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Feeling sad. Thursday August 7, 2014

I started monitoring my mood with moodscope a couple of years ago, mainly to keep my husband motivated to keep monitoring his. He'd been struggling with depression and selfworth for a long time - trying to keep on the positive side after we had our first and later second baby was proving very hard for him, so I wanted to be supportive.

At first I thought it was quite fun flipping the cards every day, getting points and seeing my tendencies and seeing the monthly wave of optimism vs pessimism and back again. But then I started feeling worse, life was hard, stress was building up at work, family life wasn't all great and some of my relationships weren't making me feel good.

About then I stopped using Moodscope. Well, I didn't feel it was helping me any more. I was disappointed because I was expecting it to be clear - good mood or bad mood. Instead it was just a few points up or down around 50% no matter how my feelings were.

I realized my answers had become habitual. I was so trained in not complaining, not allowing myself to feel weak that no matter what my mood was, my answers were always "Yes, I'm Determined! No, Not Scared! Yes, Strong! No, Not Worried!"

So, part of me was balancing on the edge but my Moodscope was saying I was a good 45% so I decided to quit. Mostly I was fine. I was happy, busy, occupied, I thought this is ok, staying aware of my moods, minding myself but then suddenly, my husband left me and depression hit me hard.

I stopped reading the Moodscope emails. Stopped reminding myself to take care. Stopped existing beyond the daily musts.

As a mother I felt supported by needing to keep it together for my kids. It doesn't work for everyone, and some depressions are too deep to be helped by family, but for me, now, making breakfast every day and keeping them fed, dressed and warm and making them happy is the only reason I get up in the mornings. The only reason I get to work and pretend to be a human being is for them.

Slowly I started doing Moodscope again. First score, 13%, but I continued and I'm now making it a habit and trying to be honest about my feelings. At first it was scary, but now I feel relaxed telling the truth.

I'm sad but I'm not dead. And I've started eating too when I feed the kids. And sleeping when they sleep, and before long maybe I'll start feeling worthwhile about planning for the future again.

Not sure what life will bring me. Everything is new now. And this is a day when 23% would be good, but I'm hopng the day will come when I start feeling bored with "always circling round 50%" like it's a bad thing feeling fine. That would be nice.

A Moodscope member.

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Diana Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 6:53am

You are doing so well Ulrika. How much your story
moves me. Keep up the good work, and sometimes Life does seem to mainly
consist of 'work'; but usually ( I believe ) patience pays !

swimmer Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 6:57am

I too feel l only keep going because of my family, and what it would do to them if l gave up. It was refreshing to read that for some the depression goes deeper than that. There was a time when l didn't care about my family and l became totally self absorbed. That was so frightening as l love my family deeply, and l do anything for them, protecting them from my feelings so as not to distress them. They are all independent now,so l have the luxury of being able to give in to my feelings and not get up if l don't need to. It also means their are times when l can give in completely and escape with an overdose, but always making sure they won't find out, and that l won't die even though I want to because l will always be a mother, and will always protect them. Their feelings count, and l don't want to do anything that would make their lives as difficult as mine.

Nina Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 9:48am

Stay strong in the struggle girl; you can do it!

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 9:49am

Accepting where you are at is a fine thing indeed. It opens up possibilities. Realise it, accept it, feel it, move through it, let go of it and move on. What a beautiful story you tell of how you are well on your way. How lovely the strength and power you convey. Thank you very much. Keep going.

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 12:10pm

That thing you mention about pre-defining the answers to the Moodscope cards, is really powerful, and I'm finding it difficult to break out of. On the occasions when I have, it really upsets me to see a score of 20% and I end up feeling like I have failed in some way. Still working on self acceptance. Well done Ulrika for getting as far as you have done.

Elizabeth Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 12:14pm

Thank you. I understand though my situation is different. You are not alone.

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 12:45pm

I'm going through a lonely time myself right now, when for some unknown reason my long-time partner seems emotionally distant. I'm scared that I might be losing him. Reading your story helped me to remember that I am not alone. Many people struggle with the black dog. Elizabeth says it, too - "You are not alone." You are lucky that you have your children who need you. The happiest time in my life was when I was taking care of my elderly mother and so had some reason for being.

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 3:05pm

I related so much to what you wrote... bascially not being honest with your feelings... I am going to do my best to score myself on what I really am feeling, and look deep inside to find those answers. I feel your sadness, but we will all get through our days!

Rich Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 4:09pm

Ulrika. I admire your bravery in admitting that you cheated your own cards.
It's just a guide.
We all know.
I like how Moodscope gives us just a chance to prepare for a mood swing.
I have two younger brothers. I am the eldest.
My life, because of my condition, is a rollercoaster.
My middle brother, because of his love for his family, is the merry-go-round.
My baby brother, because of his demanding job, is the slide.
Just metaphors for three men.
In spite of all the danger, I like my rollercoaster.
I hope I have helped you.
If not, good luck on your journey.
As some others have written, please keep going.
Peace and Love, Rich x

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 5:02pm

You are doing very well as many of the above have said. In particular, I like that you are really starting to take care of the physical self. I have noticed a direct link between my physical health and mood health, e.g., when I get enough sleep my mood is considerably better. Unfortunately, taking care of one's physical health when depressed is often dropped but I think important element in managing mood. Change is the constant in life so "this too will pass." Been there many years ago but it did pass and have been married to a wonderful man now for 31 years who adopted my daughter. So keep the faith.

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 5:23pm

Thank you Ulrika for your writing I was moved to do my moodscope scores again having not done it for ages. You're doing so well.

Anonymous Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 9:16pm


Thank you. One of the most honest posts that I have read. I read an article somewhere about new families and the assumption that having babies brings forth a time of great joy. While that can be true, it's also true that these can be very difficult times for parents.

Having a newborn of our own, my Moodscope score dipped to an all-time low last month. It has been a struggle, without question. However, Moodscope has helped me be more reflective & philosophical.

Beautiful post. Again, thank you for your courage to share and your willingness to be vulnerable.

Therese Revell Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 9:28pm

I realised for the first time that my refusal to admit that I am not strong is so totally stupid that I actually laughed aloud. Thank you for all that will bring.

Di Murphey Thu, Aug 7th 2014 @ 10:22pm

Dearest Ulricka ~
You honesty amazes me and restores my faith in humankind as I am dragging around feeling dark, overwhelmed, and in a doomsday mode. Thank you for sharing. You are strong.
Warmest regards,

Julia Fri, Aug 8th 2014 @ 8:39am

Hey swimmer. You don't want to die! An overdose sounds scary but I think you just mean a larger than prescribed amount of say valium so that you can sleep and forget ? Families are an important reason to carry on but you are important too, a special person.

Anonymous Sat, Aug 9th 2014 @ 1:22am

Ulrika, your story moved me so much. You are extremely brave doing what you're doing for your children, and what a wonderful role model you are to them. I am so sorry life has treated you so unkindly, and I hope one day you find the peace you deserve.

Anonymous Thu, Aug 14th 2014 @ 2:36pm


You sound a very strong and very brave person even though at the moment you have difficulty recognising it. It sounds to me that you have turned a very important corner and can the light for the trees as they say. Hope your future gets brighter and brigterx

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