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Never alone. Thursday July 20, 2017

This is my first attempt at writing. I've always wanted to but never had the courage. So here goes...

I'm actually a qualified therapist. I've been following Moodscope for some time, partly for professional reasons, and also for personal support. I particularly enjoy reading other people's blogs – the thoughts, perceptions and struggles are so amazingly unique and yet so common to many. I find the creative words, articles and insights a real encouragement and inspiration.

Recently I've felt overwhelmed – some issues in life have felt like huge injustices, in worldly terms, and also in personal terms, and in facing my responses to these, I've hit a real low.

I've had to face my own feelings head on – why do I struggle so much with being heard, with having a voice, with feelings of 'What's the point' and of feeling so alone? One evening, I even felt like I wanted to die. No, I wasn't really wanting to die; I just wanted the internal struggle with myself and my feelings to end – they just felt too overwhelming. I had nothing left and I felt so useless and empty.

All I could do that evening was cry. My loving husband so kindly just held me. I had no words.

I shared honestly the next day with my supervisor about where I was at, and she empathically shared how it felt like chunks were being taken out of me in some way. I broke and cried deeply again. I felt heard, emotionally held and understood, and this in turn helped to lift my mood and my heart. I've since gathered my thoughts and decided I will give myself some time to tend to my heart, put in some healthier boundaries, respect myself more, and hold my head up high. Life will go on. All will be well.

I'm being very brave in sharing this – firstly, because I struggle so much to speak up and speak out, and secondly, because as a therapist, maybe I shouldn't feel like this and expose my struggle so publicly.

However, I do this to give myself an opportunity to share my voice, to be heard in (what I perceive to be) a supportive community, and to show that therapists are human too. We all struggle with different things at different times of life.

What I love about Moodscope is - it's 'Ok' to be real and it's ok to be honest. And there are others that care. It's comforting to know that I am never alone.

Thank you for all being there.

Maggie Jane
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Molly Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 1:22am

Ah well done for writing your first blog Maggie. It was well written and from the heart. It sounds like you have alot of support from your husband and your employer, which is great. It is also a good reminder that therapists are real too, with feelings, and I think that is a good thing for people to remember. I have to agree with you that the support on here is amazing. It always feels a bit scary when I write a blog, but the responses take all of that away and I think you will have many. I hope you feel better soon. Molly xx

Marmaladegirl Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:49am

Hi Molly - You have no idea how delighted I was to read your name under 'Comments'! Great to hear from you. Love from MG x

Maggie Jane Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:09am

Thank you Molly for your encouragement ? Really appreciate that.

Molly Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 4:31pm

How lovely for you to say that Marmaladegirl. Thank you so much xx

Gayle Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 5:50pm

Maggie Jane--I've never commented before--computer idiot--couldn't figure out how. If you get to read this, thank you for sharing. I'm a retired therapist who found Moodscope after I retired and fell into a depression feeling I had lost my identity. Therapist "heal thyself" Shouldn't I know better--Moodscope really helped and I'm sorry I found it AFTER I retired as I could have encouraged my clients to use it! Gayle

Silvia Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 4:07am


Hi Maggie!
...
My first experience was with Self Healing (Meir S.): people who has given the class next time would sit and do the exercises with us, as students themselves and share their surprise when they discover a part of their body that is in not in a good shape.
Then there are the palliative care group: they allow themselves to ask one member to do the job of the other when they are not feeling ok. Also they provide a time for all them share their fears, sadness among them while helping others to face a difficult time.
Long ago I had a close friend who thought I was in need of a therapy. In fact, the therapy helped me and there was no problem with our friendship. However, a few years later she told me how difficult was for her to work during the process of divorce. She didn't want her friends, some of them her patients, to participate in the process. I think she was right. Besides this situation, she was the same person all the time.
I recently meet a group of psychoanalysts, the ones I like the most. I do not think they are natural, there is something artificial in their way. And it is something like:
"a therapist, maybe I shouldn't feel like this ..."
I've also heard a few weeks ago an important psychoanalyst who explains how some personal revelation helps patients. I will post his name if I find it.
That said, I would take care of what I will reveal and maybe use a pseudonym, a pen name, in order to avoid problems because the web is such a large space. This doctor I mentioned explains this much better.
Well, I would like to polish it a little bit but can't do right now, so this is what I have to say to you: be at ease!

Maggie Jane Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:10am

Thank you Silvia for your comments.

Silvia Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 5:06pm

The author's name is here Dr. Irvin Yalom. You will find his website and videos.

Karen Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:27am

Thank you so much for discussing 'finding your voice' I'm struggling with that too currently and the consequences of expressing my feelings and not stuffing them down. Change is good but scary. Congratulations for first using Moodscope - most professionals I meet are unaware and most unwilling to give it a try to recommend to others. Secondly for 'coming out about your profession' we all need compassion and empathy with each other in this busy world. Have you read Kay Redfield Jameison's biography's? As the head of the Mood Disorder Service for John Hopkins Hospital in the US (the premier one in the US) she wrote about her own bipolar and her career as a psychotherapist and the impact each had on the other. Its a great read as are her others on suicide and grief and all from her own mix of lived experience and theory. Keep strong - your moodscope friend Karen

Maggie Jane Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:11am

Thanks so much Karen - I'll have a look out for that book. Sounds really interesting.

Karen Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 8:49am

Karen again - the book is called - The unquiet Mind

Karen Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:27am

Thank you so much for discussing 'finding your voice' I'm struggling with that too currently and the consequences of expressing my feelings and not stuffing them down. Change is good but scary. Congratulations for first using Moodscope - most professionals I meet are unaware and most unwilling to give it a try to recommend to others. Secondly for 'coming out about your profession' we all need compassion and empathy with each other in this busy world. Have you read Kay Redfield Jameison's biography's? As the head of the Mood Disorder Service for John Hopkins Hospital in the US (the premier one in the US) she wrote about her own bipolar and her career as a psychotherapist and the impact each had on the other. Its a great read as are her others on suicide and grief and all from her own mix of lived experience and theory. Keep strong - your moodscope friend Karen

Karen Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:29am

Sorry for the repeated entries I thought the wi fi was down at my end - Karen

Karen Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:27am

Thank you so much for discussing 'finding your voice' I'm struggling with that too currently and the consequences of expressing my feelings and not stuffing them down. Change is good but scary. Congratulations for first using Moodscope - most professionals I meet are unaware and most unwilling to give it a try to recommend to others. Secondly for 'coming out about your profession' we all need compassion and empathy with each other in this busy world. Have you read Kay Redfield Jameison's biography's? As the head of the Mood Disorder Service for John Hopkins Hospital in the US (the premier one in the US) she wrote about her own bipolar and her career as a psychotherapist and the impact each had on the other. Its a great read as are her others on suicide and grief and all from her own mix of lived experience and theory. Keep strong - your moodscope friend Karen

Karen Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:27am

Thank you so much for discussing 'finding your voice' I'm struggling with that too currently and the consequences of expressing my feelings and not stuffing them down. Change is good but scary. Congratulations for first using Moodscope - most professionals I meet are unaware and most unwilling to give it a try to recommend to others. Secondly for 'coming out about your profession' we all need compassion and empathy with each other in this busy world. Have you read Kay Redfield Jameison's biography's? As the head of the Mood Disorder Service for John Hopkins Hospital in the US (the premier one in the US) she wrote about her own bipolar and her career as a psychotherapist and the impact each had on the other. Its a great read as are her others on suicide and grief and all from her own mix of lived experience and theory. Keep strong - your moodscope friend Karen

Marmaladegirl Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:44am

Hi Maggie Jane - Congratulations on your first blog! I really enjoyed reading it. I have written the occasional blog before so I know that there is nothing 'special' about us 'bloggers' - we're just ordinary people, sending our thoughts in, not 'writers' or anything. I find it hugely rewarding to see my words printed and would encourage anyone who has the slightest inclination to give it a go and email their words to Caroline Ashcroft at Moodscope. Everyone has so much to share and we can all learn from and support each other here. I hope we hear more from you in the future MJ! All the best, MG

Maggie Jane Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:12am

Hey MG! Thank you for your encouraging words. Really appreciate that. ?

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:25am

Therapists are human too. And not immune. There is a saying that doctors and surgeons very often contract the disease in which they are specialists! So pleased you have written - and what a great piece of writing. Glad to see you here - and have a hug.

Fiona Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:28am

Hi Maggie , I have recently joined mood scope and will blog once I get into it . I think everybody struggles with these feelings especially if you work in caring roles , I certainly have at times . I find what helps is to look at what has been going on around you at the time , what are you not doing for yourself ? Are you focusing on sadness ? I certainly find that is something that creeps up on me as I hear such sad stories every day . Sometimes it good to here you are not alone x

Eva Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:28am

Hi MJ good to hear from you, you know this, you are human and fallible, you also need self care and love. As I slowly gain energy I have sometimes been upset with my reactions, after so many months of not having enough energy for emotional highs (beyond grief), I almost felt as though I was beyond getting annoyed, in my recent glimpses of energy I have been able to get rubbed up the wrong way and react rather than respond. I was 'dissatisfied with my behaviour' but now I'm celebrating the fact that I even had enough energy to get annoyed! Take care of your self.

Gardener my home is with my husband and my cat. We moved house between losing our dads, and it wasn't really our home until maybe this year, it was just the place we lived in. I like my stuff, and I think maybe my stuff helps to make me comfortable no matter where we are. But mostly currently it's where my husband is. This is something I find difficult as I know that I can not count on this forever so at some point I need to make myself my home.

Mary I had to herd my cats years ago through a building on fire, stressful morning, happily after some false starts I got them into a room with a damp towel along the door, I had cat boxes ready to go and easy access through a window, and the fire brigade turned up in time to keep them safe, but a true cat hearding story!

Sarah yellow rose Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 7:54am

Hi Maggie Jane, I really enjoyed reading your blog and thank you so much for your honesty. I completely agree with you that Moodscope feels a safe community. It's really uplifting to read every day.

Orangeblossom Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 8:04am

Hi Maggie Jane thanks for the blog which I enjoyed reading immensely. Look forward to reading more of your blogs. I too wanted to go on Moodscope to review it from the professional point of view and have found it very helpful & encouraging. I am also happy that you have a supervisor with whom you have a good rapport.




Anonymous Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 8:09am

Thank you for sharing. It was timely for me, as a therapist and a client.

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 8:18am

Dear Maggie Jane....brave and fearless is the therapist who tells their real story here. A beautifully written blog, and you should feel proud to have written it at all.

Sometimes it is very hard hard to get the feelings out verbally and especially to people who think we should shake ourselves, pull ourselves together etc. So hopefully you will have found some help from having it written down and published here where you're not being judged.

You sometimes hear of a couple who are celebrating a huge wedding anniversary, saying they have never had a cross word in the fifty or sixty years of marriage.....I'm not sure I can believe that; there must have been discussions, squabbles involving children, choice of dinner, picking a house, decorating...you know - all the usual stuff we all argue about!!! It's because we are all human: from the terrified policeman in a pub brawl, the fireman rescuing people from a burning building (including cats...Eva!) a surgeon operating, the therapist trying to understand the patient...to us Moodscopers - coping with everyday 'normal' stuff...so of course, there will be doctors, nurses, teachers, paramedics and yes, therapists who have depression - it's part of what makes us human and alive, and Moodscope is here for anyone and everyone.

So glad you wrote and have a loving husband and kind boss (and have already received excellent responses from this generous crowd!)

Bear hugs to you x x x

Pavane Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 8:40am

Dear Maggie
Thanks so much for posting, I've been putting it off for ages, thank you for opening the door!
I too am a therapist/Moodscope lurker, and have had the worst two years of my life recently, made worse by this concept that therapists are 'supposed' to be OK - why do we feel so guilty if WE are suffering - a topic of much discussion amongst colleagues.
How wonderful you have a loving husband and kind supervisor...ironically, when sharing my thoughts about how the world has become, my supervisor expressed tears and sadness too, so, yes, you are right, we are not alone.
Kindest support and good wishes
Suze
PS Happy to buddy up if you want to! PM me?

Jul Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 9:14am

The way you describe Moodscope Maggie Jane brought home just how amazing it is. I know we have all expressed how we feel about the support we get from this site but somehow the words you used today jolted me into a new appreciation of Moodscope. So thank you! I hope you feel good about your writing and I am so pleased in one way you felt able to at last put pen to paper. It's an encouragement to us all, even for those like me who write occasionally (very occasionally) but haven't done so for a while now. But I am so sorry you have had a period where you haven't felt good about yourself. It must be particularly difficult for a therapist to open up so bravo. Jul xx

Larry Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 9:39am

I'd just like to say to all of you Therapists out there a m a s s I v e THANK YOU for all you do for so-oo many! Please 'know' how much your work is appreciated, welcomed, needed, and how unknowingly you have helped save lives, both in physical being as well as in balancing mental health. As fellow humans you have your own lives .. joys and sadness's, good and bad health, yet you find it within you to take on the burdens of others 'on top'. Listening, is tiring, and having the compassion to care about other peoples predicaments adds to your own stresses.

However professional and however well trained and experienced you may be - the thoughts of your day's work are carried home, I know. I had a Friend who specialised in therapy for his Vietnam war compatriots (based in the U.S) .. he had to deal with his own war experiences, but due to his work was unable to move-on, he ended up taking his own life leaving a lovely and beautiful and heartbroken family behind. So, it's hugely important you take time out for yourself, don't force it.

Valerie Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 10:16am

Morning Maggie,

Welcome to Moodscope.I really hope this won't be the last time you write a blog.Personally I would never wish to share my innermost fears and guilt with anyone,therapist or friend,who had not been through the long dark night of the soul themselves.I am sure everyone who belongs to Moodscope will know what it feels like to just want to be done with the struggle,cease to be.This forum is a safe haven,no need to pretend to be doing well.

I bet you are a superb therapist,saving lives and keeping people afloat until they are stronger.I am so pleased you have a loving husband.A good cry can be such a healer too.
Your insights as a professional and a fellow-human could be of much help on here,so please write again.

Valerie xx

Holly Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 10:42am

Thank you for this blog! I have often wondered how therapists cope with things, especially since I'm wondering whether to become one myself!

The Gardener Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 10:43am

Hello Maggie - refreshing and comforting when a 'helper' admits to needing help - how can you listen to others problems if you admit to none of your own - would not be human, or a therapist. Moodscope, as so many 'regulars' know here, is part of the 'team' which keep me afloat. I have a new 'symptom' to my husband's Alzheimers which is causing me unnecessary grief. He has become aggressive - and, of course, it is something that must be noted. When the morning nurses started, 18 months or more ago, I had to sign that I agreed to their 'reporting' anything seriously amiss, like bruising, possible falls, unreported illness etc. Last week Mr G hit a helper, yesterday he hit a nurse. Why am I suffering? It's part of his illness, after all. But we are British, welcomed with open arms into this town 25 years ago, in fact I am the official historian here. The fact that Mr G should hit a woman, and a French woman into the bargain, has got to me. Among the ever smiling nurses is one who is a widow at 40 and another whose 6 month child has problems. THEY are comforting ME because I feel so bad about something completely out of my control. So nice to see a 'new' writer, and that Molly is still with us.

Leah Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 10:55am

TG, You have probably be told this many times it is not MR G being aggressive it is his illness. I was told this when my mother would lash out . Sending hugs,

Molly Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 5:08pm

Gardener, thank you for the mention, I appreciate it, the support on here has been huge. Please remember that it's not your fault that Mr G is being aggressive. Frustrating and embarrassing for you maybe but not your fault, please don't feel bad. The nurses are used to it and no doubt have experienced worse patients! I do feel for you, having to deal with this on a daily basis. So very hard for you, love Molly xx

Leah Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 10:52am

Maggie, what a moving blog. It reminds me of the old saying Who heals the healer?
Your honesty and insights into your own problems is reassuring.
Leah

Poppy Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 12:25pm

Hear! Hear!

A Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 12:25pm

Yes, I too am a therapist Maggie and have been for over three decades. I think it's a common curse, as I put it, that we can feel we should be 'all sorted', whereas that isn't the case at all. All us therapists are wounded healers, we will have resolved some issues, some partly so, and some not at all. I was greatly reassured recently when I was lucky enough to attend a symposium given by the Dalai Llama. At one point he said "I struggle with the same dilemmas you do". I thought this was wonderful, far from making him less of a person it made him much more so. It showed a true humility, and yet I struggle to adopt the same humility with clients. Of course a therapy session is about the client, not about me, but a simple acknowledgement of my own frailties and uncertainties would, at times I'm sure, be a great leveller.

Rob Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 12:48pm

Well done Maggie Jane for taking such a brave stance and opening your heart to help those of us who read your words. I have been using Moodscope for some time now and this is the first time I've commented.

Vickie Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 1:13pm

Hi Maggie Jane,
Thank you for such a sincere and open blog. I have had several therapists over the years. The ones that have helped me the most are those that I feel are speaking from their own struggles. It inspires me to know that I am not alone in my feelings/thoughts and I want to hear what practices others use to rise above struggles. You are courageous and I am so happy that you have a strong support system.
Moodscope always makes me feel supported.

Molly Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 5:15pm

Hi Vickie, I was just thinking this, that many therapists don't truly understand yet the ones that have experienced the really low times, can relate and are the best of all xx

Lexi Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 1:49pm

Hi Maggie Jane - a beautiful piece of writing. Thank you so much for sharing. My therapist occasionally shares her experiences with me when she finds me particularly struggling, and I find it helpful and comforting to know that she struggles too, that none of us is perfect. We are all finding our way and I think that being open and honest with your own struggles makes you a more compassionate therapist. So well done :)

the room above the garage Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:14pm

Hello Maggie Jane, thank you for writing a heartfelt, honest blog. It's fantastic you have. A therapist once told me that if each therapist was 'sorted' the world would be tuning towards perfection. How scary! You have a wealth of wisdom and, for now, need to take time to restore your strength. It will come. Largely because you have the most important thing, perspective. You recognise a danger zone and you've stepped up, that's pretty huge. All will indeed be well and I hope we can stick out our hands and support you over the rocky bit. Great to hear from you, love ratg x.

Jane SG Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 6:39pm

Hello Maggie Jane. What a lovely name you have. Thank you for the lovely blog. Hopefully you will now have the courage to write many more now that you've seen all the positive responses. Love from Jane SG x

Anne Thu, Jul 20th 2017 @ 9:13pm

Hi Maggie Jane

Just read your post and love it I appreciate your honesty and courage in speaking your truth... what I love about this community is it confirms to me daily that it's when we (me) are willing to be vulnerable it's then we are more connected.

As another therapist who uses this site for myself (my oxygen mask goes on first) I feel compelled to recommend it to my clients, supervisees and students. I beieve that it is owning our story and experience we can all learn, grow and heal...

Trust yourself x

Linda Sun, Jul 23rd 2017 @ 9:18pm

Excellent, congratulations loved this post take care xx

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