the building not inside it. Lying in a bath and sliding under. Taking all the tablets in the medicine cupboard. Drinking myself into oblivion. Making that cut that goes just a little too deep in the wrong place.

● Acknowledgement that any of these things could happen now so I'd better write my suicide note, just in case.

● Now the note is written I can do it.

● I'm not thinking of anyone else now. It's just this. I start to check out of future events, stop replying to messages, ignore events that are coming up. There are no consequences to this for me.

● I'm so tired now of the fighting to stay well. If I just lie down to sleep and I take those pills then it'll be done. Or use a knife, straight into the heart of the bad stuff inside.

It moved through the stages slowly at first then gained momentum frighteningly quickly.
It was like sliding down a slippery slope that was a familiar run but I didn't want to get to the bottom but I couldn't stop so I knew I would hit the bottom eventually.

I'd shared the first few stages with friends, husband, counsellor, Doctor. I shared the fact that I'd written the note with three friends. They urged me to get help then intervened and got the help for me, just before I hit the bottom.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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