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2

March


I am Titanium. Wednesday March 2, 2016

Our lovely Lex issued me with a challenge the other day. "Whatever happens to you," he said, "use it to make good art." He was channelling Neil Gaiman at the time, and very appropriately too.

So you are all going to hear rather a lot about this broken ankle. Sorry!

I won't go into gory detail, but it was a bad break and I spent ninety minutes on an operating table while it was pinned back together with titanium rods and screws.

The bad news is, once it's healed, I still won't be able to leap high buildings in one mighty bound.

But the ankle will be stronger.

And I too will be stronger.

I'm determined to make this time as profitable as possible for everyone.

For a start I can write more. I can finish the first three novels of my series and start the fourth one. I can attend to real life and Facebook friendships, deepening them. I can learn a foreign language (Spanish, in case I have another accident in Tenerife!). I can start training my daughters to cook and clean and iron instead of doing it all for them (they'll be grateful later on). And I can spend more time with my husband. We both rather like that.

I always say that when life hands you lemons then reach for the gin and tonic!

But does going through depression also make us stronger?

I have never been able to use the down time with depression profitably as I can with the ankle. Although I can continue (just about) to write these blogs, my creative writing stutters to a shambling halt. There is no teaching anyone to do anything when you are just a shaking lump on the sofa. Even if I am physically in the same room as my husband I am not really keeping him company.

But yes, I believe it does make me stronger. Or at least more resilient. It deepens my wisdom and compassion – if I let it.

But just as with my ankle, I cannot afford self-pity.

Having a broken ankle is horrid. So too is having depression. And while it's much easier to be positive with the ankle, I choose also to be positive with the depression (even if that's almost impossible while in the grip of darkness).

Unlike the visible results of this time off my feet (a completed novel, a new language, new skills for my children), I cannot immediately see the positive results of my depression. I can only hope that they are there and then gradually perceive them over the next years and decades.

I think this is where Lex's Hope (see blog January 25th) comes in. It's the sure and certain expectation that something positive will come of these times.

Yes, I will be stronger. One day I will (metaphorically at least) leap tall buildings in one mighty bound.

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 7:40am

Hi Mary- when life serves you lemons make lemonade for those of us who are teetotal. Your blog reminded me that I had read somewhere 'what does not kill you makes you stronger. 'And yes one can find something positive in the most dire situations.Especially if backed by Hope and humour.

A father and son are very close. As the father gets older the son helps him dig his vegetable patch for his prize tomatoes . The father does not know that his son is also a burgler. One day he gets caught and is put in prison . The father writes to him ' I am so sorry you are in prison . I won't be able to grow my prize tomatoes this year' . The son writes back' I feel sorry too but I will see what I can do. Please don't dig the garden as I have buried the jewels and gold I stole there' . The police raid the place and dig up the garden finding nothing. The next day the father writes to his son' You won't believe this but yesterday the police came and dug up the garden but they did not find anything' . The son writes back ' That's the best I could do Dad'.

Another Sally Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 7:54am

I like that one. Thanks HO for the first smile of the day.

LillyPet Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 7:56am

Nice one HO ho ho :)) LP x

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 8:46am

Hi Guys- I don't know if one is aware that at ,least in the USA ,'ho ' is short for whore? I appreciate you comments very much but thought one would like to know? And I am sure the pun is unintended . Don't lose any sleep over it - my psyche remains intact.

Norman Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 10:20am

There's an Urban myth that one year Eastleigh council banned Santa's from saying ho! ho! ho! for that reason.

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 2:44pm

HO, it makes me adore you even more :-D Are you comfortable if we keep using it?? I'm happy with your Sunday name if it preserves dignity... Love ratg x.

LillyPet Thu, Mar 3rd 2016 @ 11:16pm

Defo no pun intended! Will remember that one! LO :)

Another Sally Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 7:59am

Hi Mary, I marvel at your ability to fit so many things into your day. I feel my main problem is frozen brain - I have lots to do, or things I would like to do, but cannot make decisions. My days seem fragmented with not enough time to really get 'into' something. You are truly inspirational and I thank you for that.
Another Sally

Sarah Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 8:05am

Hi Mary, thank you for your interesting blog. I also broke my ankle over 11 years ago and had a plate and nine screws ! I wish I had had Moodscope then as I got very low at the time. I really think your attitude is amazing. Have lots of physio after, it really helps. Sarah ( yellow rose)

LillyPet Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 8:13am

Morning Mary,
I'm so sorry about that awful break, it must have been so painful.
Yes at least with a physical ailment, it is quickly recognised, dealt with and you are allowed time to heal knowing when you will recover. With depression many of us struggle without professional help and as you and HO said hope helps us through. Also our faith that however long it takes we will get through and feel better, with the wisdom and support of this lovely community. I suppose the benefits are more subtle. In hindsight we learn about how we got through. We can share our experience with others so that they don't feel so alone. It's something to think more about.
Thumbs up on the life skills training my offspring could do with s bit of that, but I wont tempt fate! :) Thankyou for a heartwarming blog Mary. Well wishes to you and all. LP xxx

Sally Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 8:33am

Oh Mary, bad luck! But, having got over the shock and the pain and inconvenience, you are so right to look on your accident as an opportunity to catch up and benefit. Very best wishes. And reassured that you'll get a lot more help and sympathy than the depressed do!!

Lex Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 8:40am

"...when life hands you lemons then reach for the gin and tonic!" It's going on a T Shirt, it's going on the wall, it's going on a china mug to remind me of your fall; and how you'll rise to leap again, though not over building tall, most of all it reminds me that, with you, my life's a Ball... if sometimes a Masquerade! Mary, The Magnificent! Mary, The Magnanimous!! Mary, My Marvel!!!

Norman Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 10:25am

Bloke has an accident and breaks his hands, after the operation surgeon says "you should make a full recovery." Bloke says "will I be able to play the piano doc?" Surgeon: "Of course." Bloke "that's great: I couldn't do it before..."

Norman Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 10:25am

Mary, look forward to you taking up hurdling (skyscrapers of course...) x

Norman Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 10:30am

Mary,

I was trying to teach my son to cook and he didn't get the point (fast food, takeaways, tv dinners). I told him that women like nothing better than a romantic dinner cooked for them with candlelight etc. A few weeks later I was cooking when he sidled up and said "so what's in a spaghetti bolognese then..."

The Gardener Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 10:38am

Hello Mary - so glad you are able to do so much even though incapacitated on the physical front. 'Profitez' is our word for seizing opportunities. I had to have a hysterectomyin the middle of doing 'A' level Spanish at technical college. Every intention of spending the month recuperation in deep study. Body said oh no, you recuperate in sleep. Two doctors in my life have taken to wagging their index finger at me when I've told them my plans. Lovely pithy remarks coming up this morning. Mr. G woke in full self-pity mood and I cracked. Since then he has taken an interest in the nurse's lives (team of 5 in rota) and even talking about writing to a daughter - and walked to the corner of the square. Why oh why do I have to blow up to make him do anything, it's not in my nature.Son who was 60 on 29th chose as treat driving the Bluebell railway engine. Next 'milestone' birthday on 29th feb will be when he his 80. Knowing him he's probably booked a flight to the moon. Carry on the good work Mary.

Mary Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 4:10pm

I recognise the "my body said recuperate in sleep". But it just seems such a waste of time!!!!

danielle Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 2:39pm

Mary I love that you are doing so many productive things whilst off your feet! One thing that depression and other mental illnesses do I think is make us more understanding and compassionate. Never before have I considered what someone else could be going through behind closed doors or behind a smile. I guess I was ignorant and naive and didnt think about the fact that someones life could be crumbling around them despite them being chatty over the coffee machine. Little do we know most of the time. I try and be kind to most now and refrain from making judgements. There are silver linings to all clouds xxxx

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 2:48pm

Mary, Mary...I feel for you. I had good days and bad days with my wrist break but confess it did pull me down after the cast came off, which seems a pattern with my depression, to be low after the event. I am very pleased you have a plan in place! Fabulous work! I have a picture of you with a flip chart and a long pointer. Tell me you do 'glasses down the nose' too? Are you still in pain and discomfort? I hope not but I know bad breaks can have lingering pain. Wishing you are comfortable! Love ratg xxx.

Mary Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 4:11pm

Thank you, my dear. A bad day today with staple removal and a new cast. I'm in considerable discomfort and the list of things to do remains devoid of ticks today.... And yes - I do indeed do the looking over the top of spectacles!

The Gardener Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 4:27pm

Mary - I agree about the 'waste of time' but I could not keep awake. Sorry about the pain. When Mr G first wore glasses he had horrendous NH ones. I could not stand them - and got some half-hack? ones. He then looked at me over the top of them and made me madder. Settled for bi-focals and non-commital frames. Will you be incapacitated for long?

Rebecca Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 7:50pm

Hi Mary, hope the pain eases soon. The thing I really struggle with is how I can be going along OK and then suddenly have a real low. I got myself in a real state last night as I have entered a competition involving the obstacle side of Le Trec with my horse. People are saying I only entered because friends from the old yard were going but that isn't true. I got angry posted on the dreaded facebook and have lost a friend over it. I got some drinks, went to boyfriends and self harmed which haven't done for ages. I avoid drinking as doesn't agree with me and can't stand the depression the next day. Didn't get into work till late and so boss encouraged me to phone doctor. Went to see them and said keep on with current medication just a low phase. Sorry for long post, just feel crap at moment.x

danielle Thu, Mar 3rd 2016 @ 8:43am

Hi Rebecca I hope you see this as its in reply to yesterdays post! I have horses too I remember us discussing the therapeutic benefits before. I have always fancied Le Trec my friend does it and says it is very fun! Go to the event - who cares why you are going - that is nobodys business but yours! I am not saying you are only going as friends have entered, but even if that were to be true then why is that a problem? we pay a hec of a lot to have our horses in time and money, so we need to do what makes us happy with them! I used to do eventing in my late teens, now I am 26 and after a 6 year break from proper riding have no confidence when jumping despite doing it all before. A lot of friends still event and i love watching but just do dressage at shows and the odd jumping at home now. I beat myself up for ages with the expectation that i 'should' be eventing again but i wasnt enjoying trying to get into jumping just terrified! so what is the point! do what you like and what you want - that is most important :) also if you want a horsey friend feel free to look me up on facebook and add me, (and anyone else too!) danielle davy-moore xxx

The Gardener Wed, Mar 2nd 2016 @ 9:01pm

Oh Rebecca, so sad for you. Just had over an hour listening to an old friend who I have been 'propping up' for years. Suicidal, getting help, but supposedly 'devout' catholic, and scared of burning in hell. When I discovered a grand-daughter self-harmed I was, at first, puzzled and rather critical, now I am so sad that someone can hurt themselves. I am drinking too much, but at my age I fall over before I can come to harm. Just got Mr G to bed with usual struggle, listening to excellent jazz. Go to it with your horse - pride in achievement, personal, is what you want, not geeing (!!) up by others. And oh, I'm glad to be too old to tangle with Facebook - it seems more and more a force for real evil. I envy you your horse - even now, sight of beautiful horse makes me long to ride again.

Mary Thu, Mar 3rd 2016 @ 9:55am

Rebecca, Danielle and Gardener I want to sweep all three of you in for a big hug, and then go hang out with some horses. There's just something about the way they smell, the way they move, the vast peace of them (probably not while eventing though) Rebecca I agree with everything Danielle says. So sorry you had a(temporary) blip and did the whole drinking/self-harming bit! One of the advantages of the cocktail of pain med I am taking is that I can't drink so much. Like The Gardener, I do entirely too much of that! I think many of us do. Replying today as yesterday was a bit trying with the pain in the ankle. I have to be immobile with it elevated for another 4 weeks and then on crutches with an air boot for another 6 weeks and then starts the physiotherapy. It's a long haul I'm afraid. No more riding for me until probably September. Thank goodness I don't have my own horse - that would be a nightmare to look after in this state. Oh, and Facebook - yes - very easy to get into arguments, hurt and be hurt. Various friends and I have agreed that we dill not allow any drama to happen on the front page and deal with disagreements in Personal Messages. Seems to work much better. Facebook is definitely better without alcohol!

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