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A Healing crisis - Part 2 Sunday June 22, 2014

I class my self as a social extrovert; I like to chat to people and am good at being able to strike up a conversation with a stranger if the need should arise. When I am feeling happy, I like to spread a bit of it about the place and the best way to do this is with a smile. So on some days I go out of my way to smile, smile at the guy who cuts me up and drives away without a thank you. I smile at my daughter who for the tenth time that day is sat on her phone and ignoring my repeat requests to do her homework. I go for a walk and smile at the elderly lady tending her flowers and even stop for a chat.

But today was quite different. I am sat firmly in my bed writing this blog. Knowing that I need to walk the dog before going for my hospital appointment but not relishing the thought! My smile has gone, replaced with a side ways grimace that actually hurts. My right eye does not close and so I cover myself up with a scarf and glasses and hope that no one will want to speak to me as I will have to explain that I am suffering from Bells Palsy.

But with every crisis comes a moment of clarity and suddenly I can understand what it is like to want to hide your self away. I have suddenly gone from being an social extrovert to being painfully withdrawn and really hoping that no one will want to engage with me. And so this is what it is like to suffer depression. This is what my sister feels like most day's, and now I understand why it was difficult for her socialise even in a small group of people.

I feel low and know that this will soon pass but whilst I feel like this I want to do something with it. I want to say to all Moodscope users, that I understand for some of you how it must feel. I am in awe of the way you all cope and support each other and I am grateful for knowing that there is a community of people out there that are non judgmental. So, as difficult as it is, I will get up and walk my dog and face the world and if a young lady passes by you today and gives you a little sideways grimace, smile back.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 8:43am

Hi Julie! Hope your hospital appointment went well. I'm going to force myself to go out today and will be thinking of you as I do. Thank you for inspiring me. (I'm smiling and waving back. :-) )

Diana Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 9:18am

Thanks Julie - great spirit !

heather Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 1:50pm

Thumbs up Julie ! let us know how you get on. Lots of love from Heather x

Misread Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 2:17pm

That's great Julie. I told my friend about yesterdays blog and he told me his brother suffers with Bells and has done since he was twenty (in 50's now). As a result he has few friends and lives alone. He looked after his daughters pet rabbit and found the company was helpful but now both his daughter and her rabbit live in the States and he is alone again. There is always someone worse of than ourselves and I firmly believe that often people in that situation are sent to us just so we remember.

Mary Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 2:55pm

Bless you Julie, for sharing your pain with us. To have your "gorgeous smile" taken away from you (we hope only temporarily) must feel so cruel. I'm sending you hugs and cherish the twisted grimace I get in return from your loving and generous soul. From my own experience of divorce, singleness and remarriage to my absolute star of a husband I can confidently say to you that it does get better: hang on in there and keep sharing with us. I'm sure all of us are sending best wishes and prayers for your rapid and complete recovery.

Anonymous Sun, Jun 22nd 2014 @ 5:19pm

I am also a social extrovert who has suffered from depression on and off for a couple of years. Yesterday I forced myself to go to a party and managed to be me but now am hiding away. Depression is a horrible thing, so much worse than emotional or physical pain. And yet there have been some gifts - learning to nurture myself more and becoming much more fond of my own company. Solitude can be very healing.

thinking and praying for you at this difficult time. You're on a new journey which is entirely unwelcome and that is just awful

Anonymous Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 @ 12:25am

Dear Julie, your post resonated very deeply with me. I believe I have an idea how you must be feeling: as I began to recover from an awful relationship and traumatic split and began learning (with no income or career anymore) how to parent two little ones, my hair fell out. I completely relate to how you are feeling about losing your smile and your confidence as a weapon against depression and isolation. I had been considered very pretty, but slowly and inexorably all my hair, then my eyebrows and lashes disappeared. It takes a good long while to learn how to deal with this kind of setback, and my heart really goes out to you. It's a really unwelcome lesson, and a good deal of anger/depression would be unsurprising: I agree with other posts that advise making sure you find an outlet for these perfectly natural feelings. I would also say that as acceptance comes slowly in, you may find yourself dealing with a painful switchback of feelings, between quiet despair (why me?) and morsels of newborn acceptance (why not me?). This conflict is also utterly normal and understandable, just very uncomfortable to live with. I hope you will find what I have: that there is a space between the two which you can stand in serenely. It just takes time. I would also echo what others have said in that I found acupuncture wonderful: it did nothing for the hairloss but I remain sure that investing in it when money was very tight sent my body and soul a strong positive message: that I loved and valued myself, and that I wanted to help myself as I would like to think I'd have helped a friend trying to cope in the same situation. There were plenty of weeks when that pins session was the highlight of my week. You will find a way through this. It's just that no-one else can give you a map, which is awful. I would also say, that despite Bells Palsy being 'rare', I know four sufferers, and three of them have made complete recoveries, and within a fairly short period of time. I admire your strength, and simultaneously know you have no choice other than to be strong. A very tough space to be in, but am sending huge respect and love, with confidence that your attitude to this will ensure you come out intact, and wiser than you thought possible. The very best of luck on your journey, and thankyou for sharing. xxx

Caroline Ashcroft Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 @ 12:26am

Thank you for such a comprehensive and helpful comment.

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