Moodscope's blog



Roadside Assistance. Tuesday September 6, 2016

A few weeks ago, my journey on life's highway hit one of those jarring potholes that do somewhat more than give you a jolt. This one did some serious damage to an already pretty fragile set of shock absorbers, and frankly nearly broke my suspension altogether.

To continue with the driving analogy, I was travelling too fast, not really looking where I was going, had too many other things on my mind, allowed myself to be distracted, was in dire need of rest, and to make matters worse, had been running on empty for far too long and decided to fill up with cheap, nasty fuels that may have filled the tank but actually did more damage than good to the engine.

As a result, not surprisingly, I broke down. And then I then started to beat myself up,
for being so stupid and allowing this to happen;

for being so stupid...
for just being...

Hair was pulled out, bruises from pinching appeared all over, nails and fingers were picked and bitten until they bled, muscles cramped through tensing up, teeth were ground etc.

In short, a classic telling off from the critical inner voice.

I pictured myself stood on life's roadside, wrecked, broken, and only fit for the scrap heap.

Thankfully however, I have some very basic self-preservation instincts that kicked in at this point, and just (only just) managed to make themselves heard above the cacophonous tirade of abuse spewing from my critical inner voice.

I took the 'car' back to the 'garage'. My lovely therapist, whom I had thought I'd never need to see again. And we sat and we talked, and we cried, and she met me where I was and slowly we worked together to repair the damage.

And she reminded me, for I needed reminding, of a few parts of life's Highway Code I had forgotten:

that all states are temporary;

that I must give myself permission to feel cr*p now and again;

that returning to see my therapist is not a sign of failure to get better - more ongoing maintenance, and therefore to be expected, for the mind, like the body, requires maintenance in order to stay fit and in balance;

that given life's stresses, it is not surprising to hit a bump now and again;

that sometimes it's ok to be sad. No need to beat myself up about it - let the sadness envelop and it will wash through leaving fewer scars than if it is fought against and made unwelcome;

and finally, thanks to a gift from a good friend, that fresh eggs from home reared chickens are so much nicer than supermarket eggs!

I posted these reminders on Facebook – partly to share with friends, but also, because I know that Facebook will remind me in a year. And we all need reminding.

A Moodscope member.

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

Permalink  |  Blog Home


the room above the garage Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 6:11am

Hello Andrew, this could be me! If seems no matter how well and how often I learn the lesson, I crash into the pothole over and over. Hand, flame, hand, flame! At least I'm not the only one and thank you, love ratg x.

Mary Wednesday Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 8:55am

And this could be me too!

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:16am

You are so not the only one...we are in this together - all of us - and thankfully are finding ways to cope! Best to you (and Mary)

Lesley Wed, Sep 7th 2016 @ 7:43pm

It could be me too, Andrew. In my attempt to stop the crashing and the lack of self nurture I go into slower mode and have become a procrastinator. And the going slowly and being cautious leads me to a state of indifference, a state of lack of joyfulness, a low. I miss my highs. Life feels quite often like a stale cardboard crispbread.

Belinda Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 6:31am

Hi Andrew, how beautifully descriptive.
I follow your picture and feel so sad; We go through so much when things are not right.
I am, however, glad that at least you (eventually) had a good back up, when you were able to reach for it.
Thank you for the analogy.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:19am

Don't be sad Belinda - Although I appreciate your sympathy...all states are temporary, and luckily for me, hair grows back, skin and nails recover, bruises heal and the 'shouting' eventually ceases! Hurrah for that!

Anonymous Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 6:47am

Brilliant, analogy. Thank you Andrew - and for the reminder to nurture one's friends. I think we underestimate their support when we feel cr*p. So glad you have recovered your equilibrium. Long may it last! Go well.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:20am

Thank you - and Go well I will!

Adam G Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 6:53am

Excellent post Andrew, thank you! Very honest, perceptive and helpful.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:21am

Thanks Adam - I'm glad if it helps you...

LillyPet Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 7:44am

Wowdy wow Andrew! :)
Your analogy is brillianty and beautifully written. I'm so happy for you that you have a lovely therapist who is there for you.
I hope that perhaps you begin to notice when a warning light starts to flicker. The need for a service is often so gradual and if you do alot of motorway driving you have to keep your etes on the road! Plus no one expects a pothole...
Thank you for such a great blog.
Take care. Warm wishes to all. LP xx

LillyPet Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 7:46am

Typo "eyes"

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:22am

Eyes on the road - absolutely! And facing front, rather than constantly in the rearview mirror (see commnent from 'Hopeful One' below...Thanks for taking the trouble to comment - and look out for those pot holes!

Tutti Frutti Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 8:48am

Hi Andrew
I found your description of how things go awry very compelling, particularly the bit about how we go from beating ourselves up for being so stupid to beating ourselves up for just being. Thanks for your lessons learned. I think the one about how needing to go back to your therapist is just sensible routine maintenance and should not be seen as a failure is really important. I am glad your therapist was there for you. Not sure whether or not you're fully recovered as yet but take care of yourself.
TF x

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:23am

I'm mostly good at the moment, thank you TF. But always vigilant, and aware of the need to keep the old mind and body maintained!

Mary Wednesday Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 8:58am

Every word rang true to me - and thank you so much for sharing the wise words of your therapist. Mine keeps offering to see me (she is a friend too so we often see each other socially - and yes, I know this won't work for most people but it works for us) and I keep telling her I'm fine. But - maybe I should just see a visit to her as maintenance. I service my car every six months. I should visit her just as often.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:25am

Thanks Mary - maintenance is good. By the way, did I just hear you say 'I should?!'....I think I read a blog about that earlier this week!! ;-)

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:25am

Thanks Mary - maintenance is good. By the way, did I just hear you say 'I should?!'....I think I read a blog about that earlier this week!! ;-)

Mary Wednesday Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:41am

Ha Ha! At least I used the word "maybe"! ;)

Hopeful One Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 9:53am

Hi Andrew - what a fantastic powerful blog and so well described. May I add another tip to your driving analogy? When one recovers and is on an even Keelung could endeavour try to drive with one's eyes focused on the windscreen in front of one and not look in the rear view mirror?Everything one will meet is ahead of one not behind.

Here is today's' squirt of endorphin.

A lawyer named Strange died, and his friend asked the tombstone maker to inscribe on his tombstone, "Here lies Strange, an honest man, and a lawyer." The inscriber insisted that such an inscription would be confusing, for passersby would tend to think that three men were buried under the stone. However he suggested an alternative: He would inscribe, "Here lies a man who was both honest and a lawyer. "That way, whenever anyone walked by the tombstone and read it, they would be certain to remark: "That's Strange.

With apologies to any lawyers on Moodscope.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:26am

Thankyou HO - and you are right of course - look ahead not behind... Nice joke btw!

Mary Wednesday Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 10:41am

Tee Hee. Really good one today! Thank you

Leah Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 11:06am

Great sensitive blog. What is it with moodscopers and car analogies?
I have never owned a car, never had a license and if someone asks me to to say what type of car it is, I say a blue car!
So I can't really relate to the but I understand your message and what you have been through. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience so honestly.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 2:42pm

Thanks for this Leah - Part of me envies you for never having owned a car! I realise the car image is limiting (as any image is - for nothing sums up the complexities of the human mind easily!) - and there are others I use - for another blog on another day perhaps! But thanks for commenting ....

Duma Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 11:47am

Loving the motoring metaphor Andrew.

I go with mountaineering myself, what with having to climb down myself.

Did you know? Evert attempt at everest costs three IQ points.

They say lithium costs you nine. Go figure...

...Duma, out.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 2:36pm

Thanks Duma - whatever image works to help us understand this somewhat complex bit of kit we are supposed to be in charge of...I find images, analogies and stories all help clarify what at times seem such contradicting and incomprehensible feelings!

Lexi Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 12:08pm

Brilliant.Every word resonated with me. Great writing Andrew. Thank you.

Andrew Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 2:33pm

Thank you Lexi...

The Gardener Tue, Sep 6th 2016 @ 7:32pm

Super analogy Andrew. HO, good Vitamin L, could substitute accountants, and, in particular estate agents. I think my biggest obstacles are road works. Great plans, put into action, then diversions, hold-ups, frustrations - more story of life, and the AA and RAC men are not always there when you want them. I had therapy once - five weeks - the excellent therapist drew the 'bad tooth' very quickly. Mr G has needed therapy since 2008 - significant because eye problems stopped him driving and reading. He became angry with the world from then on, despite huge amounts of help - all therapists and psychologissts are charlatans - he's got a perfectly good therapist, me - but to use as a metaphorical punch bag, not to sort problems. The geriatric doctor sized him up 2 years ago - and unfortunately she was spot on as to what would transpire. The remark about nurturing one's friends is super - I nurture mine in every way - write, listen, meet, feed them, it is an investment

Andrew Wed, Sep 7th 2016 @ 8:15am

As always, wise and clearly heartfelt words G. This morning the car is spluttering and juddering. I will reach out to nurtured cherished and wonderful friends. Take care

Jul Wed, Sep 7th 2016 @ 8:55am

Hello Andrew. I am sorry I didn't comment yesterday. I read your blog but I was traveling so no time to comment. I was so sorry to read how bad you had been. You come across as so wise and caring, your previous comments were at odds with how you describe yourself when you suffered a huge low. But it's usually the sympathetic clever creative people who suffer depression and loss of self esteem. I loved your blog and hope you are feeling a little better now. I have never found a therapist whom I could trust and am envious you have found one . Where did you look to find her? Bon Courage Jul xx

Andrew Wed, Sep 7th 2016 @ 4:03pm

No apology necessary Jul - lovely to hear from you anyway, and thank you for such caring comments. You hit the nail on the head - depression is the curse not only of the strong, but also often the caring and those who have tendencies to over think things - that'll be me then! Feeling a little better these days, most of the time, thank you. As for therapists, I was lucky. I went to the BACP website and found someone closeby, and fixed an introductory appointment. I then engaged 'gut feel' to guide me and decide whether or not this was someone I could open up to. That was about four years ago....!She knows me pretty well now!

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.