Stepping into the armour 

19 Jun 2021
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I haven’t felt particularly well this last 3-4 weeks. Nothing too worrying, my mental health is dipping but I know why and that’s half the battle.

And it is a battle.

It’s always a battle.

I don’t like fighting.

I don’t even like debate.

I’m an old-fashioned love everybody type soul.

So, battles hurt. And make me weepy.

I'm using up energy pretending I'm ok. I haven’t a walk in me. My head hurts and I feel I could sleep. So I will drive to my parents house to deliver a package, but I’ll park two streets away and make myself walk just a tiny bit. Sometimes just the smallest thing can help a tiny bit. Battle on pals, however this day finds you. 

 

Love from

The room above the garage

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Bubble

June 20, 2021, 1:26 a.m.

That’s sad to hear RATG. Battle on indeed is what we need to do. Look after yourself ***

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

I’m top priority today, finally a little space I think. Had a good sleep and so I’m hoping… Thank you x

Daisy

June 20, 2021, 4:56 a.m.

Dear RATG Sorry to hear about your battle and period of depression. It sounds lonely but the moodscope army is with you. It amazed me to find out that other people don’t feel so bad during conflict. I also get exhausted with even minor disputes- I got told the silver lining was that I was diplomatic- it is painful for me to be around conflict so I smooth things out. Take care

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

Moodscope army. That has made me smile. Thank you x

David Gosling

June 20, 2021, 5:02 a.m.

Hello R.A.T.G. As they say you maybe losing the battle you will win the war, good luck and continue fighting as you know you will win very soon maybe not today but as Captain said tomorrow will be a better day. David Gosling.

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:26 a.m.

Hello David, I love that phrase too, he was great, such a gift, and ongoing. Thank you for commenting.

Sarah yellow rose

June 20, 2021, 5:04 a.m.

Dear Ratg, I empathise with every word of your blog today. I am feeling the same. Slept a lot yesterday which has helped. Battle on Xx

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:28 a.m.

Hello Sarah, sleep could be key, I’ve been worn out and depression follows. I wish you better days too, walking beside you x

Orangeblossom

June 20, 2021, 5:34 a.m.

Hi RATG thanks for your honest blog. Thinking of you & hoping that you make a full & steady recovery towards full health. A big cyber hug!

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:28 a.m.

Hello Ob, cyber hug accepted very gratefully, wonderful, thank you :-)

Oli

June 20, 2021, 6:24 a.m.

I'm not really that keen on battles either ratg. I was reminded of this the other day as I was listening to a neighbour's new boyfriend on his phone in the garden having a loud conversation -- telling the other party (and the neighbourhood) how everything was wrong and how hard done by he felt. Drama. Pointless drama. I don't miss it (and noticed how I'd been sucked into his whirlpool just by overhearing his words). Once again, the power of words to elicit automatic attention whether you want it or not. My mind can be like that neighbour's boyfriend. I don't ask it to talk to me like that but I have learned to disengage from the reactive, automatic engagement -- because I don't like battles. Tug o war? Have the bl**dy rope! (And where does the battle go?) Chess? Not today. How about we have equal diversity sides where we mix the black and white pieces? (And where does the battle go?) I'm glad you just committed to the walk ratg (although I guess in reality the walk was a while back!). And when you stop walking, where does the walk go? :-)

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Jul

June 20, 2021, 6:47 a.m.

Hi Oli I often remind myself of what you've said in past comments about disengaging from reactive responses. I'm trying to change how I respond emotionally to the same old comments I've come to expect from certain people. Jul xx

Oli

June 20, 2021, 7:06 a.m.

Hi Jul. I don't enjoy swimming in the sea however the Aussies have some great short videos on YouTube about how to spot rip currents, how they are dangerous, and exactly how to handle them. And I find all of that advice is really useful for escaping the rips of emotional responses. xx

the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:24 a.m.

Hello Jul, ditto. I have found this technique useful - run through a potential upcoming scenario (or past scenario) of their behaviour with you. Do it prior to meeting them or as an occasion/ongoing top up. That way, when they next splurge you will recognise their behaviour and tick it off inside. You get distance from them and the comment. You stop reacting and instead you feel calmer and “there it is, I knew they’d say it, right on cue” happens inside you allowing you calm. I use it in lots of situations and passed it on to one of my children who needed it. It’s advance planning and I’ve found it so helpful. Xx

the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:30 a.m.

Hello Oli, love the descriptions in your commments, chess pieces and tug of war, exactly that. I’d be a useless Olympic athlete, would like everybody who wants to try, to win :-)

Jul

June 20, 2021, 9:46 a.m.

yes exactly ratg. Well described. I'm not quite there yet but the fact that I now have a useful technique to apply when confronted by the same old comments (which do hurt me and elicit a feeble response) is the best help/advice ever. Jul xx Jul x

Jul

June 20, 2021, 9:47 a.m.

I'll look at the videos Oli. Thank you. You made me smile a bit. Jul xx

Leah

June 20, 2021, 10:37 a.m.

Oli being an Aussie I know about Rios but never made the connection about their danger and how to avoid them like emotional responses. Jul, my problem is I think of a response after I have been upset by a comment.

the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 1:29 p.m.

Hello Leah, sometimes the most powerful response is a neutral smile. Do not feel you have to respond. It allows their comment to hang, untouching.

Little Lighthouse

June 20, 2021, 6:29 a.m.

Stepping into armour, it could be a little debate when they're standing up. A comforting reward when the old are replaced with blankets to snuggle into. We were talking shies a few of us yesterday and thought of shoes when you said stepping into armour. Life's a crawl back infant anamalistic mode. A place for learning, feeling hurting discovering. Maybe this developmental stage was a traumatic time for us in low mood. Me being a non crawler, that's it, half the battle anyway knowing like you say Room above the garage. Happy learning, fear shaking knots, keep going, keep running errands and be at peace with just how you are. Little lighthouse

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:32 a.m.

Hello LL, ‘at peace with who you are’ exactly that. I have a little space today and I think that will finally be the ***** I need. Thank you :-)

Jul

June 20, 2021, 6:55 a.m.

Hi ratg I'm very sorry to hear you've had a few low weeks recently. It's good of you to write for us when feeling like this. I feel your blogs are written to truly help others; you have our well being at the heart of your blogs so thank you. We've been in London for a few days which was both scary ( much busier with people than we expected, quite a few not wearing masks or mask exempt badges and crowded tube and DLR. One would be forgiven thinking there is no pandemic in parts of London!) and a good break. I am the same as you, my personality is not conducive to battles. You've made a great point that perhaps when we are feeling down, we should stop fighting the feelings and realise that how we feel is natural and therefore we shouldn't try to change the way we feel. When we are feeling good we don't try to change that! I'm with you ratg. Jul xx

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:35 a.m.

Hello lovely Jul, I’ve just had a penny drop moment, you said it right - when we’re happy we don’t try to change that - we don’t do we!! We allow it to just be. Well spotted. How have I never noticed before? Thank you xx

Jul

June 20, 2021, 9:51 a.m.

I almost deleted that last sentence as it's so flipping obvious we don't want to change that feeling when we are happy but I knew it had some meaning and relevance deeper than the obvious. Thx for picking that up ratg. Jul xx

the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 1:30 p.m.

It was all you Marple :-)

Valerie

June 20, 2021, 7:07 a.m.

I have been in so many battles,and some I have relished at the time.It's only later when you realise the toll they take on you,mentally and physically.A dear friend had a terrible year of conflict last year,with a very devious wealthy man.Resolution was reached,though much bitterness remained.I heard yesterday that she collapsed with a heart attack and has just had angioplasty and a stent fitted.She is early 50's. I have to stop myself now,learn to walk away even if it means someone else has "won". I am so sorry you are going through a hard time Ratg,and send love and hugs x

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:38 a.m.

Hello Valerie, thank you for your good wishes, it helps! I do hope your friend recovers well. That stress on her body has clearly come out, how awful. Best to her x

Dido

June 20, 2021, 7:36 a.m.

Hi RATG I hope the walk goes ok. Sometimes its battle or lie down. I hope you win soon *** Dido

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:39 a.m.

Thank you so much. I completely agree, battle or lie down. And we always know which it has to be. Thank you x

Dido

June 20, 2021, 9:49 a.m.

good point I think I've been lying down but am coming up for the battle's next round.

Sally

June 20, 2021, 7:48 a.m.

Hi Ratg, I wonder if there’s anything specific dragging you down...or just that hit-from-nowhere as I call it? Sometimes we can play detective in hindsight...and think ” No wonder!” For instance, expecting far too much of ourselves... remember to pare down, chisel away at detritus which doesn’t enhance your life.. Although you appear to have a good grasp of things and how to retrench. I can’t see my son today...but a silver lining in the form of a large royal blue box arrived from the delivery man. Totally unexpected Father’s Day gift from son, organised by CareHome staff, how kind! It was a big breakfast, and I have just helped the recipient out with it. Totally full now, till supper time, I think ! It was delicious. What a treat ! I think a long walk will be called for, before I set as hard as concrete! Silver , from which coincidentally you can make sliver, ...linings......need to be remembered. Silver linings provide a sliver of hope , for example. Xx Best wishes for lifting of horrid depression, Room. A big pat on the back from me.

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the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 8:44 a.m.

Oh thank you Sally. I’ve worn myself out, an unavoidable extra busy time with extra people to care for, some bad news, work load overload, late nights, early starts, really just lifestyle and I knew it was coming as I couldn’t find ways to build in decompression points. Just had to cling tight. Today I can afford a small pause but I realise I have allowed Father’s Day to arrive without a plan!! Perhaps some home baking… thank you for your kind words. Your sons breakfast gift is wonderful!

Bubble

June 20, 2021, 2:28 p.m.

Sally such a lovely thing for the care home to do. That really touched me.

Paul

June 20, 2021, 8:45 a.m.

I hope your day gets better I have said before it would be good if there was a list somewhere on this great site. A list of little nudges to help get us back from being in a bad place. I realise it’s not a quick fix but my little list if any may help I do hope so. A nice shower with lots of nice smelly stuffI while listening to your favourite music. I now finish a shower with cold water sound horrible but it helps me a kind of shock to the system. Change clothes to bright colours A nice cup of your favourite drink not alcohol with a chunk of dark chocolate. If possible walk and smell flowers If possible talk to a good friend Be kind to yourself, remind yourself you have been here before and what a difference a day makes. Good luck I hope you feel brighter soon Joke which may release a little ***** I phoned the council up and asked am I allowed to have a skip outside my driveway. The man on the phone said yes certainly you need to lose some weight fatty. Paul

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Bearofliddlebrain

June 20, 2021, 11:40 a.m.

Ha ha ha! Ve ve funny - needed that laugh!! Bear hugs x

Bubble

June 20, 2021, 2:30 p.m.

Ha ha Paul, I like your humour.

The Gardener

June 20, 2021, 6 p.m.

Love it.

the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 6:41 p.m.

Hello Paul, I don’t know if you’re still reading but…thank you! I trad that joke on Sunday and it brought me such a good laugh! Also thank you for your magical list. I wore my favourite jumper. It does help. Thank you v much for the kindness. Love ratg x

Salt Water Mum

June 20, 2021, 8:56 a.m.

Dear Room, sending you a virtual hug if I may. 'Stepping into the armour' - great title. My therapist years ago talked about me 'putting on my armour' to face difficult people/conflict. And it's something I do to protect myself. The image of the armour helped me as did realising I am a highly sensitive person (HSP). And yet... I had so much conflict in my life with difficult relationships. I used to like clever debating arguments so I was a complete contradiction - the sensitive me wasn't able for conflict but the debating me wanted the stimulation of conflict!!! Now? I want peace. Actually what I really want is Easefulness... if there is such a word!? And it's hard to get that when living with two teenagers! But I now take steps back from conflict. And it's hard - because I like to be clever in an argument, I like the spice of a good debate but it wasn't helping me or my mood. So, I take a breath and disengage even if that looks like I might have 'lost' the argument... so be it! I'm taking the 'easfulness' path instead (or trying to !) Happy Sunday Moodscopes, Thank you Room, swm x

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 6:47 p.m.

Easefulness yes! That’s a perfect description, mood and aim. Thank you for the hug, most glad to accept it. Feeling a little better today too :-)

The Gardener

June 20, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

Oh RATG, your blog turned my simmering fires into outright blaze. Loneliness has struck - a very good, acerbic French friend (man, a bachelor) says how lucky we are - health, eyesight, nice house, garden, no money worries. But clinging to that particular lifeboat does not work. I have little contact with friends or family. I school myself - nobody HAS to contact me. It's grand-children - we were all such pals till they were grown up - I suppose Granny has nothing to offer any more, and it's not just Covid, after all there are still phones and computers. Is it because I do not have a smart phone? One grand-son has not contacted since his wedding 18 months ago. If we meet, it's fine. Never a thank you letter, I have to put my 'I don't care' shell on, they are all fine, houses, jobs, friends.

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The Gardener

June 20, 2021, 9:05 a.m.

Talking 'battles' has raised ire against politicians. We were often involved in public enquiries. I watched, and wrote about, the flagrant flouting of planning laws all round the 'Urban Fringe' of London. Any bit of land 'cut off' by expansion of motorways and airport was worth millions if you could get change of use. Very rich developers would pay clever lawyers to find loopholes - local government was no match for them and, probably, often bribale. When something like Grenfell Towers comes up, I get even madder that planners and developers can actually cheat on materials and people die from their negligence. Sorry about the rant, I am having a very bad day - first time ever I was NOT going to get up. Thanks RATG (you asked for it!) xx

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 6:49 p.m.

Darling TG, never a need to apologise for ranting, it’s very healthy, gets it out and then it can be picked through or abandoned, whichever is needed most. Pour it out anytime ***

Teg

June 20, 2021, 9:43 a.m.

Hi RATG Sorry to hear about your bad spell but glad it is passing. It always passes eventually but not knowing when makes it difficult. I do not like conflict with myself or others. I think awareness and preparation are a great help. My anxiety(GAD) continues to throw missiles but I don't panic, realise what is happening, and try to keep positive.

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 6:52 p.m.

Thank you Teg, I am feeling a fraction brighter so here’s hoping the steps keep coming. I can cope with not knowing when, now that I know why. I’m glad you no longer respond to anxiety with panic, that is a big step and actually a main line of defence.

Leah

June 20, 2021, 10:39 a.m.

Ratg Sorry you are in a battle. I don’t have the energy for a battle, I usually admit defeat at the first sign. I wonder does it make a difference if one battles or one admits defeat!!

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 6:57 p.m.

Just a depression battle Leah. If it was in person I’d have long ago walked away. For me, admitting defeat in depression always works. It fixes me faster than anything else. But it means literally lying down to it and I can’t do that, I have to get up daily…so I have to battle through. Awful. Yucky. Sore. But I am feeling better today. Thankful.

Bearofliddlebrain

June 20, 2021, 12:01 p.m.

Goodly day to you dear Ratg, Sending huge but gentle Bear hugs your way and hoping you are coping with the day so far. Thank you for continuing to write for us even though you have been feeling dog-rough for the past few weeks…all things pass and hopefully it won’t be too long before you are a Top Dog again ;0) I’ve been up and down recently too - we sold our house back in March but the houses we have gone for have fallen through and it’s exasperation central here!! Am also cream crackered today from a stint at the vaccination centre this morning and now have no energy left, whatsoever, but feel that because it’s Father’s Day, I should be going all-out to make a Sunday roast this evening…it ain’t gonna happen! It’ll be salads all round, unless Baby Bear sorts dinner as a favour for Mr. Bear!! I don’t like fighting either, nor being involved in many debates as I feel my opinions don’t count for much. Battles do hurt and I tend to churn everything over in my head for ages after a battle, wondering why I couldn’t have come back with a good and useful quip back - especially when the battles head south and turn into put-downs. Ugh! Keep looking after yourself - remembering to put your self first doesn’t make you selfish, you need to put your oxygen mask goes on before you help others. You owe it to YOU, dear Ratg. Love and More Bear hugs x x x

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7 p.m.

My love Bear, I really feel for you about the house sale. That is so unsettling and continually unsettling! You’ll be unable to plan anything, very crippling. I’m feeling a bit better today. And I’m sending strong house progress vibes on the air. Here’s to solidity. Love ratg x

The Gardener

June 20, 2021, 1:57 p.m.

Just realised, looking at my empty desk diary that it is Father's day, don't know if it is here too. Walked to the grave of the father of my children, peaceful, no inspiration. Sorry you are low, RATG, hope things improve. I really am sorry to moan, my life is OK - just not talked to anybody for days, here is the only place, it is, as often described, my 'Wailing Wall'. Happier waves coming up the 1,000 or so miles which separate us. xx

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:03 p.m.

TG, I wish for you that you do have some daily contact. Do you think your children and grandchildren notice? Perhaps It’s time to state your position. A little contact rota would make a huge difference.

Patty

June 20, 2021, 3:28 p.m.

Hope talking to people on moodscope helps Gardener. Sorry you are not talking to anyone lately. That would be lonely for me. And, I hate conflict too RATG. It always leaves me upset and stewing. I have to settle everything with others. I am very sensitive and have to argue and have the last word and then don't feel good about it a lot of times then. Sorry you are feeling low and hope that you feel better soon. Take care of yourself. It seems a lit of us on moodscope have sensitive nature's. It is interesting, but I think it relates to our depression tendencies. We did not ask for that.

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:10 p.m.

Patty I agree. Sensitivity does seem strongly connected to depression. I’m getting a bit better at being less so and seeing others actions as separate from me rather than bothering me. Definitely helps! Good to see you, love ratg x

Tutti Frutti

June 20, 2021, 4:16 p.m.

Hi RATG I am sorry that you are feeling grim. Very much agree that sometimes only tiny steps in the battle to stay well are possible. I hope things will get better for you soon. I am feeling pretty ugh myself today as well. And finally I just wanted to say hi to Gardener. I don't know how to help but just so that you know that we are here and reading. Love TF x

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The Gardener

June 20, 2021, 4:59 p.m.

Thanks TF. I was 'brought up short', realising that granny no longer has any role, even knitting for baby spurned. We had such input with grand-children - realise different now grown up - but forgetting I exist completely is tough. Two grand-sons birthdays last week-end - could not even contact them. Stay safe and well. xx

the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:11 p.m.

Thank you TF, lovely to see you and feeling better today. TG that’s not good :-(

Brum Mum

June 20, 2021, 5:52 p.m.

Dear RATG, sorry you’re feeling low. The thing about battles are that they are energy sapping. So rest well too. If all you’re up to is a gentle walk two streets to your folks then that’s absolutely good enough. We are often our worst critics. I am wishing for you that, whilst you are not feeling so good, you can be as kind to yourself as I know you are to others. Much love x

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:13 p.m.

Hello BM, “good enough” is a strong reply to depression and I love to see it written down. Thank you for reminding me x

the room above the garage

June 20, 2021, 7:27 p.m.

Just wanted to say this - I will finish replying tomorrow. In my early days of moodscope, many years back, I remember how reassuring it felt to hear from somebody, particularly a ‘stranger’. I like to reply to everybody if I possibly can. For health, I’m sending myself off to bed now. Thank you for keeping me company today, and for being my friends. You might not know, but maybe do, how much it means ***.

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Ellen

June 20, 2021, 10:15 p.m.

One day at a time beloved

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Ach UK

June 21, 2021, 2:32 a.m.

I know how very much you have helped me Ratg. :-- ) I look to your blogs knowing they will always make me feel a true friend is walking with me.. a true friend who shares her sorrows as well as her joys. -- A friend who diminishes my fears by showing me the normality of life is a sine wave and going with the flows makes them easier to bear. -- We still have to swim through them;. but companionship lends strength. Rationing your replies ? . . .absolutely,. . . .Just listen to us all sending support to You. :--))) XX Ach.

the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:15 p.m.

Ellen thank you x

the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:17 p.m.

Dear Ach, your reply is like sending me a backbone to help me straighten. Such beautiful words. Blessed, thank you xx

Liz

June 21, 2021, 6:27 a.m.

Hi RATG, I haven't been on Moodscope for a wee while but I wanted to respond to say that you have helped me, as have many on here, when it feels like no one understands and you feel alone. I hate battles too. I loved some of the comments from others about how they deal with stuff. With Oli's comment about drama, I responded on Facebook to someone who put a plea out for another party to contact her mother and I followed suit, sucked into it. The mother is a drama queen personified. The irony of it. There is always a battle with certain people and it feels like they are forcing you into choosing sides, are you on my side or not and if so, why. You certainly find out who your friends are. Then you learn to step back and actually see that repeat patterns occur with these people and also your response to them. I find myself thinking "your battle, not mine". What would happen if you showed people you weren't okay RATG? It takes strength and a lot of energy to keep pretending. Whatever the outcome, I wish you better mental health soon. Love and hugs from the Highlands xx

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the room above the garage

June 22, 2021, 7:23 p.m.

Hello Liz, definitely this. I remember hearing “not my circus, not my monkeys” and finally realising I had a choice! Thank you for being there for me, feeling better today!

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