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It's the Only Thing to Make Sense. Sunday May 21, 2017

I admit it: my family life is in chaos!

I won't bore you with details; the details are too distressing, but – things are, shall we politely say, challenging.

I didn't send a Christmas letter last year. When all that could be said was that: nobody had died (it was close); my steadfast rock of a husband and I were still together; we were not financially destitute: well, there didn't seem much point.

2017, I thought, could only get better.

And it has.


I think...

Of most personal note (you could hardly have missed this), my terrifyingly violent mood-swings of the latter half of 2016 sent me back to the Mental Health Team and the wonderful Dr Samar (not his real name, which has 101 syllables and challenges even the most cosmopolitan of linguists). Dr Samar asked all the right questions, listened in the most proactive way and involved me, as an intelligent individual, in the prescription of the medication I now take. This medication has resulted in me becoming really rather boring in respect to the mania and depression (so far: it's early days yet). I now understand why many people with bi-polar stop taking the tablets... (Don't worry – I won't stop. I love and care for my family and friends too much to stop being sane).

Tom, my adopted son, moved out. This was upsetting for me. It was a relief to my husband, and a mixed blessing to the girls. While they loved having their big brother around, they hated the friction between him and their father – even when they considered Daddy was being dictatorial, unreasonable and altogether WRONG!!!

The challenges of 2016 made my husband and I talk as never before. I was shocked at some of the things he was thinking. He was challenged by some of my ideas. A full and frank exchange of ideas/opinions resulted in a stronger foundation for going forward. This was good.


But life, always challenging, moves on.

Life sometimes presents itself as shifting sands, where things and people you thought you could trust prove to be false, or at least, unreliable; where people you never noticed much step forward, take centre stage, and star in the soap-opera that is your life.

As I look around, there seems to be no logic; no basis on which to anchor the lives of my family and me. I love my husband and biological daughters. I love my adopted son no less. I love my darling friends Richard (another son) and Raz (a relationship far too complicated for me to even understand, let alone explain). I love my Moodscope buddies and I love you, the wonderful Moodscope Readers, to whom I write but never meet.

But unless I have some higher faith, we all are but flotsam and jetsam on the stormy oceans of life.

Forgive me if I cling to faith.

When nothing makes logical sense, it's the only thing to make ineffable sense.

A Moodscope member.

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

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Sally Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 7:36am

Sorry, Mary, to hear of your many challenges during 2016. I remember a piece you wrote when you mentioned that frank talk you and your husband had had. It is important to review the family situation, and it sounded as if a real clearing of the air had taken place. And then the medication dilemma. Which you resolved. I can see why you still find it a challenge, to have a chemical suppressant/ regulator of what is biologically and naturally you. I did. Resisted for ages, but then caved in to pressure. Nowadays mostly ok with it, although occasionally wonder where the other me would be if... on balance, it is , for me, for the best.
And you are so right, in my opinion. Cling on to what makes sense to you. I am glad you found Dr Samar. That you were listened to. That he asked all the right questions. That is precious.

I am grieving the loss of a dear friend who took her own life a week ago. She was suffering so terribly with mental health issues. It is tragic. R.I,P. Dear, dear friend.

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 8:59am

Oh Sally, I am so sorry for your loss. The effect on family and friends has so often for me been the only thing that has kept me from ending my own life. (Even now, with the new drug, that desire has only abated, not disappeared.) For some, the lure of the "nothing" is too great; they died from the illness we Moodscopers understand all too well. Have a virtual hug Sally. I am so sorry.

Jane SG Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:02am

Dear Sally, I'm really, really sorry to hear of your loss. This is so tragic and must be devastating for you. Sending you a big hug. Love Jane xxxx

Tutti Frutti Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:23am

So sorry to hear this Sally. Sending more hugs. Love TF xoxo

Orangeblossom Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 10:36am

Hi Sally I am also very sorry about your loss. Please also accept this cyber hug from me!

LP Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 11:39am

I'm sorry for your sad loss and your friends suffering too Sally. It's not right that people suffering chronic physical pain know that they can generally be relieved of it, but what "pain relief" there is for those suffering so much mentally, is not so generally known about. I really hope that with the current focus mental health awareness, that this is something that's addressed so that people are aware of either what help there is or more funding goes into research. Lots of soothing good wishes to you. LPxx

Lex Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 8:47am

I am always touched by the fact that emotions (and thus 'moods') come before logic in the way the brain processes everything. I agree, Mary, life, the universe, and everything doesn't make sense - it's not definable by logic. At least with Moodscope we can scope out how we feel and then respond appropriately. It may not be logical, but I wish you a future that feels ever better...

Jane SG Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:04am

Thank you for your blog Mary. I hope 2017 continues to be as positive as it possibly can for you. I like hearing about your family x

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:04am

Thank you Lex. St Paul writes "Now we see through a glass, darkly, but then we shall see face to face." I hope that then we shall understand. And then, I assume, it won't matter!

Tutti Frutti Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:22am

Hi Mary
Things sound like they have been (and possibly still are) very tough. I totally understand clinging to your faith in the tough times and in my opinion it is absolutely the best thing you can do. I pray that God will bring you comfort and healing to your family relationships. Love TF xoxo

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:47pm

Thank you so much, TF

Orangeblossom Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 10:42am

Hi Mary, you will be in my thoughts in these difficult & challenging times. Love & affection

The Gardener Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 11:18am

Hello Mary - hit such a low point struggling for the courage and hope to climb out. Mr G, in a terrible temper, nearly split my ear-drum - had excruciating neuralgia for three days. Then a bitter pill. Phoned our one-time GP in UK, super chap with a fantastic wife - he is god-father to our estranged adopted daughter. They have received invites to her 50th birthday party. He cited the other invitees - all old family friends. I am SO glad she has kept up with them all - but, why are they her friends? Because she is our daughter. We are excluded - even sadder as Mr G regards the estrangement as 'Good Riddance'. My famous photo pageant shows her 21st as the most brilliant party we had. Mr G's 70th here in France and 80th in UK were fabulous - so many lovely people - huge effort, moving countries for a party. Where do I go from here? Mary and faith. Went to Mass, one of the two celebrations of first communions. I was cheered, in a bitchy fashion, but the appalling outfits of most of the rellies, only one woman was elegant. The favourite get-up was hideously ugly, very high-heeled shoes which nobody could walk in, very short, tight skirts producing tomato shaped rears. Am I old, old-fashioned, puritan? Not one woman looked smart, most stupid. One guy, a god-father, walked to the altar with his hands in his pockets. I've had a ray of light - my cupboards are full of super clothes, and I have still got good legs. I am always 'on display' shoving the wheel-chair round chair. I shall show them how to dress, always been praised for my 'taste'. Incidentally, the errant daughter has had super dress sense since she was 12 years old.

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:36pm

Oh Gardener, I *do* love you!!! If we don't ever meet in this life, them I am certain there will be corner in heaven just for we women who find such joy in our clothes and our shoes. There puritans of course, who consider this all just so much vanity, but the same God who made the lilies of the field made us too, with our innocent love of finery and joyful pride in our "Good legs". May your legs carry you elegantly on, my dear.

LP Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 11:20am

Hi Mary,
It's a good thing that you have faith that is helping you, no need to apologise for that :)
Big hugs to you. LP xx

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:37pm

Bless you!

Lexi Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 2:20pm

HI Mary, so glad to see you on a Sunday. Faith is all we have I think. Faith in the unknown, that there is a higher, compassionate purpose for this life. I love this Native American quote "Be thankful for unknown blessings already on their way." I have faith that when I am in the well that I will get out again. My heart goes out to Sally and to her friend who experienced such abject despair. I wish I could carry the weights of my daughter, my friends and family, ease their suffering even though I don't believe they can ease mine. But I will never stop trying to be there for them, offering compassion and love and hope. It is all we have and faith. We are here for you and for each other. Keep fighting the good fight, Mary. You matter to us all.

Sally Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 5:21pm

Thank you, Lexi. And everyone else.

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:37pm

Thank you Lexi

Dolphin Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 5:09pm

courage Mary and Sally xxx

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:46pm

Thank you Dolphin. You have given me Wednesday's blog (see below).

The Gardener Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 7:08pm

Trying to get out of miserable self-pity. Great affinity with St Paul. My devout friends insist that my place is assured in heaven, but I'd like the courage and faith to do better on earth. Sally, your tragic loss is so difficult to cope with. I think a 'deterrent' to suicide is your feelings - that one does a lot of harm even when it seems the only solution - it's the worst death to come to terms with. And Mary, the 'glass darkly' is followed but the best words in the bible 'and now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity'.

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:45pm

Dolphin writes above, "courage." I am reading Alan Bennett's Keeping On Keeping On. It strikes me that a lot of courage is just the dogged refusal to give up. Courage is getting up every day and doing what must be done. Courage is gathering up those small moments of joy that occur, like diamonds in manure, and cherishing them.... and.... that's Wednesday's blog sorted out then! And thank you, Gardener, for that reminder; faith, hope and love.

Salt Water Mum Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 7:53pm

Dear Mary,

I don't have a religious belief. I have beliefs but they are nothing to do with religion. But faith works for you and for so many people and that is a wonderful thing. We all need something to cling to in our darkest moments and my motto is 'whatever works, as long as it's not harming anyone including ourselves, then whatever works'.

I sometimes envy those with a religious faith - particularly at funerals. The talk of seeing the loved one again and being reunited with them must be such a comfort. That part I do envy. I also enjoy the theatricality of the church and the sacraments but that is how I see it... as theatre. Performance rather than substance.

I feel more connected and comforted by nature - lying on my back in the sea looking up at the clouds, sometimes that feels so spiritual that it's almost overwhelming. How small we are, how immense the universe is... I feel both incredibly insignificant and yet at the exact same time incredibly important and connected.

Apologies for rambling!

Mary, I wish you well is all I wanted to say...

And Sally, I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Heartbreaking.
Take care of your lovely self at this sad time...


Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:49pm

Spirituality is far more than religion. In fact religion is just a set of clothes it wears sometimes. Ill-fitting clothes so often.... Thank you for your good wishes.

LP Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:01pm

Mary, I also wanted to say that I'm sorry to hear about what happened with your Tom.

Speaking from a similar but also very different experience, when my ex husband and son started to clash, it eventually led me to have the conviction to go for the separation which in our case was the right thing.
It reminded me of when a young lion challenges the elder for leadership.In our case, I'm not being biased against my ex in saying that my son was more mature and reasonable than his father in every way.
I'm glad that in your case it led to even better communication with your spouse and brought you closer. Difficult for you as I remember how you feel about Tom, But also perhaps the right thing?

Why I'm commenting is that it's bound to be hard with this brewing and coming to a head and I hope it settles down again for you. X

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:50pm

Yes, very difficult. And heartrending. I so badly wanted it to work.

Mary Wednesday Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 9:50pm

But thank you for your good wishes.

LP Sun, May 21st 2017 @ 10:30pm

Maybe it's just that the time isn't right. You're wecome.x

Kelly Mon, May 22nd 2017 @ 12:13am

I made the decision to be medicated again recently myself. Less of a decision for us unipolar folks possibly....there's nothing enjoyable about being so depressed you're considering taking your own life for months and considering going to the er instead of work a few days. My psychiatrist also seriously considered having me hospitalized this year. I had been off meds a few years and each successive episode has been worse for me. I've tried both ways of doing things and being unmedicated means I've ended up needing to be hospitalized....sometimes for attempting suicide. Being medicated means I can lead a fairly stable life.

Mary Wednesday Mon, May 22nd 2017 @ 1:13pm

Its a tough decision, isn't it Kelly - but often the responsible one. I had been refusing to take my blood pressure tablets for about 18 months, fooling myself that I would lose weight, take up exercise and lay off the drink. Yeah, right... It was when I realised that refusing the medication was putting my children at risk of having a mother die of heart failure or a stroke before they were out of their teens that I decided to suck it up and swallow the pills. It's not a weakness, it's dealing with reality. Kelly, I salute you!

Barbara Mon, May 22nd 2017 @ 5:17am

Absolutely effing brilliant, Mary.

Mary Wednesday Mon, May 22nd 2017 @ 1:14pm

Thank you, Barbara. Your comment has made me smile this morning. You are too kind!

Eva Mon, May 22nd 2017 @ 8:36am

Hi Mary, you have had so many challenges in the last year, sometimes it feels as though you just can't get a break! I felt this way in February and March when 2 of our beloved pets passed away and the additional grief set my fatigue recovery back a few steps. I had sadness and frustration. But I've made it through in spite of those set backs and so have you. I get a sense of bewilderment in your blog about how all these events came to pass, but I also feel that you are forging onward with strength and determination and your faith. I am coming to terms with learning that you can't rely on life being what you think or hope it should be, it twists and turns and changes, and I am trying to learn how to just cling on for the ride and flex as required. Some days are better than others. I hope you can also feel satisfaction in coming through.

Sally I'm so sorry for your loss, I hope you and your friends can look after each other at this sad time.

Mary Wednesday Mon, May 22nd 2017 @ 1:16pm

Thank you Eva, your words are deeply appreciated

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