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October


Tell Me Your Story. Wednesday October 14, 2015

I was recently at my company's annual conference. As usual we had a motivational speaker. And, as so often, it was someone we've seen before; we knew we were getting value from him.

"Tell me your story," he said. "Tell me your story as a tragedy."

Well, that's easy, isn't it? Suicide of my father when I was four years old, brought up in poverty within the household of an austere and puritanical grandfather, a temporary escape to university only to fall into marriage at twenty to an equally puritanical and emotionally abusive man. A painful divorce twelve years later, a career hounded by failure, a second and happy marriage blighted by miscarriage and then, the devastating diagnosis of bipolar...

Hey, wait a minute! Wait just one minute here! This is getting depressing…

"So, tell me your story as a series of parties."

Oh, I love parties. I remember the Christmas party held by the wealthy grandfather of my cousins. There was an enormous Christmas tree with a present for everyone: it was magical. I was four and I fell in love with the cousin of my cousins. I stayed in love with him for the next seven years, but he never loved me back (whoops – that's the tragedy story – sorry!). My sister's birthday is at the end of October and we had a fabulous Halloween party for her once, with a cauldron on the floor and black paper cats and bats all over the windows. The police stormed the Iranian Embassy on my seventeenth birthday (a party to remember as we were all glued to the live coverage on the TV) and I had a brilliant fancy dress party for my eighteenth. In my twenties I started writing murder mystery dinner parties and those were simply wonderful, and instead of a 50th celebration I did a 49th party with a theme of the 1849 California Gold Rush – fancy dress again. Oh yes, I do adore parties!

"Tell me your story from a romantic point of view."

"Tell me your story as a journey of faith."

"Tell me your story how your friends' might see it."

Then – when we thought he had moved on he asked us to look around the room and make a note of everything we could see that was red, and then close our eyes.

"Tell me what you remember that is green," he said.

"Um..."

You see, we have a very limited amount of brain processing power. If we concentrate on the parties, we can't focus on the tragedies. If we focus on the lost loves (oh my dears, I have many) then we cannot see the friendships.

I've made a discipline of focussing on and remembering the positives. It's purely selfish, I admit. You see, I want to be happy.

And I am happy. Even at the bottom of the bipolar cycle, in the middle of depression, fundamentally, I'm happy.

It's not an accident, it's a choice. Make it yours too. Go on, I dare you!

Mary
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Ann Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 12:35am

Great post, thank you, Mary!

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:34am

Thank you Ann

Debs Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 7:33am

What an incredible blog Mary, it's really got me thinking... I remember reading that our brains are actually wired to process the negative stuff in more detail (a throw back to caveman days when we had to work out whether we were in immediate danger or not). So it takes focus to process the positives in as much detail. I realise as I read your words how much I have got used to processing the negatives and dismissing the positives and how much this has contributed to my current low. I'm going to rewrite my story today and tell a tale of happy times. And I will bring it to life with photos and images and colours - a 3D experience ;-) Thank you for this - perfect words at the perfect time xxx

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:17am

That's great Debs. Do share what comes out for you. I am so pleased these words have helped you today.

jen Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 7:52am

Hi Mary, I had decided today I would not add any comments, just read all the responses when I get back from work. Your blog changed that. What a horrible early life journey you had. I am so sorry. To survive that and remain positive is a lesson for us all.

I will remember the red/green experiment and share it with others I support - brilliant. Many times I have been at an event and heard others recount their experience of attending and found myself wondering if I was actually at the same place as they were. Some are just not focusing on the good bits. Thank you for sharing

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:23am

Oh Jen - Therapy! Lots and lots of therapy! I have been greatly blessed by knowing many compassionate, gifted and generous counsellors and therapists over the years. And - I didn't tell you all that to have you feel sorry for me - but to illustrate that we all have tragedy in our lives if we look for it. Just as we all have positive things in our lives if we look for them.

LillyPet Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 8:28am

Hi Mary, I also admire your resillience and positivity. As Debs said my brain picks up on any negatives around me and will internalises and focus on them.
Today I had planned to try to rest the old grey matter whenever I can. It will help to observe my day as a story of gifts, starting with yours.
Thank you Mary. LP :)

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:23am

As story of gifts. I like that.

Hopeful One Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 8:42am

Hi Mary -A brilliant blog reminding us to make an effort to see the positives in preference to the negatives in any situation. The psychologists claim that over time it rewires the neural circuits so it becomes the default option.

Humour helps so too so here your instalment for today as I know you like a joke.

Every Sunday, a little old lady places £1,000 in the collection plate. This goes on for weeks until the Minister overcomes his curiosity, and asks “I can’t help but notice that you put £1,000 a week in the collection plate," he says. "Why yes," she replies, "Every week my son sends me money, and what I don't need I give to the church." "That's wonderful, how much does he send you?" "Oh, £2,000 a week." "Your son is very successful, what does he do for a living?" "He says he is a vet ," she answers. "That is a very honourable profession. Where does he practice?" "Well, he has one cat house in Mayfair and another in Soho.'

Judith Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:16am

Brilliant! It will certainly make me happy to share this happy thought with my friends

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:25am

Hmmm - and if the vicar enlightens the little old lady then her son will find himself in the dog-house! Thank you HO. I always enjoy your jokes!

Judith Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:14am

Thank you, I too can now know, even in the depths of depression I am happy now that I can live my life on my terms.

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:38am

Yes, I know it sounds weird to be happy even in the middle of depression, but if we realise depression is an illness that affects our emotions we can start to distinguish our thoughts and decisions as separate from our chemically affected/altered emotional state. We may not have control over out emotions, but we do have control over our thoughts.

Sally Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:25am

Mary your blogs are wonderful. You bring things to life and they help me to see the positive side and face the negative. My psychiatrist said many times "I will get you better", and she surely did. I hold onto that thought on bad days. I love your way with words. Please keep on writing for us.

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:31am

Oh Sally - there's no stopping me, I'm afraid. As another Moodscope blogger and I were discussing a couple of weeks ago, we are writers: we have to write. It's our way of processing stuff - another form of therapy. And whenever things occur for me, I just want to share them with all you lovely Moodscopers. So pleased you have a good psychiatrist and you have hope.

Anna Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 10:14am

Wonderful, thank you Mary. This is so true, and reminded me of the phrase "Look into the abyss and the abyss looks back". It's too easy to believe that everything is negative sometimes, and harder to realise that maybe it's just because you're focusing on the negative. Brilliant demonstration.

Smiler Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 10:26am

I'm sorry to break the trend of positivity but this all smacks of CBT where you think positive thoughts and everything will be fantastic. I have tried this many times and all I end up with is improved acting skills, I don't feel it, I actually feel nothing I'm numb or incapable of any emotion. I have a long history of depression, sexual abuse by father as a child, mother hated me pledged to destroy my will, father suicide when I was 11, mother ran away with us and new boyfriend few weeks after father died, no contact with any family, new half brother, Mother continued to reject, emotionally and physically abuse me. I am married and have two grown up daughters, it has been extremely difficult as nothing I've had to do was natural, poor relationship with one daughter due to my poor mothering skills. If you want to reply fine but I do not want any sympathy or fell sorry for stuff, it is what it is nothing will change it so I just get on with it. Oh I work as an adult education tutor although off work at the moment. I find this very expressive so thank you

Leah Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 10:51am

Smiler, I just want to say how refreshing your honesty is. I have some problems with CBT too. I think it is healthy to have different viewpoints on moodscope. I admire your strength in getting on with your life and helping others as an education tutor.

susan Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:04am

OK, no sympathy...but my heart aches for you, Smiler. I can see where CBT mightn't have worked for you. You have suffered too much trauma in your life and PTSD results. Sending healing thoughts. xx

Hopeful One Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:11am

Hi Smiler- you have had a torrid time time in your life which would sink many but the fact is that you are still here and by all accounts not letting it dictate your life . It speaks volumes for the strength and depth of you character.As I understand it CBT is not about replacing one's negative thoughts with positive ones as if to say we can control our thoughts in some way . The simple fact is that we can't . Think about it. If we could we would simply block all our negative unpleasant thoughts and live with our happy thoughts ever after. Clearly that does not happen. CBT is about learning to interpret events in one's life in a positive way learning/ teaching one self to focusi on the silver lining of every cloud rather than the cloud. We have that choice . Done regularly and consistently and deliberately to begin with( never underestimate the strength of one's critical inner voice) it is claimed slowly lifts the fog of depression in most cases.

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:18am

Thank you Smiler. Yes, CBT works for some cases but not all. I sympathise with your improved acting skills. No, just thinking good thoughts does not make things magically better and one of the symptoms of depression is the inability to feel anything at all. The point I was making here is that we still have the choice to focus on the tragedy in our lives (and you have had more than your share of that) or to focus on the good stuff. I wish you well on your journey and thank you for sharing yourself with us. We are honoured.

Smiler Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 1:03pm

You are very kind and generous in your comments I did not wish to come across as saying CBT was not a valuable therapy it has just not worked for me. I did enjoy reading your post and I understand the point made but I feel facing past events with honesty is very important. What has happened will get to “OK now let’s move on, this is not going to steal any more of my life”. After the inquest so to speak I feel the content of your blog fits I just worry sometimes that the past is skipped over, hidden, brushed to one side.

Smiler Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 1:09pm

Leah, Susan, Hopeful one and Mary, Thank you all very much your comments are inspiring and touching too. I don't usually look at the blog I just complete the quiz and leave. You have all added human contact of the very best kind to my day (I am on sick leave at the moment), you are all very special and if no one objects I would like to visit again sometime. xxxx

susan Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 10:34am

Oh Mary, you are helping me so much. An inspired phrase or thought can act as the missing link or the final piece that suddenly rewires the brain. You have provided many such gelling thoughts over the months....you and your wonderful Moodscope writer friends. Today i can finally see that it has been my fears and negative thoughts and poor choices that have lead to depression and that, although the chemical element is definitely there, it is not the main event. It's sort of the opposite of your situation where you have made good choices and maintained healthy thoughts while dealing with the devastating chemicals. In any event, thank you again and again. And i must tell you that i envy your being able to help so many people. What a gift. xx

Mary Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:21am

Thank you Susan. Thank you so much. It never fails to amaze me that these words help others. If they just provide a bit of encouragement and support then I'm delighted.

Debs Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:53am

And your reply has helped me Susan so thank you - that is a gift too ;-) I needed reminding that my thoughts create the chemicals and not the other way round. I can see some sunshine this morning after reading Mary's blog and the amazing responses so a huge thanks to everyone! We create this site together - writers, commenters, readers and creators... we're all equal xxx

Lucas Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:32am

Sorry for not being positive here, but I'd really love to.

I'm glad what I call the "thinkology" method works for some. But I've tried that, and for me it always wound up being self-delusion, and an ignoring of worsening symptoms, because "how could I possibly be sad? I have a car and a job and friends, and some people have it so much worse, and while some bad things have happened in the past, look how far I've come, isn't that impressive..." and then suddenly it fails utterly and instead of having to do a little mental self-care, and take things easy, I'm unable to go to work and desperate for a therapist.

Perspective is certainly important, I get that. If the takeaway is "try not to dwell on the negatives you can't change, refocusing to positives can lead to better mood" I'm ok with that. Maybe it's a small nuance, but that is important to me. It leaves room for not being able do it, which otherwise would make me feel worse. (I'm depressed, but with so much good, I shouldn't be...I must be an ungreatful person, what's wrong with me?)

But otherwise I feel like it becomes, "am I standing on your foot? Think how pain-free your other foot is. Isn't it wonderful that your other foot is not being stood on? And nobody is messing with your hands at all! Some people don't have feet, too, but you have two of them! What's that, you want me to move because your foot hurts? Stop thinking of what's wrong, you must only think of what's good, and then you'll be happy."

Is it wrong to be realistic and say, "this situation sucks, how can I change it?" Or in cases where it can't be changed anytime soon or at all, is it wrong to acknowledge how difficult it is, how painful it is, the reality of things?

When I hear a "thinkology" perspective, I can't help feeling thjs way. It sounds, to me, to be a longer way of saying, "you're depressed? Just stop being sad." Much easier said than done, especially when my brain decides it's time to review all my failures for seemingly no reason, thoughts rising up unbidden.

Is there some trick to doing this that I've missed? Is there some implied nuance that I don't understand intrinsically? Is this an indicator of how depressed I am? "Thinkology" seems to keep popping up lately and I guess I've hit my break point today.

I really am glad it works for some. I just...couldn't be silent anymore. Isn't ok to be not ok? It's just a visit, not home, but as I heard someone describe elsewhere, it's a place I have to travel through sometimes.

susan Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 12:50pm

Hi Lucas, i think you should submit this as a blog, complete without changing a word. And you made me really chuckle with glee with your feet and hands analogy. I don't think there's a person here on Moodscope who hasn't had moments of shouting out 'God, i am NOT impressed!!! What is this ridiculous planet we're on, what WERE you thinking and why the hell am i here? It all sucks big time!" I think about ratg today, she who is so full of love and compassion and insight and wisdom and giftedness with her writing...and who is stuck away right now in a miserable pit of depression. But she will climb out, like we all do. And when it all clears for each of us, we take the positives that remain and really try and run with them, because each little positive thought and insight adds to the whole matrix and helps it, over time, to change. Thanks for this, i really love it. Gave me a chance to rant a bit too. Whew! Feels good. xx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 1:59pm

Hi Lucas, I've tried three times to write a decent reply to you and three times it has disappeared to the Unknown...am obviously doing something wrong today!! It IS ok to be NOT ok...here on Moodscope many of us are battling with our best efforts daily, and by telling peeps here on the blog is just sharing the 'how to's' just in case it helps someone else going through a similar situation. You aren't being ungrateful for what you have in the material world and wondering why are you so sad and low......many of us have stuff, but we have the added complication of depression and we are all here to help if we can. Bear x

Anonymous Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 12:44pm

Hi Lucas. I tend to agree with you and Smiler, that it is OK to feel depressed and have negative thoughts. CBT has never worked for me. Ever. The jury is still out for me on Mindfulness too. I often ride my bike and gosh the negative thoughts and conversations that swirl round my head when I''m on my own in the open air, flow wildly. I sometimes try to stop them and do mindfulness practice but lately I have just let them continue and I have found that by the end of my bike ride, I have sorted many things out and come back with a clear mind. I am all for letting the negative thoughts play out now; they will end naturally if you don't try to stop them. This is a new discovery for me since mindfulness came along. Before I knew about Mindfulness, I used to go for walks and never thought I should try to substitute positive thoughts for the negative ones or look at each thought objectively. I sometimes think that Mindfulness and CBT thinking are just examples of additional pressure on us to do the "right thing".
I will continue to practice mindfulness but with an open mind from now on. I also understand that it helps many many people, so does CBT allegedly. Mary , if it wasn't for your blog today, we wouldn't have had this discussion. I welcome honesty on Moodscope too Leah... and opposing views.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 2:03pm

Hi Anon, CBT and mindfulness seem to be helpful to some but it's not a 'one size fits all'. Neither is medication...I think we have to physically take care of our self with decent food and sleep and then add to those a lot of kindness and compassion! And if something DOES work...repeat! Bear x

Anonymous Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 2:10pm

Yes I agree Bear. I was going to say one medication/ therapy doesn't fit all but ran out of steam! So thank you for saying it. J xx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 4:12pm

I have enough steam to share..puff, puff...x

Hopeful One Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 7:03pm

Hi Anon- mindfulness makes one realise that thoughts are - well just thoughts. They are not facts even though they feel and insist they are. The trick is let them come and go . If left alone they have nothing to interact with or get traction and left alone die of their own accord. Ditto feelings Currently I gather there is a move to integrate mindfulness into CBT so called MCBT

The Gardener Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 1:05pm

Dear Mary, you've been upstaged. Your excellent blog took second place to the thought for today, strength comes from an indomitable will. My poor husband has reached the 'next' stage. In fact, it's not 'poor husband', he knows not what he does. The first geriatric doc, 2 years ago, said 'you're in for a tough time'. Next, hospital where he goes twice a week said 'he will become demanding and selfish'. What even she could not foresee, perhaps, because every case is different, that he demands that we live in a darkened room with the heating full on. If I don't 'obey' he swears at me. Hence the indomitable courage. Market day, loads of 'mates', in my shop/museum - plus smiles and jokes to and from the bread shop. But parties! We are noted for them. After a delightful christening party for 5th child people said 'see you at next christening'. I said I am not going to produce a tribe for you to have a party - have your own parties. All can be summed up from my oldest and best friend, healthily caustic. She used to ring up when her life was a bit dull for our latest drama. I said 'we had a super party last week'. Her response? 'Oh, you two, you'd have a party if you cut your fingernails!' Says it all. Mary's 'if we concentrate on the parties, we can't focus on the tragedies.' I am afraid (might be my mood today) that the panorama of parties passing on our screen randomisation have so many tragedies behind them. So many depressed individuals, miserable divorces, distressing old age. One party, which got out of hand, left me with SIX husbands (not my ex's I hasten to clarify) who were too near the front when the go-go- dancers tassels fell off so their wives stormed off with the cars. As I administered tea next morning to the overhung, they all said their wives did not understand them! I think only one of those marriages survived, I wonder why? I think being 'happy' at the moment is unattainable, I have to do 'pleasing' things. Finishing a fantastic knitted pashmina (already admired), harvesting my crazy ornamental gourds, I love them. Organizing another exhibition of church robes for the All Saints Week-end. Following yesterday's subject (I am now best mates with the man at the dump) determined clear out of clothes for Humana. that's not a bad agenda.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 1:51pm

So glad you got to the dump and have made a new friend...wasn't Stig was it TG??!! Doing your knitted pashmina is surely a happy thing for you to spend time on...glad you are able to complete it and I bet it looks fab! Bear x

Anonymous Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 2:13pm

Hi Gardener. I meant to say a few blogs ago that I laughed when you wrote that you sedated your husband before you went out. It was more the way you said it which made me laugh. I will be in France for Toussaints/All Saints. We leave tomorrow for Limoges.

The Gardener Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:01pm

Best of luck, anon. Never been so lost as in Limoges - but had no GPS then. I have a photo taken in the local undertaker's window, massive stock clearance of tombstones and those 'tokens' they use for All Saints.. Prayers in all our cemeteries. Re the tombstones, do you put them in the bank till you need them? Massively expensive, and in the worst possible taste.Perhaps you buy Granny a new one? Bon voyage the Gardener

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:54pm

That's hilarious! Tombstone clearance! Perhaps they could try a 'buy one, get one free' and you could tell some of your ungrateful offspring you're keeping them for them!!

Otir Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 1:14pm

A very nice blogpost by Mary, followed by interesting discussions in the comment sections warrant a short note of acknowledgement and appreciation, and gladness that I belong to this community when we can all share similar experiences and draw strength from the lessons those experiences teach us, rather than despair. Thanks to all of you. Much love ~ Otir

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 2:03pm

Spot on, Otir!

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 2:06pm

Mary, thank you for introducing your speaker to us...he was a wise peeps and what a fab blog you have drawn from it. Such great writing and excellent discussions had....just not sure what gremlins have been playing in my pootery thing today...keep losing my replies!!! Bear hugs x

g Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 2:39pm

this community is becoming an extended family even though visited so rarely
I am sorry to be asking but there used to be pictures attached to a lot of names and there are none now

is it my computer ?

is it a new rule?

did somebody (?) request it

is it the law?

was it a democratic decision ?

I am asking all these questions as a bipolar in the cupboard deliberating coming out nearly ready to but instead of being encouraged I am actively discouraged from doing so ...




Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 4:02pm

Hi G! Brother, sister or cousin...you are part of the Moodscope family already, but am sad :/ that you are being 'actively discouraged from coming out of your cupboard...'.all are welcome here whether or not you are suffering from whatever...or in fact if you are here to glean any helpful hints and handy tips to help look after someone you care about. Who is doing this to you, G? I can only think that when this newer system came online, the pics didn't come with it...maybe Caroline can help? I have emailed her but she does look at the blog so she will no doubt see your questions :) we like having you here and it's good to see you back...do come again...Bear x

Caroline Ashcroft from Moodscope Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:08pm

Hi G, it's lovely that we are becoming your extended family and hope you will visit more often. Regarding the photos. We've moved the blog from the external 'blogger' site to the Moodscope site and unfortunately, currently, we don't have photos. It's not your computer, it's not a rule and no-one requested it, it's just one of those things we haven't included yet. Although the photos are missing the heart and spirit of this community is growing in leaps and bounds so please join us. Carolinex

g Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 4:42pm

thank you both - it must have been my occasional paranoia acting and there is such a simple explanation but i was stunned by Bear's - good to see you back - the eloqence of majority of frequent contributors is very helpfull but a little bit intimidating and i would not expect to have been heard without a direct message - made my day looking after myself.

g Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 4:44pm

thank you both - it must have been my occasional paranoia acting and there is such a simple explanation but i was stunned by Bear's - good to see you back - the eloqence of majority of frequent contributors is very helpfull but a little bit intimidating and i would not expect to have been heard without a direct message - made my day looking after myself.

Dave Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 4:11pm

Oh to choose happiness in the depths of depression so hard to do.....but I realize that I a in am in a continual battle each day and often each hour and I will not this thief steal any more pieces of my life....I WILL NEVER GIVE UP

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 4:13pm

Bravo, Dave!

judy Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 5:14pm

A few days ago Leah did a post on recovery. One of the things she wrote was that a person can be unwell but still be getting better. That really made me sit up and think. I can't explain the effect it had on the way I thought/felt. Perhaps I was the only one to gain something from that particular sentence, but perhaps that was pertinent to "my story". Because we all have different stories, we can't all benefit from the same things or even same words, at the same time. Maybe the same things will be helpful at another time though to someone else.
On the question of whether happiness is attainable for the gardener or just pleasing; I think maybe we have to wonder what happiness means. Do we mean peace or do we mean pleasure? After all, pleasure can be found in making things, listening to certain music, animals, etc. Peace is harder to find but definitely more sustaining. Meditation and mindfulness can lead to peace but it takes time to achieve . We don't expect to learn to play an instrument without practice so why should we expect to get the hang of meditation quickly? I think it is hard for people who over think to do it but not impossible Just bite sizes at a time. It is possible to find peace in the midst of turmoil but it has to be worked at daily, until one day you realise it is more important than pleasure.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 5:44pm

Hi Judy, that hit the button with me too....about being unwell but getting better or for me sometimes it's the other way around! But one of the things that came out of Leah's blog and the responses was that we probably don't 'get better'...well not as you would after a broken arm...but maybe we get as well as we can be for that moment in time. Am often asked by my dear other half if I'm better or he says that I seem much better - I don't feel I can say I am totally better, but I don't want to let him down by saying that I'm not over it and I don't know how long this will last...but that's often the case. It's hard for peeps on the outside to see and understand. Bear x

Nicola Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 8:02pm

Judy and Bear, that resonated with me as well, this being unwell but still getting better - infinitely preferable to being unwell and getting worse! No, I'm not sure you ever recover fully - even a broken arm leaves the 'healed' bone different to how it was before. But other people are desperate for you to be better, which can feel like an added pressure. I have been swooping down the depression slope this week, and then my partner, who I have supported through a very difficult year of depression, told me to perk up! Good grief man, you really should know better!! But those who do not know do struggle to understand. Mary, excellent post, just look at all this discussion you've started! xx

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:57pm

Mine is the same...has been through depression himself but struggles to understand mine and sometimes says the most inappropriate things... Hang on to the sides of the slope Nicola, and scrabble back up to join us here...we are on the way up! Bear hugs x

g Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 4:47pm

made me lol as these are all seperate words for a reason...

Nicola Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 8:01pm

Thanks Bear, I appreciate it xx

Oli Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 7:33pm

Thank you Mary. I loved that. :-)

The Gardener Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 8:48pm

This is sheer self-indulgence. Among the crazy events of a totally unstructured day my husband ,who has macular degeneration to make a double 'whammy' to Alzheimers, announced he could not see out or his right eye. Went to emergency, super doctor who treats him - massive haemmorhage in right eye, virtually blind in that eye. Got him home, to bed in a warm room, radio, nice supper - he has NO idea what is happening! Want to finish the day going back to Mary's parties. My family are wary, as I am partial to fireworks. Fourth offspring had a send-off to her wedding with father and brother letting of fireworks in the herbaceous borders. 'Not many dead' as the Oldie magazine says. Grand-son birthday in australia, Perth, I decided on a gold rush party to be held in local restaurant. Gold top hats, a circular chocolate cake, the hollow centre filled with a 'swag bag' chocolate coins and Aus dollars -great. Panicky father - scared that his Ma would end the party with a 'bang'. As about 20,000 lorikeets roosted in the trees outside the restaurant the whole of Perth and Freemantle would have heard the racket. And so to bed (Pepys, I believe) I have 30 years of diaries, fascinating stuff. Tomorrow is another day, as they say. Nite-nite you lot, increasing by the day I see, excellent.

Rebecca Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 9:35pm

Interesting post Mary. Got me thinking about CBT I have done and how I was told to write 3 positive things down each day. I have slipped but will start doing it again. I noticed when I did it before that I would actually be looking out for positives to make a note of. I suppose in time it rewires your brain to look for the positives instead of negatives all the time.

Bearofliddlebrain Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 10:00pm

I think it is a good idea, Rebecca, and others have said - Jon included (he who started Moodscope) that it is good, at the end of the day, to write things down that you are grateful for. I started a list and they were simple things as well as really great things...anything from being grateful for clean sheets on the bed to being taken out for supper. Bear x

Debs Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 10:47pm

I thought I would end today with the 'three positive things' exercise so have just done it and -despite having had a difficult day in parts - it has brought a warm and cosy finish to my eve. One of the 'things' was that I mowed my neighbours lawn and didn't tell them. It wasn't a big thing but it does give me a glow of pride and a self-esteem boost to know I did it. There has been a lot of discussion on here today about positive thinking being phoney and I totally get that. Some of the circumstances of my life are crappy and if I try to just 'keep my chin up' or 'think positively' about them like people suggest, I tend to want to smack them round the face for suggesting such nonsense. But if instead I look out for positive things - or deliberately set out to create them each day - I can feel my brain getting a nice surprise. It's almost like I've crept in the brain-back door and deviated it from it's normal train of thought. I shall be continuing and will let you know what happens ;-)) xxx

Debs Wed, Oct 14th 2015 @ 11:00pm

Ps - Bear - I've tried gratitude too but never quite got on with it. I would end up writing things like 'my health' and 'my amazing friends', not feel very much and then just get annoyed with the whole thing! Ha... the opposite of what it was designed to achieve!! With the 'positive things' exercise, or the Proud List I blogged about before I somehow feel there's an experience to be re-lived with all the positive emotions that come with it. To me it feels richer. But of course different things work for each of us and just grateful that we've got each other to share with. (Hee hee - just realised 'I'm grateful' , who'd a thunk it eh ;-)) xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 9:58am

I'd have thunk it, chuckie egg! Thankful for, grateful for, positive things that have happened...they are much the same me thinks! I'm glad you mowed your neighbours lawn....I do the same for mine...I am a ninja gardener...nip out there when they aren't around and weed their pots and some of their driveway...they haven't mentioned it so am assuming they haven't noticed!! Lolilol! I know what you mean about bring thankful for friends, family etc....and I would be as annoyed as you get!! Ah, more lols! Bear x

Mary Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:01am

Thank you everyone who has commented. Bear - especially thanks to you for coming back to everyone and looking after them when I was "out of the office" so to speak. What a privilege to belong to this community.

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 6:23pm

Oh Mary, hope I wasn't stepping on your wee tootsies with my big bear feet x

Mary Thu, Oct 15th 2015 @ 10:02am

Oh, and Gardener - a special hello to you - in spite of the grimness of your current situation, you usually manage to make me laugh. I shall think of you and fireworks and the strippers all day now! :)

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