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I'm not OK. Tuesday February 9, 2016

I've been spending so much time of late trying to convince others and myself that I'm OK, that I have stopped to check.

So busy convincing that I've been ignoring the palpitations during the day and the bursts of agitation that arrive when it's time to go to sleep.

Today though the little voice that exists within each of us got through. It said: "I'm not OK." And I heard it.

It may sound a little odd but I was pleased. Pleased that it had got through and that it hadn't been muffled completely as is so often the case.

This little voice allowed me to run a 'body scan', to see that the vital signs weren't all together right. I was feeling tense, I was worried and anxious. And that was OK.

Sometimes all it takes is noticing and naming a feeling to make it dissipate. The more we try to muffle that voice, the louder it shouts.

Take a minute to scan yourself, what's going on for you in this moment?

With gratitude

A Moodscope member.

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

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Lex Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 5:57am

Beautiful honesty... liberating. Thank you Cassie. L'xx

the room above the garage Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 6:04am

Thank you Cassie, love ratg X.

Leah Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 6:29am

Just waving and sending kind thoughts, Leah xx

LillyPet Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 7:23am

Me too ratg! :) xxx

Cassie Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:36am

Thanks guys x

Leah Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 6:28am

Cassie, Hi thanks for your insightful blog. My trouble is I know when I am not ok and readily admit it to myself and others , but I often miss the signs on the way to being not ok- if that makes sense.

Cassie Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:32am

Hi Leah I know what you mean, I too have this problem. I've found that trying to be more mindful and watchful of the signs it helps. Also, when I'm feeling well I fill in a triangle that has the different 'levels' of distress. I write down my warning signs and coping skills for each one. I look at it each week and check to see if any of it is happening. Might be worth a try?

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 6:40am

Hi Cassie- thanks for reminding me that ,as far as our mind is concerned , it behaves in a paradoxical way . The more one resists a thought the more it persists . I think there is a psychological experiment where one is asked not to think of a white polar bear . The more one tries not go think of a white polar bear the more we think about it . As soon as one stops resisting the sooner it dissipates as you sy.

A topical laugh today.

A young wife wakes up with a dream which she relates to her husband . "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace for Valentine's day. What do you think it means?" "You'll know tonight my dear " he says . She is looking forward to the evening . That evening her husband comes home with a small package and gives it to his wife. With great anticipation and delight , she opens . Her husband has given her a book entitled "The meaning of dreams".

LillyPet Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 7:26am

Lol! :) LP xx

Cassie Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:33am

I kept thinking of the polar bear :)

Mary Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 1:28pm

Hey - it's the one Trevor is scared of! (If you remember my blog Trevor Believes in Polar Bears!)

Oli Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 7:15am

One of the problems with depression for any length of time is that you forget how to feel... "getting in touch with your feelings" becomes like trying to remember the words of a foreign language. Tuning into your body becomes a way of doing it. That feeling in your chest: that's "anxiety"; that hot feeling in your face and clenching of teeth, or choking back tears: that's "anger". And so on. Thank you Cassie for reminding me of this.

Cassie Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:35am

Definitely agree when you're experiencing numbness 'feelings' feel like the oddest concept. I often feel like I need a decoder. I think that's why your body gives you those physical sensations when you're not in tune to the more subtle signs.

patricia Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 7:29am

Yes Cassie how right you are I needed to do a scan yesterday but didn't for some reason (do have arthritis) I seemed to be aching "all over" I do notice that physical pain gnaws away at my mental state, if I'd done a scan and not let the pain take over my thoughts. Oh! those mental thoughts like to take over, today I will do a scan thank you Cassie. Or as someone wrote the other day (sorry I've forgotten who do apologise?) will take my car in for a service perhaps on a lighter note the plugs need changing.

LillyPet Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:12am

Morning Cassie, you're so right! I've been so focussed on I'm ok and determined to stay that way, that I haven't done anything about the clenched jaws (maybe it is subconcious anger) the tense feet that I have in the mornings and my jittery fidgety legs some nights! I have a headache right now! These are signs, my body responding with tension to how I am living. I could be literally gripping onto "I'm ok"!

I saw a guy on tv who has severe tinatus. I was going to say suffers with, but he doesnt. He has totally accepted that it is what it is and says that it's not the actual thing that makes us feel bad, it's what we make it mean. He was very relaxed about it. I admired that and made a mental note to apply the same impartial way of observing whats going on with me.

My body scan showed that I need to address the tension. I did the mood cards and am feeling ok. There are a couple of rooms in this house that need a good sort out and have been on my mind alot. Now am I making the tension mean something? I've been back to back busy as that's the life I have chosen and there are issues and stuff to deal with or not because that's life! It's natural that I would be feeling tense and that's ok. What your blog has done is given me a nudge to do something about it now!
Today I'll go for "my body is tense and telling me that I need to relax". Relax about the things that need to be sorted out and chip away at them one step at a time.
Thank you for the heads up Cassie! A spot on blog for me and just at the right time!

Good wishes to all. Yesterday morning I said that the sky was bright in London, which it was at that moment. Howling storm Imogen wasn't far behind! Maybe weathergirl is not my thing! :) LP xx

Anonymous Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 2:45pm

Hi Lilly. I did find the comment by the guy with Tinnitus so true and worth reminding ourselves every so often. When I feel bad the day after a poor night's sleep I will tell myself, "actually you manage well despite not sleeping so it's the drama you make out of it that makes you feel this bad not the lack of sleep per se.." Thx for this Lilly. And to you Cassie for your thoughtful blog. Jul x

LillyPet Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 7:44pm

My pleasure Anonymous, these little gifts seem to pop up at just the right time. LP :)

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 10:10am

Hi Cassie,

Great blog and makes us all really thnk about what is actually going on with our bodies :)

I'm no doctor, but here's a liddle someone for everyone to try:

Sit a cat in front of you...stare into the cat''s eyes for ten seconds;
Find a Labrador puppy and stare into the puppy's eyes for ten seconds;
Now your cat scan and lab tests are completed, please feel free to rest for the remainder of the day!

Bear hugs and waving paws at you all!
Bear x

Mary Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 1:29pm

Oh Bear - that's wonderful! Thank you. I loved HO's joke too, but this made me giggle out loud!

Rats Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 10:12am

Thanks Cassie, I also ignore my body's warning signs that something is approaching, until it got fed up with being ignored and really gave me something to deal with. The mood cards help me to name those feelings and I find myself saying their names when they come along, to acknowledge them, but to try not to let them take over. The one I have the biggest battle with is 'hostile'- once I'm feeling that it's hard to not let it consume me. Just as HO says with the white polar bear, all I can think of is these people/situations which make me feel hostile, and the worse it gets. I've recently discovered though, if you have a tendency to ruminate, you need to do something for two minutes (thank you Dr Guy Winch) which totally uses your concentration to stop ruminating. My times tables have improved greatly and my hostile feelings are decreasing.

susan Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 10:46am

Hi Cassie, this is short and very much to the point. Great! A body scan should be a matter of routine every day, but I leave it too late too often and then can become a bit of a hypochondriac when my body starts acting out. Thanks for the reminder. xx

Mary Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 1:30pm

What sensible advice Cassie!

Ruth Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 3:49pm

I just might make myself the least popular blogger ever. It is emphatically not my intention to hurt or give offence. I feel as if these blogs are a cosy, self rewarding set of contributions which almost needs a subset of regulars so the rest of us can get a lookin. I feel excluded and out of touch with what's going on. It's fair to say I am depressed at the moment but this is not helping. I do enjoy reading the headlines but I am considering leaving the blog on the grounds I usually feel worse for reading it. Please don't think I'm harsh. These views are mine alone.

Norman Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 4:28pm

Ruth hi! The strength of this site (and the blog in particular) is the sense of community, and the support for each other. I do accept that it can seem off-putting at first. I find that the benefit comes from "putting it out there" and feeling that we have been heard. I found that I wasn't engaged with the blog either, until I did one, then was amazed by the number of people who welcomed it and found it helpful. I currently find writing for it very therapeutic, as I imagine do most others. Why not tell us about yourself? Either in a blog or hijack (?!?!) someone else's. (You have my permission to hijack my next blog!) What problems are you experiencing? Are they yours alone or are they shared with others on the site? Most importantly, how can we help? I don't make any apology for accentuating the positive. (Dry Day 44, back to work for a half-day.) There are enough negatives coming from our illness. Please don't leave the blog, you will only feel worse. Hugs x

Maria Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 5:29pm

Congrats Norman and you are so right! This is an extremely caring and supportive community. I felt inferior when I first started reading the could I compare myself to others when they came across as so polished, even when dealing with their own adversities. I don't make comparisons anymore, I just accept the gift I get from others sharing their personal insights. I don't often comment but I like knowing there is a great group of people available should I need help. Can we help you?

LillyPet Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:16pm

Hi Ruth, It's so good that you've said this. This site will work best when everyone feels a part of it and we feel comfortable enough not always to agree. I've been re reading your comment and I guenuinely don't understand the bit about the regulars and rest getting a look in. I know that when I first joined and was feeling vulnerable it crossed my mind whether reading about the issues that we have is a good idea. I've gained so much from reading what has helped others though that that doubt soon went. Your thoughts and ideas would be refreshing to hear. It would be good to hear if anyone else feels uncomfortable for similar or other reasons. I for one am aware of the self congratulating thing that I might do. I dont mean to be smug, I have just spent a lifetime looking for things that help and share them if they seem relevant. I'm sorry that reading our comments makes you feel worse and hope to understand why better. Thanks for speaking up. LP

Maria Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 4:52pm

I find it very helpful to turn inwards and check in with myself...great reminder!

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 8:36pm

Dear Ruth, first of all, you are not the first or the only one to worry about carrying on reading the blogs, let alone answering them. In anyone's frame of mind, there seem to be so many clever peeps who write the most amazing blogs here, and if you felt like I always seemed to, you would be so afraid of 'saying' anything in response to any of them! But then, just when you aren't expecting it to happen, something just catches your eye; something yanks your chain; something 'gets your goat'; something...just a liddle something, makes you want to reply. And dawg gone do reply or you take it a step further and you send a blog in to Caroline...and lo and behold, she prints it...and there you are - out there - in the Moodscope public view - for all to see...and do you know? get such warmth and kindness and understanding from peeps who are in similar positions as you.

We all thnk we are alone/the worst parent/ the worst daughter/sister/friend..... The only person who has this debilitating illness - and if it was high blood pressure, we would take tablets and tell someone and Well, that's ok, it's just high blood pressure...but we are not, we are depressed, have anxiety or are bipolar....or we are just us; we are human with human frailties, shame etc and need others out there to confirm that actually, we are normal and it is ok but we need each other and that's all we do here.

You are hot harsh and we are here for you. Whenever you need one of us.
Love and hugs from a Bear x x x

Ruth Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 9:50pm

Hi Guys me again. I want to take time to reflect on what you've said but I just want to say how kind and lovely and thoughtful and welcoming you have been. Just what was needed on one of my 'waste of space' days. Thanks very much. PS I love bear hugs x

Frankie Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 11:00pm

Hello Ruth - "waste of space" days - oh yes, recognise this only too well! When I do blog, it is easier to do so on a better day; yes, I agree, when down it can be difficult to relate to the blogs and feel that they are cosy and self-rewarding. I am really sorry that you feel the blogs aren't helping you at the moment, and that you will find something that does. Frankie

Frankie Tue, Feb 9th 2016 @ 11:01pm

Good to see you Cassie - thank-you for a really useful blog!

Ruth Wed, Feb 10th 2016 @ 9:56am

Thank you Frankie. I'm definitely going to stick with the blogs. You're a lovely bunch of people! Hopefully some light will dawn.

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