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Drastic Action! Wednesday October 19, 2016

Oh, I loved Lex's Monday blog! I loved the multi-coloured dots and I adored his challenge to think outside the box.

I'm not very good at that. I'm very creative inside the box, but I always need that structure and security around me.

Except when I'm high. As I am right now.

So when Lex said "the length of the lines, the size of the dots, the width of the line, the 'size' of the frame - all these are negotiable," I was seized with the irresistible urge to grab an extra thick Sharpie and just draw one line through the whole lot!

There! Job done with one stroke, not four.

The trouble with this kind of drastic action is that, while the objective is certainly achieved (oh - those dots are certainly joined up now), the cost is inevitably high. In this case, no dots are visible at all. Oops.

I have suffered in the past from taking drastic action. My favourite activity seems to be decluttering. I am good at decluttering when I'm in this state. Too good, it turns out.

I threw out my children's Red Books in one such clear out. For those of you without children brought up in the UK, the Red Book contains the record of your child's weight and growth from birth and, most importantly, their official proof of inoculations. This is vital when they start school and the proofs are needed. Me? I have no idea when jabs happened: I know that they did, but I can't prove it.

Oh, I have thrown out so many things I later needed.

I have thrown out things I later realised I loved.

I have come so close to throwing out people I loved and needed.

I'm close to that now.

It has been a hard summer. The falling of the leaves and my kite-high mental state only strip the problems of their emotion and throw them into stark relief against a clear sky.

Like the kite, I long to cut loose the strings that hold me here and fly - just fly...

Have lap-top, have credit card, have spare pair of knickers and I can go anywhere; anywhere at all...

I can write anywhere, after all.

So I have to hold on to my common sense. Grab it tight and hold on hard!

This feeling is temporary. There is a crash at the other end. And, at the other end of that dark time, reality and proper emotions will be restored. Once again I will know I love and value my husband and family.

My friends in far flung places would be delighted to see me, but they would not wish me to abandon home and hearth to be with them. Buying a one-way ticket to Manila, to Munich, to Tomsk, to Phoenix, might go on the (credit) card, but is not on the cards...

So I'll write it all down here, and keep the credit card in safely in my pocket.

A Moodscope member.

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

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g Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 12:26am

I do love your blogs Mary , your distinctive voice recognizable after the first phrase , your painterly descriptions and audible pronouncements but most of all your honesty .
I call myself a minimalist hoarder which means that I love clear surfaces but have accumulated so much that it cannot be hidden. I hardly ever want to throw anything away as I do find unusual uses for all sorts such as upcycle , recycle , use in my art , etc. which happens very slowly due to time not being made by me for all of these but used somewhere else and my stuff multiplies . It is ironic and so true that when I do find courage to throw something away I do need it next minute. Another irony is that although I do have everything ( almost ) I do not remember anymore where everything is and sometimes it is quicker to nip to the shops than rummage through countless drawers and such ...
Well , I do not seem to find a solution for my mess but reading and writing here definitely helps how I feel and helps my sleep. Thank you . Night night...

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 5:39pm

bless you for your early comment. How well I know that feeling of not being able to find what I'm sure I have - somewhere...

Duma Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 6:31am


Sweet, as always, I can almost hear your tones.

My reply:

A long, cool summer.

Climbing, always climbing.

Stable and stable.

A crucial change of attitude.

Looking forward to 'false summits'.

For a wee rest, a check of the view.

Horizon intact. Good.

I can see my house from up here.

Nap of the earth, but I'm flying... one can stop me now!

For some reason (I know not what) that is my answerer.

Duma, ascending.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 5:54pm

Well - there's only one answer to that! Cue Brian May on guitar, the incomparable Freddie on vocals and...... Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time I feel alive and the world I'll turn it inside out - yeah And floating around in ecstasy So don't stop me now don't stop me 'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva I'm gonna go go go There's no stopping me I'm burnin' through the sky yeah Two hundred degrees That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit I'm trav'ling at the speed of light I wanna make a supersonic man out of you Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time I'm having a ball Don't stop me now If you wanna have a good time just give me a call Don't stop me now ('Cause I'm having a good time) Don't stop me now (Yes I'm havin' a good time) I don't want to stop at all... ... and so on. I don't know what Freddie was on when he wrote that, but it absolutely describes me!

Orangeblossom Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 8:09am

Thanks for your very evocative blogs which I always find helpful Mary.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 5:55pm

thank you for your encouragement - it is much appreciated.

LP Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 8:16am

Hi Mary,
I could really identify with the drastic action interms of cutting people off. For me I think it has been when I've had enough of not being heard by those who are close, or those who are too close that I wish I could be free of!
Like Andrew I find it hard to throw anything away that may still have some use or isnnt damaged beyond repair! Thank goodness for recycling!
Still life is never without it's challenges and with awareness perhaps I can make small adjustments in the right direction.
I hope that since you wrote this wonderful blog you have been ok.
Hugs to all!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 5:55pm

Hanging on by a thread, LP. Hopefully the thread is a fishing line used to catch sharks!

Richard Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 6:44pm

Dear Mary, It's been a while. I can identify with elated feelings. Last week I arranged a bank loan and have just cancelled it. I think I heard on a radio show recently that some banks and card providers have a checking service for people with bipolar/mood swings. Anyway, hope you're well and frugal. Peace and Love, Richard x

Andrew Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 8:49am

Dear Mary - let me give you a glimpse from another perspective - another side of the box if you like....I often yearn for that feeling of complete abandon, that desire to 'pack and go', and to hell with the consequences, to run away to Manilla, Munich, Tomsk or Phoenix, credit card in hand, and not so much as a tube of toothpaste in my luggage (well they have shops there don't they?!)...but I for one can't. I can't get beyond the first nano-second of this thought, before it is squashed, crumpled, 'rained on' to the extent of being drowned out altogether by that oh so loud, oh so sarcastic, oh so demeaning critical inner voice - telling BERATING me for being so stupid even to entertain for that nanosecond such entirely ridiculous notions....
So you see, those highs, I know they can be very troublesome, and they precede the inevitable crash....but the ascent,, what I would give to silence that CIV once and for all and Just Do It...or at least dream of doing it for more than a nano!

Ans as for hoarding, that 'Katunda' of life of which I have written before....don't get me started again! I know, I know, 'If it's not useful or beautiful, get rid of it' - advice that is, like life itself, bloody hard to follow sometimes!

Go well Mary - and keep that laptop charged!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 5:56pm

thank you Andrew!

Charlie Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 10:19am

Stunningly accurate description of the driven mood, the can-do, will-do, to hell with the consequences, and the gradual hardening of the emotions that increasingly and so effectively excludes all those around us from our vision, a vision we so dearly want to share and have understood. And yet . . . . without that drive we can't do anything - oh how one admires the steady sloggers, the ones that have the hard job of picking up the pieces of us when we crash, the ones that can only see us flying higher, the while being emotionally excluded, their wise words ignored, the ones that keep the home fires burning - how many potentially good relationships have foundered because the steadying hand on the tiller has had enough of the grief, or indeed as Mary avers, we think that we need no one, we can strike out on our own, and essentially manage to alienate our nearest and dearest by our own self-centred, selfish mood-driven actions

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 5:57pm

Charlie - you have written my own thoughts better than I could have done. Thank you. Are you the Charlie with the heavy horses, by any chance?

Otir Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 1:35pm

I am with you, Mary, on the sentiments you so well described in your blog post. Stunningly accurate description of the emotions and consequences of the mood swings that I am experiencing too. Would it feel reassuring that you are not alone?

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 6:01pm

Most reassuring, Otir - and thank you! Please feel free to hold my hand to stop me jumping off high buildings, firmly convinced I can fly!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 6:01pm

Oh, and when I come down, I will hold your hand (metaphorically in both cases, of course)

Brum Mum Wed, Oct 19th 2016 @ 7:28pm

Your skill in beautifully describing the state of elation masks the pain of not being in control and knowing it won't last.....I understand a little although whenever I am not depressed I am so elated that it feels like a high. Take care, my friend. We are there alongside you.

Eva Thu, Oct 20th 2016 @ 7:19am

Hi Mary, thanks for your perspective, from over here it looks a bit scary. Are you able to control how high you go? As in... If you don't go to high for too long does that reduce the following low? Can that be controlled at all or it is just gonna do its thing, as it were?

I have wondered if I have a teeny tiny touch of bi polar if that is possible? My main thing is a coping strategy that has kept me going since childhood of can do, will do and not really relying on others too much, fairly autonomous, pushing myself to succeed through all weathers. In the last ten years I realised that it was too much through increasing anxiety and advice from friends, so I reduced my workload and incorporated yoga and mindfulness meditation which has helped enormously. I've still fallen over with overload, but this time external factors (bereavements and illness) rather than taking too much on out of choice. It's possible I would have had a much worse fall if I hadn't had mindfulness etc along to assist.

There have been times in the past though when I wasn't as aware of the need to balance my load and with a massive workload and full social calendar, I really felt super human, this elated state usually preceeded a bit of a fall, in coping, or getting ill. Ummm.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Oct 20th 2016 @ 2:34pm

Hi Eva, yes - the latter part of your comment accurately portrays what I have been through time and time again. As for it being scary, yes; it is. I feel rather like I imagine a drunk person driving at 90 mph down a twisty country road might feel. I know there are drugs out there which reduce the low by controlling the high - but the side effects are more than I am prepared to put up with.I am sure that mindfulness and yoga would help enormously.

the room above the garage Thu, Oct 20th 2016 @ 11:27am

Marydoll, you have hold of yourself. And knowledge of your battle, the inside scoop. Hold tight. It's very interesting for me to read this. I get highs and lows but nothing on your scale and far fewer highs than lows. You have a strong grounding and I hope you will say if we can help. Love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Oct 20th 2016 @ 2:35pm

I will indeed my dear. And thank you.

Nicco Sat, Oct 22nd 2016 @ 3:32am

Thank you, Mary. Loved reading the words of Freddie's song. I rarely get highs these days, but find my mood is affected a lot by other people's moods, especially down/angry ones. Hope you're holding tight to the string of your kite. Best Wishes, Nicco.

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