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Letting out the mad. Wednesday September 18, 2013

There are some beliefs/cultures whose understanding is that when a person dies the windows should be opened so that the spirit of the deceased can be freed. I think this custom could be used to illustrate that there are times when, due to bitter disappointment, sadness or grief, we can have a 'spirit of madness' within us and that 'windows' must be opened so as to let the madness out, to free it.

For reasons I won't go into just now I had a lot of 'mad' in me last night. I'd taken to my bed in the afternoon feeling utterly overwhelmed with life. Lying there though, I knew I had a lot of mad, hysteria, adrenalin, call it what you will, surging through me. I was infinitely grateful for the fact that the house was empty in the evening, and so slipped into the dvd player, Coldplay's Live 2012 and turned the sound up to its loudest. My intention had been to get cleaning and dusting but instead I jumped, whooped, danced and sang like a wild banshee. I let out the mad. And boy, did my body and mind thank me for that.

I remember some months after the death of my father, who I thought was invincible, almost calmly, asking my mum not to fret but I was going outside to smash some plates. I took a pile of old, cheap crockery and slammed them as hard as I could against the wall and pavement. I now see that I needed some tangible evidence of destruction (in a non-anti-social way and without hurting anyone or anything) that night. Breaking the plates, I believe, stopped something breaking in my mind. I let out the mad.

Suffice to say, it's important to know when we need to let out our mad (safely of course). I think it will almost certainly help our living spirit, rest in peace.

(You may also enjoy the post from August 12 - Flipping The Lid)

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 12:55am

Suzy I utterly and truely believe that you have the right idea. And the way you express it can and will really give people a feeling of 'im not alone'. Alot of people feel the way you do but dont know how to deal with it or relate to anyone. That is a true talent you have and thank you for sharing and taking the time to express your thoughts. xthebaytree

PWD Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 7:13am

Great post really like it.


joanne Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 9:19am

I have had some 'input' via NLP and one of the things talked about was to actually physically change what your body does when ruminating thoughts are going through your head. Dancing, jumping up and down anything which involves physical action. I've found forcing myself to dance is one of the best things to lift my mood and balance me out again

Hesadevil Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 10:08am

What a thought-provoking post. It brought to mind the old saying 'let it all out' in times of grief.

It also reminded me, in times of perceived danger, the body's automatic reaction is 'fight or flight'. I've never thought about utilising the 'fight' part of this before.

Doing this 'safely' is not just about not harming others or yourself, physically. I grew up (and now belong to) a family where expressing oneself in this way was frowned upon, thus adding to any feelings of guilt or shame, not to mention physically 'freezing' at any thought of the attempt to 'let out the mad'.

I'm sure I could find a way around this but it would be difficult to do so at the exact moment needed. Any suggestions?

Suzy Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 10:32am

Well, I remember another occasion when I ran along the coastal path, Coldplay playing in my ears like dynamite, running hard against the rain and fierce wind. (I love running in the rain) That too was letting out the mad. I suppose even connecting to a tune, putting it on in your car and singing it with all your might and heart could let off a little steam. (Just popping out to Tesco's!;o)

André Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 11:30am

What it works for me to let out the mad is to exercise intensively. Really putting my body to the test and work out for as long as I can. That madness gives me the extra fuel! And in the end, I feel great! Tired but satisfied. And everything is back to being fine again, I am no longer mad. Good post by the way! ;)

Anonymous Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 11:33am

Wow I envy you! When that going to bed bit takes me over I just go further and further down into what feels like a bottomless black cave... just pointlessness


Nicola Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 12:31pm

Such an interesting post. I'm struggling a lot with maintaining the facade of being OK while secretly wanting to scream or shout at people in meetings! Maybe a bit of plate smashing/hard exercise is the way forward for me!

Anonymous Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 1:40pm

My Playlist...
Break down and let it all out - Nina Simone
The Cardigans - Expode
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Crazy - Seal
Lithium - Evanescence
The Verve – the drugs don’t work
Loosing my religion - REM
Everybody Hurts
Akala find no enemy
Moby: why does my heart feel so bad?
Faithless - Insomnia
Nitin Sawhney - Human - Fragile Wind
Nitin Sawhney - Letting go
Nitin Sawhney - Falling

Marilyn H Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 4:50pm

Can you all send me some plates please? x

Suzy Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 4:53pm

Love this! Thank you!

Anonymous Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 5:16pm

A broader comment on moodscope. I'd much prefer it to be a single click to pick my mood, perhaps 4 tiles, in a random arrangement? (I'd go for a 2x2 grid, but perhaps linear would be better?). Having to click, wait, click, wait, final click really turns me off (ok, sometimes it's just one click, or two), I dread how long this takes, and thus I don't do it for 6 months. Please change it.

Anonymous Wed, Sep 18th 2013 @ 10:00pm

Suzy, another awesome blog today. I need to channel my anger and frustrations in a similar way. Thank you.

kathryn Thu, Sep 19th 2013 @ 7:30am

Suzy, of all the posts in recent months the last one flipping the lid and this one have been so clear and have hit the mark in allowing me to make sense of things. My son who is sevejn now says "ooohhh aaarrrggg I'm flipping my lid" then we hug because we truly understand what is happening because you expalined it via the video. And now when I feel mad I will put on the chemical brothers "hey boy" and do 500 stair step ups, 100 crunches and as many burpees I can muster! You are brill when are you going to write a book "answers to pain" ;)

Anonymous Thu, Sep 19th 2013 @ 8:23am

Marilyn I love it - your comment made me laugh out loud!

Caroline Ashcroft Thu, Sep 19th 2013 @ 9:58am

Hi there, I'm sorry you are dreading how long the test might take you, but there is a good reason for us using the card interface.

When we first built the Moodscope site we did originally give people a rapid way to complete the test every day, but found out that this wasn't good from a psychological point of view. When people basically 'filled in a form' their minds went into a kind of auto-pilot mode. They didn't properly focus on how they felt, but clicked on buttons quickly to get the test over and done with.

We discovered that part of Moodscope's therapeutic value is that it forces people to properly stop and focus on their state of mind for a couple of minutes each day.

So sorry it takes a while, but I hope the above helps you understand why.

Suzy Thu, Sep 19th 2013 @ 10:57pm

Hey Kathryn,

What a fantastic comment. (I love your son!) Thank you for sharing. How wonderful you are teaching your son to be emotionally intelligent whilst young. So important.
I have to point out though that Bill Andrews wrote Flipping the Lid and shared the video. It was great wasn't it? So simple yet so, so helpful.
'My son who is seven now says "ooohhh aaarrrggg I'm flipping my lid" ' I just love this Kathryn. Thank you!

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