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Pattern matching part 3. Sunday October 6, 2013

I gained access to an email account I've not used for over 3 years yesterday (I'd lost my password). I found what I needed soon enough, but I went snooping around in past messages. I read a message I'd received in 2007.

Within seconds I could feel my energy changing, the life draining out of me, the flooding with upset emotions, the thoughts about how useless I was at handling that situation back then. The past came in to rule my present. I felt overwhelmed. My physiological, emotional and thinking states were altered. It affected me all day, disturbed my sleep last night and lingers somewhat today.

But, if I trace it back, I know enough to know that opening access to that email account was a high risk strategy. If I was 'mindful' enough I would have known, as I should do, that looking at old messages was fraught with danger. I 'could' have chosen differently and closed out of the programme once I found the thing I was looking for.

There's nothing I can now do about something that happened 6 years ago involving someone I've not seen for years. My life is being lived in the present. I need to learn from the experience.

In the past I would try to eat and drink my way out of the discomfort. Now, I walk. Today, I'll try to live more mindfully. Is this easy? Of course not. But, really, is there anything else to do?

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

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Anonymous Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 8:10am

Ive have never left a comment before but read your emails everyday. And some more than others fit my life like you know me lol when I see some people who are mutual acquaintances with other friends on facebook I used to go see how they are doing but it always just hurts, and find myself wondering when I wont care anymore.

Julia Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 9:07am

I used to be on Facebook but no longer for this very reason..I was spending too much time searching for my past acquaintances, those who had caused me trauma and upset and wondering (hoping), well ..what exactly was I hoping?! I would eventually come off the computer feeling what a waste of time that was and feeling far worse than when I began my search. It's difficult though technically to cancel your Facebook account. I managed it with help and phew what a relief. Maybe we will look back at comments we write now in later years and think "oh my goodness, did I write that!" As Bill says, we have that choice not to addictively search for information and news of our past and the only way I could do it was not to have the necessary tool available to me. I sometimes think I spend too much time on Moodscope but I am convinced Moodscope is such a helpful tool and that even if I do spend too long on it at any one time, it really is my choice.

Daydream Believer Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 12:52pm

Mindfulness has proved most powerful tool to avoid recurrent depression. I have found a similar experience when looking back at some agonised journal writing. Now I deal with the approaching downward spiral by mindful practice. And it works, for me.

Anonymous Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 1:14pm

Julia, Unfortunately no Beatles lyrics. I quit the sales job. Just not for me. Despite having the understandable pang of "What HAVE I done?", I feel okay. You're right. Facebook is a dangerous networking device. This forum is great, mainly because one feels less rushed here. You can compose yourself and a few sentences in a calmer manner. On Saturday night, for the first time I got talking to someone who blurted out that she was bi-polar. I shook her hand, said so was I, it's okay and all that. It's strange. One partly feels okay to comfort someone, but a little jarred because she danced all night right in front of a (very entertaining) band. In short, I saw how I act. I'm learning to think more before putting on a happy persona when in public. As a musician on stage, it is a necessary skill. ( Unless you're, say, Mark E. Smith etc. ) I'm learning that it's okay to be "grumpy" if I'm feeling a little down. Your blogs are life-affirming. Thankyou. Peace and Love.

Julia Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 1:37pm

Thank you. But I am not good at receiving compliments! I wish I was. You did make me feel good however so really that's all that matters. A professional (Dr Colin Espie) once told me that I dealt with my ups and downs well in that I compensated in both situations. I didn't allow myself to spiral out of control when feeling good or down. I think this is what you mean seeing your bi polar "friend" go mad with the dancing (especially after showing her empathy). It does require a conscious effort not to be out of control and at times, when in really good company and in certain situations I have really had a great time. It was very brave of you to give up your sales job. Personally I can imagine little worse than that sort of job. It is so important to find the right job for your temperament. I never did! It's not easy and often impossible but to struggle in one that is totally not you is unsustainable. Even without the Beatles lyrics, you have cheered me up. Thank YOU!

Julia Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 1:55pm

It's me again..I meant to add that it's taken me a long time to feel at ease being grumpy in front of people, not too grumpy but not making an effort to be falsely cheerful.To be how I feel (in moderation I guess) I don't know if you read a post a few days ago from someone who posted on Moodscope. Here is a bit of it. I loved it....this is what he said......"But one thing I have come to appreciate since living with bouts of depression since 2000: others rarely see us misfit-ting as much as we think we are, and even less often judge us for it. So let's just get on being the normal/abnormal idiosyncratic folk we delightfully are!"

Fionna O'Leary Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 2:41pm

There is the question of making wise choices about where to place one's attention.

But there is also the question of how to heal the site of raw pain of the sort that Bill describes.

I have been reflecting on this very thing recently as sometimes leaving a scar etc alone enables it to heal itself, but sometimes that is not enough. A friend lent me a book and in it I found a poem I had loved and forgotten. Here is an excerpt that may resonate with some of you, my fellow Moodscopers.

Galway Kinnell

"The bud
stands for all things
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to re teach a thing it's loveliness,
To put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and re tell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers from within, of self blessing

Anonymous Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 5:06pm

Julia. Thankyou for these kind words. Rich.

Mary Blackhurst Hill Sun, Oct 6th 2013 @ 9:16pm

Ah, I love you fellow Moodscopers: always so life-affirming, so resolute to see the best in life, to be positive when the chemicals in our brain try to drain all the energy out of us. Lovely to hear that Mindfulness has worked for you, Daydream Believer. I'm going to try practising that more myself.

Julia Mon, Oct 7th 2013 @ 10:55am

I had to look up Mark E Smith.

Daren Sun, Nov 3rd 2013 @ 3:17pm

"In the past I would try to eat and drink my way out of the discomfort. Now, I walk."

Replace a destructive with a productive one. In many ways I think this is the essence of being well. Destructive responses only lead to more negativity and, perhaps, a downward spiral. The productive response allows one to clear the toxicity of the negative thoughts and opens space for us to creative a more positive approach; and even to become aware and alert to the present.

So simple, yet not so easy...

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