The Moodscope Blog

10

November

Visualising emotions

Tuesday November 10, 2020


The first thing I have to say is that my mother tongue is French, so please excuse any error or clumsiness in my English writing.

You may be surprised to know… What a great prompt this was! I never written a blog before, but here I go!

You may be surprised to know that emotions are the subject of my VISUAL degree (I am presently enrolled in a master’s degree in visual arts, despite being 60 years old).

The way I treat the emotions is by collecting data about them and then translating that data into something visual. The results are quite abstract for the moment, but they still are aesthetically pleasing. I have found that by grading my emotions every day (it has now been more than a year, and almost 8 months on Moodscope), I can definitely see patterns. In the feedback I receive from Moodscope after taking the daily test, the message often talks about the way outside events should not affect me, but they definitely do. I sometimes think of myself as having holes in my figure and through them the events of the days can be seen, each with its particular mood, happy or sad.

More than a year ago, I came across a ‘feeling wheel’, which was put together by Dr. Gloria Wilcox. The emotions are arranged in a circle in such a way that it shows opposites (joyful/sad, mad/powerful, scared/peaceful). The inner core is composed of those 6 basic feelings and the outer core shows how the basic feelings are decomposed into more subtle variations. I made some changes to that chart, incorporating information from other sources (among which Pr. R. Plutchik), so I now have 8 basic feelings and the outer core is made of 72 different emotions. I check those daily.

When I came across Moodscope, I joined immediately. I like the way it shows the variations (graph) and I like reading the daily blog. It also prompted me to make some changes in the way I was collecting my own data, giving each emotion a score of 0 to 3 instead of a simple ‘absent’ or ‘present’ score.

I am now trying to meditate more often to smooth out the effect of those emotions on my mood. If I could only keep that distance between myself and the events of the day, I imagine myself staying very calm instead of being put on a roller coaster ride against my will. Maybe someday (when I am dead?).

Meanwhile, I still paint, write poetry and take long walks by the river. Thank you for letting me share this. Stay safe… and calm.

The Disheveled poet
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


9

November

Watching Hedgehogs

Monday November 9, 2020


Lady Penelope got a Wildlife Camera for her 60th birthday. It’s one of those presents that you are really glad someone close to you have been given! I love it!

It has brought home to me several of the Life Lessons I’ve shared over the last years with Moodscope. It seems that Life’s Lessons are like buses… you wait for a while and then loads come along at once. In this case, they are all reminders.

First Lesson, RTFM. I’ve tried all sorts of settings on the camera and positions. Sometimes, all we get are few spines of a hedgehog’s back! Of course, I could RTFM, “Read The French Manual,” in this case, for the camera is French. Whilst the online version of the manual is in English, it is very boring for such an exciting piece of kit. I wish people would write better manuals. I’ve given up on it several times and just had a bash (you’re not like that, are you?) When you just have a bash, and don’t take expert advice, the results are very mixed!

Second Lesson, KISS – Keep It Short and Simple. Most times I over-complicate the setting up of the camera with various tripods and gorillapods, the results are rubbish. Keeping It Simple works better. I wonder how you might be over-complicating your life at the moment. Where could you simplify your life?

Third Lesson, the camera gives a welcome rhythm to our day. We’ve inherited a world that seems to have lost its rhythm. Rituals and rhythms are essential when we are trying to cope one step at a time or one day at a time or even one hour at a time. Having a dog that needs walking and feeding must help enormously. We don’t have a dog, yet, but we do have our hedgehogs. The ritual and rhythm of putting the camera and food out at night, and excitedly bringing it in for viewing the footage in the morning, is doing us good.

Three reminder steps to wellbeing: Read the (F) Manual, Simplify Life wherever possible, and build in predictable rhythms, routines, and rituals into this unpredictable world!

What are your rhythms, routines, and rituals that are helping? How have you simplified your life?

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


8

November

And the old man said 

Sunday November 8, 2020


News can be sore and needs dipped into in manageable pieces. Social media can be a place to avoid. People taking the opportunity of being in a little walled bubble to be spiteful and nasty, say things they’d never utter in a room, face to face with someone.  And social media can be a place to bring rafts of creativity and support. I discovered another little something this week which I love. I don’t really care if it’s true or not, it’s lovely either way. 
 
Sitting on a bench beside an older man, a lady said “The world is so messed up now, I just don’t know if it can ever recover”. The man said “You are reading the wrong news. You need to write your own headlines.” He demonstrated with two sample headlines… “Grandkids Drop Everything To Visit Grandma Through Window When Ill” and then he said “Old Man Makes New Friend”. 
 
It made me smile and I’m keeping it as my news of choice. Writing your own headlines on a daily basis can help very much. 
 
Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


7

November

Survival

Saturday November 7, 2020

There can be nobody in the world not touched by Covid 19, with the exception perhaps of Trappist monks. Countries will be having nervous breakdowns about their economies, and in competition to be the first to discover a vaccine, and get the Nobel Prize. I was thinking back on dramas, global, national, personal, and wonder if this one will fade into just ‘another little local difficulty’ in time, to be superseded by others. I have been landed with hundreds of books, one of them a pictorial record of Winston Churchill. What ‘take’ would he have had on the crisis?

1956 was the ‘Suez’ crisis. We were driving to Devon to visit my parents-in-law. Over Wiltshire plain came hundreds of armoured vehicles, camouflaged for the desert. My young husband and 6-month son were with me. We were 11 years from the last major conflict (small matter of Korea in between). My thought was ‘They will take my husband away from me’. 20 years and 4 more children later that baby was struck by lightning. Going through the garden, with an umbrella, lightning struck the ferrule and hurled him to the ground. Shaken, with the highest pulse rate I have ever encountered, we phoned the doctor. He said it is a ‘toss up’; the heart withstands the shock, or it does not, luckily it did.

His brother caused panics – a ‘global’ worry at the time – he went back and forth on to North Sea oil rigs, and there were a lot of helicopter accidents (Bristow, I think) he did admit to some nasty moments. In 1998 he was in Jakarta, major revolution to depose the then president – would have got a mention in world press. The Indonesians were ‘torching’ anything Chinese. From my son’s office, 20+ floors up, he could see many fires burning between him and his son’s school. They got out with four hours’ notice – we did not hear they were safe for 24 hours, nail-biting time.

A daughter was working in Doha, as American forces massed on its borders to attack Iraq – a mis-fired missile, curtains. Then she phoned another time ‘Mum, I wanted to tell you as soon as possible that I am alright’. I thanked her, but what for? She was in America at 9/11. We were crossing the channel on a ferry that had no news in the public areas. Another son had a scratch on his knee (he was 4 years old). It swelled up alarmingly – he was rushed into the orthopaedic hospital, suspected osteomylitis, and possible amputation. When we found out it was ‘only’ septicaemia it was quite a relief. This one has just said that he might possibly go, after retirement, to do up a house in Goa (Portuguese partner). I told him that I do not wish to live to a hundred like my Ma and ma-in-law. But dangle a bait like Goa, and I might try! Poor lad! The thought of his doddery old Ma following him to Goa!

Do you see yourself as a survivor?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.


Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


6

November

Distracted

Friday November 6, 2020


I have been easily distracted all my life. Teachers told my parents in my reports that Leah is easily distracted. Leah has no concentration skills and her ability to focus even for a minute is getting worse. If Leah put as much attention on her studies as she does on daydreaming, she would do well.

I was the child who was always looking out of the window wondering what was happening out there. The schoolwork never really appealed to me so I would race through it so I could think and imagine other things.
 
Distractions in my life were seen as being something negative. Imagine my surprise when people with anxiety or depression are advised by some to distract themselves, count to ten,
name 5 things they can see, 4 they can hear etc. I find that amazing that some people see distraction as helping people.
 
All my life it has been a failing of mine. Sometimes distractions are a way for me to procrastinate doing small things or to put off major decisions. They also help me cope with difficult times.
 
I can see distractions can help me when I am in a low mood and are not motivated.

Are you easily distracted? why?

Do you see distractions as having a good and a bad side or simply good or bad? Why?

Leah
A Moodscope member. 

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


5

November

Therapy

Thursday November 5, 2020

I’ve had my fair share of therapy throughout my life, some good and some I’ve felt really unhelpful and have left sessions feeling worse than when I walked in.I am now in therapy and been through 8 sessions so far (half way through the 16). I have found it quite challenging and very tough, especially recently, I’ve been coming out of it worse than when I went in... so I’m a little confused... is the therapy working?

Am I indeed supposed to feel worse as the therapist digs deep into what’s causing my issues? I’m looking for some answers to how I feel and think and what I’m going through, but the therapist doesn’t have any answers... We tried the cognitive part of the therapy but this wasn’t working, so we’ve now moved onto the analytical part... so I talk and he listens, however, I don’t get answers to my questions... they come back to me for me to think about so I end up confused.

I’m actually tired of feeling and thinking the way I think and it does feel like you’re the only one experiencing this... especially at work.

What’s your experience of therapy? Good and bad.

By the way the therapy is CAT (cognitive analytical therapy)

Hope you are well or at least feeling better than yesterday.

Hugo
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


4

November

Why Do We Need Confidence?

Wednesday November 4, 2020


Whenever I think of the word confidence, I have in my mind Maria Von Trapp singing in the sound of music:

I have confidence in sunshine,

I have confidence in rain,

I have confidence that Spring will come again

Besides which you see

I have confidence in me.

Maria is singing to find the courage to face the Captain with seven children as his new nanny.

But – does she have confidence, or is she whistling in the dark? And what is the difference between confidence and courage?

I’ll come back to that but first, why do we need confidence?

The answer seems obvious, doesn’t it! If I have confidence in my abilities, then I will go for that job. If I have confidence then I will walk into that room of strangers, start chatting and very soon make new friends. If I have confidence, I’ll ask her/him out on a date.

I’m going to turn that around.

If you have confidence, then that new employer may have the benefit of a great member of staff. If you have confidence, the strangers in the room will meet a delightful person and some of them may make a new friend. If you have confidence, then she/he will have an enjoyable date, even start a new relationship or, at the very least, receive themselves a confidence boost because you asked them out.

If we are confident, it is not just we who benefit, but the world.

If we are not confident, then we rob the world of a gift; the gift of ourselves.

There is a parable of a rich man and a poor widow. The rich man, passing the temple, ostentatiously gives an offering of several gold coins; the widow drops in two pennies. The widow’s offering is worth more because it was all that she had. She gave generously.

We may not think that what we have and what we are is worth very much, but if we do not offer it, then the world does not benefit.

Sometimes we do not ourselves value that which is precious to others. There are things that come easily to us, but which are unattainable for them. I am really good at coming up with creative ideas, for instance, but keeping my diary straight is like wrestling an octopus. I value admin skills.

When we doubt ourselves we don’t put ourselves forward. We don’t think we have much to offer and so we offer nothing at all.

Seven years ago, I hesitantly offered my first blog to Moodscope. There were professional writers on the team then, and I was totally outclassed.

Nearly 700 blogs later, however, I know my words have touched, helped, and even inspired many of you.

I now have the confidence to say, “I am a writer.” You have helped me gain that confidence.

Confidence starts with the courage to give what we have and are, even if we think it’s not very much.

It’s more than you think.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


3

November

The groatie buckie arrived 

Tuesday November 3, 2020

I am now the happy custodian of a groatie buckie. It arrived in a little envelope written in children’s handwriting. It was wrapped in paper along with a little message of friendship and hope. I’m smiling from ear to ear. A good story. A great experience. A friend I do not know.   
 
It’s our half term and we are in a semi lockdown where I am. No visiting in others homes, no car sharing, no restaurants or pubs open, no more than 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors. I have managed to stay in my little family bubble and driven to stay at the beach just down the coast. I’m within my own health board so its allowed. The sand is right outside the front door and I realise I’m in heaven. 
 
Tomorrow, I’ll walk on the sand and find a little pebble or shell and post it back to my new friend. It won’t be a good luck charm but it will be sent from my part of the world to theirs with good wishes and friendship. 
 
Keep writing your own headlines. 
 
Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


2

November

Gracebook

Monday November 2, 2020


If there was one application that was made for friends and family, it has to be Facebook. And if there was one group of people that are massively invested in keeping you locked in the past versions of ‘you’, that group is your friends and family.

My life is 90% happy at the moment… except for family. I think my ‘old’ friends put it well, “You haven’t changed much!” I am certain this is meant to be a complement, but it’s a curse – and it is inaccurate. As for family, it’s usually, “You haven’t changed!” period.

Yes, I have.

In fact, the ‘Me’ they knew (and still know in the prison of perception they hold me in) passed on a long, long time ago. There is a popular myth that our body renews itself every seven years. Whilst it is true that cells have varying lifespans (e.g. cells in the colon last for about 4 days whereas white blood cells last for about a year), neurons last forever – or at least until they die. Perhaps, then, there is some truth in the idea that ‘we’ haven’t changed. If the neurons in the brain are the site of identity, there are echoes from the past with us for as long as those neurons live.

The fact is, however, that those neurons are employed in new ways over the days of our lives. They may be the same components but the programmes they run have the capacity to be vastly improved every day and the way they connect (and are thus used) is changed dramatically. Even your processing power gets upgraded if you use your brain effectively.

Think about education. Is the brain I used for ‘O’ Levels the same brain I used for ‘A’ Levels and the same brain I went on to use for a Degree. No, no, and no!

Every time you use a new pattern of thinking, ‘You’ change. You are not the same. You are transformed by the renewing of your mind. New thoughts, new you.

If my old school friends were to spend time with me now, they’d find me more tolerant, more gracious, way more compassionate, more giving, and far less self-obsessed. I know this to be true. But they come with a bias towards the way we were.

At least Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in the song, “The Way We Were,” have the grace to realise that they share memories, just memories. Memories are fragments and often figments of reality, and neither the whole truth nor the present truth.

Moodscope has the opportunity to become Gracebook for us members who have travelled months or years together. Who can forget the journey (and memories) we have shared with The Gardener? How could we forget the frustrations and triumphs we’ve shared with Molly? And Leah’s pains and renewed pleasures? Nevertheless, The Gardener, Molly, and Leah are not the same Gardener, Molly, and Leah we knew when we first met them.

Let’s have the grace to notice the changes, and not share in the folly of friends and family that erroneously assert, “You haven’t changed a bit!” Rather, let us encourage one another in our move forward towards the newer versions of ourselves.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


1

November

I have been a member of Moodscope for close to a decade. During this time I have lived through seven episodes of depression and three periods of hypomania; and have always had Moodscope and my Buddy by my side.

When I try to reflect on my past ups and downs, I often find it difficult to remember how I felt in the past. Was I low in 2012? Was I over the top in 2016? Was 2018 the year I was diagnosed with Bipolar type II? It all blurs into one and I cannot keep hold of the narrative — at least I hadn’t until I discovered I could download all my scores from Moodscope.

I managed to turn years of scores into a lovely graph of Mood Vs Years on Excel. This graph has already helped me understand how my mood fluctuates, but I believe it can go further and actually teach us how to defend against future ill health.

As a result of my ups and downs, I’ve found my calling. My diagnosis of bipolar has led me to become a trainee psychiatrist and love to connect and empathise with my patients. My energy and passion to help is still alive and well, but in the last year or so I have been thinking about what a huge impact Moodscope has had and whether I could help create another useful tool for people’s Mental Health. 

This led to http://www.minderful.com being created; a mental fitness hub, a complimentary service to Moodscope, where everyone can tailor a personal routine and discover new weekly tips to try. We want people to invest in their minds and discover what makes their mind tick. The website will grow regularly, and we’ve already amassed a small following of mind-conscious users. I would love to see if one of our 50 blocks could connect with you, so if you’re looking for something new to keep your mood centred do take a look.

Moodscope, thank you so much for both helping and inspiring me.

Dr Nick Prior
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


31

October

You may be surprised to know…

Saturday October 31, 2020


I like to take a break from writing more serious blogs. I like to learn more about Moodscopers.

Often, we are just names and may answer comments but do not give much away and that is fine.

I’d really like it if you would answer the line “You may be surprised to know…”

It can be anything small - I eat doughnuts for breakfast, sleep with socks on, I eat jelly with avocado. I have just made all those up to give you an idea of what you can write about.

I am thinking maybe people who have not written before may like to have a go and join in.

I think online we only present are small part of our personality and that is good for many people who like to be private online, but I think you can talk about something that may surprise without revealing anything.
 
I will start.

You may be surprised to know that I once taught Health education students aged 11-18 years. The course ranged from 1 hour only to a I hour course for 6 weeks. It covered everything from puberty to contraception, depending on age.
 
You may be surprised that I have never had an animal as a pet, besides my soft toys!

Your turn - just one example is fine or more whatever you feel comfortable with.

Leah
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


30

October

Waves of loss

Friday October 30, 2020


I have never written a blog before, but I usually read them every day. I haven’t read them for a month, because on 28 September my big brother died, 32 days short of his 62nd birthday. It seems that when I need the posts more, I don’t read them. It’s as if I need to punish myself.

Both of my parents are dead, dad more than 20 years ago, also young. Mum just four years ago, next month. I have heard grief described as a wave, over time it reduces to lapping at your feet most of the time, but every so often, it will engulf you. For me it does, but, I certainly didn’t expect the pain I feel at the loss of my brother. Most of my feelings towards my brother were frustration, unachieved potential, fallen from the pedestal that as his little sister, I had placed him. But I feel like I’m trapped in one of those huge waves of a winter storm that hurls itself over the sea wall, over and over again.

In my rational mind, I know that that this too will pass, but, I almost feel guilty at the surprise to the pain, I feel. There were only the four of us. It’s like they’ve all gone and left me, which taps into that childhood fear that I wasn’t enough. Loss is one of those human conditions that none of us can avoid, yet all around us the world continues to turn.

I also know that I should be kind to myself, look after myself, but those what’s the point questions keep ambushing me. The only way through a storm is to weather it. As the quote at the end of Mary’s blog (28 October 2020) said “You simply have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. Put blinders on and plow right ahead." George Lucas

Annie
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


29

October


So tell me what you want

What you really, really want.

Perhaps doors have closed, or you never opened them. Where you’re at is good enough, if not great. Maybe there was something you would like to have done but ‘missed the boat’? Maybe you didn’t recognise it at the time or always knew it was unrealistic. Mustn’t complain...

When I was a teenager I didn’t have much of an idea about careers. I didn’t want to be a housewife (then a legitimate option) (mother) or work for a bank (father) and was dubious about the reasons for their choices. My mother would have said it wasn’t a choice, it was what women did (‘woman’s highest calling’, said she). I knew WWII had interfered with my father’s career. He would have studied maths or physics.

Sheltered, constrained and socially isolated, I didn’t have the confidence to go for an appealing, charismatic, people-based career such as medicine. The one thing going for me was my intellect, so throughout my teens I cultivated the persona of one whose mind was on higher things. I said what I thought was expected. Developing unrecognised bipolar disorder during this period further held me back.

Intellect took me a long way. I loved science, got a first class degree and stayed on to do a PhD, as people did. My research was on snails. I realised about half way through that my chosen beast had absolutely no agricultural, medical, economic or any other sort of significance and we had reached the end of our road together, though I did finish my thesis.

Then I met a friend who remarked that I would make a good doctor. The flame was lit. But I was wary of being a student for ever. Persuading myself I was doing the sensible, responsible thing, I became a management trainee with a large firm in the food industry.

But I hated it. When I returned to university a few months later for my PhD viva, for the first and only time I made an appointment with the Careers Service. It was when the interviewer suggested I might want to do a law degree in my spare time that I suddenly blurted out ‘I always wanted to do medicine!’

There was a very, very long silence while our gazes locked. Then he simply said ‘So why don’t you do it’?

And in that moment I realised the only thing stopping me was me.

Now don't go wasting

My precious time

Get your act together we could be just fine.

It wasn’t easy, but I did it, and it is fine.

Rose
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


28

October

Let’s Get Physical

Wednesday October 28, 2020


I’m going to be honest and say I don’t want to be writing this right now.

Normally, I love writing these blogs; they are a chance for self-expression; a feeling I am giving a service; a feeling of being a part of something far bigger than myself. All these things are ingredients in our recipe for happiness, according to psychologists. Yet, today, I don’t want to write it. Today, when I did my test, I got my lowest score for months.

Why is that?

It’s very simple – I have a migraine.

Luckily, it’s a mild one. I’m still able – just – to function. I am sure many who are reading this are familiar with migraines that confine us to bed in a darkened room, longing for oblivion, and then inflict brain-fog and exhaustion for hours or even days after.

No – this one is mild. It has still, however, taken away lots of the positives. I don’t feel at all strong, alert and enthusiastic. I suppose I must be determined as I’m here writing this, feeling sick, the left side of my head throbbing and with my eyes twitching and playing tricks so that only muscle memory keeps my fingers on the right keys typing the right letters in the right words in the right order. Even then, there are three times as many mistakes as normal.

There’s a function called a Triggergram available on some versions of Moodscope. This is fed from the annotations of our scores every day. It presents the words used in the ten highest and ten lowest scores over the last six months. The larger the word, the more times it has been used. If I look the words connected with my best scores, they are words like “cleaning”, “swimming”, “determined”, “beautiful”, “focussed” and – for some reason, “maggots” – which is rather baffling!

The words are arranged in a randomised cloud and, in the cloud associated with my worst days, one word stands out – three times as large as all the others: “Migraine”.

So much of our emotional response to the world is bound up with our physical health. It’s hard to be happy when your head hurts; or indeed when anything else hurts.

I know my migraines are almost invariably a reaction to something I’ve eaten. Grains trigger them; so does sugar. A lot of the preservatives and anti-caking ingredients used in spice-mixes result in a bad reaction too. Then there are the mystery migraines, like the one today. It is an ongoing detective investigation. Like most such investigations, it is tedious work, with only occasional breakthroughs.

If you too are in any kind of physical pain, I offer my sympathy. Don’t berate yourself for a “bad” score: it is perfectly normal to feel “bad” when you feel bad.

It is said the best recipe for happiness is a good digestion and a bad memory. I certainly have the latter and would be a lot happier if I also had that first.

Mary
A Moodscope member,

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


27

October

Is hope the hopium of the people?

Tuesday October 27, 2020


I am pretty sure most of us will know the tale of Pandora’s Box. To recap: the Box was given to Pandora by Zeus. Zeus warned her never to open it. Pandora - created to be curious – found the urge to open the Box overcame her. Horrible things flew out of the Box including greed, envy, hatred, pain, disease, hunger, poverty, war and death. All of life’s miseries were let out into the world. Pandora slammed shut the Box lid. Only one thing remained inside the Box: Hope. Ever since, humans have held onto Hope in order to survive the horrible things that Pandora had let out.

Well, I wonder about that. Why, if so many of the other things which came out of the Box were regarded as “horrible”, is Hope regarded as being any different? Certainly the ancient Greeks considered Hope to be a curse rather than a blessing – and their belief gave rise to the school of thought called Stoicism – but since then, somehow the meaning of Hope has become twisted and it is my understanding that today on the whole people see Hope as a blessing rather than as a curse as the ancient Greeks did.

I don’t know why it is seen as a Blessing.

In my mind, hope stops learning. Hope stymies progress. Hope enables people to sit back and accept whatever situation they are in, full of Hope that things will improve in some unspecified way at some unspecified time.
In my opinion hope stagnates us. And prevents us from seeking out ways which will enable us really to rise above the many adversities life throws at us.

Hope for a better world doesn’t produce a better world. It allows the current world in all its imperfections to continue.

We use the term all the time “I hope you are feeling better” “I hope you get a new job soon” “Hopefully things will improve” “sending you hope.”

Hope, a gentle, loving word, draws tiny threads of gold around us, until we are held tight in an unbreakable net of stagnation.

The curse of hope is found at the heart of so many religions “XXXX is the hope of the world” “In him we hope and trust” “We hope for a better life to come”… and in the meantime, we are expected to accept and cope with in whatever situation we find ourselves; hope denies change.

Karl Marx said in 1915 that religion is the “opiate” of the people. I would say “hope is the ‘hopiate’ of the people”.

That is why I think hope is the curse left in Pandora’s Box. I think it is this pursuance of hope which has led directly to the state of the world in which we find ourselves.

So my challenge to you is… can you change my mind and persuade me my thinking is flawed? Explain to me why you think Hope is a Blessing and not a Curse.

Christine
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


26

October

SLEWOV is “VOWELS” backwards

Monday October 26, 2020


If we reverse the order of the vowels in English, we get UOIEA.
This is a great initialism for moving forward with Moodscope.

U is what we’re best at: Understanding.

The scope itself, the Mood-Scope, enables us to measure and to manage the flow of moods over the month. The Moodscope community members deliver a level of mutual understanding that I’ve not experienced anywhere else. Everything, it seems, begins with understanding both who and how we are. Here, when all is well, you won’t be judged but you will be free to securely express how and what you feel. You will be understood.

O is for Opportunities. Seeing through other Moodscopers’ eyes gives us Opportunities to view the world and the condition that afflicts us from differing perspectives. This is largely healthy and can open the door to new options. Of course, you can lead a horse to water…

I is for Identify – the active part of “Identity”. Moodscope is about who we are and who we identify with, but also who we could be and who we could identify with. I believe this middle vowel is a crossroads. It is perfectly OK to stay with Moodscope for years and not shift our identity and those with whom we identify. Depression is a long-term state for the majority – for some, a life-position. But let’s just suppose you want to shift your identity and those with whom you identify? When I play with my grandchildren, they rub off on me. I feel younger for a couple of hours (until my body reminds me of my age!)

I do not see myself as a “Depressed Person” anymore – I do not identify with that. I am not “Depressed”. Now, I have dark times with a sad reaction, but not a sad response. Speaking ONLY personally, I see myself as “Jolly” as my base-position. I am naturally joyful. Thus I seek to mirror this in my dominant choice of music and company, and it seems to work and amplify my jollity by association. I want to continue to travel and transform in that direction.

To achieve this, I must find the E for “Energy”. I am a Motivational Mapping practitioner, so I now have a tool, like Moodscope, to measure motivation. I know what motivates me, but before the tool I was clear on these three daily requirements: 1) sufficient sleep, 2) expressed gratitude from others commensurate to the value I deliver, and 3) ideas. Thankfully, I’ve never been lacking in ideas. These three are the fuel for my journey to The City of Joy.

Finally, I have A for “Action”! I am a MASSIVE action-taker. Basing this on accurate understanding, recognition of the opportunities in every adversity, identifying with the new potential version of ‘me’, filling up with fuel before the journey – all these have been necessary to take successful action. And that, members, has made all the difference.

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


25

October

The Groatie Buckies 

Sunday October 25, 2020


Another little gem popped up on my social media feed this week. A lady I do not know, who lives in a far-flung corner of Scotland, has made an little unintentional collection of beach walk groatie buckies. These are tiny shells which arrive on the beach beside her as the autumn storms garner and the seas get wild. They are very small, beautiful, and often considered a good luck charm. She offered to post one out to anyone who thought they might like a little something to help them through winter. 
 
My first thought was to walk on by and let others enjoy this. Then I traced back my steps. I’d love this! A little connection from someone far away from me but who shares my sense of unity. So I said ‘yes please’. And now she’ll send me a groatie buckie.   
 
I’ll put it near the kettle, or on my desk beside this keyboard, and it will indeed help me through winter. I’ll smile each time I see it. 
 
Thank you lady out there. 
 
Love from

The room above the garage 
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


24

October

Toggling between Fear and Hope

Saturday October 24, 2020


Coronavirus cases have risen to their highest level since April in my home state of Michigan.

This is also true in the state of Illinois, where my youngest daughter and my son, his wife, and our two-month-old grandson live.

The dreaded second wave of Covid is here in most of the United States, with cases averaging 60,000 a day and around 800-1000 deaths per day. Doctors and scientists are predicting that this will only get worse in the coming cold of winter.

Our president keeps saying we’re “around the corner” and that “the Chinese virus” will soon end as we get near “herd immunity.” About 40% of the country seem to agree with him and many of them don’t believe in wearing masks.

Recently, a Michigan woman was discharged after 196 days in the University of Michigan hospital. Her family had said goodbye to her three times in the last few months but she finally left the hospital, her life “forever changed.”

My family is living with this virus as well as we can, trying to be safe and smart and not overwhelmed with despair or constant fear. It’s getting harder and harder to negotiate between fear, anger, sadness, and the occasional bouts of hope for an election and the possibility that our emotional roller coaster will end.

I work daily and stay in my office, hiding away from anyone who might be pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic. It’s not a good way to live but it’s the best way to stay safe and right now, that is more important that what our president calls “freedom.”

I fear the fall and winter and the nature of our dangerously divided country, half the country angry and not trusting the other half. But it’s pointless to live in fear and the state of the politics of our country is not something I can control.

I will stay smart and cautious but I will not dwell in fear and anger.

I must stay calm and hopeful and believe that most of us will survive and live through this.

I pray that in the year of 2021, our collective physical and mental health will get better and we can look back at this time as a period of struggle and pain that did not last.

What else can we do?

Arnie
A Moodscope Member

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


23

October

Not disliking ourselves

Friday October 23, 2020


There is a lot written now in mental health articles about the importance of liking ourselves.

For some people like my former work colleague, she would answer the question , do you like yourself, with a, “Of course, why would I not like myself?”.
Despite struggling with depression and anxiety she has always liked her self. Even this year when her husband died and she found the grief overwhelming, she still liked herself.
 
Many of us are different and if we are depressed and struggling we do not like ourselves at all. We call ourselves names and get stuck in a box of negativity.

I have found liking myself to be hard at times, so recently I aim for not hating myself and not disliking myself. This doesn’t mean I like myself a lot, but I find that concept incredibly difficult, so I go for not disliking. This is not always easy. As a people pleaser I do not like myself when I am irritable or rude, when I cannot make decisions, when I do silly things.  I focus on bad choices I made many decades ago and end up really hating what I did.

When some people are very depressed, they only see the worst in themselves and loathe themselves even more. When asked to see something positive in themselves it makes them feel worse.

I acknowledge we all have times when we are extremely negative about ourselves and others but if we can change the strong self-hate for mild dislike, it may be s start.

I have no answers I am just starting a discussion to get Moodscoper’s to share their experiences. Maybe it does not matter to you if you like yourself or not. Are you like me that you focus on not disliking yourself rather than liking yourself.? Do you think there is too much attention on whether we like ourselves? Can you like yourself without being self-confident and vice versa?

I look forward to your contributions to this discussion.

Leah
A Moodscope member .

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


22

October

Oh! For a magic carpet

Thursday October 22, 2020


I have referred a lot recently to Future Learn Courses. They have been invaluable. Current one is ‘The Path to Happiness and Good Quality of Life’. The range of participants and the dialogue is like having a second ‘Moodscope’ every day, can’t be bad. The last session on the second week was ‘Places we live’. Obvious effect on quality of life, but millions of people have absolutely no choice in where they live. My ‘post’ to that was the following.

This topic inevitably leads to the accident of birth. As a historian and demographer, and much travelled it colours my thinking. Born in the UK in 1935 I have been ‘free’ all my life in a democracy. Social problems are enormous now, but still freedom of choice. If I had been born in France I would have been subject to occupation by an enemy power. We chose France for nearly half our lives because the Quality of Life is better; we were made welcome, especially as we made an effort to integrate and learn the language. Born in much of the world I would have had a lesser chance of adulthood. In that ‘Great’ country, the USA, born black I would have been part of a despised race. We have sponsored girls in India, born to illiterate parents, father a drunken coolie or worse. Despite laws the ‘caste’ still reigns.

So, I have my magic carpet. Ignore any problem – cost and difficulty of getting there, corruption, gang wars, bombs, floods, fires, volcanoes, strikes, demonstrations, wrong hotel rooms, useless cars, empty promises, arriving on a national festival day, unreliable workmen and buying a house which was not the seller’s property in the first place, what is perfect? (We have experienced the whole list except the last).

A view of the sea would be paramount. We hired a studio flat in Villefranche-sur-Mer (between Nice and Menton). First time, a January, they were celebrating the 700th anniversary of it being a ‘Free Town’, and had put a huge fountain in the harbour. We woke in the morning to the sun coming up over Cap Ferrat (most expensive property, King of Belgium’s place now owned by Russian Mafia). Doze along the sea front in a dream, to get the bread. Write all morning, with the sea as inspiration. Walk afternoon – evening cook with most of my attention on sea and passers-by to restaurants (spenfix). If you felt energetic you could scramble up the vertiginous paths (area where Princess Grace died). When a son and great-granddaughter came we caught the double-decker train and went to lunch in Italy. No way could we afford to live there – shopping and parking car hassle, but it was great. Other dreams? Bali, Sabah, Australia, Thailand, Goa – golden beaches, warm seas. But all those places would need a St Patrick beside you – to clear (as said about Ireland) the snakes.

I AM booked in for a week’s treat at a Thalassa, facing the sea, near here. But it looks like being scuppered by Covid. Dream on.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment below.


What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive

Disclaimer

Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.