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A standing ovation Tuesday June 10, 2014

When in a depression, my mind either, for short intervals, flutters from one thing to another, (the mental version of channel hopping) or closes down completely and asks for sleep only.

When in the former state, I've noticed I gravitate back to moving videos on YouTube. Last week, I wended my through a whole load of touching first auditions like Susan Boyle on Britain's Got Talent or Australia's Got Talent, Emanuel, singing Imagine. And trust me, I don't even like TV talent shows! Yet, for some reason, it's these clips that release pent up tears that have been locked within a soul always accompanied by sadness.

Another of my favourite videos is of Derek Redmond at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. These clips all tend to have a few things in common. They are often edited to powerful, touching music. They are triumphs of human tenacity overcoming adversity or sadness of some description. And the audience watching at the time, whether in an Olympic stadium or a small arena, are visibly moved. They are on their feet, crying, shouting encouragingly and applauding.

I've re-learned these past few months that mental poorliness is surely one of the most lonely sicknesses to endure. Unlike my experience with cancer or the sudden loss of my dad, there are no deliveries of my favourite flowers, no cards daily plopping through my letter box with bad poetry and silly jokes about hospital food. My phone falls deadly quiet. There'll be no "Hello" text alerts one after the other today. No kindly nurses to mop up the mental vomit that can't be kept down. No calling of "Time please!" on the visitors around my bed. What visitors?

I probably sound bitter. I'm not, not really. I know to a very large degree the fault is mine. Feelings of worthlessness run through me like the crack in our chimney breast; it just keeps reappearing despite fresh plaster. Therefore, I struggle to reach out and ask for help. I removed my brother, my only Buddy, when my score started to plummet well below 10, everyday. I haven't even had the heart to get to the doctors. (Apt duly booked for tomorrow, 5pm.)

It feels with mental illness, to a large degree, I must be my own healer, detective, friend. There are so many questions surrounding this latest bout. I won't bore you with them. Whether physical or mental, the road, I'm sure you'll agree, is long.

We all love to see someone pull off something truly inspiring but for most of us, and the context here being depression, our bravest, most courageous moments won't be stood on a stage in front of a wildly applauding audience with judges on their feet, tears streaming down faces. Nor will it be in a packed out 65,000+ Olympic arena. It'll be when we pick up the phone and make an appointment with the doctor. It'll be when we accept there is more work to be done and fix some therapy seesions. It'll be when we phone that friend, who we know, just 'gets it' and utter those oh so difficult words: Can you help me?

This is the reason then that I'm drawn back to those excerpts. I may have no intention of entering the 400m race at the 2016 Olympics or a singing slot in next year's X Factor but watching those people "succeed", makes me see that by merely choosing to continue, I, you, we, all of us, deserve a standing ovation.

Did Derek Redmond fail? Far from it!

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 7:23am

Hi Suzy ,.... I can resonate with this and just want to share a BIG HUG with you,
Susanne xxx

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 8:22am

This has made me feel so much better as I no I am not alone xx

Mary Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 8:25am

You are so right Suzy. Sometimes every day just got through is a victory.

Rupert Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 8:29am

Suzy - good post as I sit here at my desk having just taken St Johns Wort and Ginseng in the no doubt mistaken belief that it will help my personal battle! Your post alludes to the exhaustion one sometimes feels just coping with the numerous voices that you have to deal with in your mind and trying to deal with them in a rational way! Rupert

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 8:47am

Thank you Suzy for writing the post for me, it describes my feelings so eloquently. And thanks to all the bloggers above - exhaustion, mental and physical caused by the never ending mental dialogues and lack of sleep, is so difficult to cope with. I too cry when I see something which resonates with unresolved past damage. I now understand that some things cannot be resolved and I just have to live with the repercussions. None of us are completely alone when we can blog here, with people who understand - a hug to you all and hopes for a better day tomorrow.

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 8:48am

Sharing this must required a lot of strength! I feel like I'm not alone, thank you for that!

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 9:24am

Watched a lot of Rutland Weekend Television on YouTube over the weekend as I feel that Neil Innes was as much a part of it as Eric Idle. And David Battley could have been Rob Brydon's uncle!

Mapsie1066 Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 9:36am

Hi Suzy
I echo entirely what you have written. I see depression and mental illness from two sides. I have Bipolar type 2 and when I was suffering one of several episodes of depression I felt very isolated. Because one 'looks normal'- the world around you can't conceive of the awfulness of what you are going through. I am pleased to say, those episodes have been a thing of tthe past now for 5 years- am stable on medication. On the other side of the coin, I am a GP with the job title of Mental Health and Depression lead in the Practice. I see the suffering of many of my patients and can really empathise with their struggles and the prejudice around them - once again - it is the 'looking normal' issue.
Thank ypou for your post. Keep using whatever means to hang in there when the going gets tough. Remember, there is a community of fellow moodscopers who do understand.
Pam H

jules Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 9:45am

Beautiful, Suzy. Thank you! :)

Kirstie Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 9:49am

Thanks Suzy for this post and the link to Derek Redmond's Olympic experience - what an amazing man, and a very cathartic viewing experience too. Helped me realise I am masking depression as we speak and have to do something to day that I may not succeed at & reminded me to take care of myself and recalibrate my expectations!
I hope you feel better soon and think it is also amazing that you can write so beautifully and share things that help whilst feeling low, thank you so much

vanessa Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 10:03am

Bless you Suzy, my heart goes out to you. What an achievement to write this post when you are struggling so much, you have made so many people (including me) feel less isolated today. I will be thinking of you with the GP appointment tomorrow. Love Vanessa xx

Julia Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 10:11am

I do sympathise with you Suzy. I sometimes say to myself in self pity, despair, you name it, Why do I have to find solutions to my mental health problems myself, why does it always have to be me, why can't anyone help me sleep, feel less low and so on? It is very isolating because as you and others say, we look normal and do more than we need to to appear bright and cheerful. I don't even say when asked how I am, that I feel tired (like any normal person would who is maybe doing too much and hasn't had a very good night!) Why can't I say this!! Perhaps because I would be saying it every time someone asks me, I just don't know. But I hope you get on well at the Dr tomorrow , Suzy. Have you worked out what you are going to say?

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 10:22am

Between a coal and a priceless diamond the difference is pressure, learn to withstand these and moments where there is silence, " say I am a miracle waiting to happen" ! My prayers are with you.

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 12:07pm

So many hooked fish, flapping on the sand...

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 12:12pm

Yes, it would be better if I had not been born. Yes, I am toxic and my poison seeps deeply into the intricate fissures of the lives around me. Yes, I am no good, I am worthless and I stink. Tough! I just have to get through it, then I die.
Might as well be HAPPY ..
Onwards and Upwards!!

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 1:20pm

bravo Suzy for getting that doctors appointment, strange how we put it off, an off anf off

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 6:11pm

Suzy, your final paragraph has me on my feet with tears in my eyes to give you the standing ovation you so richly deserve - well done for your bravery and honesty and thank-you. I am sure there are many moodscopers out there, who choose not to post, who have been really touched and helped by your blog today. Frankie

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 10:44pm

Fantastic post Suzy, meant a lot. J'adore the clip, remember watching the race on the evening news and crying for him!! I'm having to dig deep at the moment too. Thanks for 'getting it' and piling us all together. Love from the room above the garage.

Anonymous Tue, Jun 10th 2014 @ 11:27pm

Fantastic words Suzy, so true. Thank you for recognizing something something that goes so widely un-acknowledged - those often unbelievably difficult feats of "still carrying on", that so many of us choose to make. Have a great week :)

Willow43 Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 1:07am

Great post Suzy! Thank you.

Suzy Wed, Jun 11th 2014 @ 7:56pm

"Heartened". This is how your comments make me feel. I treasure each and every one.
When folk come and take the time and energy to comment on Moodscope, it means a goodly deal to all involved. And I don't mean the writers/bloggers only.
Thank you!

Anonymous Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 @ 2:06pm

Whoever you are above the garage, my heart is with you now. Big hugs. Lesley

Anonymous Mon, Jun 23rd 2014 @ 2:18pm

Hi Suzy, a fantastic post. It really resonated that unlike cancer nobody sends you cards or flowers or tells you what a fab person you are. It is silence. Brother's response "you need professional help". No visit. I have had depression and anxiety as well as fibromyalgia for over 20 years and have never had a get well card from any of my family. My mission is to be open about mental health. Nobody talked about cancer in the 1970s when my Mum had breast cancer. Everyone talks about it now. Well, depression and anxiety wreak havoc in lives - pain, poverty, and death . So its time to place it up there with cancer. We could have a D-day every year where we depressives get together and show that we are just amazing people. The video brought me tears and a realisation that I haven't had a Mum or Dad or mentor there with me since I was in my early twenties and have had to keep on chipping away on my own after my mind muscles tore in 1989 and never healed fully. Way to go, Suzy!

Anonymous Tue, Jun 24th 2014 @ 3:23pm

Thank you Suzy, this made face that I'm in a depressive state - 'the mental version of channel hopping kind'. I've been avoiding moodscope for over a month and clicked on the email containing your blog by mistake this morning, thinking it was another newsletter I receive. Facing and accepting the state I'm in is the first step I need to take in doing something about it! So thank you.

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