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Hang in there. Friday January 22, 2016

I would like to share my three tips for the darkest of moments:

1) I absolutely swear by the mantra 'this too shall pass' - for me depression feels like waves are crashing over my head, sometimes they are small enough to fight off and sometimes they are absolutely crushing and try to sweep me out to sea. But they are always transient. They always pass, sometimes an even bigger one will rear up in its place, but it will ALWAYS pass. One day the waters will be still once more.

2) Don't buy in to your own mind. One of the things about an illness in the brain is that it has an ability to LIE TO YOU. You know why? Because it's sick! It doesn't know what's best for it! When people are suffering from Hypothermia they feel like they are burning and so remove all their clothes, it felt like the right thing to do at the time but actually made it so much worse. Depression does this in many ways, don't trust your thoughts - always get an outsiders (trusted) opinion.

3) Remind yourself constantly of your solid reasons for staying on this planet. This can be as big as the people in your life that love you or as small as you really are curious about what happens in the next episode of your favourite TV series. Think of all the people you have yet to meet, the kindness you have yet to give and receive and the beauty that you will once again witness that is so abundant in this world - Keep a list of the things you are grateful for and try to add a new one every day.

Hang in there.

A Moodscope member.

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

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Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 1:12am

Hi Zoe,

Thought provoking blog!

I just have one problem with it and it is not what you've said!
Everything you've said is solid advice. I just forget everything or one that matters when I have passed all my Pre-Crash Warning Flags and have seen the 'RED LIGHT!'

This is when I realise that no on can take away my pain and there is only one thing that will bring relief!

At this point I don't think of anything other than taking away that pain!
All thoughts of loved ones, tomorrows, basically is all gone. I have used up all my other options, cried for help with each pre-crash warning flag that has been raised and nothing has worked!

It's time for my solution; which up until now has failed to take away the pain, because I have so far failed. Maybe next time I won't, maybe there won't be a next time!

It is a case of one day at a time and as yesterdays blog mentioned, it is a case of using distraction techniques to get you through each day. One step, one little baby step at a time.

Take Care. Live long and be well.

Norman Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:49am

Dear SMB. We wouldn't recognise you on the street. We may even have passed you without realising. But we know you, we know what you are going through, we have all been there, that is the strength of this site. Those who believe are praying for you, those who don't have you in their thoughts. One small step we would like is a message every day on this blog. Even if it just says "ok today." Promise us that?

Mary Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:30am

Oh darn it... I was most of the way through a reply and left the page - thus losing what I'd written to you. Norman is so right, SMB! Many of us have been there, many of us will be there again. We do know how hard and painful it is just to keep hanging on. As you say - it's one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time, even one minute at a time. But we will be with you, keeping vigil with you, because we do know and understand. Gerrard Manley Hopkins wrote (and I quote him quite a lot - you may have noticed), "O the mind, mind has mountains; cliffs of fall Frightful, sheer, no-man-fathomed. Hold them cheap May who ne’er hung there." So stay commenting on this page, dear one, and we'll stay with you, holding your hand if necessary - though not the one you're holding on tight with, OK? Have a gentle hug and know that you are safe here.

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:30am

Hi SMB- psychic pain, which one experiences in depression ,has been described as even worse than any physical pain as there is no respite which one has with physical pain. There is also an accompanying intense feeling of utter loneliness which has to be experienced to know how it feels. When I was in that place I simply sat down and promised myself I would do NOTHING . I then gently reminded myself that, even if no one in this world loved me ,I loved myself and I owed it to myself to hang in there by whatever means.... the moment would ALWAYS pass believe me. Take care my cyber friend and remember: the problem is temporary but the solution the depressed mind suggests is permanent.And it creates a whole lot of problems for those left behind.

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:56am

Hi Mary - we must be psychic. Here is our laugh for today. One day, leaning on the bar, Jack says to Mike "My elbow hurts like hell. I suppose I'd better see a Doctor!" Listen, don't waste your time down at the surgery," Mike replies 'There's a new diagnostic computer at Tesco Pharmacy. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell you what's wrong, and what to do about it. It only costs five quid..... its a lot quicker and better than a doctor and you get Club card points". So Jack collects a urine sample in a small jar and takes it to Tesco.He deposits the five pounds and pours the sample into the slot and waits. Ten seconds later, the computer ejects a printout: "You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will get better in two weeks". That evening Jack begins wondering if the computer could be fooled. He mixes some tap water and urine samples from his wife and daughter and adds his sperm into the mixture for good measure. Jack hurries back to Tesco, deposits five pounds,pours in his sample , and awaits the results.The computer whirrs for a little longer than he expected then prints the following: 1) Your tap water is too hard. Get a water softener. 2) Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab. 3) Your wife is pregnant with twins; they aren't yours. Get a lawyer. . 4) And if you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better... Thank you for shopping at Tesco.

Lesley Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:58am

Hi SMB and HopeFul One Pain is greatly increased by loneliness. This applies to physical pain as well as psychic pain. Physical pain is not always relieved and worsens/causes psychic pain and vice versa. A circular knot. And as we know, working with the pain as opposed to avoiding it or suppressing it or battling it (using adrenaline in many cases) really helps. It has taken me far too many years to "get" this as when I feel physically better I leap into overdrive and the cycle can start again. As HopeFul one so accurately states "the solution the depressed mind suggests is permanent. And it creates a whole lot of problems for those left behind". We don't want to set up more psychic pain in this world than there is already. When we reach out to each other we create a more loving world, a truer representation of the world than our depressed minds would have us believe.

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:17am

Hi All, All I can say is WOW!!! I wasn't expecting this kind of reaction, in fact I wasn't looking for any. I am though thankful as 'Hopeful One' put it to get such support from my Cyber Friends. I hope that one day I can be here for support when you also need it. Yes, I promise to try and at least say hello each day. The blog is very helpful and supportive and definitely far more understanding than the outside world. What I said to Zoe would not have been picked up here even if I'd said it to my Phyciatrist, no alarm bells would have wrung! Hence your kind replies of concern were not expected. Thanks all and sorry Zoe to have step on your parade [blog]. One thing though I don't view death as the end but the beginning. Yes, I know how those I would leave behind would feel and that is why I am still here and haven't just said goodbye unless in the darkest of moments when thoughts of those I love are gone!

Susie Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:18am

I have not been able to engage with Moodscope for a few weeks - can't face how bad I am feeling - could not even read the blogs . Feeling like I have hit a cul de sac - no way back & can't go forwards - deadlock & despair but mainly overwhelming fear & feeling locked in. Your blog made me cry - to even remotely dare to believe in peace & that my mind is lying sounds miraculous- thank you

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 12:07pm

Hi Susie- sooooo sorry to read that you are feeling awful. Remember thoughts are just thoughts, they are not facts even if they insist they are. The facts are that you are such a beautiful person and loved by at least this cyber soul.

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:44pm

Hi Suzie, I know what it's like to be down and out, like all of us here. I can only echo encouragement and pray that you will get through. I pray that you will again see even a little light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there and stay in touch with us here each day. Even just a 'Hi I'm still here!' note would be fine. With darkness all around you it hurts so much and the thoughts in your head won't go away. You can't think and you can't find a moment of silence. Try and be good to yourself, don't beat yourself up. Better times will come again, I don't know when but they will! Hold on, try to stay strong and battle on. You must believe that you are worth much, much more than you think. Rock on little Suzie! SMB

LillyPet Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 6:03am

Morning Zoe,
Your first tip is something that helps me alot too. Knowing that it will pass because it always does. The waves analogy is similar to the one I use which is it being like weather, bask in the sun, wrap up when it's freezing and brace yourself against the storm, batton down the hatches 'till it passes!
Your second tip is so true, we know that depression means that our brains aren't functioning properly so negative thoughts are just that. One remarkable thing about being human is that we can take a step back and be aware of how we are thinking! I always return to the point that emotional/mental pain is as important to get treated and looked after as physical pain.
I'm also a great believer in what SMB says about distraction and small steps. If things feel overwheming, it's because it's too much to think about, so I try to take it more gently.
Thanks Zoe for sharing your tips. I'll have to give some thought to listing what I'm grateful for, there's so much! Finding this Moodscope community for starters.
Love, light and warmth to all :) LP xx

the room above the garage Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 6:22am

Thank you Zoe. Great to read. I'm not having an easy time so again, thank you! Love ratg x

Debs Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:49am

Sending the biggest amount of love possible ratg, thinking of you and am in the same place so am extending a hand xxx

LillyPet Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:01am

Thinking of you hun. Apparently it's going to be a lovely day tomorrow, so I have a big walk planned! Will you get a chance for a stomp today? Hugs, LP xx

Leah Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:32am

ratg, thinking of you and your use of words that make me smile.Hang in there and please be kind to yourself.

Lesley Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:47am

RATG - sending you a warm hug and know you are loved. I am going out into the rainy day now. Splash splash

Adam Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 7:00am

Great tips Zoe, thank you!

Popcorn Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 7:28am

Thanks, Zoe, I use that mantra too and find it does help, especially when things feel pretty tough. It's reassuring just knowing that others - so many - are battling too. Your blog will help with the day ahead. Xx

Lou Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:29am

I love this post.

I am also a fan of “this too shall pass”

“Don't buy in to your own mind. One of the things about an illness in the brain is that it has an ability to LIE TO YOU. You know why? Because it's sick!”

This is a fantastic piece of advice. It wasn’t until I was extremely ill that a (more rational) friend was able to point this out – that the stuff my scrambled brain was telling me was (mostly) LIES! I had never said it out loud before so had no idea that some of this stuff might not be rational. Not only that but I didn’t have to believe it! I still find it really hard to believe on dark days, but hopefully the more I hear it, the more I say it, the more I will believe it. Here’s hoping! (Mindfulness also helps)

“Remind yourself constantly of your solid reasons for staying on this planet.”

I am extremely lucky – my top reason has four paws and a really big mioaw and just seems to *know* when cat fuss is required. She is a rescue cat with her own health issues and needs a lot of TLC which I take great pleasure in providing. Even on the darkest of dark days she still makes it worth continuing to put that one foot in front of another.

Thank you so much Zoe. I shall continue to hang in there. Now where’s that cat...?!

Lex Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:32am

Magnificent, Zoe! [and I love the meaning of your name!!] L'xx

g Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 1:29pm

Greek or Japanese ?

Rupert Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:35am

Brilliant Zoe! I have found just taking a step back and going for a walk somewhere new just to see that people can exist normally and that life is worth living has helped in the darkest moments. Rupert

Mary Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:32am

Hi Rupert. So good to see you here again. Bless you and hugs. I really miss you!

Anonymous Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:43am

A concise and helpful list, Zoe, that has a resonance for me today. Thank you. Go Well.

LillyPet Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:47am

Pain is a symtom telling us that something needs to be healed. Addressing the root cause of the pain, eases the pain. In life, there is no problem without a solution. Only now exists, small steps. Xx

Debs Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 8:50am

Thanks Zoe, just what I needed this morning as I negotiate another dip in the road of life. Got to keep focussed and take one day at a time. xxx

Leah Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:28am

Thanks for a comprehensive list. The list is the first step the hardest part is acting on it. I know things will pass at one level, but in that dark place a second seems like eternity and there are no clocks just darkness. You have reminded us of very crucial points. Thanks again for your blog.

Gardener, by the time you post I am asleep, and by the time I post again you are asleep, so I wanted to say I read your posts daily and always learn something. I wish there was something I could do to help but you are helping so many with your wit, your wisdom, you spirit, your determination and your practical advice. Sending my thoughts across the sea.

Hopeful One Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:36am

Hi Zoe brilliant blog,absolutely spot on. In addition I remind myself not to 'discount the positives'' and recount at least three in the previous 24 hours. I also remind myself that maybe I am not loving myself enough despite all my flaws.And of course HOPE which I will never ever lose.

Mary Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:37am

Zoe - this is utterly brilliant. For me it's the thought that I just not could not put my mother through it again (she lost my father to suicide and her brother-in-law (of whom she was very fond). My siblings and I, all of whom go through bad times, have all agreed that this is one of the main thoughts that keeps us on this side of life. But yes - knowing that one's brain is lying to you because it's SICK is so helpful. A truly inspired blog this morning - thank you so much.

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:23am

Just a little something to show that I do have some good moments. I wrote this after ten years in darkness. I dedicate this to all those that care about others:


Today; there is a spring in my step!
I find this so hard to believe!
Even with mud on my shoes,
Not a thought of singing the blues.
I've come to realise!
That nothing today; actually bothers me!

Yesterday's clouds have all gone away,
That's where I'd like them; always to stay!
Searching way down; deep inside,
I've found very few reasons to cry.
My face reveals an elusive smile;
Showing it has not forgotten how!

No way out could I find!
From that dark place,
I found myself in.
Only continuous trouble and strife!
I must have been crazy,
To have kept going on!

Looking back now,
At what life put me through.
The way that I struggled,
And the pain that I went through.
The clouds that covered my eyes,
Started, very slowly to lift!

With much love and support,
A way through life, I began.
I'd been caught in a trap!
Held tight in despair.
Caught within thoughts,
That troubled my mind.

With my heart in my hands,
One at a time, yes just one.
A small step forward I took.
Filled with much fear,
Obstacles blocking each path.
A new life is now out there to be found.

Thanks ALL!
Mood Level 23%

Sally Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:49am

So lovely, SMB. You speak here for many of us. Your gift is that of sharing. :-)

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:46pm

Thanks Sally. take Care all, see you tomorrow, if it ever comes! [Grin]

Wendy Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:23am

Fab and very wise words, thank you.

susan Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:38am

Zoe, your list is wonderful, so comprehensive. A vital refresher course this morning. Thank you very much. And to SMB, ratg and Susie and of course TG: today you will all be in my thoughts, wishing you peaceful hearts and minds. Actually, I think about ALL you lovely Moodscopers quite a lot--wondering how you are, imagining what you are like. It is amazing how our energies all become linked after a while through shared experience and caring. One of the beautiful realities of life. xx

Angela Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 10:40am

Bless you all for such helpful comments x x x

Jackie Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 11:43am

Thank you, Zoe. And thank you to everyone here for helping me to realise I'm not on my own

Lexi Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 2:37pm

Brilliant.Excellent.Three things I do as well. Thank you so much for the reminder Zoe. The analogy of riding the wave rings so true for me. Someone also once remarked that there are three ways you can handle an oncoming wave - you can stand there and let it crash into you, undoubtedly getting knocked to the ground in the process; you can go under it to avoid its power but with the possibility of getting tossed about in the current; or you can ride it through to the shore, where it dies out. For many years I did the first; now I more often than not can do the last. It's not easy in the moment, but it always passes. Thanks for a great post.

The Gardener Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 3:35pm

Thanks Leah - these distances are amusing - grand-sons in Melbourne, great friends in Adelaide. Always have to think carefully before contacting, then find even wider difference our summer your winter - but that if I can't sleep at 'dregs time' (3 a.m.) I can catch them at their lunch time aperitifs. At the moment 'hang on in' is all I can do. 'This too shall pass' does not work in my case. Last chance of any help from Mr TG gone, decided he can't even hold a ladder while I climb it this morning. Therefore I am on my own or rely on neighbours. Just been kissed by Secretary at insurance agency - she has a depressed husband to deal with - she noticed (who couldn't) my white, gaunt face, un-done hair - They watch me lugging Mr TG about, in and out of the car, then the wheeled zimmer (he COULD walk on his own, but refuses to). I am at slight risk because my blood is currently at boiling point and I am apt to do things regardless which I am NOT fit to do - teetering on ladders and carrying heavy furniture among them. Even the cat we have every week-end has got heavier!

Another Sally Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 6:19pm

Thank you one and all. I am glad that I rarely get so down that I lose the light but I have sad days sometimes and reading of your struggles and successes helps me to see the way forwards. There times when I feel lonely but I know there is a community here that will make me feel less alone.
For anyone who might be interested, I find that acupuncture has helped a lot when I feel tearful or blue. I describe how I feel to my acupuncturist and she needles me as necessary. Of course finance is an issue here but if you can afford it, it's worth a try.

Soulmansblue Fri, Jan 22nd 2016 @ 9:51pm

Hi 'Another Sally,' tell us of your struggles, let us help you carry the load. we all need encouragement when down on the ground. We need it really before we fall that far, but the signs are often missed by those around. So talk to us, even like today. Just a few words, 'I just called to say hello!' let us be here for you. We listen and understand, like you we've been there, yes and got the T-shirt! Say 'hello' and a few words before you get too low and maybe we can help keep your spirits up. SMB

Another Sally Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 6:00pm

Thanks SMB, I'm in a good place at the moment having seen friends and family this weekend. I will certainly try to make time to check in on the blogs and chip in a word occasionally. There will be a silence during February, and I anticipate my score going up as I visit far flung family and have a holiday to escape some of our dull winter. Take care everyone. It's good to have online friends like you. Another Sally

Rats Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 11:28am

Thanks Zoe. I also feel that depression is like waves - sometimes I feel them lapping at my feet and whilst knowing they are there, I can keep them at bay. Other times the waves hit hard and consume me, especially if they were unexpected. Each time, I pick myself up, not wanting to drown. 'This too shall pass' also works for me, as does singing 'Don't Give Up' by Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. Even more so, as their slightly bizarre video manages to put a smile on my face.

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