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Hard Times. Wednesday July 6, 2016

Well, it's been a rough two weeks.

So – okay – it's been a rough 2016 so far, but the last two weeks have been the worst yet. So bad I can't even begin to tell you about it – and if I can't talk, then you know it's bad.

But – we're all still here. We're all still together and if we can come through this as a family we will be so much stronger for it.

But the experience has been a little like sailing. One moment the sky is blue, the wind is sweet and we're skipping across the waves with a song in our heart and plans for a picnic on the other side of the bay.

The next moment, from nowhere, dark clouds are boiling overhead. A bolt of lightning takes down our mast, a boom of thunder deafens and an icy rain lashes down like a cat-o-nine-tails!

Our little boat faces thirty foot waves. We're driven up a sheer face of water by a vicious wind and then dropped, sickeningly, into the trough on the other side. Then again, and again, and again.

We can only hold onto our boat, hold onto each other and hope desperately we will come out the other side with everyone still on board.

There have been more hugs shared in the past two weeks than for the whole of last year. There has also been sniping; angry words, as we try to cope under the strain.

And, there has been support. When I turned up at church last Sunday and promptly burst into tears, I was swept up, mopped up and prayed with. I bonded with another member of the congregation with whom I had previously only exchanged good mornings; her family is going through bitter times too. We held each other and wept each on the other's shoulder.

There is support from the other side of the world from friends who know they cannot ask for details, yet understand family matters can be complicated and painful, so just offer warmth and care and prayers/warm thoughts. Another dear friend, who I thought I was supporting through his own hard time, turns out to be the one supporting me; someone I can lean on, just as he leans on me.

Other than death or family breakup, I cannot think of anything worse than what we are going through, yet even in these tough times, there are many consolations.

Maybe our mistake is in thinking that life should be easy and without complications. Maybe we should adjust our thinking to accept that normality is hard and any easy times are just a blessed respite.

We can never answer the question "Why?" We do not deserve this pain. But when life is good we are equally undeserving. Life just is.

We'll get through it. We have to. We'll just keep on holding on.

A Moodscope member.

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

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Vincent Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 6:20am

Hi, Mary, Long time no see. It's good to read your article again. I am sorry to learn of what you have been through these days. Anyway, hold on please! Like the saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:12pm

Holding onto that thought indeed Vincent. Thank you.

LillyPet Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 7:27am

Sorry to hear about your stormy seas Mary. Your blog was still heartwarming to read because of the sense of togetherness as you weather the storm. Such a great analogy because as rough sd they are, storms dont last. Jul told me that my low mood wouldnt last yesterday and she was right! Although I couldnt envisage it, I just decided to accept that it wouldnt and have faith. I feel a bit better this morning, dare I say quite a bit better and wasnt expecting to so soon!
Maybe adverse circumstances that we arent in conrol of will rock our boats, but if we hold on, try to keep our balance and help each other, we will get through the roughest of seas.
Thank you for an inspiring blog Mary and hope that the waters begin to calm for you and yours. Hugs to all. LP xx

Jul Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 9:10am

Hi LP. So glad you feel better and thank you for mentioning me. I know from experience that low moods do pass. I think the great thing about them is that we can't really control them so they come and go with their own rhythm. Go with the flow I say! Love xxx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:13pm

Lillypet and Jul. Yes indeed. My eldest daughter hugged me last night and reminded me of what her choir mistress at church always says; "This too shall pass."

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:13pm

Lillypet and Jul. Yes indeed. My eldest daughter hugged me last night and reminded me of what her choir mistress at church always says; "This too shall pass."

Anonymous Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 2:20am

So glad that your storm is beginning to pass, LillyPet! Mary, I hope yours passes sooner than later as well. And that you and your family continue to cling to each other and support each other through it.

Lou Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 7:59am

Good morning Mary,

A very descriptive and evocative blog this morning. I am sending you big supportive hugs and one of the best pieces of advice I have heard from fellow Black Dog club member (the founder, in fact) Winston Churchill; KBO - Keep B*ggering On!

"normality is hard and any easy times are just a blessed respite."

Wise words indeed and extremely helpful for the period of extreme change I am currently experiencing. Thank you.


Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:14pm

Oh, absolutely. Keep b*ggering on is great advice! And just so very British!

S Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 8:15am

Hi Mary, I am sorry to hear that you are going through rough times and rough seas- wishing you some calm and peace soon. Too true, as Lou said about normality being hard and I agree that our expectations sometimes make it garden- easy to say and a challenge to work on for me. Thank you for being honest and sharing, Sx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:17pm

I hoped by sharing my stormy waters to help others feel they are not alone in theirs. We all feel as if ours is a little cockleshell of a boat and the waves seem very high. But at least there are many of us and we need to shine a light from the top of our mast (if mast remain) to stay in touch with the other small boats

S Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 8:17am

Caroline, I inadvertently took myself off the email list for posts yesterday in my keenness to read the blog! I am not sure how to get back in- please could you help me? Many thanks, Sx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 4:36pm

Hi S, no problem, you should receive your emails again tomorrow. Please let me know if it doesn't arrive. Kind regards. Caroline

Hopeful One Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 8:24am

Hi Mary- oh my word! ....whatever could it be that blew you off course so suddenly? You seem to have righted your little boat, and I was reassured in that, as you used a word which I know spells recovery 'hold onto our boat, hold onto each other and HOPE(my caps) desperately we will come out the other side with everyone still on board.'

As long as you have that believe me you will be fine.

I did not see the other word I was looking for guessed it.... LAUGH.

One can remedy that straight away ....The Joke Squadron is always at at the ready.

Here are a few Tommy Cooperisms.

"Man went into a bar, he only had one arm. Guy sitting next to him said 'Hey, you've got your sleeve in my drink', man replied, 'There's no (h)arm in it'

'I had a meal last night. I ordered everything in French, surprised everybody. It was a Chinese restaurant.

I said to this Chinese waiter, 'Look, this chicken I got here is cold. 'He said, 'It should be, it's been dead two weeks.'

Cyberhugs ..of course.

the room above the garage Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 10:03am

HO my love, I adore Tommy Cooper! Could always see the sorrow in his eyes but I loved his spirit. Was watching him live as he add his final performance...that has stayed with me. It was eerie. But. Thank you for (h)arm in it had me snorting!! Love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:17pm

Me too!

Anonymous Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 2:27am

Oh my! RATG! I'm a Canadian, and relatively young, and hadn't heard of Tommy Cooper until very recently. A spoke-word artist named Scroobius Pip wrote a song about beauty (the beauty of the soul) that talked about Tommy Cooper and that final performance. If you (or anyone else) is interested, you might find this an interesting listen: Sorry to somewhat sidetrack this. It just astonished me to see a reference to that performance here. I can well imagine that night must have impacted many people deeply.

Anonymous Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 2:28am

Sorry for the run-on there, as well. It looks like the paragraph breaks I tried to add didn't take for some reason.

Tutti Frutti Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 8:35am

Mary I am sorry you are having a rough year and a particularly challenging time at the moment. I think I am somewhere similar. I am glad your church was helpful. I once changed church, and indeed denominations, as the church I was going to failed to offer any support in a crisis. New one much better I am pleased to say.

As I think I have said to you before I am amazed that you can write like that when in a rough place. What you write is really helpful and you should be proud of yourself. I really like the metaphor of the small boat in a stormy sea with a lightning strike to the mast to explain how we can be kyboshed by life. I think it's helpful to have some metaphors to enable us to explain what we are going through to those who haven't experienced mental health issues.

Anyway keep being strong with whatever it is life has thrown at you right now and I hope the boat reaches dry land or calm waters soon.

Love TF x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:19pm

Thank you TF. Yes - my small village Anglican church is (quietly and in a very English way) lovely.

Jul Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 9:16am

Mary. I am so sorry you feel so bad. Is this another bi polar depressive episode or something tangible and specific, unrelated to bi polar which you feel you cannot talk about? At first when i read your blog I thought you were talking about depression, feeling low. But I read it again and am not so sure. No need to explain!! I do think your bad times will pass as I said to LP. They always have in the past haven't they? Bon courage and was it George Harrison who sang All things must pass? Richard will know!Peace and love Rich and to you Mary Julxx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:22pm

Something else this time Jul. Thank goodness I am strong and stable at the moment. It is I who is the captain of the boat, keeping everyone on board and setting what passes for a course with all the elements that buff us. Vicious outside elements attacking us. Not me personally, but family members and very close friends.

Eva Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 9:54am

Sending you hugs Mary ()

the room above the garage Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 10:00am

Hard times and being unable to talk. Completely understand that. I have very little to offer as I'm fighting within a little tornado here too. Is there something in the winds I wonder? Cling tight. Grit teeth. Your body has grown strong from practice. We can. Love to you, ratg xxx.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:22pm

Ah RATG - wishing you well with your tornado. Holding on fast.

Jul Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 1:23pm

Hi ratg (and Mary). It must be in the air as I too am grappling with something that as been thrown indirectly at me/us. It's superimposed on my everyday worries and low moods so I have two layers to my life right now. Experiencing this double whammy makes me realise how very low I can get. I tell myself that this blow will pass but it's going to take some time with no let up (which I can get with my moods; this latest is continuous)and I can't do anything to hurry it along. I have to stand on the sidelines, keep my distance, support the person involved and wait. xx

Anonymous Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 2:34am

Hang in there. All of you! All of us! I too have had a rough couple of weeks hitting rock bottom. It must be in the air. But it won't last forever. It never does. Only feels like it.

Lex Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 10:12am

Can't talk? That's when the genuine hug becomes the most eloquent poetic expression of empathy and solidarity. I'm glad you've got a great flow of hugs coming into your life. The hugs know best. L'xx

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:23pm

Indeed Lex. Thank you. Hugs greatly appreciated. So much.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 10:50am

Big Bear hugs, Mary, big Bear hugs x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:23pm

Thank you bear. Thank you so much.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 10:51am

Also....can we think goodly thoughts of Frankie and family as her dear aunt has died.
Lighting a candle for you, dear Frankie and Auntie Anne.
Bear x

Mary Wednesday Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 12:24pm

Of course. I will light a candle too. Sending sympathy Frankie.

Leah Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 7:46pm

Thinking of you and wishing you strength to withstand the storm. Having lifejackets and a useful lifeboat in plan always helps.
Sending sympathy to Frankie.

The Gardener Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 8:18pm

So sorry you've had an awful time, Mary. I went off to UK for four days - 'pushed' by everybody, you MUST get away. I had a hassle free journey, spoiled rotten, people made such an effort to get to see me, because I did not want to hack round an area which I hate driving in. When I got home, the inevitable - security failure! The lady opposite, with a B & B, saw people in my shop. she alerted the nuns, they came in - it WAS open, found keys, locked up and the nuns took the keys off with them! One of the nuns had talked to Mr G at respite, he was aware I was away, not resentful, and admitted I needed the rest. Will his antagonism return when I get him back home? Hope my added strength will lead to better 'management'.I have no scruples, now, to apply to this amazing team around me. Love, courage and best wishes, Mary

Lexi Wed, Jul 6th 2016 @ 9:33pm

Hi Mary. I hope this foul weather passes soon. I'm thinking of you and LillyPet and everyone else having a rough go this week. Im leaving the proverbial light on in the lighthouse, for all of you to find your way back to shore safely. xo Lexi

Belinda Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 7:24am

Hi Mary, so sad you are having a tough time. Is it my imagination, or are quite a few of us going through a bit of a rough time? I too am experiencing a very challenging time, however yesterday there was a bit of a breakthrough. I feel so much better this morning. Everything changes, yet nothing has changed. Amazing that the same things can seem so different. Are we lucky, or unlucky?

Best wishes Belinda

Libby Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:30pm

Mary, I don't post here very often, but I read the blogs every day. I have often been inspired by your words and am so sorry that you are going through a rough patch. It is only an episode; things will change; you've been here before. Try to take care of yourself: massage, manicure, cuddle up with a good book, your favorite meal or restaurant. You are loved.

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