I am hopeful

20 Jan 2022
Bookmark

Leah posted a blog called ‘Plunging into the cold’ in October last year asking what is it about sea swimming that some of us are drawn to. Is it true that cold water can trigger the happy hormones? The replies were wonderful, honest and humorous.

I had a tough week recently. One of those ‘everything that could go wrong, did go wrong’ weeks. You know the ones. The sort of week you look up to the sky and cry: ‘Oh come on universe….’ I felt low, sad and uninspired. Even though I knew I would feel better afterwards, I had to persuade my sad, tired body to de-robe, pull on my swimsuit and walk towards the shore. I decided when I got out, no matter how I felt, I would write my thoughts down straight away. No cheating. I had a notebook and pen in my changing bag. I would emerge from the sea, scribble my feelings and share them with my Moodscope comrades. 

Here is what I wrote after my swim that sad Saturday…

"I feel hopeful. Optimistic. Lots of ideas and plans swirling and whirling in my head. The slow moving clouds in the sky, the touch of the water around my body, the smell, that fresh almost fruit-salady smell of the sea. The cold. Oh yes, yes, the stinging but it feels like a joyful, hopeful stinging, in fact it’s more zinging than stinging. Anything is possible, anything. It’s been a dark, upsetting week and I’ve been struggling but right now, right in this moment, I can feel, I can sense possibility, freshness, hope. My face is frozen in a smile, it’s a frozen-cold-smile yes but also it’s a smile of hope, a smile of knowing that I am strong, that I am alive, that there is a future with brighter, lighter weeks ahead, a tangible hope of more to come… more delights to come. I am strong, I am alive… I am hopeful.”

At that point, I started to shiver with the cold so I got dressed quickly! The high had hit and I was buzzing. Did it last long? I wish I could say it did but it only lasted for a few hours before reality started to nibble, snap and bite again. But the sadness wasn’t as severe. That sea-swim spark of hope had reminded me that the darkness will pass and I will feel brighter again. My skin will zing again. And I will smile. Even if the smile is a cold-water-frozen-face sort of a smile, it is a smile.

Every time I get into the sea, I repeat my mantra: ‘I am strong, I am alive… ’ In one way, it doesn’t sound much. But in another way, it is everything. It is, for me, the very essence of hope.

The cold Irish Sea may not help everyone. For some, it might be the opposite - a warm bath perhaps?! But, whatever it is, I hope and wish that all my fellow Moodscopers will find, or have found, something that works for you, something that gives even the teeniest little glimmer of hope just when you need it…  

Salt Water Mum 

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

Email us at support@moodscope.com to submit your own blog post!

Comments

Kevin

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:19 a.m.

Love the title, and all the rest of it! Great idea to record your thoughts like that, I know how elated and euphoric a cold dip can feel! I try to see them as glimpses of my real self, when thoughts of the past or future, or worry or static in the mind, are completely removed. Take care xx

Reply

Sally

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:49 a.m.

YES!!

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:24 a.m.

'Glimpses of my real self' - So well phrased, Kevin. Thanks for your positive comments.

Huw

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:53 a.m.

Having read your blog I have just got out of the cold shower and my moodscope score has increased, I was taking cold showers but its funny how the mind can tell you that you don’t need it. The other thing that really helps with my low and anxious state is going for a run. Then as you say, they make you stronger. Especially in January. And proud that you can help yourself. Two cards I can definitely increase and they help pull up the others. Thanks. Huw

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:28 a.m.

So true Huw - 'proud' and 'strong'. I do enjoy a warm to hot to cold shower - the contrast awakens all the senses! I imagine running is a similar sort of mood booster - glad you enjoy that. I wouldn't be able for it at all !!!

Sally

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:49 a.m.

Excellent! Do love the fact that you took the time to scribble down your thoughts,teeth chattering mist probably!,in order to record the moment. I am very interested in hearing how it affected your mood and wellbeing. Best and warm wishes for you this end-of-January time, which,here at least,is brighter and pinker(skies)than it was at she start of the month. Onwards and upwards,dear SWM!

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:30 a.m.

Thank you, Sally. Yes, my thoughts post-swim were very much a stream of consciousness. Very true and real. I haven't done that since - I might do it again, it felt good, powerful even. x

the room above the garage

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:56 a.m.

Hello SWM, I’m guilty of knowing what brings me “swirling and whirling ideas” and resisting and avoiding it with fierce determination, if only I understood why. Your blog is a beautiful reminder that I need change. Thank you for finding such a brilliant way to demonstrate how to make strength for us. Love ratg x

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:34 a.m.

Oh thank you Room :-)) I too get that resistance, it can be very strong can't it? I find if I 'do an action' even as the negative thoughts are spiralling, it helps. I name each action, however small 'put on my swimsuit' 'tie up my hair' 'walk towards sea' - So I'm almost like my own instruction manual if that makes any sense!! Anyways, we should not be too hard on ourselves. We all have days when zero self-coaxing will work and that is okay too... x

Sally

Jan. 20, 2022, 3:30 p.m.

I do that too, SWM! Instructions to self, I call it. It’s when i know i’m struggling, having to “instruct “myself, rather than do a thing automatically, without thinking as it were.

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:55 p.m.

Exactly that, Sally! Instructions to self (there's a blog in there!) Lovely to hear I am not alone in this:-)))))

Mary Wednesday

Jan. 20, 2022, 8:25 a.m.

Loving this! I wish we lived at the sea a year round so I could swim every day (although it is only possible to swim at high tide). You encourage me to work out how I can at least get to the pool the 3 times a week I like to. Swimming is so good for all round health; mental and physical.

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:37 a.m.

Thanks, Mary x

Teg

Jan. 20, 2022, 8:45 a.m.

Good morning SWM Brilliant piece of writing! And now I understand your name! You are strong because despite all you reservations and your downbeat mood you summoned sufficient motivation. The motivation to do something that part of your mind told you had been so good on previous occasions. You overcame the thoughts that were trying to stop you. Well done. Your story is an inspiration to all of us. Living a long way from the coast I cannot contemplate your cold energising sea swim but I will hang on to the principle you have described so well. Thank you. Txx

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:07 a.m.

Thank you Teg for being so supportive. 'I am strong' has really become my mantra. I used to feel silly saying it to myself but now I embrace the words. Three little words but when you say it to yourself, so powerful. Lords, imagine saying it out loud - how amazing would that be!!?

Sue

Jan. 20, 2022, 8:55 a.m.

This is an inspiring post. I too love swimming outside but luckily for me there is an open air pool at my gym which stays open throughout the winter. Sometimes I take my moodscope score before and after the swim...it is always quite a bit higher after an exhilarating swim in the fresh winter air. We'll done you, SWM, for braving the Irish Sea!!

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:11 a.m.

Yes, Mary mentioned a pool in her comment above too. It's been years since I've been in a swimming pool. Well before covid times even. Not sure if I'd be tempted back yet but an outdoor pool, Sue... oooh that does sound nice :-)))

Valerie

Jan. 20, 2022, 10 a.m.

I am sure there will be some on here who can quote the physiological changes that cause the-ahem-"pleasure of pain".Those of us who envy people who live near the sea often think what a calming effect it must be to just stand and look at the waves.It seems that actually getting yourself in there is even more therapeutic. I have to make do with the daily cold shower after my session in my tiny sauna.If I was being authentic I would run around outside while some big Nordic hunk slapped by bum with birch twigs.Dream on Val! Lovely blog SWM.Hope the benefits continue,and this week is a bit better ***

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:12 a.m.

Ah here, Val, I'm giggling away reading your post. The image of the Nordic hunk with his birch twigs is going to stay with me all day :-)))) Thank you x

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 20, 2022, 11:16 a.m.

Me too, Val, send him over when he’s finished whipping you up into a frenzy!! Lolilol Bear ***

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:46 p.m.

:-))))) x

Sally

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:10 p.m.

Oh irrepressible Val, you crease me! Visions of that Nordic hunk, ha! X

Sally

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:48 p.m.

Oh irrepressible Val, you crease me! Visions of that Nordic hunk, ha! X

Valerie

Jan. 20, 2022, 8:18 p.m.

My buttocks are tingling and rosy pink as baby's cheeks.He's doing me a power of good darlings.

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:05 p.m.

Oh dear Val, you are an absolute tonic :-)))))))) x

Moodie

Jan. 24, 2022, 7:31 p.m.

are these hulks available on the NHS perchance! norty norty .....

Orangeblossom

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:01 a.m.

Thanks for your very energising blog SWM.

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:13 a.m.

Thanks, Orangeblossom x (still giggling at Val's post here :-)))) )

The Gardener

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:22 a.m.

Thanks SWM - I HATE being cold. Washing my long hair a chore - hairdresser a no-no - part mean-ness, more in winter always wear high necks, so have to dress differently. Had 10 minutes sun on face this morning, no artificial light in the world can make up for it. I don't FEEL strong, but know, if truthful, that I am - the last five years - and now renewed worries - prove that I may be an absolute misery, but just keeping up standards - clean, cook, learn, keep in contact are ingredients in the keeping up of a liveable life. I use cold water if my ankles swell, and, most important, when I do battle with my ivy - it sets up a horrendous itch, and only cold water will assuage it (is that an English word?) Watched the daftest film on French TV last night - a comedy thriller - mixture of Poirot, Keystone Cops and Peter Sellers.

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 11:50 a.m.

Hi Gardener :-) My sister is the same, she does not like the cold at all at all! She thinks I am quite bonkers getting into the sea especially in winter. And yes, you are strong indeed. There's a gorgeous French film called 'perfumes' (I watched it with English subtitles) with Emmanuelle Devos and Gregory Montel (from Call My Agent - the fabulous French series on Netflix). 'Perfumes' is so uplifting :-)))

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 20, 2022, 11:42 a.m.

Morning SWM, What a superb blog and great follow-up to Leah’s previous blog - always think of you when outdoor swimming mentioned and would love to be by the sea to swim there. But sadly, we have moved even further inland!! Much further away from the lake I used to swim in, however, I have found a river that I should be able to swim safely in, just need to pluck up the courage and get back into that frame of mind…battling with what seems to be vertigo at the moment so my head is literally all over the place! Will need to persuade Mr. Bear to come with me just so I am safe at this new place as there is no one there otherwise. (The lake I swam at was a private one and there were peeps on hand should I have difficulties, but it is nearly an hour’s drive, so will have to have a think about going back there if the river swim is no good.) I know it makes me feel so alive when I’ve been outdoor swimming and know the benefits - so glad you have posted this blog and how you wrote down your feelings afterwards, thank you for the reminder and writing such a hopeful blog! ...and squeaking of Hopeful - am missing Hopeful One so will add in a missing joke or three - feel free to groan: What do you call a sleeping bull? A bulldozer! Why do melons have weddings? They cantaloupe! Why did the golfer bring an extra pair of pants? In case he got a hole in one! …Tee hee hee, groan…. Really hope life is treating you and your lovely family well. Have a super Thursday dearest SWM, Love and Bear hugs x x x

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 11:51 a.m.

Canteloupe... I love it Bear, love it :-)))) x

The Gardener

Jan. 20, 2022, 3:25 p.m.

Bear, I think Hopeful One's wife, who he had coped with for years, finally in a care home (she had early onset Alzheimers) has died. From his last posts I think he has found new happiness after the sad years. Thanks for the joke. xx

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 20, 2022, 5:53 p.m.

Thank you TG. I am so sad for HO - have missed his posts here. I remember she was in a home. HO - if you catch up and read this, I’m thinking of you, love and Bear hugs x x x

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:47 p.m.

Oh thanks for letting us know, TG. Poor HO but yes, how lovely that he has found new happiness. I hope he (and his jokes) post again soon x

Lifelong Learner

Jan. 20, 2022, 1:39 p.m.

I love this post SWM, just what I needed to challenge my resistance to go for a walk, which I know is so good for my mental well-being. I don’t swim, wish I did. Cold and frosty with glorious sunshine today, so I need to get out there! Thank you for the much needed motivation and inspiration to take action :)))

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:48 p.m.

Oh thanks Lifelong Learning for your kind words. I hope you did make it out for the walk. But, if not... tomorrow is another day :-)))

Lexi

Jan. 20, 2022, 3:08 p.m.

Ah SWM I loved reading this, so much. I was there with you, in that cold dip. Not literally, but I have begun running again and in January in Chicago it can be hard to motivate myself to lace up my shoes and go out into the freezing temps. But always is that feeling right when I'm done when I feel clear headed, refreshed, dare I say hopeful. Thank you for a lovely blog xo

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:50 p.m.

thank you for your lovely comment, Lexi. Oh I do admire you runners... :-))

Lex

Jan. 20, 2022, 3:21 p.m.

A lovely blog, SWM... bless you. I was 13% today and needed the uplift you supplied. ***

Reply

Bearofliddlebrain

Jan. 20, 2022, 5:54 p.m.

Reaching out a Bear paw to lift you up a smidge dear Lex x x x

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:51 p.m.

Hi Lex, sending you a virtual hug if I may, x

Teg

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:10 p.m.

Oh Lex Sorry to hear you are down. Select an activity that you know will lift you. Don't over analyse, just do it. Best Wishes Teg

Sally

Jan. 20, 2022, 7:17 p.m.

That’s incredibly low that score , Lex !! I worried for you. Have you got a notion what it could be attributed to? Or just “everything” ? Do call on buddy, if you have, and/ or friends and family. I hope your score will streak upwards very soon, Lex. Hugs, xx.

Lex

Jan. 20, 2022, 9:45 p.m.

A curry worked wonders! Although I did have a guy on Facebook today who called me, "Obese." The fact that this is true didn't help but to have the cheek to say such a thing to a stranger. He has been deleted! Thanks for the love folks. I was talking with my friend Dawn today about how many of our circle have been jittery around this Wolf Moon! xx

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:04 p.m.

Yes I only said to a friend today that the wolf moon is most definitely affecting me … What a rude ignorant person to insult you Lex. Block or mute away. Says far More about him Than you. Rest well x

The Gardener

Jan. 20, 2022, 3:21 p.m.

Your blog seems to have been a battery charger SWM. I determinedly went for a walk, it was nice. I met my ever-smiling neighbour, she has a sick husband, we see very little of each other. She gets great comfort from religion, and has gone off to say the chapelet (there is a religious programme on TV afternoon it seems) for my son's health and my strength. I had just returned from cancelling the parallel celebration I was having with friends for his wedding on Saturday, all off. I envy people who ARE able to get comfort from their religion. Anyway, I am determinedly finishing things, avoiding Solitaire and going to write a blog. See what my Mindfulness course has to offer. France Musique has the most miserable modern music, so it will go, just adds to the grey skies. Thanks again. xx

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 20, 2022, 6:53 p.m.

I'm so pleased you went for your walk and had the neighbourly chats, TG. Sorry to hear about the cancellation though. Looking forward to reading your blog:-) x

Dragonfly

Jan. 20, 2022, 10:50 p.m.

Love this SWM. You are strong and amazing:). I wish I was near enough to somewhere to try wild swimming, but failing that, a good run or getting out into nature helps my mindset.

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 21, 2022, 6:51 a.m.

Thank you, dragonfly. I’m so impressed by you runners, the stamina, the strength, the lungs !! But yes any immersion in nature is so good for the soul x

Moodie

Jan. 24, 2022, 7:32 p.m.

Hope this week is turning out better, Salt Water Mum - wonderfully written blogpost - thank you.

Reply

Salt Water Mum

Jan. 24, 2022, 8:46 p.m.

Yes, some uplifting moments already this week, thank you Moodie :-))) Hope you have a good one too x

Login or Sign Up to Comment