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Let It Be Enough. Wednesday December 9, 2015

Just sometimes you find a quote that seems to say everything.

I found one the other day.

"If you're struggling, you deserve to make self-care a priority. Whether that means lying in bed all day, eating comfort food, putting off homework, crying, sleeping, rescheduling plans, finding an escape through a good book, watching your favourite TV show, or doing nothing at all – give yourself permission to put your healing first. Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and today, whatever you do, let it be enough. Feel your feelings, breathe and be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge that you're doing the best you can to cope and survive. And trust that during this time of struggle, it's enough."

These wise words were written by a young woman Daniell Koepke, who has set up the Internal Acceptance Movement. She is a recovering Anorexia sufferer and set up the movement initially to support those people in recovery like herself. Very quickly though, she found that she wanted to reach out to and support people with all sorts of issues and struggles, including depression.

The Internal Acceptance Movement is an online space that advocates self-acceptance, healthy body image, recovery from self-destructive behaviors and addictions... (it) is a space that offers support to those battling their inner demons and strength to continue fighting when all hope seems to be gone.

I think most of us recognise those inner demons.

I'm a little better now than I was for a while. I hope that soon I will be better still. But it's been a long hard struggle for me to learn that, when I'm ill, I need to rest and get better.

I won't get better if I stress about jobs undone, contracts unfulfilled, friends neglected and family unfed. The jobs will still be there to do when I am better. The contract delivery dates can be rescheduled. My real friends understand and the family have got pretty good at feeding themselves.

That wasn't always the case of course. When my husband was working in London and the children were small then I had to somehow get them fed, bathed and in bed. But I remember sleeping by the fire all day while my eldest one played by herself (having first put down the blanket and pillow for me; "Mummy lie down now. Mummy sleep."). Maybe her overdeveloped sense of independence and responsibility comes from that. Maybe not. It doesn't do any good to blame myself or my illness for its inevitable effect on family life.

We talk about it. We accept it. We do the best we can with it – and we move on.

I'm just grateful for the times I'm well. I'm grateful for what I can do when I can do it.

And I've learned to rest and get better when I can't do anything.

It's enough. It has to be enough.

A Moodscope member.

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

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LillyPet Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 5:21am

Mary, what a beautiful blog to wake up to!

The image of your little daughter looking after you, (after all she learned how to do so from you!) is priceless. I whole heartedly agree with your blog and loved the quote.

I took a moment to read the lyrics and listen to one of the most simple and beautiful songs ever written just now and I'd like to dedicate it to you and your daughter as well as all the Moodscopers out there....When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom... Let it be.

Have a beautiful day people. Love LP xxx

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:07am

Oh i love that song LP! And so fitting as Mary always speaks words of wisdom to us all xxx

Mr A non Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:25am

Written by Paul Mcartney about his mother who died when he was a child. In times of trouble he asked her advice and guidance. Also an absolute classic song

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:01pm

Thank you. That's a great song.

Hopeful One Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 8:11am

Hi Mary- a great blog to read first thing this morning. I picked an idea from the book by Jacqui Marson - 'The Curse of the Lovely'- where she suggests that we should all make a personal Bill of Rights where we award ourselves rights on the lines of your quote.I did that and found it empowered me as it removed the sense of guilt that often accompanies us when we treat ourselves kindly as it feels like an indulgence.

The Joke Squadron was out on its morning sortie and came up with this one.

Three women are sitting in a bar talking about their love lives. The first one says, "My husband is an architect. When we make love it has power, it has form, it has function. It's incredible!" The second one says, "My husband is an artist. When we make love it has passion, it has emotion, it has vision. It's wonderful!" The third woman sighs and sips her margarita, then says, "My husband is a programmer developing Vista for Microsoft. When we make love, he just sits at the end of the bed and tells me how great it's going to be when it gets here."

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:07am

another great joke HO - i love them!

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:02pm

Ah HO - I love that one, as I do all your jokes. Thank you so much for making me smile on a grim morning!

susan Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:03am

You've made me a little weepy, Mary. Beautiful message. Yes, it is enough. I so wish that Moodscope had been there when my children were little and my only focus during bad times was getting them fed and clothed; I would have known then that it had to be enough and that it was enough. And that they would develop some good, strong qualities as a result...which they did. Have a happy day. xx

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:03pm

Thank you Susan

Paul Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:15am

A very good and accurate blog Mary, the difficulty is its not always that easy, being self employed in the service industry makes it very difficult to apply this even though I know it's the right thing to do.
Stop this world I want to get off, at lest for a short while.

(Juggling soot in a hole)

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:05pm

Ah Paul - I love your juggling soot in a hole analogy. And yes - I do understand being self employed and that sometimes you just have to get yourself out there and deliver. There is the small matter of making enough money to keep body and soul together. But - you don't have to do everything. And some things can be left undone (maybe not at work, but certainly at home). I wish you strength and a slowing down of the world at least.

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:17am

A lovely blog Mary. When I was growing up my mum suffered terribly with depression, and I can tell you from the point of view of the daughter that it was a positive (Obviously I would wish she had been well) in the sense that I grew up understanding mental health problems and with a sensitivity towards those with mental health problems. It also meant that me and mum were very close - she took care of me but I also had to take care of her at times, go to the shops, keep myself occupied etc. I have a very fond memory of a day when she hadnt managed to get out to the supermarket and all we had in was apple pie - she asked if it was okay for us to have apple pie for dinner - as a 7 year old with a sweet tooth i thought all my dreams had come at once! apple pie and no vegetables first- what could be better. we sat and enjoyed it together in the lounge (a rarity as food wasnt allowed in the lounge) - it is still a treasured memory of joy. I didnt realise at the time it was a result of my mums illness and obviously had i known i would have wished her to be better and depression free, but the point I am getting at is that depression in a parent doesnt necessarily result in the children having unpleasant memories - for me I have some lovely memories of being close with mum, us taking care of each other when we needed it, and eating apple pie! Also, I now suffer with depression and anxiety (perhaps heriditary?) and I know that she is one person who can understand and I can go to. do not blame yourself for the effect on your family, as there may not always be a negative effect - every cloud has a silver lining and i am sure that your daughter is kind and compassionate and understands mental health much better than those who have not experienced it. i am also sure it has taught her to be open minded and care for all people. i have no doubt she is a beautiful person just like her mama. Also please remember that all relationships are give and take - i am sure there are many things your family do which drive you mad - dirty clothes on the floor, muddy boots in the hall, not stacking the dishwasher, ringing you late for a life - but you take the good with the bad because you love them, they do the same with you - in sickness and in health and all of that - relationships are give and take and your loved ones will do the best they can to support you as you do for them. i will check out the Internal Acceptance Movement it sounds v interesting. much love mary xxxx

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:05pm

Thank you so much Danielle - that is so helpful and encouraging.

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:19am

that was supposed to say 'ringing you late for a lift' not a life!!

Dolphin Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:36am

Thank you, Mary, for a lovely blog and a great quote.

Like Paul, I'm also self-employed and it's not always possible to burrow under a duvet when deadlines loom. With young children to care for it's probably worse. What I've been doing is granting myself 'treats' when I am out and about. These often involve a coffee shop and, given the English baking skills, often a lovely piece of cake or some chocolate after a meal etc. With the result that I've put on weight (who woulda thunk!)...

This morning I got a fright when I looked at the scale (an infrequent experience). I've also got an irritable bowel (as many of you must have) so the extra weight around my middle plus IBS is probably one of the reasons why I have been feeling increasingly uncomfortable and this has affected my already fragile sleep patterns. Ho hum, the vicious cycle going in an opposite direction from the way than the 'treats' intended. I know I'll have to increase the exercise and cut the highly refined sugar treats, but I will certainly mourn the loss of my indulgences!

Has anyone got advice about non-fattening treats?!

Hans Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:51am

Could you live with nuts and raisins? I love them.

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:03am

Dolphin I am the same and often use treats (have a v sweet tooth) to get me through. I have found a couple of things that are tasty but healthy. Banana cookies - mash 3 ripe bananas and add oats and raisins (or choc chips) - add enough oats to make a sticky dough. roll onto balls and squash into cookie shapes on a baking tray (use baking paper so they dont stick) and bake for around 15 mins until golden brown. They are not as tasty as a choccie biccie i wont lie to you! but they do stop the sweet craving and are v filling. they are good for brekkie or a snack. The other one i like is peanut butter energy bites - not overly peanutty. the recipe is here I didnt put all the fancy seeds in but managed to find peanut butter with seeds in already. i also added dark chocolate but a small amount. nice and good for you with nuts and oils and quite rich so they satisfy the sweet craving. in the evenings i try and have a couple of squares of dark chocolate instead of milk as you only need a small amount. you could also try making fruit smoothie ice creams or yogurt ones. buy some of those lolly holders - you know the ones which you fill with water etc and stick the sticks in and freeze to make lollies. try it with low fat yogurts, or frozen fruits and water? they are lovely and also sweet. another good pudding is baked plums - cut plums in half, add a sprinkle of cinamon and bake for 15 mins. you can add marscapone too but if you want a low fat option serve with low fat greek yogurt. xxx

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:05am

this is another I wanted to try but havent done yet, but looks low in fats and sugars!!

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:10am

another good pudding too - stewed apple, you can add raisins or cinammon. after being used to lovely cakes and puddings like I am, they dont do the job quite the same but if you try to make some small changes it could be all the difference. I eat nuts and dried fruit, and fresh fruit. although nuts have fat and fruit has sugar its natural and therefore i think healthier than added sugars

Dolphin Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:34am

Yum yum - lots of lovely recipes. Thanks so much for taking the time to pass them on Danielle. The site for the sugar free lemon drizzle cake also has similar recipes for carrot cake and banana cake. I suppose the trick is to make your own treats rather than buying the super rich chocolate fudge souffle cake (!), to limit the richer ones and to rely on naturally dried fruit when the cravings hit (thanks Hans).

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:38am

exactly Dolphin, at least if you can make your own you know exactly what has gone into it. I have had cakes made with yogurt and vegetable oil and a very small amount of sugar but youd never know - look out for these 'lighter' recipes - that way you can still enjoy your treats. I also try to take 2 or 3 things out but very small amounts, so a small finger of cake, a few nuts and an apple or something. you can space the snacks out through the day and gives me things to look forward to. good luck with it! oooh another thought - a good friend of mine battles with her weight and couldnt understand why. we discussed it and turned out she was eating very healthily but drinking 2/3 lattes full of full fat milk and sugar per day, 2/3 cans of coca cola, and 1/2 glasses of wine. so watch out for drinks too! try tea where you can or try to cut the sugar or at least cut down etc, water will help too lots of water. let us know how you get on :)

Angela Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:59am

It would take me too long to thank you all for your posts, so THANK YOU Mary for saying things I needed to hear. Also Danielle for your post; these and all the others have helped me a lot xxx

danielle Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 11:04am

:) xxxx

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:07pm

Thank you Angela. Writing these posts helps me too - far more than you can ever know.

The Gardener Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 12:39pm

Oh Mary, the stars awarded to me yesterday for not kicking anything or swearing at anybody have gone. Your first paragraph is UTTERLY impossible for me. I'm not self-pitying - I have had hardly any sleep since Mr G returned from hospital - been to clinic today, he's definitely lost the sight in the right eye - surgeon says left eye pretty good and he MUST use it, use his lens, learn to get about - loads people one eye. But Mr G just looks wooden. I know that somehow or other I must put myself first or we'll both go under. But, unfortunately, first day respite everybody was unreliable, instead of grabbing a rest the stress was doubled. Lovely day, Christmas market in town, met loads pals - can't stop, Mr G will panic, and if he tries to move will have another fall. Have kicked the dilatory builders - luckily one of the secs had a father in the same state as Mr G - so she is adding force to my kicks. Answer to LillyPet on yesterday's 'praising'. I do agree mostly with her. One of our sons was 1st or 2nd in all subjects except history - when they changed the master to a history writer he shot to first place. If he came 3rd in anything he was accused of slacking! But I will stick to my guns on excessive praise leading to complacency. Top of my list to Father Christmas is sleep, not much, just more than an hour at a time. Eureka, having laid down the law Mr G has just gone to the loo on his own - so he gets a star on yesterday's principles.

Mary Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 4:29pm

Yes - sometimes it's just not possible. I know you have it tough. I shall pray you get sleep. Thinking of you and props to you for getting the mister to go to the loo on his own!

Norman Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 1:54pm

"I know that somehow or other I must put myself first or we'll both go under"

Hold that thought xxx

Anonymous Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 5:55pm

Thank you for this post, Mary. It sparked a good bawling session, as I've been bumping along in a tough place. I keep trying to push myself back into the swing of things, and I feel so helpless. This was a much needed reminder that sometimes you can't just push yourself. You need to give in and take care of yourself.

The Gardener Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 6:54pm

Looked again at blog 'Internal Acceptance'. I suggested yesterday that Les added 'acceptance' to his 'A's. I am trying, oh so hard, to accept the 'good' of today, to give thanks (via LillyPet, I think) that I still have the ability to reason. Mr G is at his most difficult - too hot, too cold, radio too loud, too soft (a symphony - so always changing - will buy a kid's lullaby toy) to get through the evening without a quarrel - you can watch him work himself up to it - I am trying to put him to bed in his special bed and give him a nice tray meal - but now he does not want to go to bed. I have to accept my lot - but I am raging internally - and have no answer to it.

The Gardener Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 6:54pm

Looked again at blog 'Internal Acceptance'. I suggested yesterday that Les added 'acceptance' to his 'A's. I am trying, oh so hard, to accept the 'good' of today, to give thanks (via LillyPet, I think) that I still have the ability to reason. Mr G is at his most difficult - too hot, too cold, radio too loud, too soft (a symphony - so always changing - will buy a kid's lullaby toy) to get through the evening without a quarrel - you can watch him work himself up to it - I am trying to put him to bed in his special bed and give him a nice tray meal - but now he does not want to go to bed. I have to accept my lot - but I am raging internally - and have no answer to it.

Sal Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 9:27pm

Gardener, so sorry to learn how things are for you at the moment. I wish you rest and respite. Hopefully writing here gives you some outlet and a feeling of not being alone. My own outlet has often been to find a space where I can safely rant with another person and say all the things I can't say to the one who provokes the rant .... the more I can vent completely, the more likely that I break through into another feeling altogether, be it sadness or laughter. But I know that such spaces are rare ... Sending love and well-wishing.

Karen Wed, Dec 9th 2015 @ 10:57pm

Thanks Mary, that was just the message I needed to hear today. Will check out the site you mention when feeling a little more able. Struggled through day with a cold and migraine brewing. Now in bed with lights dim coping with migraine. All the things seem to come together. Stress, illness, migraine... Really do need to STOP and take care of myself before other stuff. Thanks again.

Suzy Wed, Dec 16th 2015 @ 5:30am

Sorry for tardy response, but this is without doubt one of my most favourite Moodscope posts ever. Really reassuring and of great comfort to an ever fraught mind. Thank you!

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