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April


BAM. Change. BOOM. Regret. Monday April 13, 2015

Did you wake up today wishing things would change? They won't change. Not of their own accord. If you need a change, you need to make the change.

Now if you are, like I have been, in the midst of an oxygen sucking depression where every moment is about making it to the next one, then the time is not right to make any changes. In fact, change is likely to be detrimental to your survival through the worst. But when you are through the worst, you are unlikely to be an all-singing, all-dancing animal, you are likely to be exhausted, in need of rebuilding and perhaps a tiny bit grateful that you made it out the other end in a shape roughly resembling the real you. At that point you can think about change.

I learned the hard way how changing things overnight is a recipe for disaster. I've been doing that for years! I remember 'The Banana Diet'. BAM. Change. Eat only bananas in as many different ways as possible for all but one meal of the day. (How many ways can bananas be? I did this! I could be blushing right now.) It was less than 2 days before I was cheating myself and stuffing chocolate raisins down my gullet. BOOM. Regret.

I've thrown out bundles of clothes that I was fed up wearing because they 'weren't me' then had barely anything to wear because I had neither the money nor the inclination to replace them. BAM. Change. BOOM. Regret.

We can only make real change happen when we size it up. Know how it looks from all its angles, remembering to look above and below as well as the sides. Try it for size. Allow ourselves to play with it and then leave it for a bit. Slowly include it. Abandon it. Dance with it. Get angry at it. Throw energy at it. Ignore it. Look at it from a distance. But never, ever, let it go.

If you know you need a change, keep it with you and never let it go. Go slowly with it and just keep on returning to it even when you have ignored it for a long time. That is how you will wake up and not be wishing for change, but realise you have the key.

Love from
The room above the garage.

p.s. the one exception is pants which should be changed a lot and without any consideration!


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Comments

crafty wee midden Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 6:27am

Pants as in the UK use, rsther than U.s, I assume ....;) thank you! Alex

Hopeful One Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 7:06am

Hi RATG- I love your posts.I like the p.s. your sense of humour is undimmed and that alone will keep you going. Your p.s prompted me to remember this joke which I hope fellow Moodscopers won't find offensive if we remind ourselves that's how a child might interpret an adult thought.

A mother went to pick up her daughter from elementary school and found her doing handstands against the wall. When they got into the car, the mother said, "Darling, I wish you wouldn't do that because the boys can see your pants." "Okay, mummy ," the little girl replied. The next day the mother noticed her little girl's hands looked dirty so she asked, "You haven't been doing handstands again and letting those boys see your pants, have you?" "Oh no, mummy," the daughter replied. "Honestly! I took them off first."

Pixy Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 8:15am

Oops - isn't that inability to make a decision and procrastination you are describing there ?

W00dsmoke Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 8:37am

I have just decided to try to create a change. I am going to vote Green!

Sarah Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 8:43am

Hi RATG I really enjoy your posts too. I like your honesty. I know you like music, I do too all kinds, the great thing about that is if you feel like a change it's easy. I often change to hear the music from different countries too! Then I can go back to old favourites. But I know what you mean about permanent change. It took me 10 years to get over the shock of leaving a bad marriage that I had stayed in for 20 + years. I thought about it for 15 yrs but on the day it was a spur of the moment a bit like when you got rid of all your clothes.

Judith Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 8:54am

That is for me the most perfect post. I am feeling beaten, not physically but emotionally and mentally and I can see no movement only failures. Your post has helped me, even though I'm weeping as I write this. Thank you. Xx

Nicole Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 9:26am

Hi RATG,

I just love your post today, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us! I fully agree with you, rapid change doesn't work, if we want to change for good, we need to do it in small steps. Try it out, listen to what it feels like on the inside, see whether you like it, and only if you do, then make the next tiny little step into the same direction. But only when you feel we are ready for it. If not, then perhaps the first step wasn't right at all.

In the two years of quite substantial change since I left an abusive partner, I have realized that making these little steps can be even more joyful than trying to do one big leap, because we can delight in each small improvement, and if we do fall back into old patterns for a while (we always do, at least I always do), then at least the disappointment isn't so big. And after a while I think, hey, this really sucks, why not do things the right way again? And then it's often for good.

The Entertrainer Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 10:22am

Made me laugh... and laughter is good medicine, if not the best!

The Entertrainer Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 10:23am

Dear Judith, you couldn't have said more encouraging words to our dear Room Above the Garage.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 10:47am

One of the many things i love about your post, cosy ratg, is that it shows the you who is nurturing, guiding and protecting the depressed you (and she's very funny, too)--that mind which is able to look ahead in order to look back and who is able to employ wisdom. It is that part of every one of us which keeps us going and evolving and looking for the joy. Bless you. susan xx

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 10:54am

Hi Pixy, i think procrastination happens when we absolutely know what needs to be done...but we just put it off and off and off. Making a decision can be very difficult but to me that involves a process like the ones RATG mentions this morning. Procrastination happens when the process has taken place and the final answer arrived at, but still nothing happens. Not sure if that makes sense or not..... susan

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:07pm

Pants, drawers and knickers to you Alex! :-D Love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:12pm

Loving it!! The uncomplicated mind of a child! Hello to you HO, thank you for your lovely words and keep the jokes coming...our extreme pc world all but obliterated them and there is still place in my humble opinion! Love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:27pm

Hello Pixy, no oops required, all thoughts are valuable x.
I do often have inability to make decisions (usually it's intense when I'm at my lowest) and I wish procrastination was an Olympic event because I'd have a podium place! But what I'm referring to here is just as Susan described. I think we can sometimes make decisions easily but sticking to it can be a whole other ball game. I decided years in advance that I needed to break up my relationship with alcohol but to make it stick needed a process. I'm just coming out of a dark time and I'm trying to see the process of breaking up my relationship with depression the same way. It's a long haul flight for us all I think.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:28pm

^forgot my badge, it's me ratg x.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:29pm

Love it!

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:30pm

:-)
Vote, vote, vote! I cannot claim to understand much of it but the biggest insult to ourselves would be not voting. Power to you, love ratg x.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:32pm

Oh yeah! Love this RATG. (Always love your posts!) I have learned the hard way not to do clutter clearing while in depression... I threw out my children's medical records one time! I feel that all my clutter is stifling me - but am incapable of making good decisions while clearing, so it's better if I don't clear until I feel better and then, often, I don't feel the need to clear... Funny that.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:35pm

Gosh Sarah, that would have hurt, do you look back and think you'd like to have done it differently or do you actually think it happened when it needed to? Love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:45pm

Hello Judith, I can't tell you what a wonderful feeling you gave me to read your words. Thank YOU! Remember that no movement, in any direction, is sometimes exactly what you need. My most recent plunge into the Pit of Sh** (sorry everyone but I like the way it rhymes) was shorter in length than expected and I think that might have been because I stopped fighting it so much. I'm by no means clear but I'm better than I thought I'd be. Judith, it's lovely to see you, love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:50pm

Hello Lex, exactly as you said, what a wonderful reply indeed. And it's always a pleasure to see your little picture pop in. Sending a wave to you on the wind. Love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 12:57pm

Hello Nicole, me too! Fall back then learn, fall and pick up, move again. And you are very right...small steps do bring an abundance of ways to feel good. I hadn't thought of that before. I'd usually berate myself for not going the whole hog. Let's celebrate the wee stuff. I'm going to write a list of what I've already done so I can have the pleasure of ticking it off!!!!! :-D love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 1:01pm

Thank you Susan, what a great way to look at it. I seem to never take my own advice (that's normal I suppose) but you've made me look inward. Thank you, love ratg x.

Bebe Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 1:10pm

I love your daily posts - they really help me while I'm going through this awful illness. Thank you and keep them coming. x

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 1:10pm

Hello Marydoll! Been thinking about you lots and wondering how you're travelling? Bumpy?
I can sometimes be pretty angry about something and then a really good clear out happens...I love how it feels to become physically clear and I love feeling the mental order that follows. Tidy house, tidy mind I suppose. I touched on it through counselling some years back and I'm convinced there is much to be learned from that pool. Hope you are riding the storm, love ratg x.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 1:19pm

Hello Bebe, I'll say thank you on behalf of everyone who writes, and those who are still thinking of it! Personally I open my mouth and let my belly rumble but there are some very skillful people here who come up with brilliant slants on recovering. It's always great to hear someone, somewhere is reading and responding. In itself that is an achievement. Some days I can't respond at all and yet it does help. Glad to see you. Love ratg x.

Julia Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 1:40pm

I suppose that if something negative has been going on for a long time despite many failed attempts to stop it, one wonders just why it is carrying on. It could be out of our control and therefore we have to accept it and manage it as best we can? Your words ratg about finding a process for coming out of depression intrigues me. It is very positive and hopeful. I guess I have almost given up finding a way to get out of depression (and I probably cope very well on a daily basis) although Leonard Cohen managed it at almost 80 years of age and after years of depression, by retreating from the world for a long long time. He's 80 now and I am not sure if his depression remains lifted. I hope so! I love your writing ratg along with many others on Moodscope.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 2:07pm

Ahh, I reeeally appreciate this post. Whenever I'm in the grip of a depression, in the little moments of light (or windows of air), I sometimes want to go crack eggs with big sticks - for want of a better expression- imagining that changing everything, from the colour of my lipstick to my diet to the country I live in (!), will make me happy. Then the sun goes in again, the cloud shifts back over, and I realise, there is more work to be done ("inscaping" not "escaping". Oh I sound like Les :o).
So I hears ya RATG. I hears ya. Thank you!
xxx
Love all post from RATG.
Suzy

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 6:06pm

Hi Julia, I think he must be out of it still...I am a mini-fan and saw beautiful photographs of him with his son and grandson sitting at the piano. I know pictures and our 'front' don't show what is underneath but I would guess that to be public in that way he must feel a certain ok-ness with the world that he didn't feel before. Just guessing though...
I think you cope more than well Julia and I don't see you as having given up finding a way out of depression...you listen daily, question your own approaches and offer wisdom to other travellers, that's coping and battling beautifully in my book, love ratg xx.

Anonymous Mon, Apr 13th 2015 @ 6:08pm

I reeeally love that response Suzy :-D love ratg xx.

Sarah Tue, Apr 14th 2015 @ 8:13am

Hi ratg sorry for late reply, yes I had huge regret! But not for leaving the husband it was a shock for me as I had to leave my house where my children were and live alone. My daughter was 18 and took it badly, but later said she understood. I only live up the road and am REALLY close to my kids who are all grown up with good jobs and good partners. The main problem at the time I left was I realised I had stayed all those years for the sake of the children but in the end it was doing them far more harm to see a woman putting up with abuse. X ps I have never told anyone my story but you have been so honest it feels ok

Anonymous Tue, Apr 14th 2015 @ 10:43am

Sarah, what incredible strength to have held onto your story all this time! It sounds like it happened when it was meant to and brilliant to have a good relationship with your children. They will see it wholly one day and you can already see that they have learned well from it all. Brave woman you. Love ratg x.

Anonymous Tue, Apr 14th 2015 @ 11:10am

A very good friend of mine told me once, that I first had to ACCEPT things the way they are. Only THEN they would be able to change. This has been my credo for the last ten years or so. Or in the words of an Afro-american I heard on the radio once: Don't push, don't shove, let it flow. The best changes are those which happen by themselves. But I suppose that is what you said, just in different words.

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