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Don’t pet the porcupine. Wednesday April 9, 2014

I Hate Everybody!

No, OK, OK I don’t really, but there are periods when that “hostile” card gets marked with a very solid three. It’s the first day of the Easter holidays today and it was a very high 2.

So, in no particular order: the people I hate.

• Those who keep telling me, with saccharine voices that “Family comes first.” Actually, no: my health has to come first because if I don’t look after me then my family is shortly going to have a sectioned mother or no mother at all!
• Those puzzled people who say “But you’re always so bright and bubbly and optimistic; surely you don’t get depressed.”
• The people who want me to DO things. I hate them even more when I say “yes”.
• People who come to the door selling things or asking for charity.
• People who phone me.
• People who email me.
• My friends (even my Moodscope Buddies).
• My husband (who is lovely).
• My children (who are lovely for quite of lot of the time really).

Just at the moment I feel like a porcupine. I’m not just spiky, I’m offensively spiky. It takes a real effort of will not to snap at people. Even the delightful postman was nearly snarled at today. He was telling me about his recent holiday. Normally I’d be interested, but today my brain was screaming “GO AWAY” and my smile felt like congealed cheese on a cold beef burger.

I hate myself the most, because this is like being possessed by an alien. This growling rage is utterly foreign to the person I am for most of the time. I know it’s all chemical; it’s a part of the bi-polar thing, but it’s really not nice for anyone; not my family, not my friends, definitely not for me.

This is where the discipline comes in. It’s time for my EFT exercises (Tapping) it’s time for meditation. For me, doing this is as effective as drugs, but it takes longer and I hate it. Oh, and I hate my therapist too (wonderful woman that she is).

Deep breath.

Because, really, I love them all. I need to remember this and everyone else needs to remember this too. It will pass. It will get better. In the meantime – just don’t pet the porcupine, OK?

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 8:26am

An interesting post Mary and one that resonates with me in some ways. I hope you're feeling better by the time you read this. Sometimes Greta Garbo was right!

valerie Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 8:55am

Oh yes,I know about days like this.I think you are wise to accept how you feel,rather than try to force yourself to be sociable and sweet.A Gestalt therapist told me once that depression has at its heart unspoken anger-turned inwards.Anxiety he said was largely down to indecision.
Two great inventions for people like us are the answering machine,and email.

Lex McKee Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 9:17am

Wonderfully honest post, Mary. I never felt the "Hostile" card on Moodscope went high enough - 3 just didn't work for me... more like 12. So I 'get' your post.
The key thing is the coping strategies until it passes, and I hope there will be lots of strategies shared today.
I know the more I resisted the alien, the porcupine, the rage... the stronger it got. It fed off my attention.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 9:24am

You've described that prickly feeling with such accuracy, such gentle humour, and such insight - what a gift for the rest of us that you have the strength and skill to do this in the very midst of feeling that way. I can't wait to read your novel - it's clearly going to be pure gold.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 9:25am

Thanks Mary for your honest post.
A lot of the time I wish everyone would leave me alone. Actually though its only a few people left who have stuck by me through thick and thin.
I find I hate myself for being one thing outwardly opposite to what's going on in my head.
Coffee with friend who talks and talks. I sit there nodding and smiling but in my head Im thinking " shut up !". " I want to go home!"
If my mum phones I become "little girl Julie" and respond the way a good little girl should but inside my head I'm thinking "why did you let bad things happen when I was growing up" and "why don't you ask me how I am?"
It feels like Im 2 faced and I don't like that in myself. But anger is an emotion that I fear. I can't hurt people by being honest. I feel like I'm a contradiction and inside and outside don't match up.
Julie x

Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 10:05am

It's not two-faced, it's the best coping strategy you have found so far. I'm in my sixties and when, after some good therapy in my fifties, I realised that I didn't have to please everyone by being the person they wanted me to be a great weight was lifted. I realised I didn't have to get angry with them, or me, just mentally and sometimes physically, quietly absent myself. That I have a right to do so, because after all, we need to look after ourselves as well as others. I also found that I like myself a whole lot more because I'm being authentic and not creating paradoxical feelings for myself. Good luck in your journey.

Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 10:26am

Excellent blog, Prickly. I can feel, sense, hear and almost taste your hostility. So get meditating. I also hate that scientific evidence and my own experience shows that this boring 'awareness' stuff helps. So stupidly simple, but so difficult without constant practice.
From another part-time porcupine
P.S. hope you don't think I am 'stroking' you.
Stop reading this and MEDITATE.

Mary Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 12:12pm

Thank you Spikey - your reply made me chuckle. I did meditate (and tap) and, curse it, it does work. Isn't that just so annoying?

Mary Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 12:19pm

Bless you Lex, as always: you are a delight and a source of constant encouragement. I like the idea of a 12 for the hostile card. I must revisit the post you wrote on it. I've now got an image of a Vogon guard (From Htich-hikers' Guide to the Galaxy" shouting "Resistance is Useless!". Now, the Vogons: what an inspiration for hating everyone and everything - and then writing bad poetry about it!

Mary Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 12:21pm

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. When I write such "raw" pieces, I do always worry about how they are going to be taken by all you lovely Moodscope people. I should know I can trust you to take it the way it's meant!

Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 12:38pm

Ah spiky and prickly they my friends too ! I hope we all find that happy space that allows us feel free again. Being aware is a great start now I just got to work on coping strategies. I wish I knew how to switch off and meditate perhaps I will give it a go!;) as always Thankyou x your friend the cactus plant ;))))

Vanessa Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 3:35pm

I, too, have hedgehog moments, they are not easy. When they happen, I need to be alone, and plant some seeds! xx

Melanie Lowndes Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 7:14pm

I love your post Mary AND your reply to Spikey about it being annoying that the EFT etc works. Makes me laugh and feel better - good almost! THANK YOU! Grumpy X

Anonymous Wed, Apr 9th 2014 @ 9:13pm

thank you very much for your honest post, I too can totally relate to this. anger has never been something I've been comfortable with either so heap guilt on myself when I feel porcupine like. so thank you very much for your honesty, made me smile :) xx

The Creative Beast Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 4:09am

Thank you thank you THANK YOU for your blistering honesty in writing this post!! So few people will even acknowledge feeling any anger toward family or loved ones, but sometimes even those we love will get on our nerves, especially when spouting things like "family comes first". I WHOLEHEARTEDLY support you and your efforts at self care so there is no "sectioned mother" that is unavailable due to health issues!! The past few days I've not been feeling particularly loving toward my SO, but then I always remember something his grandmother said about hist grandfather while he alive - "I may not always like my husband, but I do love him!" It reminded me that we can't love our close ones 24/7 and that's OKAY! So long as we allow our feelings room to be, they will eventually dissipate and we can be restored to our loving feelings again =-)

Thank you again!!

Julia Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:23am

Dear Mary
I do hope you are not going through a particularly rough time although I suspect you might be. I did email Caroline asking how you were only two days ago. I have had a rough patch which is more of a desert than patch in its length of time. I am almost at the point of accepting this is me and how I will always be and not to expect any more.Anyway just to say take each day as it comes and look no further ahead.You really do not know what the future holds.It could be bright! x

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:27am

I shall write and recite some poetry today in honour of you and this post. I hope you brought your towel with you Mary!

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 9:22am

Got to sneak a naughty one in hear in case I can get away with it...
How do porcupines make love?

Anonymous Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 9:33am

Really relate to this post so thank you for saying what i think alot but i always feel so guilty when i have those sorts of thoughts and being brought you with " if you havent got anything nice to say then dont say anything" hasnt helped
there are days when i get told im too quiet but i have to be because if i really said what i wanted to say i would lose the people i love or they would look at me and think she is on one today i carry alot of guilt around because i choose not to say what i really want to say but i have had to start putting my health first due to alot of things going on and in return i dont get asked out very often to various things because always when i find out afterwards i get told well we didnt ask you because you never come anyway you always have an excuse which upsets me big time it hurts so much that people i thought were going to be there for me are only there when it suits them
but with the help of friends ive made online and using various different aids including tapping and affaimations i am learning to let go of all the anger and bad thoughts that pop into my head

i can only control my reaction to anything that is said or done

again thank you x

valerie Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 10:59am

very carefully

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 12:34pm

Exactly! Thanks, Valerie... hope you grinned.

vanessa Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 3:20pm

made me laugh! x

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:34pm

Mission accomplished!

ginnyjollykidd Fri, Apr 11th 2014 @ 5:53am

I am lucky and grateful that I have asserted and exercised my choices to be around whomever I want or not. I do not feel obligated to my family--who in turn are free to be unobligated to me. Win-win situation we've developed over the years! I will visit my condo neighbors or not, and there is always a door between me and them. If I feel like I am prickly and they are prickly, I stay away and don't let their pricklies prick my prickles. (Try saying that 3 times fast!)

I decide how much time I can give someone without going crazy, and over the years I have developed exit lines that work, are courteous, and allow me to free myself without protests and guilt. I have worked on this as long as I have been a member of DBSA--Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (a wonderful American non-profit organization!) as well as many other thriving techniques.

I can honestly say I have grown quite a bit over the years, and I have been able to embrace my illness, whether I'm ill or well (well, you know what I mean--way off or even and content).

This Moodscope tool has been one of my best tools in tracking mood. It allows me to explain my cards and percentages and get a better view of things.

And by the way: THANK YOU! For everything, but in particular, for putting the chart in the old format: viewing a month at a time. It is easier to select one month, get it copied, and share it with my doctor. We have made a lot of decisions based on it, and it is easy to read.

ginnyjollykidd Fri, Apr 11th 2014 @ 6:02am

As annoying as realizing as a teen that my mother was always right in our arguments. Then I grew up and found out there are some things I really do know more about than she did. I find it evens out in the end.

caroline ashcroft Fri, Apr 11th 2014 @ 11:33pm

Hi ginnyjollykidd, I'm so pleased that you have found Moodscope so helpful. That's great.

Cris Mon, Apr 14th 2014 @ 10:41am

Hello there
I am new at moodscope and i am brasilian ( actualy living in brasil). Just got back from a 20 days busines trip to india and china, and somehow couldn't do anymore. I fou d myself with an awful pain in my back and neck, don't know how much of it were fruit of my body saying can't push harder. I am tired , had another busines trip to go and just said no! So i am stuck at my bed for 3 days just watching movies on tv, reading the newspaper, and most of all, eating good tasty stuff (=u healthy)

Cris Mon, Apr 14th 2014 @ 10:45am

Well i had to finish unspectably, lol. But why comment your blog, is because i feel the same. Just feel like a need sometime to go on. And i liked the way you just accepted your feelings. I guess i have to cope with mine and don't feel guilty for being like that.
Thankf for posting that. It was good to me.

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