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Concentration. Tuesday April 5, 2016

I am trying to write a blog. The trouble is I have so many ideas I do not know which one to choose. I start with one then get stuck so start on another and another but then decide they are all going nowhere.

You would think having lots of ideas is wonderful and is so creative. Having ideas without follow up is not helpful. Maybe it is not the having the ideas that is my problem but my short attention span. I also read a few books at once, I can never just read one book cover to cover, but I start one book then skim through another then read the last book one page a day.

My teachers told me I was not good at concentrating, my family have told me I am impatient, but all the time I feel I am creative.

When I was manic, I was told I had what is called flight of ideas - which is a rapid shifting of ideas with only a very loose connection between them. This is expressed as a rambling from subject to subject.

I fear this is my normal mode of thinking just much faster when manic. Friends say it can be hard to keep up with my train of thought as I flit from one subject to the next while they are still pondering the first!

While I like having lots of ideas, I think it would be helpful if I could focus on one idea and not be distracted by other thoughts and knowledge.

I have tried meditation, mindfulness mind mapping but somehow my mind can not or has trouble thinking about, writing about one idea or reading one book at a time.

Do I just accept this as part of who I am or do I try to change.? Can anyone else relate to this?

A Moodscope member

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

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Daniel Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:21am

Hey Leah

I am right with you ). I too struggle with concentration. I also get lots of ideas but find I don't always follow through. I have found however that if I take on too much it increases my mania until I end up collapsing with exhaustion when I come down. Then I become depressed. The hardest thing I have found is being able to do one thing at a time. It takes a great deal of discipline for me. But when I do just one thing at a time, I do get more done and my creativity can flourish because all my energy is going into that project. And makes me much calmer more positive and much happier.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:16am

Daniel, Thanks for your post which had some useful ideas. I must try to be more disciplined and do one thing at a time but even if I do I am planning a few more. I will keep trying. Glad you have found a way to be calmer.

Anonymous Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:37am

Hi Leah. When I am feeling good and a bit OTT, I have ideas which are not related to each other, your flight of ideas; however I do like to have just one book on the go all the time. If I have peace and quiet, I can concentrate on the book totally. My son has several books on the go and I can't understand this; he's an English literature post doc! Do you think that owning a bookshop makes you want to start to read lots of books? But your blog is about concentrating and being creative. I must say my most creative periods are when I'm feeling great after a good night's sleep and am raring to go. After a day like I too am exhausted like Daniel above and feel depressed. Jul xx

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:19am

Jul, You have given me a lot to think about. A goodnight's sleep is so rare for me that I don't know how it would make me feel. I think I want to read so many books that just one at a time would not give me a challenge or enough stimulation. Thanks again.xx

Sarah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:01am

Hi Leah
Yes I can relate to you. I read more than one book depending on my mood as some books have a serious and historical topic and some a story so it's nice to choose. I can also stick to one , so I see it as a choice. Interestingly my sisters and I can all speak at once and appear to not be taking in the topic and flit around which annoys other people as they cant follow. But we see it as a news bulletin and process all the information later including responses. We just laugh if people comment.
Maybe you could reframe your idea and see yourself as sharp and able to multi task? I think you are amazing. Sarah ( yellow rose one, ratg's idea)

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:21am

Thanks Sarah for your kind and helpful words. My joke about multi tasking is to say I do it well I just do 6 things badly!!

LillyPet Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:08am

Morning Leah, I can relate a little to what you've described. When I've had alot of things to do at home in a limited time, I've flown around in a but of a panic, jumping from one to the next ("I'll just quickly do that while I'm here...") and have ended up running late, not having given myself enough time to get ready or allowing extra time for getting to where I need to be a bit early so that I'm calm. I'm working on it though! I avoid the living room and kitchen before work now!
I'm very focussed when it comes to ideas, I naturally have a determination to get to the end point and not miss anything on the way. Sounds good, but overthinking can be tiresome. The positive side is that solutions often spring to mind on the journey!
What struck me about your blog whas that it was completely focussed on the point you were making and so organised! Writing is more concrete, so maybe having something concrete to stick to or hold on to when it comes to ideas might help. I've found it hard not to let my mind drift when trying to meditate or practice mindfulness, but noticing distractions, allowing them to drift by, gently bringing myself back without judging myself has made it easier with practice.
Mindfullness feels good to me, it's calming. I dont do it to change who I am, I just want to feel less stressed.
Wishing you and all gentleness and peace. Love LP xx

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:25am

Thanks Lilypet, I suppose I was cheating a bit with the blog, a tool many people who write do, by writing about what you are trying to do. Then I can focus and not worry and once written it did give me other ideas that I could use and finish. I do a Leah's version of mindfulness just using breathing and trying to focus but other thoughts keep coming even if I acknowledge, accept and discard them one by one. I do try. Thanks for some useful advice. xx

Hopeful One Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:12am

Hi Leah- thank you for touching a subject which I used to have a problem with but have mastered it to a certain degree with meditation.Its unfortunate that it does not work for you.. What you describe could be called being a 'thinkoholic'. Apparently the reason for this is that our brain likes stimulation and dislikes boredom.It maintains the stimulation with the neurotransmitter dopamine.When boredom appears it asks for more dopamine. When it gets that the so called 'dopamine gate' shuts and we remain focused on whatever we are doing. One will maintain concentration on one subject as long as that gate remains shut.However concentration has a companion called awareness.This two evolve together. Meditation enhances both and indeed different types of meditation stress one or the other or both eg Bhakti Yoga for awareness or Zen for concentration .Focusing on the breath ,the most common form of meditation focuses on both in equal proportions. You could try simply saying 'close the gate' when your mind gets distracted by a thought unrelated to what you are doing.

Today's laugh?

The inebriated driver, figuring that the traffic officer wasn't coming back to him as his attention was diverted to an incident on the other side of the road, drove home and went to bed. He was awakened in the morning by a knock on the door. He opened it to find two traffic Officers standing there."Are you Mr. Johnson we pulled over at Main Street last night for driving under the influence?" The man admitted that was he."And what did you do then?," the officers asked. The man replied that he drove his car home and went to bed."Where is your car now?" the troopers enquired. The man answered that it was in the garage."May we see the car?" asked the troopers. The man answered, "Sure," and opened the garage.Inside the garage was the Traffic Officers car.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:28am

Hopeful One, I love the word thinkaholic, describes me to a tee. As I wrote to Lily I do try mindfulness , yoga, etc. Close the gate is a useful idea, but I would then think about if it was a big or small gate, a wooden or metal- get the picture of my brain!!!

Anonymous Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:23am

Thinkaholic..that's me! Alain De Botton I think it was who said he sets aside some time every day to stop thinking and to listen. Julxx

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:06pm

Jul, I love that idea from Alain de Botton. Thanks Julxx

Anna Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:44am

Good morning Leah, I do relate and have also experienced mania. Like you, even when not clinically manic I can also suffer from "monkey mind" as it's known by the buhddists.

What you did in writing your blog seemed to work, even if you do think it was cheating. I find that writing is often the only way to slow down my thoughts. Sometimes my writing starts off too fast too, so I actually bought myself a ream of lovely A3 paper. I take a thick felt-tip, lay the out on the floor (which somehow seems better than a table at the time) and just write words all over it at different angles. I then take another page and slowly my thoughts become more focused, until they are distilled into a neat, byroed list in a normal sized notebook.

This probably sounds insane to those who've not experienced mania or monkey mind but it works for me. Meditation and yoga I like, but they aren't a way of marshalling those thoughts for me. He thoughts need to be coaxed and tamed into what they are trying to get at, not ignored. It may seem a ver bipolar thing to say but I do believe there are nuggets of truth, genius and wisdom in them, if only we can tie them down.


Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:48am

Anna, Thanks for your detailed response and for sharing your thoughts.

Salt Water Mum Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:53am

Oh Leah I hear you!!

I too am a 'thinkaholic' who suffers from 'monkey mind' and what I call 'racy head' .

I have piles of books on either side of my book and more in waiting. I generally have three, four or five books on the go. At the moment, for example, I have a literary novel I'm struggling through, A book of short stories that is making me cry, my book club book that I've only read a chapter of, a YA book for teens that I'm loving, a poetry book that I regularly dip into and a crime book that is just scarily fab....

From the moment I wake up, my poor little mind is racing from thought to thought, from worry to worry, from plan to plan. I do speak fast and sometimes my thoughts don't seem related at all on the outside - but they are to me on the inside! A friend recently asked how I got from thought A to thought B and I ran through the stream of thoughts in my head that had connected A and B - some of which were funny and some very very dark - and the look on my friend's face!!! I asked 'but isn't the inside of everyone's head like this?' Apparently not!

I do work in the arts so this creative flow of ideas is a positive. BUT.... only at the beginning. Creative ideas tumble through my head and it's invigorating but like HO says, boredom sets in and then I can't concentrate and I lose interest and .... BOOM new ideas arrive and another idea and yet another. So, I have many projects started (many many) and few that get my full dedication and my full concentration and so very few that actually get completed!!!

So, I am watching and reading with interest,

Thanks Leah


Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:50am

SWM, I can relate so much to your post. Thanks for your honesty and your wonderful descriptive way of writing.

Nikki Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:58am

Morning Leah
I NEVER comment, but just had to on yours as the words could have been coming from my mouth!!
I am 42 and have struggled all my life with MH difficulties - BPD, Bipolar and all whilst relatively holding it together (on the outside)
18 months ago things started falling apart and like yourself, I have never been able to concentrate or stick at anything-EVER.
A big reason for this, and the crux of everything really is-I don't know who I am. I don't know what I like, what I enjoy, even what I dislike. I have a CPN now and even after 18 months I am no nearer finding out these things. So in last week's sessions we talked about-maybe that's just who/how I am, and maybe that doesn't need fixing!? I am not sure....I want the magic cure, the magic 'hobby' that will absorb me and make it all go away but honestly, After trying literally every hobby in the book, I don't think another one will help me! So maybe this is just me? I don't love that idea, but maybe your right, maybe acceptance is the way forward. .....

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:56am

NIkki, I am so glad you chose to comment. I also feel I don't know who I am and what I like. Acceptance is hard when others including friends and books are trying to change me! I look forward to more comments from you.

Sally Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:23am

That first sentence sums me up too, Leah. Thank you for your excellent blog. I get bored finishing off things and am utterly useless at keeping a house tidy. But I am glad I have ideas and as long as I don't get a manic episode I can more or less cope. I am creative and worry when ideas dry up. It helps that I no longer have to please others at work but work for myself. I think it's just who I am, and I have come to accept it. Have faith in yourself, Leah . You are a grave blogger. Thank goodness we are all different and unique!

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:00pm

Sally Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Yes we should value the difference in each of us.

Sally Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:24am

Sorry... Typo above "brave" not "grave"!!!

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:01pm

Sally- too funny. I was hoping you meant great!!! Never thought of brave but it makes sense!!!

C Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:32am

Have a look at the TED talk by Adam Grant about The Surprising Habbits of Original Thinkers - it turns out procrastinators & those with doubts are some of the most creative people!

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:01pm

Thanks C- I like TED talks- will look at that one.

Sheena Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:52am

Hi Leah - I would agree with the replies that encourage one thing at a time! If you can do just one task and really be in that task (absolutely NO multi-tasking) you will discover 'flow'. Also being creative has to 'make' something. So, ask yourself what you have made or achieved and this will focus ideas that work for you. Im sure we have all been encouraged to change tack frequently and to tolerate interruptions. Sometimes this has to be - but not all the time. Be yourself, you sound interesting and thoughtful (in a good way). Sheena

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:02pm

Sheena, I will take your advice on board. Thanks for replying.

Lexi Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 11:53am

Morning Leah! I know exactly what you are describing. I used to be like this: rapid fire thoughts went through my brain. As soon as I said one thing I was on to the next. I guess I was manic, but I just felt energized. I would start so many projects, get none done. But when I starting taking medication and running things came into focus. I meditate every morning now, but like others, when I was manic and not with meds I had a very hard time sitting still and just observing. Now I can sit for much longer. I am still a creative person (I hope?) but now I am just able to see through my projects and I do get joy from their completion. So for me running - just exhausting my brain but probably all the breathing too - helps me a lot as do my meds. But my final note is to say: Yes! accept who you are because you're beautiful in every way!

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:04pm

Thanks Lexi for sharing your personal insights and thanks for your kind words.

Richard Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:40pm

Leah. Thankyou for this. Anna (08:44) mentioned "Monkey Mind". I experience mania a lot. "The Chimp Paradox" by Steve Peters is a good read, and seems to have helped people.
Lexi hits the nail on the head. I've never been so emotional when writing a blog. I think it's because I just got a brilliant text reply from my youngest brother when I opened up and said I was struggling a little today.
"Chin up, Rich" was all he wrote.
That's my point. Supportive family and friends are more important than anything.
I hope this helps.
Peace and Love,
Richard The Busker.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:27pm

Richard, Thanks for your helpful post. I had not heard the term Monkey mind before today so I will look it up. I agree totally about family and friends support tht is where I feel moodscope is so supportive. Take care, Leah

The Gardener Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:52pm

Hi Leah, feel for you - when I was manic I thought I was brilliant - but only to me - others fazed totally. I can still have 20 thoughts a minute - but, to my own surprise have disciplined my mind - dealing with enormous challenges, numerous breakdowns, Mr G getting worse - just have to go for priorities - I don't like losing my 'dizziness' most of the time it made life fascinating if risky.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:30pm

Gardener, You only have 20 thoughts a minute!! That is so true that it does make life fascinating if risky and challenging. We are who we are. Sorry about Mr G but good you are still keep on keeping on and making priorities. I so admire your determination. Hugs xx

The Gardener Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:55pm

Internet 'down' last two days. anon, two days ago, asked if I might have divorced Mr G then answered it himself. What I suffered, and has been, I think, glossed over by people here, is how people use mainc-depression against you. Mine all stopped 30 years ago when it was found I was suffering from major mineral lack problems. Mr G nearly died last year of sodium deficiency, common in the old but not often recognised

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:32pm

Gardener, I nearly cried when I read ' how people use manic-depression against you' and I so agree but thats another story another blog.

The Gardener Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 12:57pm

Back to Anon, When our marriage needed serious attention, real issues, Mr G backed into his conviction that I was still depressed, nothing he needed to do, 'she's in one of her 'moods' she'll get over it. Things could have got very serious until:- (computer probs)

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:34pm

Gardener, I am nodding here. I went to marriage counselling with my first marriage and my ex managed to get the counsellor to focus on my illness and problems. Sure it did contribute but it takes two to tango. Thanks so much for sharing this.

The Gardener Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 1:00pm

We moved to France - I becamne a full-time historian Mr g did most of the doing-up of our historic house. He tried to back out of learning French, I would have none of ibt - so we both had enormous challenges and both proud of our achievements - also saved our marriage. Then he got macular generation - for last 8 years has been an absolute limpet, will accept no professional help for his anger against the world, so life is one-sided and I just coped by keeping outside interests till alzheimers hit us.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:37pm

Gardener, I hope when people read your posts that get to understand just a bit because only you can truly understand what you have coped with and struggle with daily. You are an inspiration and I thank you for your posts that certainly enrich my day and my life.xx

Anonymous Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 1:14pm

I am great at starting 100 things, but so challenged by finishing. At the recommendation of a dear cousin, I recently read "Refuse to Choose" and it talks about how normal this fascination with many topics and projects can be, and how folks like us can learn to not only survive but thrive. Struggling against our nature can be such a trigger for depression and anxiety!

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:38pm

Anon, Thanks for recommending "Refuse to Choose" I will investigate that further.It sounds very informative.

Carol Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 1:33pm

Thank you Leah and Daniel especially. I struggle with this all the time and it's so good to have others express both how they feel and how they deal with it so clearly.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:39pm

Thanks Carol. That is why moodscope provides a great safe place to do so.

Debs Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 2:41pm

Totally with you Leah - and judging by the comments lots of others too! I heard something recently that changed things for me - Buddhists (and highly successful people too) schedule EVERYTHING. And I mean everything. The whole day is planned and then they live by that schedule. Their diary 'tells them what to do'. I thought this sounded restrictive but it's actually the route to freedom. Give your word, put it in your schedule and then do it. I've been trying it and whilst it's hard it does work. This plus meditation... took me years to get into med but now I do it religiously (pardon the pun!)every day. These have been two of the most crucial parts of my recovery. And they work xxx

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:41pm

Debs, Thanks for your helpful comments. Funnily enough I am a great planner and list planner but I think my lists have too many ideas so maybe I shlould limit my lists.

Julie Wed, Apr 6th 2016 @ 11:32am

I would love to know what all these ideas are that you and other people are having all the time and what goes on these lists that your making. I think at all moments except for a few seconds peace here and there during meditation but I don't come up with this catalogue of ideas that your all talking about, or do you mean your just having a thought stream? I'm fascinated to know. BW Julie.

Leah Wed, Apr 6th 2016 @ 10:55pm

Julie, Thanks for your comment and your great question. It is different for everyone so I can only reply for myself. When I was trying to write a blog that prompted this blog, as I wrote at the beginning of the blog, I had several different topics. I started writing one and then had lots of ideas for the another one, then went back to first one but kept think of other ideas not related to that blog. Some of the ideas were related to other blogs, some ideas are about things I need to do in my life, sometimes it maybe a random idea from something I have read , heard or watched lately or simply a thought from a conversation I have had. It is hard to explain. Not sure what you see as a difference between and idea and a thought. In my mind an idea can start as a thought and a thought can turn into an idea. Have I confused you yet. I suppose my lists can be as simple what to do today so I dont keep thinking and worrying but write them down and focus. Other lists maybe a list for ideas for blogs, ideas for my writing, a list of my dreams, list of random thoughts, lists of things I remember about people who have died. I am not sure if I have answered your question so feel free to ask more. As I said this is just me and everyone is different. It was a good question as it made me think in concrete terms.Thanks again.

Mary Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 2:53pm

Totally relate - when high..... right now thoughts are emerging as though bubbles in treacle. But even then, when I was talking to a friend about the way my brain works she looked at me amazed. "You mean, you can be going around the supermarket and all these thoughts will be in your head at the same time?!!!" I gazed back at her in pity. "You mean that you *don't* have these thoughts? Then what do you fill your head with?" Our thoughts may be as difficult to corral as wild horses, but let us bless the fact that at least we have wild horses (let alone the fact that many of them are in fact unicorns!)

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:43pm

Mary, I am always amazed too that others don't constantly have all these thoughts while shopping, in the shower, anywhere and everywhere. It reminds me of a phrase my mum would quote " sometimes I sit and think and sometimes I just sit". Not me but I guess others do!!

Eva Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:28pm

My showers tend to extend as my thoughts go for a ride, which is pretty much every shower. Outside of showering I tend to try to be fairly disciplined, I use meditation and scheduling to get through the day, as recommended above. But the shower is a schedule free place.

Roberta Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 3:26pm

I have a pile of books that I very much want to read but, when I pick one up, I can't focus and keep re-reading each word. However, if I read something that relates directly to ME, there's no problem. Need to figure out how to meld the two together. All comments above are helpful and timely, as are the reading suggestions. I agree that scheduling things on paper is quite helpful and lends to a heightened sense of achievement. (probably NOT paying attention to politics here in the U.S. would be calming ...!!)

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:46pm

Roberta, That is interesting about how reading affects you. I think I just feel there are so many books out there if I stick to one I am missing out on others!! Politics in the US at the moment- no comment!!

Mj Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 4:55pm

Heck no Leah! Don't get rid of that enviable capacity for pumping out creative ideas! It is you. Period. So it's worthy of celebrating (as are you btw). Be creative in how you will capture that so it works best for you. Oh I don't know ... Like delegate some of it. Or Create a quick system for capturing ideas and corralling them. I'm old so I like 3x5 cards & decorated recipe boxes for filing them. I'm also hyper-organized but that's another topic.

We get so in the habit of seeing that which makes us unique as being a "symptom" of something gone wrong with us that we lose sight of our strengths. I think our greatest strengths can be our greatest weaknesses if we do not own them, celebrate them & turn them into gifts to the world.

I now stay away from those people who don't seem to be able to celebrate and capture & corral with me. Some people need to blow out your light to feel they then shine brighter. That isn't the way it works. The world is not served by that. Happiness comes from the light. They can't help it. They just aren't at the place where they can really find and celebrate their own or anyone's light.

Peace and light to you Leah,
Margaret from across the Pond

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:49pm

MJ. Thanks so much for your very kind words. "We get so in the habit of seeing that which makes us unique as being a 'symptom' of something wrong with us that we lose sight of our strengths. That is wonderful. I will write that out and place it where I can read it very day.

The Gardener Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 5:19pm

Feel muddled earlier trying to reply to anon. Many people here have problems with relationships. Depression is disruptive - makes those on the 'receiving' end wary. also, can be used as an excuse not to face real issues when there is no depression involved - people who can't face hard decisions will 'use' the other's one time depression not to face up to things. Catch 22 is'nt in it.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:50pm

Gardener, Depression in relationships is as you write very complicated.

Victoria Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 5:52pm

I feel you. Have you thought about having a notepad and pen handy, either when working or reading. When your mind heads off to what else you should do, write it down, then come back to what you were doing.
It's really hard. A little like getting a sleep routine for children where it feels easier to give in. But if you write your idea/task/book down you know you won't forget it. And you can drag your mind back to the task at hand.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:52pm

Victoria, I appreciate you taking time to comment. I have pen and pads in my handbags, backpack, beside my bed , in the bathroom. In fact I never go anywhere without one!! My trouble is I write something down and then go off a tangent and forget the original task. Did I mention I am easily distracted???

the room above the garage Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 6:07pm

Wow! Look at your blog, full of responses! I'll read through later. Just wanted to say yes, I relate. Have a thousand ideas which I try to tame into lists on my phone notes...each one a project. Full of passion to begin, but I am such a perfectionist that it has to be just right and so it takes time and I have little and so I move on to the next passionate list and many get started and none finished...leaving me cross and low. Even in household chores. Annoying! Awareness is the start I suppose. Great subject today Leah, love ratg xx.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:54pm

Thanks tratg, That is interesting, I like the idea of taming the ideas. Unlike you I am not a perfectionist, but think I should be doing something else so easily distracted. Thanks again xx

Thomas Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:08pm

I have never posted before but just wanted to say "thank you," as I too continually "suffer" from tons of ideas ("inspirations") and a lack of concentration. I have come to accept this as a sign of being in touch at some level with something really beyond us all. Your post and the responses to it confirm we are dealing with something very natural to our condition.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:56pm

Thomas, I really appreciate that you have posted to day on my blog. That means so much. I too have found the comments so supportive. Thank you so much.

Cara Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 7:53pm

Hi Leah,
Wow, it took me 2 hours to get through reading that because I've been jumping from thing to thing! So yes, I most definitely relate to what you experience. Whenever I get hypomanic I get the "flight of ideas"/ "racing thoughts". They jump around rapidly. When it starts becoming a mixed episode, the thoughts then become incomplete. Sort of like when I am hypomanic the thoughts are "Let's paint a seahorse!", start a conversation with random stranger "Wow can you believe the snow we're getting, you know what's a funny word 'waffle', I love reading about astrophysics. Did you recently hear about the latest bombing in Syria? I remember when I was 5 and got a calculator for Christmas, I'm working on _ at work, Angie called me yesterday. You know _ is getting married next week" all that in about 1 minute... but smiling and bubbly and wonderfully charismatic.
When the thoughts start becoming incomplete its more like "Let's paint a... snow, waffle, married," just like jumbled pictures and memories and music. I can't think and its a whirl going on in my brain, like a tornado swirling everything together so nothing can come out, then I just cry and scream and shout and rock and shake my head around.
Normally I do have jumping thoughts, but my impatience doesn't come out until I'm hypomanic. My mom and boyfriend say I hop around on subjects, but they don't really seem to mind. It happens really without me noticing... I'm still not very good at being mindful.

This train of thought, or rather "multiple-trains" at the station can be very helpful. Particularly in jobs that require switching from topic to topic. I was in projects and excelled because I could retain things and spew out information from a variety of projects quickly, accurately and didn't get flustered. For jobs that are single tasked, or work on one thing at a time, I don't particularly excel at.

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 8:00pm

Cara, I am reading your comments nodding and smiling. Your description of your train of thoughts when hypomanic rings so true and may give insight to people who have not experience this. I think you are right to find work that suits ones skills. I have many thoughts now after reading all these comments, I will need to make a list. Thank you so much for giving me more to think about.

Victoria Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:34pm

Please don't take this wrong, I am not in any way belittling what you were saying. But I've just had a really scary in depth conversation, my muscles are in so much pain and I'm knackered. And "let's paint a snow waffle" has made me smile so much and I feel I can go to bed a little easier ???? As a new life catchphrase, I think it's a winner x

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:36pm

Cara, what is a snow waffle? Is it real? I have only seen snow twice in my life!! Someone one told me my style of writing was a rambling narrative which pretty much describes my life as well!! What do you think??

Skyblue Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:36pm

Leah, what an interesting question you asked and all the replies are amazing. I didn't realize so many of 'us' have brains that operate this way. I'd never correlated my non-stop brain with a brain that tends to depression. Do we deplete our brain energy which then triggers depression? Or perhaps..... hmmmmmm, i definitely have to give this more thought. xx

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:26pm

Skyblue, Yes the comments including yours have been amazing. I suppose I associate my non-stop brain with my highs and not my depression but now I have even more to think about!! Thanks.

Salt Water Mum Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:51pm

Fabulous comments to your post Leah,

More to think about ahhhhh! My racy monkey brain is already full and muddled !

Yes, let's paint a snow waffle !

( I would add a happy face emoji or three but they turn into question marks I now realise so an explanation mark will have to do !)


Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:27pm

SWM, I suppose by nowI should not be surprised by the quality of comments on Moodscope but I am always delighted and my notepad is full of suggesstions, books, tedtalks etc.

Nicola Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:52pm

Hi Leah,
as so often on Moodscope, a blog where you go 'oh Thank God, it's not just me!'. I get told I think too much - as if it's a choice, and how can you think too much? But I am also amazed that other people's brains aren't like this, what do they think about? Thank you, excellent blog and really helpful xx

Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:29pm

Nicola, Yes knowing you are not alone is a great support. When people say to me you think way too much- I think(!) and why is that a bad thing!! Nicola your kind words help me , thanks.

Salt Water Mum Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 9:53pm

That's the first time I've ever commented twice to a post!

Ah here, that's three times now !!!

(I really need laughing emojis now !)


Leah Tue, Apr 5th 2016 @ 10:32pm

I replied to about to many of the posts at 4.30am my time(7.30pm your time) as my partner had to leave early for a work trip. Writing at that hour half asleep is a first for me. I hope I made some sense!! Maybe you should try for a 4th!!

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