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Saturation. Friday March 25, 2016

I have reached saturation point.

The spiral downwards has started to grip more and more tightly; the more I fight the fatigue and depression, the worse it gets. The more I look outside myself for ideas and fail to find the time and energy to work on them the more overwhelmed I become.

On Sunday I decided to stop, to go on strike, to allow myself to fall into the depths of despair and inactivity. I might as well accept my darkness – it's where I am going anyway.

It frightens me but I know I'll come out of it.

And repeated experience has shown me that while I'm there, I'll rediscover my own wisdom.

Sometimes I just need silence and stillness and no further input. I know when I have gone beyond my introverted limits when I can't listen to the radio or even listen to music (a great passion) any more.

So I abandoned myself to the sofa, I closed my eyes, I lay and felt the feelings, I lay and let the thoughts surface.

And as they began to surface, they began to dissipate.

After a time I was able to open my eyes again (always a sign that my flat battery has been plugged in and is beginning to charge). I was able to stare at the blank wall and listen to the rain, the children passing my house on their way to school and the traffic hurrying along the main road on the other side of the hedge.

And before long I was able to look at the tree beyond the window, its branches buffeted by the wind, brushing against the grey sky.

A rose in a pot on the windowsill caught my gaze. I have trimmed it recently, cutting back its dying leaves and unhealthy looking stems. Now it has fresh growth, the smallest of its new leaves holding my attention for longer than anything else.

I can't think of my life as a whole at this point or of what will or won't matter in twenty years time. I can only think of basic tasks; eat, drink tea, wash, find out how those I care about are getting on.

For me, there's a time for gathering and seeking, and there's a time for expressing and de-cluttering.

At the moment I am in the latter; I don't want lots of new ideas. I want to steadily, doggedly, build on what I already have, what I'm already doing. Flitting from idea to idea only adds to the clutter.

The wisdom I need is inside me but it takes time and a lot of staring into space to find it.

It is there, somewhere, if I put some trust in myself.

The Librarian
A Moodscope member.

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

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Bill Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 6:53am

Thank you for this, Librarian.
It's very much a mirror of where I am right now. Depression is, well, so depressing. Losing one's energy, shutting down, losing confidence, none of it is great really. But, as you say, hang in there, ride it out and, as day follows night, this too shall pass.

the room above the garage Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 6:56am

Hello Librarian, what a beautiful blog. I recognise the place very much, but I can hear your solidity and your determination. I think staring into space is very healing and I wish you time to do lots of it. You are listening to your body and mind and that will see you out of where you are. Yes, trust yourself, you will return. Really good to see you write at this time, love ratg X.

LillyPet Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:47am

Hey ratg, you liked something I said the other day and put THIS! :) It's probably blaringly obvious :)), but what does it stand for? LP xx

Mary Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 3:24pm

I'll just take the liberty of replying on Ratg's behalf: it's a smiley face, LP. Here are the two eyes : and then the smile ). You can do an alternative winking face ;) or a sad face :( and then a heart <3 and - something my younger friends do which I don't quite understand - :P - but is something to do with sticking one's tongue out... I must ask Tom, he'll know!

Lou Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:34am

Thank you Librarian; this blog really resonated. I find when depression starts to grip that I try and do more and more and get more and more frantic until I run myself ragged. Your suggestion of stopping completely and feeling what you feel sounds like it would be a much better, and more balanced, approach. I will try and remember it and put it into practice. Thank you.

Ella Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:03am

Such a wise post, thank you for the reminder. It's so strange how, even though I know this, it often takes a while to recognise where I've got to. Letting myself stop and feel the feelings is the absolute crux for me. It's extraordinary how much frantic activity and guilt/shame-laden thoughts I can burden myself with before realising this basic wisdom. And then - as you say - as soon as I stop and allow in the feelings which have been hammering on the door, it all begins to dissipate within a few minutes of acceptance and deep breathing. Peace.

Sally Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:04am

A wonderful blog. I know those feelings. You show great insight into how your body works and its needs, Librarian. Best of luck fighting the fight.

Anonymous Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:06am

Dear Librarian, thank you for putting this experience into words so well. The tendency to frantically search outside of self over and over even though the brain is already saturated by noise and ideas and sensations. For me, I know I have the ability within to recover, but I rarely feel able to allow myself the 'luxury' of gibing myself what I herd. And having researched this for my own survival for 20 years, I have enough tools cluttering my mind that can help me. There really is no need to seek outside for yet more 'stuff' and theories and ideas when I get to that place. And I know that additional stimulation is the last thing I need, and more things to 'think about' or 'take up' just adds to the despair and overwhelm. Yet it is not easy to stop, find peace, be still and allow myself to exist without the guilt and shame that I should be 'doing something'. I love to just sit, and watch the blue sky, and nature and birds, and take myself away from everyone and everthing because it overwhelms all my senses. There I can I reconnect to life again, recharged and able to carry on. Thank you again Librarian for your ability to express the feeling so well.

Anonymous Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:09am

Sorry - auto correct 'gibing myself what I herd' = 'giving myself what I need' !

Hopeful One Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:08am

Hi Librarian- so glad you found the "Way Out" sign for your recent low. The key word for me is "acceptance" for ,in any situation one does that a whole new usually positive train of thoughts sets in. As they say there is no argument against the East Wind. The only argument is to wear your overcoat.

Humour helps without a shadow of doubt.

Today's offering a bit tongue in cheek.

This girl wasn't feeling very pretty so she went to a genie to make her pretty. The genie told her that to make her feel pretty, he would make it so that every time someone apologized to her that day her boobs would increase by one size.The girl is happy with this offer as she does feel she is very flat chested . So the girl is walking down the street and someone bumps into her and says, "Oh, I'm sorry," and her boobs go up one size. Then someone accidentally steps on her foot and says, "I'm sorry," and her boobs got one size bigger. She is very pleased with the result .She continues her when an Indian gentleman bumps into her and says, "Goodness gracious me! A thousand apologies!"

Lou Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:14am

Good morning Hopeful One! Today's offering made me laugh out loud! ;) Thank you!

Hopeful One Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:11am

Hi Lou- I will bet that the squirt of endorphin the laugh produced will last for a few hours.

Lou Sat, Mar 26th 2016 @ 6:45am

Hopefully we both benefitted as helping someone else is supposed to make you feel better too! :)

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 8:59am

Hi all, I read Les' blog yesterday plus all the varied comments. Just to say that we must continue to express how we feel on Moodscope. Most of us know each other quite well now and despite differences of opinion, accept each other as friends who are there for each of us all the time.

It would be a great pity if we or any of you felt too afraid to express ourselves freely, (although we will remove harmful comments). Each of us has our own story to tell. We come from very different places. Our backgrounds and experience of mental illness are varied.

Please continue to comment and make Moodscope the great free liberating forum it is. Caroline xx

Leah Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:19am

Caroline, Thanks. I think it is had when we are struggling or feeling fragile, not to take comments personally and feel if someone has a different opinion they are judging us and not our opinions. I like Moodscope because people do have different views to mine and so I can have much to think about. Leah x

LillyPet Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:19am

Thank you Caroline, I'll have a look back at yesterday's posts. I recently responded too seriously to lighthearted comments, with kindness, but realised pretty quickly what you are saying about everyone feeling comfortable enough to express ourselves freely. This is a lovely caring community, thank you.LP xx

LillyPet Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:20am

Hi Leah! :)) xx

Leah Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:24am

Hi, Lilypet, I think when you have all these clever sensitive people posting, there can be misunderstandings. I suppose we can only be ourselves. I really enjoy the care you take in your posts. Leah xx

LillyPet Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:43am

Thanks Leah, Yep, totally! My sister says "Dont worry, just do you" love that. Learning is good, I'm me, true to myself and my values, but know that I have alot to learn. I enjoy reading yours too! Xx

g Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:28pm

I had to go back to read the rest after I saw this and I am proud that I took part in that discussion and that I had missed the angry comments - lots of pain and resistance there , and no, it is not supposed to be funny , - as Anon dealt with it calmly and caringly . I do understand the lasher as I too reacted angrily to some mollycoddling when not in "the " mood forgetting good advice of not killing the messenger . I do stand behind the blog 100% .Yes it is a difficult concept and it takes courage to stand up and try to help others sharing one's experience .

g Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:34pm

Oh , and big thanks to Caroline for not telling me of for that verbal spillage as I was beating myself and agonizing about it long after but it made me extra careful too when speaking "my" mind

LillyPet Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:07am

Morning Librarian,
I really relate to the need to just stop. I sometimes feel like a hamster in wheel that I'm supposed to stay in and go as fast as I can! I just want to get off for a while. Maybe then I can start again in my own time at my own pace, nice and steady, one foot at a time :)
I'm naturaly a quiet person ( believe it or not!) Chatty, but I prefer quiet, peace, rarely giving myself space to reflect. I totally get that feeling of information overload, sensory overload, all sorts of too much clutter not good for me either. I tend to pick up on alot of what comes from other people, the emotional atmoshere etc etc. Just as I can filter out background noise, maybe I could learn to filter alot of that out. I used to think I needed a sheild, but filter gives me more control and strength. Hope I remember that!
I'm sorry that you are in that place. You have really good way to deal with it. Thank you for sharing your experience and mindfulness. Morning all, making the most of the day of sunshine that we have in London for the long weekend LP xx :)

Leah Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:20am

The Librarian,
Wow! What a great thoughtful blog. I will need to read this several times as kit comes form a different perspective that I am used to.Thanks for sharing your ideas. Leah

Anonymous Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:04am

What a lovely blog Librarian.Thank you. I do hope you are feeling more at ease and peaceful today. I value silence or not silence as such as I love to hear birdsong etc but being on my own with enough time to unwind and unravel. Thank you Caroline too for your words of wisdom above. Much appreciated. Julxxx

Susannah Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:06am

Excellent blog. Thank you very much for your wisdom, Librarian.

Lexi Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:30am

Librarian - I loved the analogy of a flat tire needing to be filled with air. And the transformation as your inner world starts to calm and the outer comes into focus, first the sofa, then the windows, then the sounds outside. So beautiful. I wish you a restful recovery and good for you for taking care of yourself. xo Lexi

The Gardener Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 12:02pm

Caroline right -(am I in yesterday) we all have right of expression here. Les's blog raised some heckles, mine included -still think he got it wrong, too acamedic, too pat, and, like me very often, a hit 'high-handed' and to some, I think, quite hurtful - anyway, don't anybody try to censor Moodscope except the odd occasion when someone tries to manipulate it for their own gain

The Gardener Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 12:13pm

Librarian - solution within yourself. Never mind how much support and aid you get, you are alone in that dark room in the watches of the night. Only you spirit and will to 'live' can really help - you may not be religious - but I would counsel getting to an Easter Service, listen to the music, enjoy the flowers, and, if invited to join in the coffee afterwards, go for it. And good luck with the uphill struggle.

Skyblue Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 12:25pm

Dear Librarian, your blog is really special. So beautifully written. Validating and confirming, the healing process so clearly and wisely stated. "...there's a time for gathering and seeking, and there's a time for expressing and de-cluttering." What sometimes gets in the way of this for me is Anon's reference to the guilt and shame that 'we should be doing something' instead when the quiet-on-the-sofa kind of 'doing' is the most productive thing we can possibly do at that moment. Thank you for this wonderful piece of writing. xx

Samantha Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 1:08pm

Thank you for this moving and insightful post librarian. I too recognise those feelings and the fight to avoid the dread. You show great wisdom and a sensitive and emotionally healthy understanding of your needs, you must feel proud of this. Try not to feel frightened, try floating through it, trust yourself, you can do this.
Sending you warm wishes that your acceptance continues and your mood improves.

Graeme Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 1:39pm

Perfect! Thank you, Librarian.

Ruth Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 2:56pm

I don't know how to look beyond the day. My physical problems are dragging me to the edge of the pit. I've recently been diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis to add to other problems. I am in constant pain. My view of myself is very low. I'm scared those who support me will get bored of this gloomy Individual.Has anyone had any experiences that might help me see my way forward and move on? I feel beaten.

Skyblue Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 3:33pm

Hello Ruth, I am not familiar with your respiratory disorder but I know what it's like to live with the uncertainty of a disease that no one knows how to cure. I read that pulmonary sarcoidosis disappears on its own in 50% of cases and all I can say is that you must hold on to this thought. Your body is constantly trying to heal itself and it knows how if given the right support; you can help it by eating only the best foods--lots of fruit and veg, no processed stuff, and if you can go off wheat and dairy for a few weeks to see how you feel, that could be beneficial. Good hydration is important, etc etc -- all things you know, i'm sure. I know what it's like to lose trust in your own body. The depression and fear is awful. I've come a long way with fact, it feels like I'm in remission. Keep looking for information that can move you forward. Your body is an amazingly intelligent creation. Doctors usually only talk drugs and that may be a good thing to do...depends on how you are and how you feel about it. I'm making a lot of assumptions here so please forgive me if I'm off base. You are not beaten. There is an interesting book just out called The Medical Medium by Anthony William. You might like to take a peek at it and see if it has any appeal. Best wishes. xx

Mary Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 6:12pm

Ruth - thank you for sharing. My view is that our supporters only get bored with us if we constantly complain. If someone asks how we are and we say "not too good today, but let's not talk about me; let's talk about something interesting instead" Then nobody can be bored or tired of you. And yes - of course you are going to feel sorry for yourself from time to time. Go on - indulge in your pity party. Rant and rage at the world, the universe and God. But ensure that you either do it alone or with a really good friend who, after 40 minutes of it, will call time." No - life is not fair. Life is bloody unfair. Stand up, put your big girl panties on and deal with it." I know that I love and value my friends who will do this for me (one in particular who lives, themselves, under the constant shadow of death). I hope you have friends like that. They show true love. Tough love, but true.

Eva Sat, Mar 26th 2016 @ 12:29am

Hiya, if you think you can, Jon Kabat Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living has an 8 week mindfulness programme to help people deal with chronic pain. I used it to learn about mindfulness and also when I had quite severe back pain, it was good to feel that I was doing something positive. It's available as a book, and you can buy accompanying cds, sometimes also depending where you live folks run his courses. I did it with the book and cds. I agree w Mary limiting the moan time is good, infact now I find that I will tell folk how it is, but in a brief matter of fact way. Which is not necessarily how it is in my head, but they know how I am feeling and then we can move on with entertaining each other which is much more fun, helps with seratonin production and leaves you glowing for a while after they have gone. I hope you find a way to cope and bring some positivity into your days.

Mary Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 6:19pm

What a brilliant post, Librarian. Thank you. I can't be the only one who has noticed a theme running over the last three days? My blog on silver mining, Les' blog on suffering and now your post above. That theme is acceptance. It seems that, through acceptance of our condition, our pain, and circumstances, we can begin to emerge on the other side. Because I am "religious" and this is Good Friday I am going to relate this to the "Refiners' Fire". None of us would choose the pain, but by accepting the pain then maybe, just maybe, there is something good and pure on the other side. It cannot be a co-incidence that the people involved in Moodscope seem overwhelmingly to be caring, generous, courageous, creative and sensitive loving people. We have all been tested (are being tested) and (so far) we have not been found wanting. Bless you all. Even when we are angry and hurt with each other we still accept and love one another. Wishing you Easter Joy, one and all.

Les Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:01pm

Hi Mary - I'll 'accept' that wise summation :-) Have a great weekend.

Les Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 6:59pm

Hi Librarian - lovely self aware post.....the level we trust ourselves some would say if the exact level we can trust anyone else - so..... looks good for you :-) Enjoy that inner wisdom.

The Gardener Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:24pm

Ruth, I'm with you totally on the fear of alienating ones friends. I am still smarting/depressed after yesterday's blog - this business of suffering being optional - and the veiled inference that we grumble too much. I've always worried, and expressed, my fear of 'using' Moodscope, it's now obvious - so I feel Moodscope is finished for me - hoped it was not judgemental. Real suffering, I curled up in a corner and cried throughout Good Friday service. I hope you continue to get comfort and support from friends during your suffering. Love and hugs.

g Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:49pm

what ? you are not serious ! this is just stubbornly going on the same path but now alone and punishing us for it . do not do it please. do not let your hurt pride take away from you what you obviously enjoy and " judging " by many responses - favourable , compassionate , caring , friendly , loving, ... - to your posts , you will be missed too. You are a valid part of this blog and you work through your problems in your way and the page is always long enough for everybody's writing and we do not have to read it all and ..and ..and... just please stay and carry on and keep keeping on and you never know what may happen just have hope...

Frankie Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:01pm

Dear Gardener; I am so sorry you feel this way at the moment; it's interesting isn't it how different sentences strike us all in different ways; I did not pick up at all on a veiled inference that we grumble too much; nor do I think that this was the message. g is right (thank-you g), please stay and carry on posting. You have many here who admire you for your tenacity and your ability to mine your incredible store of memories to give you a different focus from your current tough situation. The Good Friday service can be an emotional experience even in "normal" times - it does not surprise me that it made you cry. Maybe tears of healing ...? And a mere two hours later you are able to tell us that you will go to bed affirming "I will sleep" - I have said this before, and I repeat now, you are an example to us all and I for one will be sorry to lose you from here. Sending you big hugs, and lots of virtual tissues, oh and tea - plenty of tea (a must for me after crying). Frankie xxx

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 11:11pm

Well said Frankie, thank you. Gardener, you must stay. Carolinex

g Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 7:59pm

the above was to TG but now I have to say sorry to the author of this insightful blog - made me stop and think - but then going back in time ... there is something lacking in the way that the blog operates as sometimes we may add something to an old blog and nobody knows or we carry an exchange with somebody by checking if they are still in the conversation days later ... FB has much better system of notifying by email when somebody responds to something that we said a year ago but this maybe a very expensive their own secret algorithm ? or not ?

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 11:12pm

Hi g, I know what you mean, it is a bit confusing, but doesn't happen often. We'll take a look at it. Caroline

The Gardener Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:07pm

Not stubborn, g, and I have no pride left, sleep deprivation having a worse effect than usual, and Les's what I called 'patronising' blog was too near one of my sons - brilliant - dashes off academic answers to problems - but won't come near the 'sharp' end, too emotional.

The Gardener Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:29pm

To g on 'continuity. I replied to Ruth's post today, harked back to Les's blog yesterday - they tied up, but confusing.- More confusing, Leah will reply the next day, and Lexi some hours later. I think it's insoluble- unless we go to 'yours of the xth inst'! you said earlier, hope - I will go to bed saying 'I will sleep', they've doubled Mr G's sleep medication.

Leah Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:50pm

Gardener, I can feel your pain. Please stay with moodscope, it would not be the same without you. I do not want to live in a world where people who are in pain can't grumble and complain. You are a very strong woman who is very wise. I am so sad you were so upset by the comments. Sending

g Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 11:16pm

now I may go to bed - so good to see you still here TG...

Marmaladegirl Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 9:57pm

Dear Librarian - This is my first comment EVER. Your blog reminded me that what we resist persists...and therefore ACCEPTANCE is often the way forward. Acceptance is not being weak and giving in; it takes strength and courage to accept. It is really hard to do nothing but I find that it can help.

Frankie Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:05pm

Dear Librarian; thank-you for sharing this with us. It is so challenging, this idea of acceptance of ourselves as we are, warts and all. It has taken me a long time to come to acceptance of my chronic fatigue condition, and it is on-going (though I do wish I could accept it once and for all) Frankie

Peter Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:18pm

Thank you very much Librarian. What you said about a time for gathering and a time for decluttering is just about the most helpful thing I've read this year. Wishing you love and inner peace always.

Eva Sat, Mar 26th 2016 @ 12:37am

This resonates, sometimes I'm afraid of stopping because I think I might fall into a hole (has happened in the past) but currently I am trying to notice when I might be getting more irritable, hostile, intolerant and have a wee time out or nap or day off to relax in and hopefully avoid getting to the hole stage. Thanks for sharing your experience.

David Sat, Mar 26th 2016 @ 8:45am

Thank you, librarian.
When you said that you lay there, closed your eyes and allowed the thoughts to surface, and that when they did, they "dissipated", I was strongly reminded of mindfulness meditation. (something I've done on and off, but not much recently) At it's most basic level, this is quite literally sitting there doing nothing but noticing your breathing and what thoughts arise, and once you become aware that you're thinking the thought, (which can take a while!) once again becoming aware of your breathing, or of sounds around you, or even the sight of a tree etc in front of you. For me, this seems to allow the thoughts to come up, and dissipate to a certain extent, rather than set off a spiral of downward thoughts and mood. The thoughts keep coming up, but they do seem to lose their hold over you a bit doing this.
I also see many examples of people who have that guilty kind of depression who always seem to think that they should be "doing something", or they feel worthless etc. Mindfulness meditation is definitely "doing something" worthwhile, though technically it's really "doing nothing" other than sitting there noticing thoughts. So if you're one of these guilty types, it's a great way to trick your mind into "doing something" about your feelings.

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