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Being Grateful. Tuesday May 30, 2017

It is hard to feel grateful, when we feel so low.
As anyone with a mental illness
Will well and truly know...

It is often mentioned that physical illnesses are recognised more and many have said on occasion, that mental illness is so cruel and the worst it can get. In my darkest moments, I truly believe that.

Then I think about my husband. He has lost use of his legs and his arms are becoming weaker. He drops things, spills things, and on several occasions he has collapsed and cannot get up. He is only 58.

He has had to give up his job and his social life and he feels utterly useless.

I am trying to cope with my own difficulties and support him too.

My heart goes out to him, but I am not good at showing it. I worry about his every move and whether he will fall. I worry that he may be diagnosed with something sinister and how I will cope.

I want to be strong but it is not always a choice.

I have to remind myself every day, that it will all be okay?

I want to be grateful, but I feel so low.
Only those that suffer
Will ever really know...

A Moodscope member.

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

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Leah Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:40am

What a touching, heart-felt , honest piece of writing.
I am not sure what to say. I could tell a story of my experience with a sick partner- now well, but this is your story. I could give well meaning advice but I don't have any.
I agree it is hard to be grateful at times and maybe people telling us we should be makes it even harder.
" only those that suffer
will ever really know." Those words are true and poignant.
Thanks again for sharing your emotions with moodscope.

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:24pm

Thanks Leah, for your kind words. Feel free to tell us your story xx

Hopeful One Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 6:41am

Hi Molly -thank you for a moving, poignant,heartfelt blog . While I can see where you are coming from dare I suggest that you are linking two quite separate things in your sentence "I want to be grateful, but I feel so low"?.Being grateful is an attitude (an "attitude of gratitude").Feeling low is a description of your mood. So one can be low but still retain an attitude of gratitude. So you could say " I feel so low but I am grateful ( insert here whatever ... grateful to have woken up, grateful that I am around to give help to my husband. grateful that despite my problems I am not giving in but giving all I have got.... the list is endless )"

The Squadron has been lying doggo( I know not many noticed!) but yesterday my loving partner sent me this....

Warning: this joke contains adult material which some readers may find offensive

A 21 year old blonde girl met a large, powerfully built bodybuilder at a bar. After a number of drinks, they agree to go back to his place.
The body builder takes off his shirt, and while doing so, he exclaims, “Boom!”
The blonde says, “What a great chest you have!”
He tells her, “That’s 100 lbs of dynamite, baby!”
He then rips off his pants, once again yelling, “Boom!”
The blonde is impressed and says, “My, what massive calves you have!”
The body builder tells her, “That’s 100 lbs of dynamite, baby.”
He then rips off his underwear, and exclaims “Boom!”
The blonde goes running out of the apartment, screaming in fear.
The bodybuilder puts his clothes back on and chases after her. He catches up to her and asks why she ran out of the apartment like that.
The blonde replies, “I didn’t want to be around all that dynamite when I saw the short fuse !”

With thanks to my partner.

Eva Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 8:41am

We did miss you!

LP Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 10:09am

:) Yes we did miss you HO! X

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:31pm

Thanks HO - looks like you were missed! Yes I understand what you mean. I do try to be grateful. In fact I battle every day with trying to be positive, it is the only way to stay half sane xx

Leah Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 11:21pm

Hopeful I am interested in the distinction between mood and attitude. I am wondering why we have to feel gratitude- is it because it makes it makes us feel better? Can we do things without feeling grateful? I find we people point out I should feel grateful it makes me feel guilty and ungrateful. Maybe I am strange!!

Hopeful One Wed, May 31st 2017 @ 7:42am

Hi Guys- Thank you for letting me know-

Mary Wednesday Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 8:09am

As you say, Molly, only those who suffer will ever truly know. I can't think of anything to say because anything I could say will sound patronising. I feel for you and your husband and you have my heartfelt sympathy and good wishes. Thank you for sharing your pain. I feel privileged.

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:32pm

A lovely response Mary, thank you xx

Orangeblossom Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 8:20am

Hi Molly, thanks for sharing your pain & anxiety about your future. It is extremely palpable! I am thinking of you at this time!

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:34pm

Thank you Orangeblossom, I appreciate it xx

Sally Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 8:35am

I too feel all I can do is sympathise. You must feel as if your whole world is disintegrating, Molly, with your husband's condition becoming so alarming. And you feeling so low too. Perhaps finding out what is going on/ what his condition is would actually alleviate some of your wildest fears, or do there not seem to be any answers out there?
Look for the positive wherever you can find it, I agree with HO that gratitude is in the small things around you, and can be cheering. Perhaps challenge yourself to do something small, something different that will give you a glow of success, make something, however simple. Anything that empowers a tiny bit. Homebaking, something he particularly likes. You say you are not particularly good at showing him how you feel, so this would demonstrate your care and concern. Just a passing thought. And a virtual hug.

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:45pm

Hi Sally, things have slightly progressed since I wrote the blog in that they have found out a possible cause and may be able to operate. This is a huge relief and has given us some hope although the future is still uncertain. Thank you for your words of advice and for the hug xx

Eva Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 8:40am

Hi Molly, you and your husband have a lot to deal with, and pain is pain whether it be mental or physical. I bet you are both grateful for each other though. You mentioned that you aren't good at showing your appreciation for your man as much as you love him, I know when I am down and just dealing with 'being', affectionate behaviour can slip away, but when I make an effort and snuggle up, my husband really cherishes those moments. Maybe you could put this on your list of things to do when you have the energy? A cuddle is so good for you, gets that serratonin production going... Wishing you all the best.

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 4:57pm

Hi Eva, thank you for your understanding. I am not sure we are grateful for each other at the moment! No, that is not entirely true, when I think of the alternative. It is so easy to take each other for granted so this is a very good point and I might even give him that cuddle later :-) xx

Leah Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 11:24pm

Eva I am a very huggy person and I suppose I saw this is a demanding but now I may see it is a positive thing. Thanks

The Gardener Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 9:03am

HO, boy, we noticed the absence, welcome back. Molly, had to answer between bundling Mr G into taxi for respite and trying to repair storm damage in house for sale (visit this p.m.) before the next deluge. I have only had 4 years of what you are describing, and my husband is 87 in July - when I think of your husband, at 58, and what we were doing at that age my heart bleeds (silly expression) but really goes out - you are the fourth person who is coping with debilitating, even terminal illness in their 50's. I don't find 'being grateful' a very health emotion - makes you feel beholden. Say 'Thank you' take all the help you can. I can give you no hope about any 'normal' life - sociability goes - what one did as a couple you do not do as a single person with an invalid to care for. I have turned from 'wife, companion' to nurse, warder and kicking board. It's awful. The sick person HAS to depend on you, they hate it, you are over-careful and scared to take risks. You HAVE to take care of yourself (this dinned in to me daily) and somewhere, I've no idea where from, find an inner 'spirit'. 'My' blackbird seems to be singing for ME this morning - a blue clematis is a colour only to be described as 'cerulean'. Pleasure in small things, somehow. Perhaps just the comfort and sympathy of people here will give you a 'lift'. From a fellow 'sufferer' xxx

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 5:14pm

Oh Gardener, you know only too well what it is like. Alzheimers has got to be one of the hardest things to deal with and my heart goes out to you too. I do feel slightly bitter that we are having to deal with this at such a young age (I am ten years younger) it feels like life is over which really does sound ungrateful doesn't it. I find it hard to socialise at the best of times, due to my anxiety and depression, so we are doubly restricted now. I must admit I did feel a 'lift' when I found out my blog was to be published and reading these wonderful supportive comments. Thank you for your wise words Gardener xx

Leah Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 11:22pm

Gardener You have so much to cope with but you always have compassion for others. Xx

Joan Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 9:56am

Surrender to God, tell him all the challenges you are facing and have to deal with. He will take u on a journey you can never imagine. Trust in him n he will send you aid. God bless.

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 5:19pm

Hi Joan, thank you. I have to admit, I am not religious, but I am certainly saying a little prayer right now xx

LP Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 10:03am

Hi Molly,
My heart goes out to both of you, it the worry is so draining.
It seems that it would feel false to try to feel gratitude if you don't feel any at all. It that thing about "Should". Perhaps gratitude isn't something to focus on in relation to both of your health issues.

Your compassion for your husband is strong. Perhaps it's more about the gratitude you feel for having him in your life?
You may not feel very strong, but your straight forward honesty seems strong to me.
You are and will be there for him. Perhaps we don't have to try to feel these things, we just do the things that come naturally to us, they are our strengths.

I totally agree that when we are feeling low it's just hard to see them, to see and feel any positives.
Worrying about what we can't do sucks, so concentrating hard or as you say reminding yourself every day of what we can do, what we have done is a more comforting place to be.

Your husband knows you, so perhaps even if you feel that you're not showing your compassion he knows that it's there anyway. Perhaps it wouldn't help him to know how much it pains you. Perhaps it's possible to tell him or write in a beautiful or funny card that although you don't show your feelings much you're always there for him?

Thinking too far ahead can be overwhelming, Sometimes I think that worry and fear about what might be, is worse than what is at the moment.

If you naturally have a moment of closeness, come across something that gives you a little lift, it's those small things that give me a little gratitude. Grateful in general might not work for you, a bit like not being happy in general.
Ungrateful is such a harsh and critical idea anyway. Defo one not to take on board!

I've stuck my neck out as I do Molly, speaking from the heart, possibly way off the mark on all sorts of levels, but grateful for your blog! It really has made me think about gratitude.

I wish you both lots of moments of wellness Molly and Moodscopers. LP xx

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 5:35pm

Hi LP. I am certainly a worrier, can you tell ! Your words really made me think. You are right, he does know me, and he does know how much I care and I do tell him I will always be there for him (usually after threatening to leave him) but he knows which one is true... I do also write him little notes sometimes so you have made me realise that I am not so bad after all! I am often so very hard on myself! You are not off the mark at all LP, you were well ON the mark. Your comments have been so helpful, and reassuring. I guess we sometimes see ourselves differently to what others see. Thank you so much xx

LP Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 9:24pm

:) That's good to hear. You're welcome :) xx

Leah Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 11:25pm

Molly and the Moodscopers what a great title for a band!! Thanks LP xx

The librarian Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 11:29am

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Molly. I find saying 'thank you' for really tiny things helpful. Take care.

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 5:37pm

I agree Librarian. Saying thank you is so very important and goes such a long way xx

Sal Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 12:15pm

Dear Molly, I feel very touched by your blog, especially your phrase "My heart goes out to him". My heart goes out to you too, hearing how your life is at the moment. If wishes can help, I wish that you both may find renewed sources of strength in your lives. Sending love ...

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 5:38pm

Lovely words Sal, thank you so much xx

Jul Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 3:20pm

Hello Molly. You have let us know what is happening in your life. I am grateful to you for allowing us to have a glimpse into your daily problems with your husband's physical ailments which sound alarming and your feelings of helplessness if that's not too strong a word. It's great you've written a blog. You are right to say that none of us really knows how others suffer. Jul x x

Molly Tue, May 30th 2017 @ 5:47pm

Hi Jul. I always appreciate your words of encouragement. After an initial buzz that my blog is to be published, panic and doubt set in. I have had an amazing response, there are some lovely people on here. Helplessness is the word isn't it, things we have no control over, make us feel helpless. I guess we have to 'let go' and accept the way things are. It is also a good reminder that we don't know how others suffer, because everyone has their own problems. It is easy to think that everyone else are having a great life, when the chances are they are not. Thank you Jul xx

Molly Wed, May 31st 2017 @ 12:10am

Thank you so much for these comments today, I am actually truly grateful!

How interesting though the different opinions on whether we should feel grateful or not. I understand both sides of that.

Yes we should try and be grateful for the small things (and I really think I do to be fair) But when things get tough, it is a very tall ask isn't it !! Grateful for waking up, I think HO mentioned, well I hate to say it, but sometimes I do not want to wake up, so I am not grateful for that ! I suffer with severe eczema, no I am not grateful for that either. Constant depression? No not grateful. Husband physically incapacitated? No not grateful.

However, I do realise that we have to find something to be grateful for. And I am sure I can find plenty.

I also agree with the fact that 'being told to be grateful' can put so much pressure on and make us feel like we have failed even further.

Thank you everyone for your comments today.

Each one was truly supportive. Even if that word will haunt me forever.

Love Molly xx

Becky Wed, May 31st 2017 @ 9:16pm

Hi Molly.

I think you raise good questions. How do we shift our mind to gratitude when everything is such a struggle? And why should we? Perhaps the why is easiest. Because it's really really good for us. People who regularly focus on good things - even tiny good things, get loads of health benefits from doing so. I get what Leah is saying about it feeling like a guilt trip at times - it can feel like someone is saying be grateful AND stop being miserable. I think we need to do both. To say it's OK for things, us, not to be OK AND there are little sparks of joy filling the world. Both can coexists. Being grateful - or appreciative - doesn't mean you have to stop being depressed. We can do both.

Right now I'm growing butterflies. Currently they are caterpillars. They arrived in a little tub which contains the food they need, and I'm not to open it until they have formed their chrysolides. Needless to say, a week in, the food is covered in what I'm instructed is called 'frass', - what goes in does inevitably come out. It's only going to get worse in there, they have exoskeletons to shed too. So today I really appreciate being human, because I get to keep my food and my 'frass' in different places! Even on a really bad day I can be grateful for that :-)


Molly Thu, Jun 1st 2017 @ 9:36pm

Great comment Becky and food for thought, thank you xx

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