Bridges 

10 Jan 2021
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There are so many curious and wonderful bridges out there. From magnificent feats of engineering and architecture, adorning many a postcard (yep, I still send and love to receive them), to the fragile, wobbly ones that make your heart live in your throat. Then there are surprise ones, found on a walk, fashioned from any old bit of wood, placed over a burn, to help keep your feet dry and steady. 

 

The imaginary ones are extremely useful too. If you are feeling anxiety rise because of the latest rounds of news, you might find a bridge is useful. It can help create a little distance between living inside your thoughts and looking at them from a standpoint. 

 

Just picture your own bridge of dreams or bridge of practicality – in a glade, in a city, one you have commuted over, big or small, real or fictional. Then think of the words, phrases and images which are causing your anxiousness. Now, try to see them over the bridge, on the other side. Where you stand is where you are. Solid, rooted, safely on the bank. And where they are is distanced, on the other bank. You can be a witness to them, in fact you have to, there really is no getting away, they are part of this. But, whilst you are a witness, from this little distance, you can only watch. At some point you must accept that you need to walk on. It still will happen whether you watch or not, only now you can help by taking care of yourself.  

 

Keeping safe and helping comes in many guises. 

 

Love from

The room above the garage

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

AndrewH

Jan. 10, 2021, 7:28 a.m.

Hi RATG. Interesting blog - thank you. Unfortunately at the moment the only bridges I can see look very shaky indeed. I'm in London where the Mayor has declared an emergency due to the number of COVIUS cases. My hospital is swamped - my next appointment cancelled, tests booked in November not happening etc. I feel in the middle of a whirlwind and nothing is solid or rooted at all.

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Sally

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:12 a.m.

So verysorry to hear this AndrewH. Could you push harder for appointment? Just a thought. Hard to have to keep fighting for what should be....

Jul

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:21 a.m.

I'm very sorry to read this too Andrew. Declaring an emergency means apart from anything else, in practical terms the government has to put more money into the health service in London (or wherever the emergency is declared). In Kent patients have been transferred to Bristol when hospitals here are full with Covid patients. I know ideally you will want to see your own consultant at your normal hospital but maybe just maybe you could ask to go for the tests at least, at another London hospital or one outside London. Sally is right, you must fight for your rights, your human rights. Are you on Facebook Andrew? I'm not but there must be groups out there in the same position as you who know what the law says (even in a pandemic) regarding non Covid patients' legal rights to be treated. You could even consult a lawyer. This cannot be allowed to continue. People are being treated in hospital who have broken the rules and are given preferential treatment over innocent people like you Andrew. You may not feel you have the energy to fight on a personal level .That's why you should hand it over to someone or a group who can fight on your behalf to get the medical treatment you deserve and which is being denied to you.. Jul xx

The Gardener

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:43 a.m.

Andrew, this is awful. Just had an e-mail from friend same age as my children. She ran the out-patients department of a major London hospital. Now she is in the 'front line'. She is clever, capable, pragmatic, but the description of her life! You, and thousands like you, just an extra problem.

Jul

Jan. 10, 2021, 11:46 a.m.

I feel very strongly about this. The NHS is underfunded to be sure but I feel the NHS management has to urgently address the patients who like Andrew are not given the same priority as Covid patients. Jul xx

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 10, 2021, 12:04 p.m.

Oh Andrew, that's very tough. I really hope a new appointment is made for you asap. best wishes to you, stay strong and safe, swm x

Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 1:04 p.m.

Sorry Andrew, this must be very unsettling for you. I thought they were still seeing cancer patients. How can they cancel appointments in November, we are only in January. That’s absurd xx

Marigold

Jan. 10, 2021, 2:06 p.m.

Any chance of finding an advocate,a person to speak up for you.So very sorry to hear this.

Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 4:06 p.m.

I agree we need to fight. My husband was left on the dust heap practically. Just had to keep ringing so that he was at least in the system. Then a GP called him and he was on the toilet. I was in bed. I called them back within half an hour and the doctor had gone home (left no message). New phone appointment for the 21st. Crazy to me. There is no urgency here so we accepted it. But don’t they realise that some people can’t get to the phone on time especially when disabled. Molly xx

AndrewH

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:33 p.m.

I was unclear - my consultant ordered tests for me in November but they haven't happened as all departments overloaded. My next treatment, due Tuesday, is cancelled as they've judged it's more of a risk for me to be on the chemo unit than to suspend the treatment. My consultant has been seconded to the COVID ward. On top of the staff redeployed to "front line" they now have an increasing number infected. I spoke to the nurse who co-ordinates things for me who sounded exhausted - in that unit there are 2 nurses doing 9 people's jobs. They're doing all they can but there's no staff left. Current estimates are 1 in 30 people in London currently infected and all London hospitals are swamped, yet still there's idiots out there not taking this seriously.

AndrewH

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:36 p.m.

I should add the team at my hospital are brilliant and the care I get is fantastic. Part of my current stress is I know they're putting their lives on the line and I'm scared for them.

The Gardener

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:14 p.m.

Andrew, how right you are about idiots not taking it seriously. Here in France the law is fierce, no mask, no bread, and a fine. A son in Australia says measures have been draconian, but infection rates have been very low, and economy thriving.

Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:37 p.m.

I get what you are saying Andrew, basically it’s not their fault and they have your best interests at heart. What an awful situation though xx

AndrewH

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:55 p.m.

Gardener - I get what you mean exactly. It's those countries who have been "draconian" who are coming through this.

Sally

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:21 a.m.

Room, how descriptive and lovely. My mother always used to say to me “:Build bridges”. Initially I found it very hard living up here in the North West, moving in 78 from the South East ...But she was wise. It was sound advice and although I fought, through immaturity , her words have stayed with me. It is the way forward. I remember a little Roman bridge up in the hills of Italian Switzerland, where the women used to congregate to do the weekly washing, using the rocks for scrubbing clothes, and the river water. They sang and chatted and laughed as they went about their chores. No washing machines for them back in the 60s... I see it all.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:51 a.m.

Hi Sally, what bridges did you feel you had to build after the great move oop north? Were they bridges with those you left behind or making new friends in your new place? Btw - I love your memory of women coming together to do the weekly wash in the river - I bet because it was mountain river, the clothes would have been super soft! The water would have been so cold but imagine doing that in the winter! Brr cold...!! Bear hugs x x x

Sally

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

With my in-laws, Bear. They were very, very different . F-in-law found an incomer hard...he was a rather cold, self -contained, implacable man. Who clearly found it hard to accept me ( too brash!) . Christmas particularly difficult as no concession to others made. Just their “we’ve always done it that way”. I had to be a person I was not, which I found demoralising. As somewhat exuberant by nature !

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 10, 2021, 2:15 p.m.

That’s really hard Sally, when we marry we end up with a mixed bunch of outlaws...some are wonderful, others...ugh! I don’t think of you as being brash! I hope your Christmas just gone has been one of your own style and making 80)) Bear hugs xx

Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 2:56 p.m.

Bear, I was surprised when Sally described herself as brash too! I was lucky with my mum in law, but I have had previous experiences with partner’s mothers. Sally, I know the type you describe regarding your father in law. Must have felt awful not being accepted xx

Sally

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:23 a.m.

By the way, I meant also to say that I liked your image/ metaphor and took on board your point. Very good one. Thank you.

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Kristin

Jan. 10, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

Room above the garage - What a great visualisation to use a bridge in your mind's eye to visualise distance between yourself and the subject causing anxiety, imagining yourself strong and rooted and grounded safely on one side and the source of concern distanced on the other bank. I shall definitely give this positive visualisation a go myself, thank you. Distancing seems especially relevant with the current situation with Covid (as you say we do need to be aware of what is going on in order to know how to keep safest), however for self-protection for our mental health keeping a distance with psychotherapeutic strategies such as mindfulness techniques including visualisations from a safer perspective is very wise.

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Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:02 a.m.

Hi dear Ratg, Bear here writing a postcard reply to you - the picture on the reverse is of one of my favourite bridges: the Menai Suspension Bridge, with its majestic towers and heavy chains that hold the road up, as you cross the swirling waters of the Menai Strait over to Môn, Mam Cymru - Anglesey, Mother of Wales! Being a witness to your thoughts, acknowledging them, thanking them for being there and then letting go - is one of the things I’ve been trying to practise daily but especially when the monkey mind takes over in the night and the mind is racing. It is a helpful strategy and lets the mind relax afterwards. Using the bridge metaphor is a really good way of seeing the thoughts there and taking steps toward the thoughts when you are ready ;)* Thank you so much for a beautifully written blog - you are very thoughtful in your writing and are appreciated here on Moodscope. Love and Bear hugs x x x

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Jul

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:30 a.m.

Hello ratg. I love the imagery. I tried visualising a bridge and standing on one side and seeing Covid and all is grimness on the other side. It sort of worked but I shall have to work at it! You've now got me thinking about bridges and those I've crossed and looked at. Marvels of engineering. And a tiny bridge in Scotland where we used to live which was over a river with a ramshackle gate to lean over on either side where I played pooh sticks with our son. Jul xx

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Orangeblossom

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:42 a.m.

Thanks for the blog RATG. I found it very helpful, encouraging & thoughtful. I have just finished reading Nan Shepherd’s (1894-1981)‘The Living Mountain: a celebration of the Cairngorms. It was introduced by Robert Macfarlane, the nature poet, writer & journalist of the Guardian who initially recommended it to me. Nothing like I have read before, but I found it expansive. She talked of bridges across burns in the mountain range.

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Sarah yellow rose

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:53 a.m.

Thank you for the wonderful blog Ratg, it really lifted my spirits xx

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Oli

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:03 a.m.

Well here’s an interesting one: bridges, for me, appear to carry quite a bit more psychological weight than I expected. This morning I have been thinking and feeling my way across bridges. I’ve noticed that I don’t feel comfortable with the feeling of having something unpleasant and threatening on the far side, and having to walk away from it. Instead, the bridge itself becomes the path I feel compelled to cross as I go from safety towards fear. The bridge is a path of confrontation, towards what feels like combat. I feel I need to go towards the thing I don't like because I really don’t like the idea of leaving the bridge undefended while that threat is over there. I have to deal with it. Fortunately I seem to be able to relate to non-threatening ideas of bridges too but they still represent significant transitions as I cross from one state to another. The bridge is really similar to the metaphor of the portal in the way it feels to me. I had no idea that the bridge was such a powerful metaphor with me, thanks ratg, I’ve learned something. It's definitely something which I file away as, "that's interesting; wonder if it means anything?" Just to add with regard to the main point that I get value from the idea of perspective taking — lots of value. Thanks for the blog :-)

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Salt Water Mum

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

Thank you RATG for your insightful blog. I took a few moments this morning to imagine a bridge I know and did the 'exercise' you speak of. But, exactly like Oli above, I wasn't comfortable either. So I turned to another bridge in my imagination - same thing, something sort of threatening on the other side made me feel uneasy rather than feeling separate from it... so I tried another bridge. Same thing! Exactly like Oli again, I felt I needed to confront the dark on the other side by going over the bridge. I didn't feel comfortable standing looking at the dark side over the bridge. Neither did I want to turn my back on the dark side. Oh my goodness isn't this fascinating? Like you Oli, I am so curious as to what this means... I had no idea I had 'bridge issues'!!! :-)))))) On my many walks outdoors, I must say I love crossing bridges. I get a teeny tiny surge of adrenaline... Thank you RATG for inspiring me to ask myself questions. We are always learning aren't we? Happy Sunday Moodscopers, swm x

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Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 1:32 p.m.

bridge issues SWM!! Ha ha xx

The Gardener

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:40 a.m.

RATG, lovely breath of 'fresh air' real or metaphorical bridge. Near here, until the 1960's, was a delightful little rural railway line. Gone, of course, but been maintained as a beautiful walk. There is a bridge 'A Bridge over tumbling water'. One side calm, then it meets a natural wall of stones - it tumbles, gurgles, rushes, ferns cling to the sides, then sun makes rainbows on the whirlpools as it becomes a stream. Could watch it for hours - amazingly calm and therapeutic. Useless for Pooh sticks though. xx

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Kristin

Jan. 10, 2021, 9:37 p.m.

Gardener - I love this imagery - takes me to my happy place, I love the sound of waterfalls and trickling, bubbling streams and brooks. I like the idea of a calm side and an active side. Also the image of the "rainbows on the whirlpools". I also "could watch for hours" and find the sight, sounds, the effects on all the senses calming and therapeutic. If I can't find somewhere in reality looking a photographic images and listening to those music CDs that combine sounds of nature including running water.

The Gardener

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:49 a.m.

I am going to put some make up on - going out to lunch, so can take mask off. In India, I, Mr G and his brother were booked into an 'eco' lodge, much lauded in glossy mags. Mr G and I had romantically chosen a 'tree house'. Picture of his brother and I, crossing a shaky bamboo bridge with rope holds, going to this forest heaven. Thankful they had other space. Terrifying. Snakes beside the paths. Rumoured leopards in the trees. No phones, no electricity. We took rooms in the 'hotel', scariest things leeches. But that bridge! See it now, and my quaking b-in-law.

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Sally

Jan. 10, 2021, 5 p.m.

Gardener, have you been to Florence? We went to an Osteria where there was a Juliet balcony above the main dining room. Table for 2. We were put up there. It was a real experience. So romantic!!

The Gardener

Jan. 10, 2021, 5:38 p.m.

Sally, only been to Florence for an overnight stay on way back to Rome. Got a parking fine, as we were in an Avis car took 11 months to catch up with us!

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 10, 2021, 11:16 a.m.

Dear TG, what an adventure in India... a romantic eco tree house with wobbly bamboo bridge, snakes and leopards... Wow!! You have some fabulous memories. and ps. I love playing Pooh Sticks :-)))

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The Gardener

Jan. 10, 2021, 5:40 p.m.

SEM, there was no hype or exaggeration! The visitors book was given over to remarks on leeches. Would be cartoonists portraying them like Hissing Sid? In Jungle Book?

Ach UK

Jan. 10, 2021, 1:45 p.m.

Hi RATG, Oh my goodness I enjoyed reading your blog and the delaying tactic of putting distance or time to allow arranging a better defence yes that is a useful tactic and has been/ is being employed to good effect. It has been of benefit to me. However my brain came up with similar bridge imagery to Oli and SWM - I felt quite uncomfortable, couldn't for the life of me imagine a positive imagery of vibrations on the bridge my best was the Fol-de-rol Bridge with a dirty great Troll standing in the middle of it, or the Bridge from Lord of the Rings when the river rises up and floods down upon the enemy trying to cross the bridge. The antidote to those two miserable scenarios is a real bridge I have crossed over/paddled under, whose footings are Roman, main arches and parapet Anglo-Saxon and side arches and the road-surface mostly Victorian. This remembrance gives me hope. For thousands of years hundreds of people have been crossing back and forth over this Bridge. It has been remodeled time and again and still it endures. Dear Ratg, Keep safe this day. XX Ach.

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Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 1:52 p.m.

How interesting RATG. I’m going to have to work on this, because like Oli and SWM, I seemed to be stuck on the bridge I was trying to cross, afraid of going any further.... Bridges aside, I do need to help myself more (I’m really not good at this). Even if it’s small things like remembering to take my vitamins and meditating. In fact I’m wondering if the bridge theory might work better during a meditation. I will try that. I often have dreams where I can’t get to my destination. Plenty to think about here. Thanks RATG xx

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the room above the garage

Jan. 10, 2021, 10:43 p.m.

Hello everybody, I’ve read each and every reply and return. Dearest Andrew, I’m heart sad for the troubles, doubt, confusion and hurt and I am sending the best I can can through the ether in the hope something breaks through for you. Please know that if you need to vent, be frustrated here, be sorrowful here, tell the worst here and say what you can’t otherwise then I, and we, will listen and sit beside you. I know that’s nothing, but it is meant. I send best. To all...I’ve had a burst pipe. Mess, flood, damage and no heating. Yucky day. It will mend. Tired and in bed heating up. Tricky days for us all. I’m glad to walk beside you all, love ratg ***

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Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 10, 2021, 11:01 p.m.

Oh no, poor you and the kids Ratg, this is when you need Paul the plumber here...it will mend and you will get sorted and dried out - so sorry you are going through the mire. Sleep well and try not to worry about it - this too, will pass...Bear hugs x x x

Molly

Jan. 10, 2021, 11:19 p.m.

I was sitting here wondering where you were today RATG. This is a huge issue especially in the cold weather. I can’t get warm at all even with heating and four layers. Neither can my elderly neighbour so I’ve ordered her a fleece blanket and some thermal tights. I don’t know when they will arrive but it’s going to get colder from what I hear. I hope your issues are sorted soon, you can’t be without heating at this time xx

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 11, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

Oh Room, nooooo a burst pipe that's awful. I do feel for you. I had a leak and on and off heating over the xmas so I feel your pain. But a burst pipe... oh I hope you get a good efficient decent plumber and it gets sorted as soon as poss. Hugs, swm x

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