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The hokey cokey. Saturday October 24, 2015

You put your right leg in...

In between his Catholic preaching and stories about his six children (and the 'one-on-the-way', there was always 'one-on-the-way'), my English teacher, Mr Garvey, used to drum into us the difference between a noun: 'a person place or thing' and a verb: 'a doing word'.

A noun always sounded very still to me, it was a solid object rooted in position. A thing. A stationary lump. Like banana, bin-bag, or Basingstoke. Whereas a verb was in-flight; it was moving, active, floating around in the atmosphere. Running, playing, singing and dancing.

When I'm depressed I am a noun. Flat, motionless and heavy, like a stone. It's a lazy, lethargic lump of a condition that digs its heels in and makes me want to lie down. It convinces me that I can't move, that I am a fixed object and must stop.

But one thing depression hates is to see a verb coming... Uh oh.

'Dancing?!' it cries; 'movement?! Are you crazy??! I'm depression and my job is to keep you small and quiet and still. Stop wriggling and jiggling at once!!'

In a recent study (Peper & Lin (2012) if you're so inclined) tested 110 participants for depression and then made them partake in one minute of opposite arm and leg skipping (No, I'm not sure what that is either but I reckon any type of random arm and leg flapping will do!) The results were increases in energy and better mood. The theory being that sitting still allows easier access to hopelessness, helplessness and negative thoughts.

As you know by now I'm on a mission to outwit this sneaky friend of mine so I am determined to keep moving... and in moving I hope to literally shake him off my back. I will run, I will dance. I will walk, I will climb, jump and fling. And I will put my right leg in, my right leg out, in, out, in, out, shake it all about...

Go on, I dare you... do the hokey cokey and turn around. Cos that's what it's all about ;-)

Debs xxx
A Moodscope member.

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

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Leah Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 6:20am

Great post. I'd rather be a preposition than a noun. I feel like a preposition, because I am almost something but just not quite there!
I assume Hokey Cokey is what we call the Hokey Pokey but here it is only danced by children not by sober adults!! children love to suggest 'rude' body parts to put in, which is very funny.

I do find that heavy manual labour helps me more than putting my arm somewhere it does not want to go. That's me.
Hope you succeed in your mission sometime very soon.
You go , girl!
PS what was the source of your liners yesterday?

susan Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 11:02am

Hi Leah, in Canada we called it the hokey tokey. All the same thing. I used to love putting my 'whole self' in. xx

Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 6:36am

Morning (evening?) Leah - manual labour sounds good too, or walking, gardening, yoga or looking up at the sky. Anything that changes our state really. I love the idea of kids suggesting rude body parts to put in! Brilliant. The one liners were Tim Vine. Not sure if you know him but he does a whole show full of them.. check him out on You Tube. Laughter is movement too isn't it? A little shoulder shake is a sneaky verb ;-) xx

Anonymous Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 7:45am

Hi Debs I have emerged from visitors staying for two minutes. I love Tim Vine's one liners; we saw him once at the Edinburgh Festival. He used to be in that TV programme Not Going Out. Anyway your blog is great today Debs. Even when feeling very tired,when all I want to do is catch up on sleep the best thing is to go out for a walk. Or do the hokey cokey maybe. Never thought of that!

Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 6:41am

Here's one to start/end the day... I phoned the local gym and asked if they could teach me how to do the splits. He said, "How flexible are you?" I said, "I can't make Tuesdays."

Hopeful One Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 6:46am

Hi Debs- a cool post. In those two words you have defined depression in a way . It is a a 'thing' and to get out of it what we should do is any action ending in ' ing' . The 'ing' will be different for each of us of course and what may work for one person may not for another which is of course the case with everything ( you can see I have already taken your message on board!) to do with depression. There is no ' one size fits all '

Paul Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 7:42am

Great post Debs
Sounds a great distraction technique
The doctor gave me some tablets, his instructions were take one tablet mon, tue, we'd then skip the rest of the week. Do this for a month then come back and see me. How are you feeling he asked I've lost 5 stone I told him. I think it was all that skipping!


Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 8:05am

Hee hee ;-) Love it. Keep 'em coming x

Sally Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 8:57am

Great one! :-)

Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 7:56am

I agree HO - there is no 'one size fits all', what works for one doesn't work for others in terms of recovery. Having said that, I do believe (back to Les' blog yesterday!) that there are some principles that are common to all depressions. Depression tries to convince us to be still and alone. Its the voice (which is either known or unknown to us) that says 'you're not good enough', 'you're different' 'you don't belong' (and other variations of the same thing) and convinces us to do something that doesn't serve us. It works for me to see depression as a 'thing', something separate to me, because this means I am the one in control of it, not vice versa. And being in control and make self-supporting, self-loving decisions (like moving, walking, building, painting, dancing, gardening etc) is always key.

julie Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 10:02pm

hi im julie

Anonymous Mon, Oct 26th 2015 @ 7:28pm

Hi Julie. I'm Gina. Welcome.

Alice Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 8:35am

Oh Debs, I love your writing, your understanding and your heart! A wonderful descriptive blog that really calls for action....! I came across something called a 'gerund' the other day - crazy word - a verb form which functions as a noun, in English ending in How about that? Your noun getting up and shaking off the depression. I personally think of myself as an adjective.......all those words used to say what I am like; hoping to become more loving and compassionate. Keep writing Debs, love Alice xx

Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 9:12am

Oh Alice, what a beautiful thing to say - I'm so touched! I love the thought of yourself as an adjective, you have definitely brought light and colour to my day ;-) xx

The Gardener Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 12:38pm

Grammar! Does anybody remember parsing sentences? After Latin, Spanish, French and Italian (I gave up Russian 6 verbs 'to go' grammar is my life. But the subjunctive can reduce me to tears. The Gardener

Sally Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 8:56am

You are so right, Debs. Great blog, very imaginative I will never think of the Hokey Cokey in the same way again now!!
I was a noun for a six week period a month ago but thankfully now I have reverted to being a verb,FAR better. And an adjective, too : the emotional and spiritual side very present, and I can express myself once more creatively. And help others.

Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 9:15am

That's so lovely to hear Sal, being a verb is so much better, and a verb who is helping and creating is a special verb indeed. Enjoy the feeling (can't get away from the 'ing' thing now ;-)) xx

LillyPet Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 11:05am

Debs, what a beautifully written, humourous and enspiring blog! I wish I could creat such magic! The best thing ( well adjective really!) about your blog is it's simplicity which is what we need in those times!
It may also help on those days when I havent made it out to do my walkING. Doing somethING how ever small and silly may just unlock the block and shift me out of feeling bad about it too! It seems to me to be a great key to put onto my bunch Debs' Ho key Co key! Love it! :)) Thanks a million Debs! LP xx

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:21am

LillyPet you do create magic!! Your writing is beautiful and I always love reading your replies on peoples posts ;-) I LOVE the idea of a set of keys, I'm going to remember that metaphor - its a jingly jangly reminder that we have the ability to unlock our wellness. xx

susan Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 11:05am

Debs, you write soooooo beautifully and you really got me moving this morning...before i even got out of bed. Apparently just imagining movement will help. There have been times, just lying there, that i've done loads of dancing with minimal movement of arms and legs, and it has helped to propel me up and out. Have a happy weekend. xx

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:22am

Thats so great Susan - just imagining movement, I love it. Our brains are soooo clever aren't they? xx

The Gardener Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 11:37am

Debs and I seem to have a monopoly on yesterday's entries. Hokey-kokey great memories during war - village hall smelt of school dinners. Cleaning lady scrubbed so furiously nails stuck up. My Dad, home on leave, handsome in his uniform, showing all the others how to dance. Question, with his upbringing and my kill-joy ma, where did he learn? Later, at 'Old-time' dances, splendid in tails, he had a queue of girls - me, tubby, shoved into the fashionable strapless affairs, held up with whalebone. Doing the test today, almost all negative - then when I looked at how I coped with an awful night, chairs serve well as wheel-chairs, I was quite proud. And the exercise for the shoulders and arms of changing beds and shoving quilts into their covers is second to none. Sent my dancing shoes to the Humana depot - wonder if recipients of that particular cast-off clothing will use them? Red wedges among them for a would-be Dorothy (geddit?)

LillyPet Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 12:18pm

Morning TG, don't hang up your dancing shoes just yet! So glad you got hubby movING in your wheely chair! Your beautifully painted picture of your patents reminded me of mine. My dad the handsome one with all the dancefloor moves, my mum the kill joy. These days my lovely dad spends alot of his day in his "spot". Stiil goes to the corner shop, could still shake a leg or give us a croon, but most days are spent with my mum who always seems cross with him. He wears a soft cosy jumper, not for the physical warmth, but I suspect for it's comforting hug. I bought them a little plug in oil radiator on wheels for a draughty part of their house. He's placed it opposite his spot and seems to enjoy the warmth it radiates to him. It's my mum keeping on top of everything, keeping him alive. I think they love each other dearly in their way. I hauled my miserable "lump" of a self (this mornings noun!) downstairs, stood on my yoga mat with my dressingown hood up and imagined Deb's saying "Go on I dare you!" I put my left leg in and burst out laughing on the " turn a round"! Ever seen Darth Vada doing the Hokey Cokey? Hilarious! Big hugs. LP :) xx

Heather Angela Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 11:53am

I rarely get a Moodscope come into my Inbox any more (for some reason) but I love this one and circulated it to my friends at my little Wellbeing Group. Thanks, goodbye, and don't forget to shake it all about! with love from Heather x

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:24am

I like the idea of a wellness group and am thinking of setting up something similar... would you blog about it at some point HA? I think many people would value being part of a 'real' wellness community as well as this one xx

The Gardener Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 1:40pm

LillyPet - we same to have a lot in common! I watch peoples lives evolve (and wrote for years on social/religious problems). In our area, town and country, people have a 'living' room, and it faces the road. A HUGE percentage of people - couples and widowed, have TV on from morning to night. One wonders if they communicate at all. Your mum 'keeping on top of everything' is extremely significant - it is much worse for a relationship when the woman is the 'verb'. Crossness comes from frustration, often unrecognized deafness boredom and fear. In the last few days, in these columns, we have covered, between us, important issues and 'frippery'. My husband, b-in-law and m-in-law would have had no truck with any of the subjects just raised to-day. It's not their generation, because my pa-in-law loved my cooking, our kids, good whisky, and beating me at cribbage. He also loved Westerns, which his wife tried to turn off or interfere with because they were not 'improving'. So many of the guys we have known have been rakes, 'wide'boys, even just plain sh*ts - but oh they were fun. Don't use that word, still, remember being made to stand on the desk in front of all the class - aged 7 - the boy behind whispered it to be, I whispered it to the girl next to me, and she told!

Johio Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 3:12pm

Good post.. It inspired me! I love getting inspired. I have saved this blog to look back on and review frequently.

After thinking on this post... it caused me some sorrow so I started journaling on this sorrow. I thought well... maybe I would post a reply on this blog to see if others have gone through this and how they deal with it.

I love going, traveling, history.. etc. One of my saving activities is geocaching. Even today I have a whole day planned of possible activities. I am a married with 3 kids. I think that people would say I have a lot of friends. But i usually end up doing things alone. Hiking, traveling, geocaching. I don't mind doing this things by myself..... at times. I want to enjoy life. But it bothers me a lot that my wife doesn't seem interested in doing these things and my kids don't either. We are in are early 50s. My kids are 17, 18 (at home). My 20 year old daughter lives 6 hours away.

It is hard to plan to do things with others because I don't want to plan things without my family (when I am off and they are home).
Regarding asking others to do stuff... it seems that I am the one doing the asking. For the most part... it seems like I could wait forever for others to invite me to do things.

I guess the bottom line is I feel like a nobody. I feel like a loner. I don't want to be a loner... but I am tired of fighting it.

I could go on.. but hopefully you get my drift.. and perhaps could offer some insight. Thanks for listening.


the room above the garage Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 4:50pm

Hello Joe, welcome in. Bear has responded beautifully. I have a reply but I'm travelling today and have very limited time so I just wanted to say I'll reply properly later or tomorrow. Pleased to see you here.

LillyPet Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 5:12pm

Joe, there must be so many guys like you out there. I'm so glad you commented, because dads can get lost as our kids take over our lives. I've no idea what geocaching is but if that's your thing, you must find a way of sharing that passion. If your partner really can't face doing any of the things you mentioned with you, chat with her and see if you can come up with something you'd both enjoy AND a way of you doing your own things with others at times. I have no creative suggestions, but I SO recognise what you describe. I separated from my husband years ago. Two years ago met someone who was, like you, so fed up of having had no interest his passions over the years. He was thrilled that I bacame that person, but the thrills were short lived. Five months later he was ready to move on and two years later I have only just stopped grieving the loss. Why am I telling you this when I have no answers? Not a clue! I guess if your marriage is strong, don't fade into the background, lose your confidence and feel like a loner. You're not a nobody! You were chosen for good reasons! I bet you're a great dad, active and you sound so considerate! It's surprising what you can achieve when you decide to go for it. Surprise her and talk from the heart. Your kids have grown and you both need to DO those things that you may not be able to as easily later in life. I really hope that Debs' blog today inspires you to take action! All the best, LP :)

Caroline Ashcroft from Moodscope Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 10:11pm

Hi Joe, welcome to Moodscope. I found your comment interesting as I don't think you're the only wife or husband to feel this way after having brought up three children - it's all consuming and it's very difficult to continue to have your own interests or time to pursue them. I know there are many things I would like to do but don't feel I can because it would mean not spending time with the family. I agree with Bear, speak to your wife - you may find out she feels the same. And as for the kids, why not invite them on a Geocaching day - I bet they'd love it! Carolinex

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:29am

Hi Joe - just wanted to let you know that I get that feeling all the time, I live on my own, have a child on my own, have travelled the world on my own and have my own business. That's a lot of alone! Its only recently that I've realised I've subconsciously set up my life that way because I never felt I fitted in anwhere and It was easier to be on my own than to try and find connection where there wasn't any. The problem is, the aloneness has (along with other things) led to my depression which is what you might call 'chronic'. I echo what the others have said about being open with how you're feeling - tell your wife and she might surprise you by feeling the same. We're all so very similar underneith and true connection only comes when we are prepared to reveal parts of us that we think should remain hidden from view. I hope we see you again - you raise such a valuable point and it warrants further discussion. xx

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:29am

PS - I love GEOcaching!!! I'd join a group if you organised one ;-)

Johio Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 1:05pm

Debs, it is a great hobby.. I am not sure where you are.. but in the US there are groups in a lot of towns and areas. Our little town even has a group.

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 2:18pm

I shall look it up for sure. In terms of your question, I believe it's a mindset too, I've always felt like I didn't belong... except in certain situations but they are few and far between. I think it's really down to self-esteem so I'm doing work on that at the moment. Nothing tangible to report yet but as soon as I have any breakthroughs I'll let you know!! xx

Eva Mon, Oct 26th 2015 @ 7:21am

Hi Joe, as a few days have gone by now it might be worth writing up your above post and submitting it to Caroline (via email) so that they can use it as a blog. And re ask the questionsto put them together community at large? Hope things are going well for you.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 4:42pm

Hi Joe, you and your post are very welcome here...glad you feel you can write to us. I'm sorry you're low and feeling a bit of a loner.

I wonder if I might suggest somethings? Do you think you could incorporate some of your wife's interests into some of yours? Do you know what her interests are?
Maybe if you sat down and had a good chat with her about how you feel...she might be truly shocked and saddened that you haven't confided in her so far, but she might be relieved that at last you still talk to her. You have probably been married for quite a few years now and although children get in the way of relationships, I hope you can still tell your wife things that bother you and she can do the same.

How about finding out what would really interest her and see if you two can have some time together doing things that you both like. Just for example: If she likes going to art exhibitions...there may be one in a local town where you could visit the exhibition and geocache in the same vicinity...and maybe take a picnic or have lunch somewhere.

Go on a 'date'...your children don't need get out there you two and if money's tight take a flask of tea/coffee/picnic. If money is not so tight, go to the cinema and/or have dinner out. There are so many places that do special offers...look them up in your local newspaper or on trip advisor :) most parks are free everywhere apart from the car parking, so take her out with a promise of somewhere pretty, some geocaching and tea and a sticky bun after!

But the biggest thing is communication...does your wife know how lonely you feel? I don't want to sound rude but neither your wife nor anyone else can read your mind so you need to tell her - after all, you share a home and a family and have done for over twenty an 'ing' today, for yourself and for your may be surprised how much you can achieve by opening up to her.
The kids are different...they don't all want to spend time with us 'olds'!!!
Let us know how you get on :)
Bear hugs x

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 4:52pm

Hello Bear xx

LillyPet Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 5:13pm

Woo hoo! Hellooo Bear! Xxx

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 5:50pm

Harro RATG and harro Lillypet! Thank you for missing me! Have been away and a busy bear x

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:30am

Bear!!!!!! I've missed you so. Big hugs xxx

Johio Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 1:08pm

Thanks for all the wonderful replies. The bottom line is that I think that it is something in me. A mind set that I need to definitely change. So... I was wondering if others have struggled with something like this and how you overcame/overcome it.

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 4:48pm

Hi Debs, brill blog, oh clever juan! Peper and Lin should try the 'patting your head with one hand whilst rubbing your tummy with the other hand - in circular movements'...quite easy til you swap hands! And it makes a mess of your hair when you get it wrong!
Fuzzy-hair-Bear x

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 4:54pm

Debs, thank you for the reminder to move. I ache not to but must resist. Hokey cokey why not! This means jelly and ice cream I reckon... :-)

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 5:51pm

...yesss - lashings of choccit! Bear hugs dear ratg x

The Gardener Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 8:08pm

Can't resist another memory - wartime socials in the village hall - mashed parsnips and honey masquerading as banana sandwiches, and a 'parlour' game of eating jelly with knitting needles! Beat that! The gardener, who else

Lex Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 5:40pm

What excellent insights and writing, Debs. Awesome.
I think you might enjoy this, if you haven't seen it before:

Bearofliddlebrain Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 5:59pm

Hilair L'x hilarious! EVERYONE should be watchINGthis even if they cannot physically be doING will be lollING whilst watchING it and that's LOTS of 'ings' for a couple of minutes!

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:34am

That's brilliant Lex!! Love it. Thanks for sharing and for your compliment which makes me *blush* as I am always so in awe of your writing. Thanks you xxx

The Gardener Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 8:06pm

I've had four blogs posted, I think, and only started replying a few weeks ago - have not studied numbers and types of replies. I am sure Caroline and co monitor this. I get the feeling - maybe wrong - that the possibly introverted emphasis of self-help in 'escaping' depression has widened in perspective? There have been a couple of 'appreciations' of the system. Anyone who reads what I write will know that I am not personally depressed, unhappy a lot, yes - but 'using' Moodscope to the hilt to help me to logically face a grim situation - that my husband, desperately depressed, and quite ill, has to be helped as gently as possibly to his death, hopefully still with me, or as a vegetable in the local home. Las t night was the nadir. Today I've tempted him to eat - whizzed him round on the office chair - he's been to the loo on his own on his zimmer frame - 100% advance on yesterday, and, believe me, any advance is an excuse to put out flags. I tried to get him to accept this, but no, cited all the other ills. Much earlier in our lives, the kids used to grumble that Dad was a 'misery'. I stuck up for him fiercely - he was proud of seeing the snags that we gung-ho types missed. Do others out there think Moodscope has widened? Still the basic precepts, but funny, stimulating, daring us to do things - bringing out what I think are fantastic memories which risk getting buried by the misery of the moment - and, the intellectual snob foremost - you're obviously a bright lot out there. I hope the obvious 'newcomers' don't get scared off!

LillyPet Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 9:46pm

It's very welcoming here. The great thing is that we're all so different. I hope that no one is scared off too. It's great that we don't have to agree, can say exactly how we feel, a little or alot. I like it when someone comes forward and is like "sorry to spoil the party, but if its lousy its lousy!" And even if it's lousy, a joke or two is still never too far away

julie Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 9:57pm

Hi I'm Julie its my first time on here x

LillyPet Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 12:37am

Hi Julie, come on in, the water's lovely! X

Debs Sun, Oct 25th 2015 @ 8:34am

Welcome Julie - am sending warm hugs xx

Caroline Ashcroft from Moodscope Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 10:19pm

Hi Julie, Welcome to Moodscope and the blog. I'm pleased you've posted a comment. It now means that you are one of our very lucky and privileged members because if you come back, you will be able to benefit from the support and warmth of the other Moodscope members - and boy, are they lovely, supportive and very willing to give up their time to help others. Not bad for a bunch who are often suffering themselves. Everyone is welcome here so please feel free to join in whenever you want to - and don't if you don't want to :-) Carolinex

Debs Sat, Oct 24th 2015 @ 10:35pm

You guys! You just make me feel so warm and held. I've been on a course today (self-expression, which for a depressive is like scratching finger nails down a blackboard... but that's a subject for another blog!) and so I missed the chance to reply to each comment. Shucks. I will reply in the 'morra but for now I wanted to say hello, goodbye, goodnight, Bon nuit, buenos suenos and Hasta mañana. What a special bunch you are xxxx

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