The Moodscope Blog

1

May

How do you do?  

Sunday May 1, 2022


Your comments on the ‘anxiety’ blog last Sunday were fascinating to me and I’ve re-read them throughout this week, absorbing them all. I never did reply to the comments last Sunday, I do apologise. That day I hosted for a charity I regularly hosted for before the pandemic. Afterward, I needed to clear and clean up, then practice good self-care before I exhausted myself.  
 
My anxiety levels were high in the lead up (all settled once I’d started), and yet it was a situation I’ve been in many times. I imagined I’d be able to simply roll it out. But we have all changed and for me to expect to click back into something was my failing. Why did I expect to feel the same? Two and a half years had passed! 
 
So, I will look at my anxiety with fresh eyes. I’ll take on board all your valuable experience, pointers and comments and I’ll try to welcome in this acquaintance in order that I might keep some control. If I resist, I cannot win. Instead, I’ll become wiser and show it where it can sit.  Thank you for helping. 
 
Sending best to you from

Me in the room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

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


30

April

Maybe it’s in my make up

Saturday April 30, 2022


No, I don’t mean mascara or lipstick - the last time I wore those was when my daughter got married in 2008.

I mean, that which makes me ‘me’.  I suppose each of us is on some sort of spectrum and entirely different in what makes us tick.

It took over 30 years for my married daughter to get a diagnosis of autism, though she always felt ‘different’.  Now I can recognise some of myself in her. A tendency to personal clutter, but a compulsion to pick up litter. Needing quiet space away from the children (don’t we all?). Relaxed with people who know me and reticent in a larger group.

What I think I have a problem with, is being able to look inside myself and understand what I am feeling. Most of the time I score a 0 on all the blue Moodscope cards, they don’t seem to have labels that I am experiencing. I am able to recognise a bit better when I am anxious, as I bite my lip - sometimes till it is sore. 

When I had some horrid news last year I lowered the score on the red cards and ticked 1 or even 2 on the blue cards - feeling ‘sad and troubled’ or ‘jittery’.

I still can’t make out if I am avoiding experiencing my feelings or if I just don’t feel the way that others seem to me.

I seem to have come to the end of what I composed to write. Talking of composed, I think that maybe I have not been overwhelmed with grief at times of bereavement, because I had family members who needed my support. Then when life had moved on, the moment for personal grieving seemed to have passed and I just had to get on with day to day life. I wonder if this makes sense to anyone out there?

Wishing you all well.

Another Sally xx
A Moodscope member.

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


29

April

Are your emotions in control?

Friday April 29, 2022


Do you ever feel like me that your emotions have a mind of their own?

I would like to not be always reacting emotionally to things external to me. I think it is healthy to display emotions, but I notice there are those who seem to be able to manage their responses better than others.

I read an article that explained there are habits to help you manage awkward situations and difficult emotions.

Metacognition means thinking about your thinking. For over-thinkers like me it’s something we do a lot but sometimes with little self-awareness. It is the ability to examine objectively things including emotions, values, moods, anticipations, thoughts self-talk.

There are times we when we just react impulsively without thinking things through clearly. The following has happened to me, can you relate?

- Someone you know seems to ignore you when you say hello, so you feel sad.
- Someone on a forum on the internet, not this one, misinterprets your comment and criticises you so you spiral down for the rest of day
- A memory that hurts from the past drags you back into a dark place full of regrets and guilt.

The more we disregard our brain the more our actions become responses rather than choices. This may lead to the following:

- If you automatically think the worst of a situation, you may be nervous a lot.
- If you automatically criticise someone when they complain about you, you feel anger or guilt.
- If you, like me, turn negative situations into self-blame you will feel guilty and have little self-esteem.
 
The aim is that you can change by giving yourself some time so you have the chance to respond deliberately and intentionally.

I wonder if there has been a time you have responded and behaved impulsively and later wished you had acted differently. Can you tell us about the experience? Can you explain about the time when you stopped and thought to stop behaving like you normally would?

Maybe you are happy reacting the way you do and you do not get upset when people upset you and you feel in control of your emotions. Could you share what works for you?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

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


28

April

Anger and me 

Thursday April 28, 2022


I want to talk about anger and why I feel like this. 

I’m in my 40s now. I’ve been ashamed of my anger for a long time and angry for a long time. I’m working with a therapist to untangle this, and I’m beginning to understand it. 

I grew up with a mother who belittled me and made me feel like I was rotten to the core. My father told me to be good and not upset my mother. He made some awful comments about not being a slut with boys when I was 13-years old. 

I was shy, awkward and ashamed of myself. Talking to boys was the last thing on my mind!  I lacked boundaries, so when I did fall in love with a boy at 18-years of age - I fell into a controlling and abusive relationship for 13-years. I was sexually assaulted after this, and I didn’t tell anyone for five years. Recently my husband had an 18-month affair with a work colleague. I don’t want this to be triggering for any of you. But, I want to share because this is CPTSD. It’s caused by what happens to us, not because we are terrible human beings. 

I’ve blamed myself for everything that’s happened to me for a long, long time. I’ve lived with misplaced guilt and shame. And the resulting anger. 

My anger is about past complex trauma and becoming a mother. But, a lot is also due to being a woman and the societal pressure and limitations this brings.

As women, we’re expected to be nice, quiet, and compliant. In a world that favours and prioritises men, we’re stripped of our rights, disparaged for our contributions, and groped, cat-called, and killed. We must do it all, be it all, and smile brightly as we struggle, our relationships struggle, we burn out and give up.

I know that for any men reading this - you don’t have it easy under this patriarchy either. You are told to get brave, not be emotional, and not tell others how you feel. 

What I have learnt is that anger is often a secondary emotion. When we become angry, we feel marginalised, hurt, unheard, disrespected, vulnerable, or neglected. It’s not the true emotion we're struggling with. Anger is a group of feelings.

If this resonates with you, then you’re not alone. I have cried with anger because I held it in for so long, turning inwards to ongoing depression. Meds and years of therapy have helped me realise that none of this is my fault and there is hope for the future. I’ve also learned that it’s okay to be angry, that I can sit with this and tell others this is how I feel.

Jenny
A Moodscope member.

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


27

April

Look at You Now

Wednesday April 27, 2022


I wasn’t going to write this today; I was going to write on overwhelm and how to deal with it. Then, this came up on my Facebook feed, and it seemed appropriate. Here’s the meme:

If the version of you from five years ago could see you now, they’d be so proud!

What were you doing five years ago? Where were you? What have you gone through since?

The first thing that occurs to me is we’ve all come through lockdown. Covid has not gone away; many people are still catching it and are very ill, despite the triple vaccinations. But we’re no longer confined to our homes. That was a tough time, and you’ve come through it: fantastically well done!

For some of us, our illness is such that it’s a huge achievement to still be here. You got through the darkness, isolation and desolation. Well done!

Nobody gets through five years without trauma. Your circumstances may have changed: you may have lost loved ones, had relationships go sour, lost or changed jobs, lost your home or moved, been through illness – mental or physical. You’re still here, reading this. Well done!

Hopefully, you learned lessons in the last five years. You may have learned new coping strategies, ways of managing your life and your illness; you may have learnt a new skill. Congratulate yourself for that. Well done!

I’m not saying this in a patronising way, because I’m here with you. When I look back five years, I am so grateful to still be here, writing this.

These are my achievements:

I’m still married. When children move out and circumstances change, marriages come under strain. I have seen too many friends get divorced when this happens. My husband and I have intentionally become closer as the children gained independence. I’m proud of that.

I’m sober. Five years ago, I knew I had a problem with alcohol; I knew I had to do something about it. It took, however, another four years (two months and 24 days) before I stopped drinking for good. I’m proud of that.

I can’t remember my weight back in April 2017, but I was clinically obese. In April 2019, I discovered a way of eating that suits me and my body and keeps me at my right weight without effort. I’m proud of staying on track with it.

I have a great relationship with my daughters. Keeping on good terms with your children throughout their teenage years is an achievement I am proud of – even if it was just luck because they’re naturally good natured.

Most of all – I’m still here. I haven’t thought seriously about suicide since January 2017. I’ve learned coping mechanisms; I’ve learned about self-care: I’ve worked responsibly with health professionals. I’m proud of staying alive.

I hope you can be proud of yourself – and that you will feel able to share in the comments.

There are two more words to that meme I saw today:

Keep Going!

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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


26

April


We would really like to thank all the members that upgraded or contributed following our recent plea for help! We had a great response and raised over £4.5k in contributions which will keep us afloat for the foreseeable future. Thank you all so much.
 
We also received some very kind offers of advice and help with various aspects of the site and this got us thinking… we don’t really have the manpower to do Moodscope justice and maybe we do need some help. Knowing what a valuable resource it is for so many people, it could really take off with a little help and who better to help us than those that understand and use Moodscope. 
 
So, we thought it would be worth asking our members if you have any skills/contacts/ideas, advice that may help Moodscope become even better.
 
Our most urgent requirement is for help with the programming and design. If you know of any agencies that do pro bono work for social enterprises or a programmer/s that would be able to help in return for shares perhaps please let us know.
 
Other areas we would appreciate help in is PR, social media, sponsorship/partnerships and ideas for promoting Moodscope.
 
So, we have a new brand and overall branding guidelines and new copy and ideas for an exciting new web site which is a move in the right direction. We just now need to get it all implemented!
 
We’d really love to hear from you. If you’d like to help, please email us at [email protected]. If you’d like to talk to us, please include your phone number in your message.
 
Once again, thank you for all your support.
 
Kind regards.
 
Caroline and Adrian
The Moodscope Team

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


25

April

The Master Thatcher

Monday April 25, 2022


‘Time in Nature’ is cited as a regular source of comfort and refreshment for most of us. Most often, I prefer to share a walk with someone else. We don’t need to talk but it’s nice to experience the peace of Nature with another soul.

At other times, I must be alone.

Last week, I craved some peace, solitude, and quiet (externally – I’ve never learned how to turn off the noise in my head.) Off I went to a National Trust garden called, “Kingston Lacy,” forgetting it was the Easter Holidays and that it would be anything other than quiet.

With quiet off the menu, I resigned myself to keeping a distance from the others enjoying the parkland. I found an isolated bench and discovered I was in earshot of a sublime storyteller. A Master Thatcher was rebuilding one of the shelters around the Estate, and many passers-by found him fascinating to watch. Often, they would ask questions. Every question would draw on a fountain of knowledge and experience woven into anecdotes that kept them engaged and enthralled.

I thought this a strange combination. He was a free-spirit who enjoyed working with his hands, and, surely, in isolation most of the time. Yet, whenever the opportunity arose, his interpersonal skills were superlative.

When I finally broke my own silence, I shared with him how wonderfully engaging he was and how he could have a great video channel telling his stories. He confided in me that most of the conversations came down to one of the same 15 questions he’d been asked in 25 years of thatching. The answers had been rehearsed and refined so many times that they now flowed.

I pointed out to him that he poured his passion into his answers – which is what added panache to his storytelling. I think he was pleased with this recognition of his mastery.

I left him feeling wistful myself. Here was an artisan who had found tranquillity in manual work. He radiated health and happiness. What a joy to find a profession that fits one’s character, skills, and nature.

My lesson was that storytellers engage! Am I really that interested in thatching? Yes and no! Like a teacher at school who transformed our interest in a subject because of their passion, my Master Thatcher had make thatching fascinating.

Thus, I wonder what your best stories are and if you could say that your own profession comes down to 15 questions!

Lex
A Moodscope member.

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


24

April

The anxiety machine  

Sunday April 24, 2022


Running the gauntlet of anxiety has become my thing. As hard depression lessened over the years, anxiety sidled in, then waved like the kid in school who knew you were last to be picked for the team. 
 
I can keep it in check if I stay at home all the time, keep fully on top of workload and avoid too many people interactions and/or social gatherings. So that would be rarely, if ever. I know I am not the only one, many of us in here know it all too well.   
 
I am interested today to hear about your physical symptoms of anxiety. For me, its shallow breathing, being unaware of holding my breath, and a subtle but never shifting internal rumble, like the beginning of a jitter if it was allowed to grow up. 
 
Running has been helping me with some of the physical symptoms but the best thing by far for me is lying down at night, in bed, in silence, and in the dark, soothing it away completely. For some, I know night time can be the worst time, for me it’s a chance to let go of the overload of the day. 
 
Maybe if we can tend to the physical side, we can lessen the other part. 
 
Love from

The room above the garage 
A Moodscope member.

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


23

April

Magical Mantras

Saturday April 23, 2022


Why  am I writing about mantras? 
 
Because I believe they can be useful when managing our MH problems.
 
What is a mantra? It is derived from 2 Sanskrit words. “Manas” meaning “mind” and “tra” meaning “tool”. So literally “tool of the mind”.
 
In our everyday language it can be described as an often repeated word, formula or phrase. Some say it can boost awareness and improve concentration.
 
My investigation into the subject suggests Mantras are good for the brain and the primary effect of chanting them is on our mind and nervous system. Scientists also believe they can bring peace to the mind. Reciting mantras reduces the stress in your mind by eliminating negativity. Daily repetition is usually recommended.
 
Mantras are mentioned regularly on the Moodscope blog. Mantras can be very personal words but I feel, if we are able, we may help someone else by bringing our favourite ones into the public domain.
 
Obviously a single mantra can be “owned “ by more than one person. And one person may use more than one.
 
So what do they look like and how can they be used? I know there are several Moodscopers (including me) who particularly like “Don’t believe all you think”. This is very useful if you trying to manage unhelpful or negative thoughts. The more you think about it, the more you realise it is true.
 
Someone who is finding it difficult to take breaks may find “I give myself permission to rest” useful. It helps reduce guilty feelings for not being “productive” all the time.
 
If you are looking for one that helps with anxiety this might be worth using “I am conquering my fears and becoming stronger every day”
 
Over the last few weeks I have used:

 “Don’t panic, stay calm, take rest, and it will pass”
I have found it very useful when random unpleasant thoughts or feelings come into my conscious.
 
I have just adopted “Not every day is good but there is good in every day”. It was our “thought for the day” on 24 March.

It brings me two realisations. Firstly, our lives consist of good and bad spells. It is totally unrealistic to expect no set backs. Secondly, even really bad events pass and a much better time will arrive.
 
Some others that I have found:
             
Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and start all over again.                                  
 
It’s not what you cannot do, but what  you can do.   
 
I am enough. I do not need to prove anything to anybody.
 
Be curious, not judgemental.
 
Perseverance not perfection is the key to success.
 
Work smarter not harder
 
Every journey starts with a single step. 
 
It might be worth adopting one or two of these if you think it would be helpful.

Or do you want to find some yourself?

Have you any unusual ones you wish to share?

Teg
A Moodscope member.

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


22

April

Healthy relationships

Friday April 22, 2022


I have often read blogs and comments on Moodscope about people who have lovely supportive and understanding relationships with their doctors, counsellors and other health professionals.
 
Alas, I have tried hard to develop such a relationship and did so once for a few months, but I had to move due to covid.

In the last two years I have tried so hard to have a relationship with any doctor who would give an appointment. Today was the worst of the three times I have seen her. She was efficient but abrupt and her tone made me want to cry. I know I am very sensitive.

I realise that not everyone will connect to their doctor, but I know I need some form of understanding and connection.

I would like to know how long it took you to get on well with your health professional. What did you do that made the relationship a positive one? What qualities do you look for in a supportive doctor? How long does it take to build up a rapport with your doctor?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

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


21

April

Thinkers, Talkers & Tattoos

Thursday April 21, 2022


My friend is getting a tattoo. We are the same age, we have similar-ish careers, we are mothers, we swim in the sea, we are good storytellers and we both have been talking about getting a tattoo for the past four years. The difference is - she has booked her appointment, picked her design and her bodily location (!) and has paid her deposit. I have done none of these things. I am merely (still) talking about getting one.

This has got me wondering about a few things:
1 Do I really want a tattoo?
2 Am I someone who likes the notion of things but not the reality?
3 Am I someone who talks to think rather than thinks first and then talks?

My honest answers:

1 I am not sure if I really and truly want a tattoo.

2 I do like the thought of doing something completely new, the notion of an adventure, but often the reality doesn’t live up to my fantasy and I end up disappointed. For example: I thought I would love paddle boarding. I love swimming in the sea so why wouldn’t I? I was sure that I would desire nothing more than to be standing on a paddle board, out at sea, in my wetsuit, swishing my paddle back and forth with great skill and confidence. Aha but the reality was very different. The sea was far too wavy and I fell in many times and I had to drag my sorry self up onto the board each time and start again, balancing for a little bit and just when I felt I was doing a half-decent job, off I fell and… SPLASH… back into the sea. And repeat! And while I spat out sea water and smiled and said to anyone who would listen ‘isn’t this great fun altogether?’ what I actually was thinking was: ‘What the hell am I doing? This is not pleasurable. I want to swim in the sea, not balance on top of it!’ Plus… I felt rather nauseous which, on reflection, may or may not have been sea sickness! 

3 I do believe that I am a person who talks to think. I have an idea and I talk it through - aloud. Some people therefore presume that I am in the process of making a decision. But the truth is… I am playing with suggestions and notions and maybes and perhapses. For example: I have contemplated buying three different cars in the past month. All three are too expensive and impractical but… very cute. The likelihood of me trading in my sensible car for a jolly little convertible is slim to none. But here’s the thing… I like talking my thoughts aloud and creating fantasies and planning adventures. I like it - even if they never actually happen. 
So, I will cheer on my friend when she gets her tattoo. I bet it will be lovely on her. But, in all honesty, I probably will never get one.

I am going to buy myself a new colourful swimsuit though. Of that, I am sure…

Salt Water Mum
A Moodscope member.

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


20

April

Dancing on the Edge of Uncertainty

Wednesday April 20, 2022


Seven years ago, we met Richard. A mutual acquaintance casually announced, “Oh, my young German friend is travelling around the UK, and I said you’d put him up for a couple of nights.”

Accordingly, I picked up this confident, assured eighteen-year-old, who spoke excellent English, at the station and brought him home. He’s been like a son to me ever since.

Last week he came to stay for a few days. He’s just finished his finals and is again travelling. This time it’s very different. Seven years ago, he had a plan; albeit a plan arranged by this mutual friend. This time he had no plan. He started his journey in different parts of Germany, travelled to France, then to Scandinavia and then on to Istanbul, finally arriving in the UK.  He stayed in hostels and moved on whenever he felt like it. He did give me a couple of days’ notice he was coming to stay, but I had plans and could not meet him at the airport; he caught a train and then a bus and made his own way here.

When he left us, he travelled to Oxford. When it came time to find a bed for the night, the hostel was full. He simply shrugged, caught a train to London, found a bed there, and, in the morning, continued on in his light-hearted way.

A concept I’ve come across in a self-help book – I read a lot of these books and find them, yes, helpful – is that the more comfortable you are with uncertainty, the happier you can be.

If you think about it, this makes sense. We know what has gone before, but we cannot know about tomorrow. We can plan, but, as one General famously said, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Life is not the enemy – at least, I hope not – but our plans must always be flexible. Plans are subject to change. If we think about our last two years, it has been change, change and change again.

While he was here, Richard and I discussed the way the last seven years have changed us. His life experiences have enabled him to be much more flexible and confident with uncertainty. As my children have grown and become more independent, I have been able to be more spontaneous and am much happier without the restrictions a young family inevitably prescribes. Ironically, I plan more, but then change those plans with more joy and far less resentment.

I would be interested to know how much you plan your days, years and life, and how you react to the inevitable changes to those plans? Do you need a plan to give you stability and direction, or are you happy to just go with the flow and react to what comes next?

Another phrase I love is: Yesterday is history; tomorrow is mystery; today is a gift – which is why it is called the present.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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


19

April

Tell depression to p*ss off

Tuesday April 19, 2022


The title of this blog is taken from a useful self-help book “How To Tell Depression to P*ss Off: 40 Ways to Get Your Life Back” by James Withey. There are a lot of good tips in this book, I am going to focus on a small number of them
 
The first one is: celebrate your small steps. Write them down – maybe in your Moodscope “comments” after you’ve done your daily Test? I think this is so important: when I am in a really low mood, I often feel like I never achieve anything. It helps a lot to remind myself of the small achievements of the last day – I look at my calendar, my emails, the Things To Do list I keep next to the computer, and there’s almost always something positive to report. Try it – you might be surprised how much you’ve achieved in the last few days.
 
The second one is: “Ditch your crap friends” (Mr Withey does like to put things bluntly.) A good way to tell who these are is to see how they respond to you when you tell them you are depressed; replies like “I get depressed too – every Monday morning” or “Just snap out of it” are not helpful. Maybe this is a bit too black-and-white;  some friends can be good in many ways but have some real blind spots. Maybe “ditch your toxic ‘friends’” would be a better chapter title. And there may be some you need to distance yourself from, too.
 
It’s not always easy to dump old friends, or even distance yourself from them, especially those who you’ve known a long time, but sometimes you owe it to yourself.
 
Do you have any toxic friendships? People who make you feel depressed or inadequate every time you see them? If so, what are you going to do about it?
 
Best regards

Oldie But Goldie
A Moodscope member.

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


18

April

Bookends

Monday April 18, 2022


How do you get through the day?
How do you set yourself up for a good day?
And, if it is important to you, how can you have a more satisfyingly productive day?

When mental state is low, it can be hard to get out of bed. However, I run out of sleep! Gone are the days when I’d leap out of bed, full of enthusiasm for the day ahead, but those days may return. Until then, I need motivation.

There are many excellent strategies to help us get stuff done – and the ‘stuff’ will always be there demanding energy. However, one size really doesn’t fit all. I’ve tried ‘eating that frog’ (doing the difficult or unpleasant tasks first) and I can see how brilliant it is. For me, though, when I’m miserable, doing another miserable task first only deepens the gloom! Instead, I need something to perk me up first – the mental health equivalent of a good cup of coffee.

Yesterday, by design, I topped and tailed my day with piano. I practised before work and then, after work, I had my highly-valued lesson. ‘Practice’ may sound like as much fun as eating a frog, but, thankfully, I enjoy it. Somewhat typically of those with poor mental health, I often don’t allow myself the luxury of practice. That’s a mistake. Bookending the day with something I like really made a difference to the rest of the day.

The morning session set me up well for the day. The evening session was something to look forward to – giving me energy to keep going. Let’s make this straightforward and easy to apply. I intend to build something to enjoy first thing in the morning into my routine, and to have something to look forward to as part of my evening.

This could work for you too – worth giving it a try. What would be your morning treat and your evening delight?

Lex
A Moodscope member.

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


17

April

Easter Eggs 

Sunday April 17, 2022


There is a photo of little me at the park we only ever went to each Easter Sunday. That park is on the other side of town, immaculately kept, and very popular at Easter due to it lying on a hill (a phenomenal egg rolling hill). The photo is me running desperately after my Easter egg. Once, I could bring back the feeling that accompanied it, I could re-feel the fear - but now I remember the photo and I only remember being scared. The fear that that egg was gone from me forever propelled me down that hill! I can laugh now. 
 
I also remember cardboard egg halves. Do you? Beautiful pictures on the outside and sometimes somebody would have popped a hanky inside. A hanky did not match up with what a chocolate induced five-year-old had in mind!  But still they were beautiful. 
 
Nowadays, Easter has a new beginning feel for me. The start of a year somehow. Perhaps this weekend we can step aside, choose not to re-feel the fear, and choose to start afresh. 
 
Easter greetings Moodscopers! 
 
Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member. 

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


16

April

My body and mind conversation

Saturday April 16, 2022


Good Morning.

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about the new Mind I was building. You may be wondering how it is progressing. To give you some idea I have written below a copy of a recent conversation between my Mind(M) and my Body(B).
  
M:    Good morning B, I am awake, it’s 7.30.
B:     Good morning M, how are you?
M:    Feeling a bit low and a little anxious. How about you?
B:     Lethargic, and my leg muscles are aching.
M:    I think you need some fresh air.
B:     Not walking in the cold again!
M:    Yes, and it’s good for both of us. Just put one foot in front of the other.
B:     I know, but my body parts are getting older.
M:    Yes, but you know it’s good for my mental health.
B:     Okay but don’t forget my drink of water. I am dehydrated first thing in the morning.
M:    What route shall we take today?
B:     I don’t care as long as it is not more than 30 minutes. 
M:    Stop moaning. I need to see all the daffodils by the stream.
B:     Why?
M:    Because I can practice my Mindfulness. I can lose myself in their colour and form.
B:     Will that help with your anxiety feeling?
M:    Yes, it should do.
B:     Good, that should reduce the aching feeling in the pit of my stomach.
M:    I was thinking of also walking along the canal towpath.
B:     I hope it isn’t muddy because it rained last night.
M:    What difference does that make?
B:     12 months ago I broke my right fibula after slipping in the mud on the towpath.
M:     Don’t worry I will take care of our path.
B:      I am glad we are home, I’m tired and my head aches.
M:     Do you want a couple of paracetamol?
B:      No, it might pass when we start doing something else.
B:     I suppose you want to look at the Moodscope blog now.
M:    Yes, I know it’s a daily ritual, but I need to make contact with my friends.
B:    Why do you call them your friends?
M:    Because a lot of them have similar minds to mine.
B:     Do they also have similar bodies?
M:    I don’t think so, but I have never seen them!
B:    Mind, we haven’t argued much today, do you think we are getting better?
M:   Yes, I think we will be okay. On one condition.
B:    What’s that?
M:   We must continue to tell each other how we feel. Then we can help each other.
B:     Sometimes you make sense Mind and I love you.
M:    I love you too, even though sometimes you are a
        busybody!

Teg
A Moodscope member.

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


15

April

Sharing Pleasant Memories

Friday April 15, 2022


Sometimes in a world full of sadness and tragedy, I can only think of sad thoughts. It is hard to remember a time when life was happier and everything seemed rosy.

So I decided it would be helpful for us to share a memory here that still brings us joy.

A memory would be anything big or small, recent or a long time ago. We can share our memories. If you find it hard to think of something to write about that will make you smile, think about the last time you smiled or felt happy.

My thought are with all those struggling today.

My memory is about when I was about 6 years old and my parents were breeding Siamese cats, I know one cat was having kittens and I was to go and look for the kittens.

I came and told my parents there were no kittens only balls of fur. They laughed and kindly explained the balls were tiny kittens. I like this memory as it reminds me of a simpler time.

What memory will you share?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

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


14

April

Taking a "Me" Day

Thursday April 14, 2022


I don't suffer from insanity I quite enjoy it with a twist of crazy and lite sprinkle of nuts. Ha ha.

And although I don't mean to brag; it seems once you have an alphabetical disorder:"a.d.d," "o.c.d," or in my case "c.p.t.s.d," it knocks the entire rest of the alphabetical off the shelf and you accumulate a few more consonants of a condition. I swear p.t.s.d has brought on a.d.h.d; the trauma damage has me in need to keep moving.

In spite of having been diagnosed with a serious mental illness (BPD) and having been approved of a disability pension, I am forced to work to supplement it. That leads to some interesting adventures trying to navigate a workplace and space among "normal," people. I have learned to look for equal opportunity employers and that has bridged the gap between my fitting in as an average Jill and standing out as a handicapped citizen. 

With the past triggers of other people in the vicinity, darkness, loud noises, and small enclosed spaces, workplace success and options has been greatly narrowed down.

Today I simply took a Me day. I had been training for a possible job in a chaotic hotel and the clamor and disorganization alone sunk me. I thanked the manager for giving me a chance but I will need to find something more solitaire. 

A me day means putting worries and concerns aside, not beating myself up, and just relaxing in bed in between walking my dog and caring for the cats.  Nothing will get done today... nothing but the basics of living. And that is okay. Resting is key for me to preserve my mental health, and health is wealth. 

Bailey
A Moodscope member. 

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


13

April

Age Brings Wisdom?

Wednesday April 13, 2022


Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time…

This is often the reason given when something goes disastrously wrong; something that was obviously a stupid idea in the first place.

Except, we didn’t see it for the stupidity it was. To us, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

For some of us, looking back on our first marriage, we can see how it was never going to work out. Our friends and family members could see it, but we were blind. Having said that, sometimes things do work, and everyone is surprised fifty years later as the couple celebrate their golden wedding with love and laughter.

We make mistakes in our exam subjects; in our location; our clothing styles; our careers and employment.

We make mistakes in the way we work - my children study far harder than I ever did and have the results to reward them; in the way we conduct our relationships; in the way we manage money.

What really matters is not that we make mistakes, which are inevitable, but whether we learn from them.

A friend of mine says, “Life repeats its lessons until you know them.”
What lessons have you learned, and which are you repeating for the sixtieth time?

I think I have learned to be realistic in my expectations of people, so I am not constantly disappointed. I have learned, in my good times, not to overcommit, so the bad times don’t cause such disruption to others. I have learned to say, “I love you,” and to appreciate that for some people it needs to be said in ways other than words. I have learned that alcohol is not my friend.

I still struggle with self-care, and end up exhausting myself. I still struggle with managing my diary, so frequently double and even treble book myself. I still hurt others when I don’t listen. Those are the repeating lessons.

So, I love this poem; I think it expresses it perfectly.
 
Autobiography in Five short Chapters.

Chapter I
I walk down the street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in,
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hold in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but, my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hold in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.
                                                Portia Nelson

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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


12

April

Morbid Birthday Reflections

Tuesday April 12, 2022


As I write this, it's my birthday. I've always had some trouble with birthdays; for a long time I had an aversion to celebrating on that day. It always made me uncomfortable to be the centre of attention, and a lot of that came from how hard I was on myself in all other aspects of my life. It was very difficult to feel like I deserved to be celebrated.

While I'm still considered rather young (I haven't yet reached 40), I've found some motivation in my birthday celebrations, though maybe not in the way you might think. My father died early, and I've lost uncles and great uncles at an early age, too. So it's been an easy transition to using my birthday to remember mortality and the limits of the time we have. Perhaps that's more than a bit morbid, but I've found it to focus my efforts in all the things I do.

I only have a certain number of years to be who I am meant to be. My birthday is a great reminder that I have a finite span, and I find a measure of comfort in the fact that everybody has that span as well. Life is short, and we never know how much longer we have. It's too short to spend my time beating myself up mentally and emotionally. It also helps get me out of my own thoughts and do things outside of myself. Caring for loved ones, serving those in need, and trying to make a positive impact with the time I have left to me.

So many of my past birthdays depressed me, and I wallowed in self-pity and remorse. But now I focus on the time left, and what I want to accomplish, and the opportunities that I may have.

Do you find any solace, focus, or motivation in your finite time? Am I being too morbid? Let me know in the comments. I'm always interested to see what others may think.

John C
A Moodscope Member.

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


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