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I Am Not My Thoughts or Emotions. Sunday November 23, 2014

Having had over a 554 day lag since the last time I recorded my Moodscope score, today was the day I decided it was time to revisit and record.

Let me tell you a bit about my life leading up to today, in a nutshell.

I was diagnosed with post-natal depression eleven months after the birth of my first child, some nineteen years ago now. However, I can predate that particular period of darkness with many years of undiagnosed and life sapping anxiety, even right back into my childhood.

After the PND diagnosis, I took a roller coaster ride through medication, psychotherapy, and cognitive behaviour therapy – followed by the happy days of recovery and being thankful to be alive. Three times I travelled this path. It's hard to say which breakdown was the worst. The life-saving anti-depressants transformed me mentally, but oh-so-slowly – much longer than the suggested 6-8 weeks. Each time I was also transformed physically, by those same drugs, into a perspiring, vomiting skeleton. But, I learnt to endure, as did those around me. Each breakdown had its own horrors. And yet, each time, like the Phoenix, I rose out of the ashes, to the glorious days of recovery.

And now my babies are young adults, and I feel a huge mixture of happiness and sadness.

Recent months as a mother and a human being have contained more highs and lows than my psyche would like to deal with, and I feel depleted. It is about eight years since my last and final breakdown, and since then I have gained so many tools for my mental health tool kit. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, expressing my feelings, reaching out rather than shutting down – all of these continually help to correct my course, maintain my equilibrium.

And then today, I remembered the cards on Moodscope, and revisited them. The score was unimportant to me really. The process however, made sense. Just looking at all those emotions, and calculating how intensely or not I was experiencing them, reminded me how all our feelings and thoughts fluctuate so much. Bringing my awareness to them, and assessing them, brought me back to the sense of who I am. My inner self. The awareness that is "the Real Me", so-to-speak. I am not my thoughts or emotions, and I am thankful to Moodscope for reminding me of that. I will come back to do the cards again tomorrow, and for the foreseeable future, whilst I find my feet again.

Someone suggested to me that I might be experiencing something akin to PND, as my babies fly the nest, and it's an interesting thought. Life is full of births and deaths, and rebirths, for all of us. As humans we have to keep learning to let go, over and over again. And we learn how to find our feet, over and over again too. We're not all in the same boat, but our boats all travel the same river.

A Moodscope member.

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Melanie Lowndes Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 9:02am

Dear Lyndsey, thank you very much for a very nice thoughtful post. It is called empty nest syndrome I think when the children leave home and it is of course difficult for mothers and fathers as it must leave a space and a questioning of purpose after this change. I have not been recording my score much. I feel it it can change so many times even within a day - although I must say I have not put it to this test! Love, Melanie

Melanie Lowndes Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 9:07am

I really meant to say I particularly like what you say about life being full of births and deaths and us having to learn to let go over and over. I see life like this too - until the final letting go which is a very big one. Finding our feet again and again - yes! It is nice thought. We had a car accident yesterday - just us losing our grip on a country road - and there is the inevitable adjustment that needs to take place thereafter - luckily largely unscathed - some painful body parts - car a write off - a real loss for my Mother - yes so your post is very apt and helpful. Thank you again.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 10:22am

Hi Lyndsey, it was very uplifting to wake up to your post on this Sunday morning--not because your story has been/is similar to my own....but because of your spirit that shines through. Your deep-down belief that you can and WILL EVOLVE through every breakdown and come out the other side stronger and wiser and more knowledgeable is so life affirming. You are a warrioress and have my full admiration. Onwards and upwards. And yes, it's really tough when the kiddies leave. It took me a long time to get comfortable with it. Here's to 'finding our feet' and 'letting go' over and over. Thank you. susan

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 10:31am

Hi Lyndsey
thanks for your post - it really moved me... and I hope you continue to "travel the same river" knowing that the boats around you might not be the same, but can help in the challenges we all face.
Best wishes

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 11:17am

Travelling that river Lyndsey, glad to see you :-)
My eldest is nearly 14 and every stage she hits I need to force myself to welcome it. It's against the grain!!
I enjoyed your writing very much. Learning to let go is hard but important. Now I'm ready to cry that one out :-D
Love from the room above the garage.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 11:21am

Melanie, how awful! The shock alone takes a few days to subside let alone the annoying part of sorting it all out. I hope it's as straightforward as possible and that your body(ies) lose that ache very soon. Accept all help. Love from the room above the garage xx.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 11:34am

And lastly (promise I will be quiet now!)'ve inspired me to record my score today, first time in 112 days. It tells me I'm feeling better even though today I feel blardy awful...will do the dishes and make a cuppa and ponder that discrepancy!! Need someone to make me go for a walk. Love ratg.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 7:26pm

Excellent post, thank you, I will forward it on to a friend who is struggling with his children flying the nest x

Sarah M Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 9:03pm

Thank you for sharing your your amazing story xx much respect and love to you x

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 9:44pm

That was a lovely post. Thank you.

littlemissmenopause Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 11:08pm

Bless you, Lyndsey. Your beautiful post has helped remove me from dry dock. The water is lovely and I can see the warm glow of sailors' lamps.

Anonymous Sun, Nov 23rd 2014 @ 11:27pm

Very inspiring and clear minded post. I particularly like the final sentence: "We are not in the same boat but we travel down the same river" How true... I do hope you carry on feeling on top of things.

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