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Let's All Be Sad Together. Wednesday October 28, 2015

So it's a murder of crows, a parliament of owls. What do you call us? A gloom of depressives? A melancholy? A darkness?

Well, I recently met up with a group of Moodscope administrators, writers and users. My husband and children were rather anxious that this would be one of those meetings where we would all sit around in a circle heaving deep sighs and like Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, say things like "Life! Don't talk to me about life. Oh god, I'm so depressed!"

And of course it wasn't like that at all.

I think we were all rather nervous beforehand. After all, everyone knows that writers aren't in the least like their words; we're always a terrible let-down in real life. And most of us can't quite understand why anyone would ever want to read anything we've written anyway. I mean, honestly, why would you? (Don't answer that, please!)

But thirty seconds, a few hugs and half a glass of Prosecco were enough to get us all comfortable with each other, followed by the best chips (home fries) I've ever tasted. So it ended up being one of the most upbeat, positive, creative and potentially productive meetings I've ever attended.

We don't necessary believe in ourselves, but we believe in each other, and oh boy, do we believe in the power of Moodscope to help others in this same boat we're all sailing.

So the ideas flowed, or rather gushed like a torrent. The teasing began, the smiles and laughter injected the atmosphere with more bubbles than the Prosecco.

"You're more emotionally robust than I thought you would be," was one comment. Well, damn right we are! You think it's easy, living with depression? We're tough; we have to be.

So it was a fabulous few hours. It was great.

And as usual it exacted a price. So that meant exhaustion afterwards, yawning to the point of tears on the train home (apologies to my lovely fellow travellers), a grateful kiss to my husband who had cooked the kids macaroni cheese for tea (oh how I love that man) and straight to bed for fourteen hours' sleep.

Take heart fellow depressives. We are not always melancholy; darkness does not inevitably stalk our every step. We're good for a time (and we can be very good, baby!). We just don't have that much juice in the batteries. The Energiser Bunny we are not (well, not unless we're in the "up" part of a bi-polar cycle, that is).

The best thing to come out of that meeting was realising how much we have to give, to contribute. Realising our passion is as good as and maybe better than that of anyone else.

That's a good feeling, you know?

And not at all sad.

A Moodscope member.

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

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LillyPet Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 7:28am

Morning Mary,
Whenever I've been nervous about an event, it's never as bad as I thought it was going to be!
I loved your depiction of A Melody of Moodscopers (!), prossecco and chips!
Thanks Mary LP :)

angelahacking Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 8:14am

Yes. Things are usually the opposite of our thoughts . Sounded. A good event actually you have excited me today for once I feel I may try and write my own thoughts for the blog well done you! And me!

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 1:47pm

Good for you angelahacking! We will look forward to reading it! Bear x

The Gardener Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 10:13am

Just in the process of making sense of a house which has been hospital, hotel, office and general pandemonium for the last six days - the hospital at home having been abandoned for the real thing. Mary's remark about being 'emotionally robust' is a telling one. My mother thought me 'hard' all my life, because I did not rush round like a headless chicken when dramas arose (with a demanding

Mary Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 10:38am

Absolutely. We rarely give ourselves credit for this.

Debs Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 10:43am

I love the idea of a collective noun of depressives... a brood p'raps?! People can never believe I have depression (but you're so happy and funny?!) Sounds like a good meeting M - did anything come out of it? I can imagine such a meeting of minds was a creative hotbed?! xx

Mary Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 2:06pm

It's a "watch this space" thing. As always developments take research and resources (time, energy, money)but you may see some evolution going on. One thing - for instance, is Lex' audio blogs. I'd love to do those too, and now I'm feeling better I may very well do that.

The Gardener Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 5:46pm

I think a 'brood' sounds too cosy. Thinks of large families, or a soft chicken on a clutch of eggs. Sad sacks? Slough of despond's been done. 'The Glums' likewise.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 6:14pm

I thought a 'brood' could be quite a funny one as we all probably brood on our moods, Debs! Imagine though, if we were the sloughs of despond and lived in Slough? How confusing would that be??!! Joking I am! Bear x

Debs Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 8:21pm

Yes, it was a play on words ;-) And tongue in cheek... Imagine being depressed and living in Slough - now there's a thought (no disrespect to Sloughites, I'm sure it's lovely ;-))

The Gardener Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 9:15pm

Last word on poor slough - John Betjeman 'come friendly bombs and fall on Slough'. A name like that is not a good start anyway.The Gardener

readerwriter Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 11:26am

coming to terms with recurrent depression I have sometimes told people I'm "out of the closet" as a depressive. We can all "mask up" and disguise our illness, often extremely effectively as the life and soul of the party.I'm learning not to hide it now, and not hiding from myself or others means I just have to "get on. I think I always wanted to believe my mental health problems were somehow different, or made me special in some way. But (mercifully) I've realised I'm just like everyone else with this illness. I need to do what makes me better, avoid what makes me worse.....
Back to "coming out" -my depression is part of me, a pretty important part, but it's not all defining.Reading the blogs helps me feel I'm stanfing shoulder to shoulder with others...thank you for your thoughts....

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 12:00pm

To Milliecat....the ted talk you mentioned yesterday is really good. Thank you, Bear.

Mary, perhaps through Moodscope, we are a 'diligence of messengers' we send out our messages of hope and comfort to those we stand shoulder to shoulder with as Readerwriter stands with us above!
Hope your holiday is going well :)
Bear x

Mary Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 2:09pm

A diligence of messengers... I like it.

Sal Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 1:00pm

Rock on Mary! Great writing, and great news - thanks for sharing it.
Sal x

Dolphin Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 1:25pm

It sounds a great meeting and I, too, would be interested in hearing of any outcomes - if that was an intended goal.

I've been gaining so much from the blogs and admiring the personalities so it's time that I came out of the closet too and contributed (whether exposing or supporting).

Yes, we are robust and your view was a prod to remember this. I woke this morning feeling cheerful and optimistic and thought "I must remember this feeling for when I am down. If I am this way now, I can be this way another time." Of course, after a morning of (very minor) decision-making (refer to a previous blog on how difficult making decisions is when depressed), I am now exhausted and down. So my morning's lesson ALREADY needs to be remembered (sob!!).

Anyway - here I am.

I was going to sign off with the suggestion of a drab of depressives. However, while I feel drab now, you lot certainly don't sound drab! This site is certainly an ideal of depressives. x

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 1:54pm

Dear Dolphin, welcome, wilkommen, croeso, bien you are and how lovely that you've signed in with us. Am so sad your morning took a nose-dive...but being a dolphin, I'm sure you'll be back up for air soon! I know this might sound a liddle strange...but would it be a good idea to take a picture of yourself....a selfie, no less...when you are bright and breezy and enjoying the that IF or when you have to plunge the depths you could look at the picture and see that in fact, life does get bedderer!! Also, if with today's technology, you could write something attached to that pic...something positive, it will bring that happy time back again. When I am low I often look at photos of a holiday or our dog or just us having a good remind me this too will pass. Bear hugs from Bear x x x

Dolphin Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 2:07pm

Thanks - good idea to get something tangible to remind one x

Mary Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 2:08pm

Dolphin, it's lovely to hear from you. When we are down it seems like for ever and it's so difficult to believe we will ever feel good again. If a photo works for you then share about it and maybe it might work for others too.

Debs Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 8:28pm

Oh god, I so get you Dolphin, that was me this morning. Woke up cheery - which hasn't been the case for some time - and started cracking on with stuff. By late morning I could feel myself slipping and sliding down a slope so stopped myself (from signing up to run the London Marathon and taking on a voluntary role integrating Syrian migrants into UK society... ) and went for a bath. Yesterday's blog came to mind - whatever I do today is good enough. I am good enough. I suffer some kind of innate desire to protect/change/help the world but I have to remember to help myself first otherwise the world ends up helping me and that's no use to anyone. xx

readerwriter Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 1:56pm

Dolphin - know what you mean - pr'aps we're a "pod" of depressives -that makes it sound like we're holding something within us, maybe at a cost to ourselves..but something that has a necessary rebalancing in it?

Julia Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 3:52pm

I delayed reading this post in my mail Inbox as I didn't like the subject title. How deceptive. Well done to the Moodscope extended team!!
xxx Julia from France

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 6:08pm

Bon chance, Julia! This Moodscope blogging is like a lucky dip every time we open the emails! Glad you opened and read this one! Bear x

The Gardener Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 5:34pm

My post above obviously got disturbed. I think I was looking back to how you faced dramas and particularly accidents. When the kids got hurt I hope I did the right thing - keep calm, keep them calm, decide if it was 'kiss it better' or straight to the hospital (my kids were brilliant at finding something to do the others hadn't thought of, and when we turned up at the hospital they were invariably filthy - once we all turned up bare foot. Mary's remark about 'emotionally robust' has come home to roost this afternoon. I abandoned first 'post' to go to the hospital. My husband was SHACKLED, he was throwing himself about, tearing out drips, and catheters, throwing off clothes so he was cold. He knew me - and I managed to get a few spoonfuls of food down him. I've got home, tearless, but desperately frightened of how strong I shall be for what is to come. there are massive road works and delays to add to the fun. While son and I watched over his Dad (when he was still at home) and calmed great-grandaughter we talked a lot. It was he who introduced me to Moodscope - and we discussed how we, of different generations, reacted to the cards. We agreed we would have no difficulty in answering 'Active' - 'extremely'. We reckoned 'bloody-minded-ness' and 'perseverance' could be added, but they are covered in other ways.He has 'buddies', I don't feel a need, I have so many marvellous correspondents as well as all you lot above. Mary's meeting sounded most positive - I went to a course, run in a Commune, on 'techniques for solving difficulties' it was awful, real open-heart surgery - women all neurotic, indecisive and would not face facts. Apparently they went back year after year. Mary, do your really think writers are a 'let down' in real life? My writings get me loads of friends, but as I write about this area, and 500 years of family history, they all want to know if a fictitious house was THEIR ancestor's house. Despite the revolution all French hope their families were noble at some time. Going to have a whisky (rare for me) and attack 3 days of kitchen chaos, it actually smells, yuck.

Mary Thu, Oct 29th 2015 @ 3:36am

Hi TG - Maybe it's just me who will be a great disappointment then. I can write lovely words, but in reality I'm just a plump middle-aged woman who wears brightly coloured clothes and displays a minor talent for facetiousness. Oh, and TGm- I have been to groups like that too. Often creative writing groups. After a couple of meetings I could begin to see the point in selective euthanasia!

Caroline Ashcroft from Moodscope Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 8:26pm

How about:

A Tribe of troubled thinkers
A Snatch of sensitive souls
A Wardrobe of worriers
A congregation of creatives
A colony of survivors?


Frankie Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 10:17pm

I'm loving these Caroline! Frankie x

LillyPet Thu, Oct 29th 2015 @ 1:04am

Me too! :)

Frankie Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 10:20pm

Hi Mary

What a lovely blog; and thank-you for the reminder that our over-active imaginations create the worst possible scenario - which in practice rarely, if ever, happens!

It reminds me of the quote along the lines of ...

Do not compare your insides with other people's outsides, for you are not comparing like with like (Anonymous)

Frankie x

BC Wed, Oct 28th 2015 @ 11:51pm

Hi Mary,
This is my very favorite blog since joining Moodscope in July. Thank you! In that serendipitous way, this morning I woke-up early, jumped in the shower first thing, go my hubby off and dove into a tremendously hectic day. It was GRAND; I have not gotten so many things done in one day in ages and the calm the open space on my desk offers is so quietly beautiful. So... since the shower came early, Moodscope unfortunately, came late today. But reading your blog was at the right moment and I very much appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!

Mary Thu, Oct 29th 2015 @ 3:37am

Thanks BC. Glad you had a good day.

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