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Out of Nowhere. Wednesday September 14, 2016


The wave of misery swept over me like a tsunami. I was walking down the road to the bus stop, to collect my daughter from her third day at "big school", when it hit.

I literally had to stop dead. The feeling was so intense it brought a wave of weakness and I felt as if I couldn't walk another step. I wanted to sit down, right there on the pavement, and weep.

I didn't sit down, but I did lean against the wall of someone's garden for a moment. I took out my phone and texted Richard (you remember Richard from last week?) "Send hugs!" I tapped. "I need hugs!"

"Sending them to you…" was the immediate reply. "Big hugs. Enormous hugs. Huuuuuuuuuuggggggggssssssss!"

I smiled, felt a bit better and was able to carry on.

I received more hugs. No, you're right of course – hugs from Germany, Italy and the other side of the UK, sent over the phone, are not the same as the hug I received from my daughter when she got off the bus, but they helped and they enabled me to carry on.

But that swamp of desolation was mystifying.

Where had it come from? Why did it appear out of nowhere? What was the reason?

I went back over my day. I'd conducted a really positive business meeting with a woman I'd met while networking; I'd prepared my studio for the class I was teaching the following day; I felt quite proud because I'd given blood; I'd cooked tea...

Hang on – I'd given blood!

Light dawned.

Now, some people can give a pint of blood and carry on with no ill effects. Some people keel over. My husband was advised not to give blood after the third time he collapsed before even getting to the tea and biscuits. With me, it hits emotionally.

I used to suffer from debilitating migraines. Some people get a visual aura as a warning before one hits. I used to get an emotional aura. For no reason at all I would experience an overwhelming urge to hide away in a corner and cry. The feeling would pass after a few moments, but twenty minutes later a red hot poker would stab behind my left eyeball so I could hardly see from the pain (fellow sufferers will wince here with sympathy).

Our physical and emotional states are inextricably bound together. If our physical wellbeing is compromised, then very often our emotions will follow suit.

Knowing this and, more importantly, acknowledging it while it's happening, does not necessarily make us feel better, but it does tend to stop the guilt. I am sure I am not the only one who regularly beats myself up for feeling down. If I know there is a physical reason for the way I feel, then I'm far more likely to be kind to myself about it.

And to ask for more hugs. Hugs are always good, even if texted from a thousand miles away.

A Moodscope member.

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

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Andrew Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 6:19am

I know that feeling so well. And the realisation that there might be a physical trigger - diet, medication, or in this case, blood pressure, can help make sense of it all. I still manage to find ways to blame myself for allowing this to happen though - you did well if you avoided this - the critical inner voice likes nothing more than a spot of 'I told you that would happen' as it shouts vitriol and nonsense at me to compound the already overwhelming feelings of desolation.
Meanwhile, thank goodness for hugs. Real or virtual, they all help. And well done for giving blood. The mere thought makes me queasy!
Sending hugs x

Duma Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 6:42am

Hi Mary. It must be terrible to feel so vulnerable, to the vagaries of your condition, depression is starting to sound like a stone cold bitch.

Adding pain into the mix? Wow! Just, wow.

I enjoy my condition, I wake up happy every morning, feel supercharged, physically and mentally. I had no idea, I just thought depression was like a parachute, getting 'normal' Bipolars to reset to 'normal speed mode'.

Once again I had no idea, I have an empathic blind spot - I can't tell when I'm being depressing.

At all, I have to follow rules, like a smart aspergers, high functioning.

Just in order to not crash people's moods straight to 'Cosmic Horror'. I can be " express elevator to hell, going down!" To quote Private Hudson, from 'Aliens'.

I reckon depression is a spectrum, one that everyone is on...

...spectrums include zero, right?

Oh, and I wish I could give blood, but, long half-life meds prohibit this, bummer, I'd love to add my prions to the pot.

My first impulse, once I was starting my first episode, nearing the foothills, was to go Spec-War. Luckilly, I section eighted in the recruiting office (Something about 'too flexible a moral compass'.) they could have got me to do anything, and I wouldn't have needed down time, just a night's sleep.

Like I said, lucky escape! Not to have to follow orders. Bliss!

I just carried on with my personal crusade, pro bono.

Probably for the best, but I'm heavily 'flagged', as a result.

DNA - Do Not Approach, Do Not Apprehend, et cetera, ad nauseum.

But, I will approach, to give a hug.

I'll be here, until finalDeath, giving out free hugs and helping anyone with demon problems.

As I am wont to say "Someone had to do it, or it wouldn't have got done."

Much love, Duma OXO.

Duma Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 8:20am

Sod it! I just re-read all the blogs, since I started commenting... ...and Lex requested passing along her email, to me of Caroline, ages ago. So, here is an account, which I only set up to get a third person perspective on my Facebook blog. it's empty and disposable (a burner) so here goes, deep breath...

Duma Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 8:27am

Being a Glaswegian, I have tales of a fish (Baby Great White, actually), a tree, a ring and a bell, to tell. anyone who wants sagas can contact me. Or if you want to see my blog... Cheers, Duma.

Barbara Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 6:50am

Two great posts. Thank u Mary and Duma. O O (hugs).

Duma Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 7:01am

And we have a new record!

Duma Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 8:35am

Fourteen! For the 'barbarian woman' - the meaning of Barbara (a VERY old name). x

Duma Thu, Sep 15th 2016 @ 7:41am

Oh, and thank you for the lovely compliment and hug! Sorry, forgot my manners, there.

Poppins Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 8:01am

Hugs to thank you, Mary, for the gift of your blood. Hugs to wish you well. Hugs to congratulate you on recognising why you became unwell. Hugs because we know how you feel, when your child starts school. Hugs because you need them. More hugs because I want to send them to you. Hugs, hugs, hugs for you.

Mary Wednesday Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 11:38am

ah, bless you! and thank you!

Tutti Frutti Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 12:42pm

Hi Mary
I totally agree about the physical and emotional being linked. I sometimes find my score has dipped when I am just very tired or have a grotty cold and I have to send explanatory emails to my buddies before they start worrying.

Be proud of yourself for giving blood. It's an amazing thing you are doing for others. I get totally stressed out and end up physically and emotionally shaken whenever I have to have a blood test. That's just from a tiny amount compared to the "half an armful" you've managed so giving blood is bound to affect you. I am relieved to say that I can't give blood on my medication so I don't have to have the fight with my inner critic who would be very unimpressed with me for chickening out.

Hope you'll be feeling better soon. Here are the virtual hugs etc.
Love TF xoxo

LP Wed, Sep 14th 2016 @ 7:22pm

Hi Mary,
Thank you for your heartfelt blog. I really identified with it. I'm so glad you plumetting like that could be explained, as the "not knowing" how long a low will last definitely contributes to it.

On a much smaller scale, I had an unexpected low feeling recently, which I later realised was due to a physical cause. I got to thinking that maybe many times in the past I've mistaken low feelings that may have had an underlying physical cause that I wasn't aware of, for depression.

Good for you, "retracing your steps" as it were, nipped it in the bud.
Thank you from me too for giving blood and for this very helpful blog. Even though they're not quite the same, Hugs from me too! LPxx

Nicco Mon, Oct 3rd 2016 @ 6:02pm

Thanks for the blog, Mary. Yes, it's very debilitating, almost like a physical blow, when it just hits like a bolt from the blue, but it's good you were able to trace back to what caused it - I find doing that is very helpful. I have M.E. and fibromyalgia, along with a few other things, so find tracing back in the light of those and the corresponding symptoms brings a sigh of relief and leads to my being a little kinder to myself (amidst the, 'you know you shouldn't have done that...' inner voice! Not that I'd wish it on anyone, but it helps to read that I'm not the only one who gets hit like this, if you know what I mean!

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