The Moodscope Blog

23

June


I had a dream Saturday June 23, 2018


One night, a few years ago, I had what felt like a significant dream. It's come back to me several times in my thoughts, as it's resonated with me for so much of my life. In the dream, I was reading a newspaper article about a little girl who was missing, and then found by a group of people who were searching for her. She was found in a shallow grave in the woods, covered over by dried leaves. When the leaves were moved away, the little girl was naked, and looked deformed in some way – her face had no mouth, but the mouth was in her stomach. As I read the article, in my dream, I sensed it related to me and I was reading about myself.

For a long time, I've had no voice. Not literally. But it's been hard to speak up, to speak out, and on the rare times I have, I've often felt misunderstood, judged, or misheard. Easier then to shut down and be quiet again. A 'safer' way of living, but it actually keeps me feeling disconnected from others which isn't great and contributes again to the inner loneliness.

I wrote my first Moodscope blog some months ago ('Never alone' July 2017), and mentioned then about not being heard. I guess this relates to some of that too.

As I reflect on my 48 years, I notice certain patterns and aspects of life where I shut down, I don't speak, I feel I have no voice, no words. I am slowly coming to understand that place and as I give it time, love and attention, it allows me to heal and be heard within, enables me to speak up for myself, and then I feel more 'adult' with the ability to talk more freely and spontaneously.

I've noticed recently how hypersensitive I really am, (and though I now view this partly as a gift), the hypervigilance within can put me back into a silent place – no voice, no words – usually triggered by feeling unsafe in some way, or by a response or lack of response from others to something I said or did.

I'm slowly breaking out of this, and as I learned from my tutor in my counselling course – 'awareness = choice = change.' As I become more aware of my 'stuff' and listen to me, then I can begin to make choices and changes in my life. I can begin to feel safe, make healthy choices, build healthier relationships, and to speak up for myself when I need to. It's been a place of devastation and disablement within my inner being; however it's slowly healing and becoming empowered.

Thank you to all who responded to my last blog – there were so many lovely and encouraging responses, I was deeply moved – I'm sorry I couldn't comment on them all – but thank you so much – for 'listening', for reading, for being there, and for helping me heal as I am heard.

Maggie Jane
A Moodscope member.

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22

June


Surfin' Friday June 22, 2018


I often hear Bipolar disorder likened to being on a roller coaster. This is a helpful analogy for me when I try and explain to friends and family why my moods are so unpredictable. I sometimes reinforce this explanation by printing out my Moodscope graph which provides real evidence of where my mood is in my current mental cycle.

Personally, I find that my mood chart helps me to recognise when I am going through a bad patch and I can feel good that I am doing well in the circumstances. It also can help to indicate a trend that things are getting better which is always reassuring. The problem of course is that when things aren't going well, the chart just serves to confirm the worst.

Not only can my chart depress me by indicating how bad things are right now but my depressed brain then uses this evidence to predict that worse is to come. I liken this to "mental waterboarding" where I know I am headed for another inevitable awful mood swing. So I start to live in total fear of when I will be submerged once more.

So I have decided to try looking at things from the other side. Instead of the terror of drowning in depression, I have opted to focus on the joy of surfing my mood waves. This requires preparing in advance so I am ready to make the most of the good waves when they come. There is also an art of learning to stay on your surfboard for as long as possible to get the most of each wave.

Early days but I am feeling a bit hopeful that this might work. After all, I spent plenty of time looking at life from underwater – now I want to have a try at surfin' those waves instead!

Do you find that positive thinking can make a difference to your mood and if so you have effective techniques as to how to do this?

Nick
A Moodscope member

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21

June


Please don't mollycoddle me. Thursday June 21, 2018



I was shopping in LIDL this morning. The lady from the second-hand shop opposite our first house was also shopping. She said, accusingly "I saw you wheeling a wheel-barrow down the road". "Yes, so?" I said. The implication - hard work, too old, man's work? So, realising I would continue, she added a 'bon courage' for good measure, and a 'doucement' (take it quietly). I could not do what is in the picture now - I do not climb ladders when on my own in the house, and get giddy on scaffolding.

But most of the town, the nuns in particular, seem to disapprove of anything I do of a physical nature, except walking. There are several in their late 80's, (one 96), who firmly do their 'constitutional', particularly getting out on market mornings. Happily, it is common enough now not to get stared at as some sort of phenomenon. If only my husband had continued walking he would not be in a care home now, but regrets are useless.

I am asked if I could not get help? I've moaned enough on Moodscope, how all the offers of help never came to fruition. There are plenty of professionals but that needs money: so many jobs would not be touched by a professional, fiddly, not in their line; the 'little man' round the corner does not exist. Family do what they can when here, but Mr Sod has my name high on his list, and for the last year torrential rain has scuppered family work in the garden.

The nuns, bless them, are darlings, but so hyper-careful they remind me of my Mum. She got it into her head that being aged 70 was a sort of water-shed (she lived to 2 months off 100). She must not climb stairs, so got herself moved to a downstairs flat. She would not open letters, she might be stressed – so I got everything on standing order, and a daughter took over when we moved to France. She must not bend. She had a little bit of ground in front of her window – she made a good job of it, and got awards, I took over that, as well.

A friend, male, Formula 3 driver, underwater diving, DIY of a 'cowboy' standard, said you should not climb ladders over 70. The nuns are also always fussing that I do not wear enough clothes, or go out in the rain without a hat or umbrella (high-speed dash 50 metres to the bread-shop).

I am wheeling the barrow in preparation for a major event, moving my collection of old stone sinks (already moved from the UK) by the chemist's sons, who are lovely, but don't realise I have to organise things. They will rush in, smiles, kisses, and enthusiasm, and I have to clear a path and empty the sinks. Nil desperandum I think, what about you?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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20

June


A Moment in Time. Wednesday June 20, 2018

We started in glorious June sunshine and travelled back ten thousand years.

Not literally, of course; I have not invented the time machine yet – but we visited an English Heritage site dating back to Neolithic times.

One of my "intentions" is to spend more time with my husband as a couple. After twenty years together and with two teenage daughters, it's all too easy to slip into the relationship of congenial housemates who share a bed, but not the most intimate thoughts, hopes and dreams of the other. Our girls laugh at Mummy and Daddy going on a "date" but they also think it's rather sweet.

So, we climbed down this Neolithic flint mine; down a prosaic modern ladder, our feet clanging against steel rungs; the sound swallowed by dead dust of chalk walls.

At the bottom, room to stand; to walk around; to crouch down and peer into the crawl spaces through which our ancestors tunnelled, molelike, to prise out from the soft chalk, with antler picks, the smooth slabs of hearthstone flint. From that flint they chipped out axes and knives, scrapers and the heads for arrows with which they hunted game. Flint was their life.

Now we tasted history with the flat greyness of chalk dust in our mouths and the smell of underground and the chill of exactly four degrees centigrade.

Arising back out into warmth, into the golden benevolence of the sun, was like being reborn. The air was full to bursting with the song of larks: their sound a cornucopia of dazzling gems, pouring down to splash into the percussive vibrato of crickets, busy in the long rattling stems of grass.

We stood, on one of the many mine-mounds in this hundred-acre site, and just – stood. The sun; the sounds; the scents; the myriad shades of blue in the sky; the green and gold and bronze and grey in the grass; the dark pine forest beyond; the feel of our hands clasped with love between us.

It was a moment.

Mindfulness is a thing more talked about than experienced – at least in my experience. But I think, last Friday, I came close. Sometimes people refer to being "in the zone." I think it means being so all-absorbed in something there is no room for self.

While I was down in that flint mine, opening myself up to history; while I was out on that mound in the sunshine, the sensations were so all-encompassing there was no room for self. There was no room for worrying about how my daughter's GCSE exam was going, or how I was going to get my newsletter out on time and put together a marketing strategy, or what I was going to say to that friend who has had her feelings hurt by another friend...

We cannot escape our problems; they need to be considered and resolved; but we can and should replace our impotent worries with the wonder of just – being in the moment.

For those who are interested, the mine can be found in Norfolk and is owned by English Heritage. http://bit.ly/2M6tGbj

And – just because – The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. http://bit.ly/2yr2guO

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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19

June


Determination, the two-edged sword Tuesday June 19, 2018

It took me some years to notice that the ten blue cards have the 'negative' feelings, while the ten red cards have the 'positive' feelings. And determination is a red card, a positive feeling.

That got me thinking, because for me, determination is a double-edged sword.

You see, I am a rather determined person. And of course, that can be helpful. My determination has kept me focused during my final exams in school and university. It helped me through the difficult times at my first job. It gives me the feeling that I can do whatever I want to do, as long as I set my mind to it.

But that's wrong, isn't it? And sometimes it is really dangerous to my well-being.

Earlier this year, I did a small bicycle tour - just along the river to the next town. I love to bike, so I was looking forward to it. But when I started, it quickly became clear that something wasn't right. I was slower than I used to be, just didn't have the energy I expected to have. The short tour soon felt long and exhausting to me.

But why? I could not see any reason for that. My bike was in good condition, the road was okay, there were no slopes to climb or anything. So I continued. I should be able to do this just fine, so I would do it. I was determined to finish the tour. And finish I did. Afterwards, I wasn't even proud about it, just exhausted and somewhat shocked about my lack of energy. My determination led me do finish the tour, but it wasn't fun and I didn't feel good about it.

My determination got the better of me. It led me to ignore my tiredness and kept me going long after my energy was spent.

This can happen to me in all kinds of situations. If there is something really difficult at work, or in my private life, something that is too much for me to handle by myself – chances are I will stubbornly tackle it and keep on working at it until I am more than exhausted, my well-being run down and my self-esteem low. "But I can make it if I just try hard enough!", I think.

But the truth is: No, sometimes I can't make it. Not alone, and maybe not at all. Sometimes, in these kind of situations, it is best to give up on that assignment, that tour, that piece of work. To admit: I can't do it alone. Or maybe I can't do it at all, at least right now.

Admitting that is hard for me. It feels like admitting defeat. But on the other hand – as soon as I do it, I feel relieved. The weight lifts, the sorrows grow smaller, and I can breathe again.

Mirjam
A Moodscope member

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18

June


What would you do? Monday June 18, 2018

If I were standing in front of you and told you that if you gave me £5/$6.60 we could make someone who is suffering from depression’s life a little easier would you give it to me?

I’m sure you would as you understand how awful it can be to suffer with a mental health issue, and what little help is available.

If every person reading this email donated just £5/$6.60 to Moodscope today we would reach our crowdfunding target tomorrow!

We are hoping to raise £50,000/$66,340 to develop and launch an App version of our online service, make all the wonderful blogs and comments by members easily searchable and to reach out and offer Moodscope to the millions who need it.

So far we have raised £9,946/$13,203 from 137 early contributors which is fantastic and I’d like to personally thank everyone who has donated.

It only takes a couple of minutes to donate:

To donate by card: https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

To donate by Paypal: https://bit.ly/2kRad2F

Thank you on behalf of the many who will benefit from your generosity.

Kind regards.

Caroline
The Moodscope Team

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

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17

June


Message to myself. Sunday June 17, 2018

I have a confession: my name is Leah and I like to write letters to myself.

Long time readers of my blogs would know I have written a letter to my bipolar, and an interview with my inner critic.

I don't expect a reply. It may sound quite strange but even since I was young I just felt a need, if I was experiencing difficult times, to write letters to myself.

When I read them back they had a calming effect on me or if not calming I could see what I was writing down and the mere fact I had written something really helped me.

These days is it more likely to be written on the computer as I am at the computer a lot and it is easy to access. Sometimes I will email myself, so it seems like I am getting an email from someone else even though I know it is from me. Does that sound weird?

When I address myself as another person it helps to get things into perspective and I can give advice and sometimes I see my problems from a different perspective.

Now this isn't going to work for everyone. Some of you will think Oh dear, Leah has so many more problems than I realised.

Just in case you think I am not strange enough, I have written a conversation with myself usually when I have a decision to make.

It can be comforting to write everything down and things will appear that you didn't see before.

People say that you should treat yourself as you would a friend because we are usually kinder to friends to yourself.

So, a letter to myself is usually kinder and more understanding as I write to myself like I am a friend.

If you have you tried writing a letter to yourself, how did you find it?

If not, would you be willing to try it?

Leah
A Moodscope member

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16

June


A Little Food for Thought... Saturday June 16, 2018

Waking up feeling lower than low is nothing new to many of us.

I wrote a blog quite a while ago about how I pulled myself out of a bad spell of miserable mornings, by watching uplifting YouTube videos, just to distract my thoughts. I didn't have to keep it up, just knowing it was possible to feel better in itself helped.

That was then. I've been going up and down since, as you do, with a particularly tough time late winter, when it should've been spring!

I've been dragging my sorry self through ever since, then about a week ago, got back to questioning this really low feeling when I wake up. Negative thoughts spinning round in my head before I'm awake enough to recognise them. Drowsy, sad and just downright crappy!

Then one morning, when I wasn't worrying about anything in particular, I thought "This really feels physiological, could it be just low blood sugar?" Obvious I know, that it doesn't help that we fast at night, but I also noticed that my body clock was regularly waking me at 4 am.

So I got some oat based (therefore slow release energy) breakfast snacks and kept them by my bedside to see if eating one at 4am made a difference.

It's unbelievable the difference it's made! I quickly learned not to keep a whole box nearby, : ) but I do have a sleepy snack with my anti-depressant tablet then, with food, (instead of in the morning with tea) and drift back off. I then wake up in a couple of hours able to ease myself into the day without feeling dreadful.

There are no magic answers I know, if it were that simple, we'd all know about it by now, but just wanted to share something that has made a difference, at least for now, every little helps (Ok not the most profound quote you'll read on Moodscope!)

Sending warm well wishes to all.

LP :) xx
A Moodscope member

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15

June


Coping with people being nice after a complaint Friday June 15, 2018

Recently I have taken it upon myself to complain about two issues which were plainly wrong or shouldn't have happened. One involving a faulty machine here in France and the other involving hedge cutting in our garden at home. Both boring topics I know.

On both occasions, I wasn't happy and what happened was wrong so I decided to have it out with the shop owner here who sold us the tractor mower and the gardener at home who cut the hedge.

That took a lot of effort, backwards and forwards in emails and face to face confrontations all done on my part in a kind way but ever so slightly argumentative. I was like a dog with a bone as I needed to make them see that they had made a mistake.

This wasn't easy since there were two ways of looking at it, one attempting to absolve themselves of all liability and blame and my way; the issues got muddied. Ultimately though I knew I was right. My OH tried to persuade me to just let it go and pay up. He got fed up with me "going on and on about it" and sought a solution rather than hear me out.

Well... and here's the point of my blog. Eventually I succeeded in getting the wrongs put right but was I happy?? NO! I found it so difficult to be proved right and to accept the appropriate action as recompense.

I was just not used to being assertive like that and achieving my goal and then being apologised to and having the machine mended for free and having the hedge cutting bill reduced. I felt guilty! Very guilty. So much so that I apologised to the tractor shopkeeper and thanked the hedge cutter profusely for his kindness.

I still feel bad about it all. Was it worth it? Maybe my OH was right after all and it's best to let these things go.

Has anyone else experienced similar emotions in a similar situation? The need to get something put right but feeling guilty about it when it is.

Jul
A Moodscope member

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

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14

June


Do you ever catch yourself using... Thursday June 14, 2018

Do you ever catch yourself using coping strategies that have long outlived their usefulness and are now not helping?

I know I have and found that by suddenly being aware of what was happening was able to change my behaviour (at least a bit). For example I grew up in a large family and had four big brothers who were all good at sports. In order to cope I became very competitive and used speed, determination and cunning to try and beat them.

This worked well and served me right through school and growing up.

When I was in my early 30's and I caught myself playing football aggressively to win with my young son of 3! Likewise my student coping strategy seemed to be never to let my feelings show and adopt a cynical jokey front in my social interactions. Not helpful in later life and slow & difficult to change.

What outmoded coping strategies have you spotted?

Did being aware of them help you to change?

Adrian
A Moodscope member.

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

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13

June


Come Sweet Slumber, Shroud Me in Thy Purple Cloak.* Wednesday June 13, 2018

They say history repeats itself. I know that I repeat myself; this is the third time I have written about sleep.

Considering however, that we spend a third of our lives asleep, maybe that's allowed.

A third of our lives, did I say? Oh yes, and therein lies the rub.

How many of us get our recommended eight hours a night? (Counts raised hands...) Not very many of us, it seems.

We live in a culture where sleep is viewed as a self-indulgent luxury. The concept of early rising has long been considered virtuous: "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." The first part of that aphorism, however, tends to be forgotten.

I read recently that a sleep specialist, after many years of research, has concluded that our lack of sleep in the Western culture is contributing to morbidity, obesity and depression. He recommends that we should sleep for at least eight hours per day and, for himself, insists on nine!

I know that everything in my life works so much better if I am in bed by 10pm with lights out by 10.30pm. If I stay up even fifteen minutes beyond that time – to complete some task or other – that is the time I give in to those self-destructive habits of drinking alcohol and eating high calorie snacks. If I stay fifteen minutes over 10pm, I'm unlikely to be in bed before the small hours and, given that my day starts before 6am that's not enough sleep for anyone.

This blog is not aimed you who suffer insomnia; who would like nothing more than to sleep, or at you who care for others and can only dream of a night's uninterrupted rest. It is aimed at those of you who, like me, find the discipline of sleep difficult.

I have an alarm set for 9.30pm to remind me to switch off the PC and start going to bed. If the Facebook app on my phone is still active after 10.30pm, then a kind friend in Australia texts me. That normally works!

Other tricks, such as not drinking caffeine after lunchtime, having a bedtime routine, a sleep-inducing herbal tea, all help. I have an app on my phone with some soothing bedtime stories (I particularly like the shipping forecast). It's a free app called Calm. It includes useful breathing and meditation exercises, and music for relaxation.

Following my blog last week, I have built sleep into my "intentions". I intend to get at least seven and a half hours' sleep every night.

Of course, there will be times when this can't happen: social events rarely finish by 9.30pm, do they? And sometimes I might be watching a film with my husband until later; but this is my plan.

I won't ask you how much sleep you need, but how much would be beneficial, and what changes you can make in order to get that sleep.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

*. And for those of you who are thinking, "Is that quotation from Keats? From Shelley?" Nope – it's from Paranomia by The Art of Noise with Max Headroom (1986)! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6epzmRZk6UU

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

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12

June


Life is too short to hospital a corner Tuesday June 12, 2018

When I was 10, Shirley Conran, the English writer, wrote a book called Superwoman published in 1975, and in this the wonderful phrase was coined... "life is too short to stuff a mushroom". I've been pondering on this since as recently, as one of my jobs in my new role as a housekeeper in a castle, has involved making perfect hospital corners. Well, as try as I might, even with a diagram, I cannot master this seemingly simple task. Last week, this rendered me tearful, in need of more than a few glasses of Sauvignon with heightening anxiety levels and my personal and internal "I'm so stupid" button being pressed so much my fingers hurt.

It's strange, as I sit here typing on my new sofa, that, as a housekeeper, I don't keep "house" in my own house too well. Earlier, I wiped down my kitchen cupboards and cleared the crumbs off the floor, constant dog detritus that needs doing on daily basis but always gets left till last. At least my constantly scavenging terriers Barney and Timmy know that there is always a bit of a ready meal on the floor if they are still hungry!

I don't keep "house" very well in my mind either. Filled with useless information that occasionally might be useful in a pub quiz, I juggle this relative randomness, with to do lists as long as the little penguin's in the current British Gas adverts. So what do I try and do now to help myself? I leave the fridge to stay cool and crazy with its menagerie of weird and wonderful contents - past-its-sell-by-date Stork, French violet syrup and courgette chutney to name but a few and I take the dogs out for a walk.

What am I trying to say through all of this? That life is really too short to worry about how clean your house is... and does it really matter if you can't master a hospital corner? I can't and I doubt I ever will and do I care – not really (compared with last week!) I have other meaningful talents and I am worthy of feeling good about myself. I can find a use for the courgette chutney which is an acquired taste to my mind (add it to soup) and add the syrup to some prosecco... I do think however the Stork will be binned soon.

I reckon we all need to have a good clear out in our houses and our minds, ready for fresh challenges, new starts and most importantly of all, to make space to enjoy the things we love doing and for practicing kindness to ourselves on a regular basis. After all, if we don't start this process, who else is going to do it for us? I intend this year to fully forget the hospital corners and perfection, hang up my hang-ups on the nearest hook and go out and enjoy life.

Sláinte.

Liz
A Moodscope member

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

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11

June


What doesn't kill you Monday June 11, 2018

As a bit of a last-minute thing I nipped out with my son and collected my dad en-route. We had such a gorgeous hour being shown around the workshop of an older gentleman who crafts bagpipes. He is old school. Everything made by hand, learned from the generation before, it was as though we had stepped back in time and my soul just sang to be there. It was magical! I cherish these moments. It's a time I can really stand up to depression and say "look, I'm doing it with or without you". I felt ten feet tall on the way home.

My phone began ringing on the journey home, a number of calls, and I returned to find three police cars, five police officers, a screaming alarm and a wolf-like dog waiting to search my home. A break-in. His swag bag will keep him in meals for a long time.

For my mental health I was concerned. For my children's concerns I was concerned. But there is choice. There is always choice. Would we be fearful and sad and cry and change the way we live? Yes. All of that. I was scared, we were scared, I cried and we have changed the way we live. I couldn't sleep in my bedroom partly through disgust and discomfort and partly as there was blood and other evidence to be forensically looked at.

And then, a day or two later we took stock. I'd always expected a break-in and I'd always said they were welcome provided we were out. My wish came true, we were out. We were unhurt and we don't need things, they are just things. Beautiful things, valuable things, treasured things, but just things. I could hear my granny "ye cannae take it wi you hen" and I looked at her picture and I smiled, she is still with me.

We had so many messages. Family love, neighbourly empathy, Facebook consolations, a Twitter stranger defiant on my behalf, tiny stuff but so many lovely things that I realised that while our burglar has possibly a lifetime of running scared with zero support and limited happiness, we have unlimited happiness and choices over what happens next. For having one un-invited person in our lives, we had so many others wishing us well. I chose to take that as fuel in order that my friend Depression would merely sit beside me and not on me. It seems this week I'm winning.

Rise up. Grit your teeth and plan how today is going to be. Even if the choice is sorely limited, there is always a choice.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member

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

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10

June


The Thorny Question of Help Sunday June 10, 2018

"I want to help". I heard myself saying this in answer to "What do you want out of life?"

It came at a difficult time in my life, and was a question put to me by the student advisor, who saw lots of distressed students in her week, I imagine. I felt very alone, my family were across the ocean, blah blah, I won't bore you with all the details, but suicidal thoughts were dogging me.

However, since then, rolling through the decades, things have gradually and immeasurably picked up, and I have a family of my own and have found contentment. I worked in the caring services.

Life presents challenges for us all, but the hard knocks of experience serve us well, and I try never to forget, when confronted with other people's pain, that I too am capable of feeling abject misery, and so the wanting to help is still paramount.

The question is: how, and how much?

Perhaps you all have some answers to this. Do I give, give, give? Money, things, time? Do I engage in more voluntary work, or, my preferred option (but is it the right one?) to simply be, and help in a more abstract, though immeasurable way?

Am I deluding myself that in helping along the way, this is helping, or helping enough?

It would be good to know how others answer this question .

Sally
A Moodscope member

Don't forget Moodscope is fundraising. To donate to the Crowdfunding campaign, please click here:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

Together we can make a world of difference to so many more people that need it.

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

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9

June


Words: friends or foe Saturday June 9, 2018

I have noticed people can be afraid of words as they have no confidence in what they write.

Often people will apologise when they write their first comment or blog even though they write very well.

Maybe at school teachers have said negative things about their writing or bosses have complained about their grammar or their parents have said they don't write well.

Some people are anxious about writing anything others may read.

I tend to delete more than I write when I write blogs, comments or emails not because I am anxious but I am concerned my words maybe misinterpreted. My ex-husband once said words were my greatest strength but also my greatest weakness as I used words to wound.

People worry that their first comment will not make sense to others. I believe words are your friends and everyone who can read this can write in meaningful ways that can even help them.

I want to look at how writing can help you:.

1) By helping you to explain and express your feelings to others.

2) Allowing you to connect to others through your words.

3) By keeping a journal to learn from your own writing.

4) By using your journal to become more organised and able to cope. (I struggle with this but I do live in hope.)

5) By seeing how your mood may affect your writing and your writing may affect your mood.

These are just a few and there many more ways writing can help us.

I know many people will think this blog is stating the obvious as they do all the above with ease. Maybe then you can share your ideas and experiences with others.

Are words your friend or foe? Or both?

Does writing words down help you more or in a different way to speaking them?

How has writing helped your health in any way?

If you have never commented before will you take the plunge with one word or more!

So write on moodscopers.

Leah
A Moodscope member

Don't forget Moodscope is fundraising. To donate to the Crowdfunding campaign, please click here:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

Together we can make a world of difference to so many more people that need it.

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

61 comments - Permalink


8

June


Drains and Radiators Friday June 8, 2018

I went to an event last week where the speaker described people that she worked with as being Drains or Radiators. I knew exactly what she meant by this as I used to work with an enormous Drain who used to come and talk to me at the end of the week and I would then come home every Friday afternoon being sapped of all my energy from listening to him. The funny thing is that I'm sure that he would have felt a whole lot better from the experience and probably started his weekend with a smile on his face.

My experience above does make me marvel at the professionals who I'm sure have to listen to a lot of Drains on a regular basis. It also made me appreciate that your mood does have a powerful effect on the people around you. The amazing thing is that Drains don't even have to say anything for people around to pick up on all that negative energy.

On the other hand I love working with Radiators as I thrive on soaking up all that positivity. They bring a smile to my face and ignite my creativity. The office seems to be a much sunnier place with Radiators around!

I've also learned that some radiators can be shy and need a little coaxing to start their beaming. Chocolate for one of my co-workers usually does the trick.

I have also been fortunate to listen to a popular motivational speaker who makes his living by coaching positivity to sales teams. He advocates the simple concept of being the best you can in any particular circumstance. This for me is really helpful as when life gets tough finding positivity can be a real challenge which if you fail to find just makes you feel even worse. On the other hand accepting the situation and being the best you can gives a completely different perspective and some breathing space.

So the secret for me is to avoid drains, search out the radiators and to be the best you can no matter what!

Steven
A Moodscope member.

Don't forget Moodscope is fundraising. To donate to the Crowdfunding campaign, please click here:https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm

Together we can make a world of difference to so many more people that need it.

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

34 comments - Permalink


7

June


Help millions manage the daily grind of anxiety and depression Thursday June 7, 2018

Will you donate to our crowdfunding campaign that launches today?

We need to raise £50,000 to make Moodscope truly mobile by producing two Apps and to make the content of the 2000 blog posts and more than 20,000 comments searchable so that it is easy to access shared experiences and empathy on whatever, whenever. We also need to market the new service to the millions that could benefit from it.

If you can help by donating, we'd really appreciate it. But, if you can't which we know in many instances goes hand in hand with the problems caused by mental health issues, please can you help by spreading the word and telling everyone you know about the campaign.

Take a look at these facts when you're thinking about whether to donate:

• 80% of sufferers of depression are not receiving treatment due to barriers of health resources, a lack of healthcare workers and social stigma.

• Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year, which is one person every 40 seconds.

Just two very good reasons for you to help us with this campaign.

We've done as much as we can on our own and are proud to have helped tens of thousands of people using the Moodscope service.

It's going to take a lot to raise the funds we need, so all help, however big or small is very much appreciated.

To make a donation and view our crowdfunding appeal video, follow this link:
 https://bit.ly/2JcDkMm (for Paypal payments please use this link: https://bit.ly/2kRad2F

Thank you so much on behalf of the many who will benefit from your generosity.

Sincerely


Caroline and Adrian
The Moodscope team.

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

17 comments - Permalink


6

June


Goals Revisited. Wednesday June 6, 2018

There's something about going away and returning home again which makes you think.

My family and I had a lovely week away sailing a "big" boat with friends. Not a super-yacht, nor yet one of the "tall ships", but a 41ft yacht with enough room for the six of us, but small enough for the two competent sailors to manage, with help from crew provided by my family (who are all dinghy sailors), and from me as designated "galley slave".

I'd meant to do some reflecting on holiday, but there is no holiday on board. There is always a rope which needs "sweating", or a fender tying on with a clove hitch (where do I find one of those, please?), or one is asked to "take the helm" (that big steering wheel thing) and "head north east at 30 degrees, keeping that oncoming cruiser to port!" (I would like to point out that nobody offered me any port.) If nothing technical is required then cups of tea are demanded. No – there was no time to think while we were away.

But you always come home again.

"I hope you are glad to be home," wrote a friend – and I looked at that text for a long time before replying; and then my reply was equivocal.

It was lovely to see the cats again, and the guinea-pigs. I am sitting at my PC to write this blog with a quiet sense of comfort and satisfaction, but for the rest of it...

Coming home after being away makes you see your home with fresh eyes. You see your life with fresh eyes. And you see the things you don't like; the things you have just lived with because you're used to them. There seem to be more things you don't like than things you do – and you feel overwhelmed.

When you are living with depression, that overwhelm is all-embracing. Even now, being mercifully free from depression at present, it threatens to paralyse me.

But the discomfort of living with all the things I don't like has prompted me to do something.

To think. To decide how and what to change.

Which is where the goals come in.

You know I don't like goals; I always feel they carry an automatic sentence of failure, and – like many of us – I am scared of failing.

But I realise now that, if I don't set some goals, then nothing will change and that failure is then automatic.

As well as goals, I need plans. Because a goal without a plan is just a dream.

So, this week's goal is to do some thinking and set some goals. Five sounds like a manageable number.

Next week's goal is to make some plans.

In three weeks' time I will start some baby steps towards achieving those goals.

I'll let you know how I get on.

But, if you have some goals too, we could walk together and help each other along.

I'd like that. Wouldn't you?

Mary
A Moodscope member

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

53 comments - Permalink


5

June


No cheating now. Tuesday June 5, 2018

I'm not a good sleeper. No matter what time I've gone to bed, how dark it is outside, or how warm and cosy my room is, I wake up at 5:10 each morning and rarely manage to get back to sleep. It's hugely tedious and tiring (although frustratingly not tiring enough to pop back into the land of nod).

I was talking about it the other day with a friend. "Ah well, sleeping is cheating" I said and I laughed it off. I've no idea where the phrase comes from, but my friends and I used to say "sleeping is cheating" a lot in our early twenties; competing to be the bigger party animal or the "stronger" person.

But it got me thinking. Sleeping is not cheating. Sleep is one of our most fundamental basic human needs. Sleeping is not cheating at life, it's not a sign of weakness and it doesn't mean you don't know how to have fun. And proving that you can keep on going without it doesn't make you a better/more likeable person. So why did we say that? Perhaps one-upmanship at a stage of life where we're still trying to work out who we are and where we fit. But at what cost? And did we really need to prove ourselves that way?

I then started wondered what else we cheat ourselves out of. Waking rest and relaxation? Good nutrition? Positive and supportive relationships? Each one is equally essential for the smooth running of our brains and bodies. And yet so often we keep going, keep pushing ourselves to be bigger/better/stronger, chastising ourselves when we're not and ignoring the subtle or obvious signs that we need some time for ourselves.

And at the end of the day, we're only truly accountable to ourselves. We have to do this for us, so we can also give to those around us. So, don't cheat on yourself. You're worth more than that.

Shizzle
A Moodscope member.

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

30 comments - Permalink


4

June


5... 4... 3... 2... 1... from Autopilot to Manual. Monday June 4, 2018

Most of us spend most of our time on Autopilot.

This is elegant... it's the best use of our available resources of energy.

This is simple.

This saves time.

And, as I said, this saves energy, effort, waste.

...Unless it isn't getting you where you want to go.

What if you've got stuck in a rut?

What if you've got stuck where you're just hitting the snooze button on Life 'cos you don't want to face the day?

Could simply counting down out loud from 5 to 1 – that's, "5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." really make a difference?

For thousands, it already has.

This was the Launch process that got Mel Robbins, author of, "The 5 Second Rule: The Surprisingly Simple Way to Live, Love, and Speak with Courage," going again. She'd lost everything (nearly), and the snooze button was an energy-saving way to survive. But her life changed when she saw a rocket launch.

That "5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." leads to total commitment. It flips the switch. It ignites the spark, the fuel, the lift. It moves us towards escape velocity.

So she decided to use that to get her out of bed in the morning. She decided to beat her own brain that was trying to protect her from more pain.

Take more than 5 seconds and she knew she'd talk herself out of getting up... again.

And what did she do?

Simple stuff.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." get out of bed. Launch yourself into the day without hesitation...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." make the kids sandwiches...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." get the kids on the bus...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." call that friend instead of text or email them...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." look for that new job/client/opportunity to volunteer...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." be nice to that family member you've been being short with...

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." do your Moodscope score!

Counting down works because it takes us off of autopilot and switches doors to manual.

Boom.

It helps us turn the handle on decision-making and take action.

Forget about waiting to be motivated. Choose action instead.

"5... 4... 3... 2... 1..." Action!

What will you do today?

Neil
A Moodscope member.

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

54 comments - Permalink


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