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The Honourable Company of Silver Miners. Wednesday March 23, 2016

"You are always so cheery and optimistic!"

"You always look on the bright side – don't you?"

"I've never met anyone quite as positive as you!"

Yes, all these remarks, and many similar, have been made to me in the past.

It's ironic then, that they are made to someone who suffers with depression. And – no – those remarks are not made when I'm flying high on the other end of the bipolar either. This is normality.

Critics call it being a Pollyanna. But I should imagine those critics have never read that excellent book by Eleanor H Porter, because Pollyanna herself goes through some dark times and also struggles to look on the bright side.

I call it being a silver miner.

We are told that every cloud has a silver lining and in my experience that is always true. Even if that lining is thin, and even if there is a lot of black cloud to get through first.

We look at divorce, bereavement, redundancy, injury, illness and cannot immediately see the positive side of it all. It actually takes acceptance of the dark cloud, almost an embracing of it, before you can start to see anything good inside.

Silver is rarely lying around on the ground, waiting to be picked up. It has to be dug for.

And it's also easy to miss.

Sometimes we are so intent on bewailing our misfortune that we allow the good stuff to slip by, unnoticed.

The kindness and generosity of family, friends and strangers, for instance.

How many times, in the abyss of grief, has a bereaved person said, "People have been so kind..."

Note; the silver never negates the cloud. The cloud is there. The series of unfortunate events has still occurred.

The difference is that you travel through the cloud. There is sun on the other side.

You can choose to hold onto the memory of the cloud, or you can choose to take the silver. You can keep the silver; it adds to your emotional wealth. If you try to keep the cloud it just makes you wet and soggy.

So, go on: sharpen up that pick-axe.

You'll be relieved to know that there is no requirement to sing "Hi Ho, Hi Ho!"

A Moodscope member.

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

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Judith Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 6:37am

Thank you Mary for a beautifully crafted pice of silver. It has encountered me to look for more.

Zareen Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 7:38am

Hi Mary, as always, I really enjoy reading your blogs which I find challenging, encouraging & thought-provoking. This mornings is no exception.

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 7:56am

Hi Mary darling- a brilliant piece as always. My silver was getting a bit tarnished and you have just reminded me to get polishing.

Here is one result.

An barrister arrived home late one night after a very tough day trying to get a stay of execution for his client. His last minute plea for clemency had failed. He was feeling worn out and down.As soon as he walked through the door at home, his wife started on him . "What a time of the night is it to be getting home ? Where have you been? The dinner is cold and I'm not reheating it'........and so on and on and on. Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he poured himself a whiskey and headed off for a long hot soak in the bathtub, pursued by the wife's nagging remarks as he dragged himself up the stairs. While he was in the bath, the phone rang. The wife answered and was told that her husband's client, James Wright, had been granted a stay of execution after all. Wright would not be executed that night. The wife realising what a terrible day he must have had, decided to go upstairs and give him the good news. As she opened the bathroom door, she was greeted by the sight of her husband, bent over naked, drying his legs and feet.She said to him "They're not hanging Wright tonight",' . He whirled around and screamed, 'FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WOMAN, DON’T YOU EVER STOP! "

Anonymous Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 8:06am

Hi Hopeful One. I am sorry your silver lining is a bit tarnished at the moment. But hope all is Ok and life is brightening up again for you? Julxx

Lou Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 8:14am

Hopeful One - your silver seems just fine to me that you come in here and share a joke with use everyday that never fails to make me smile. And sometimes groan! ;) Thank you.

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 9:01am

Hi Lou- one tries one's best but one just accepts that one can't win them all. But here is the odd thing -I have found what makes one groan makes another laugh.Either way your comment is appreciated because any feedback can only make it better.

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 9:04am

Hi Anon- Thanks for your concern. After I read that joke myselfand before posting it, made things looked a lot brighter.

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 10:54am

HO, I hope you know you have made a rod for your own back now that I depend upon your daily wit! :-) xx

Mary Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 12:04pm

And my own silver is tarnished this morning. I am going through a tough time with the family (teenage jealousy and demands and a son who has sadly split from the girl we all loved so much). But a phone call from halfway round the world from a friend who took 30 seconds out in the middle of a lecture he was giving to say "You are not a bad mother" is the silver I will take away. I nmeed to get my own polishing cloth out!

Hopeful One Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 4:50pm

Hi RATG- no problems. I have a huge stock of jokes and rising( and that's after rejecting many for various reasons). So , dare I say, I will mine that silver seam for a long time.

Anonymous Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 8:02am

Hi Mary. I think we try, make a monumental effort in fact to appear happy so that we don't bring down our friends etc. Us Moodscopers are kind people who want nothing more than not to feel depressed day in day out or for long periods at a time. It is as elusive as the silver. I think one has to look for a silver lining and even then and it doesn't always appear. We get through life pretending to be happy and cheerful, positive etc and so I guess making that effort gives the impression that we are fine. I honestly think that we can survive on low level depression all our lives and make a semblance of whatever a normal life is. We get through! I would like to think there is a silver lining in every tragic event but I'm not convinced. But a nice blog Mary.
Lastly I do hope no one on Moodscope has been directly affected by the tragic criminal events in Brussels.Go in peace. Jul xx

Lou Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 8:12am

What a wonderful post Mary!

"You can choose to hold onto the memory of the cloud, or you can choose to take the silver"

I am going to try and keep hold of this as it is a great thought. Thank you.


LillyPet Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 9:20am

Morning Mary,
Thank you for a very beatiful blog that both resonates with and challenges me!
I have a situation ( well two actually, but I can only deal with one cloud at a time!) with a person that I'm not happy about and have been resisting for almost two years. It feels intrusive, an invasion of my space, but no one else ( except someone very close who is always there for me) can see why it's a problem for me. If anyone told me directly to be positive I'd flip! Thankfully direct contact with this person ( the "invasion" doesnt happen often ( kerching! 1 piece of silver :) and in between times as the weeks pass by and I become a dab hand at shutting down any thoughts of it as soon as I become aware of them. I'm not bringing it back to ruin my days when it's no where near!
As I'm writing this I've realised that I don't have to like the cloud! It's there, fact and when it's right in front of me, it gets in my way. A cloud is a cloud, a dirty great blob of yuk blocking the sunshine! But hey, even clouds have a purpose! You know that grey oppressive cloud in th UK that just seems to hang around for way too long? I'm in for the long haul. All I can see are two tiny slithers of hope ( that one day it will stop the invasion) and faith (that I will one way or another find a way through it).
I know it's unhealthy, it doesnt feel good and I could probably deal with it better. I also know it's a work in progress (much digging to be done!) and I have made progress. Maybe if I focus on reframing, "I'm dealing with it better than I did" " I dont let it ruin my days as much as I used to" It'll get easier.
Thank you for a very healing blog Mary, next time that cloud looms near the little ditty Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go!" will hopefully help me smile inside (where's that spade? :) Love and hugs to all LP xxx

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 11:02am

'I don't have to like the cloud'...THIS! Love ratg xx.

Mary Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 12:06pm

Lillypet darling, thank you so much. I have a cloud too. and I don't like it either. But see above. I still managed to get a little chunk of silver out of it. Took all you guys cheering me on to get me to stop feeling sorry for myself though!

Sheena Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 9:50am

Lovely blog Mary - Makes me wonder how many of us Moodscopers were 'Silver Minors' - Silver Surfers come much later of course ;) Sheena x

Lex Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 9:54am

I feel some Cloud-Bustin' a'comin' on... great blog, Mary Star xx

Anonymous Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 10:04am

My comment yesterday about not understanding immediately some of the blogs reminded me of Bearodflddlebrain.(Not that you don't understand the bogs Bear. I bet you do better than me; I thought of myself as a bear of little brain) How are you? Love Julxxx

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 10:56am

Hello Jul, funny as I have been thinking of our lovely Bear recently too. I hope her absence is a sign of health and not because she is stuck. She supports others so much in here that I hope she knows we are hear to lean on too.

LillyPet Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 1:06am

Same! Or maybe she's been really busy. Am wondering about SMB too.

Skyblue Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 10:58am

I completely agree with you, Mary. The silver is always there. Sometimes obvious right away, but sometimes not showing up for a good while afterwards; sometimes the cloud has almost disappeared before we realize where the silver was. Being a miner means we have to lift our hearts and minds to a higher place and that's always good. Not always easy to do in a torrential rain or hurricane, but important to remember that the pick-axe is nearby....somewhere. Thank you, loved this. xx

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 11:01am

Hello Mary, what a great reminder you have given me with Pollyanna. We have that film here, and my youngest daughter thinks its not a film for her. I think she'd love it! I will dig it out for the Easter holidays :-) Thanks for your lovely blog today, i love the idea of silver and clouds. Grasp the silver or become soggy from holding cloud. Love it! Thank you Marydoll, yours Ratty xxx

Alex Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 11:06am

"<<<<<<<<We look at divorce, bereavement, redundancy, injury, illness and cannot immediately see the positive side of it all. It actually takes acceptance of the dark cloud, almost an embracing of it, before you can start to see anything good inside.>>>>>> goodness........."see the positive side of it all"? There is absolutely nothing positive or good about losing my husband. If you believe that, about whatever your circumstance is, that's up to you: but please do not tell me that I should feel that way. I had many many years of being told similar things, and am still unravelling the damage done by it. Please, with respect. - speak for yourself. Not 'we'.

"<<<<<<<You can choose to hold onto the memory of the cloud, or you can choose to take the silver. You can keep the silver; it adds to your emotional wealth. If you try to keep the cloud it just makes you wet and soggy.">>>>>>>>

Not quite sure if this is what you mean, but I do not choose feelings: they simply 'are'. Telling me that I am choosing to feel the way I do, and would feel better if I chose not to, only makes me feel worse.

the room above the garage Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 11:35am

Hello Alex, good to see you x. I don't think Mary is telling us what or how to feel. I think she is just saying that the bad things happen anyway, to us all. And that somewhere in there, if we are to survive, we need to find some tiny thing that is good that we might otherwise not have had. Lately I've watched my beautiful grandmother wither into dementia. Its incredibly sad that the woman she is has been crumpled into defeat. However, we still share the odd wonderful moment and even though she is failing, she would never have said some of the things she has without having been crumpled. And I would not have met the wonder of my Moodscope friends without having first been brought to my knees. The blogs are thoughts and feelings from people who know pain. In essence, today's blog is a lesson in meditation. Its about finding comfort within the discomfort. Love to Spock and Data xx.

Mary Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 11:59am

Dear Alex, I am so sorry that my blog has hurt you this morning. It was not my intention to hurt anyone. The clouds are there; they are big and black and horrible. It's just that within the worst of times, there is always some kindness, some faithfulness, some gleam of love. When I look back on the bleak time of my own divorce, now twenty years ago, I remember evening after evening of weeping into my cat as she sat on my lap. But the faithfulness and patience of my cat was the silver. She got so soggy, bless her, but she just put up with it night after night afther night. That particular cat is long gone now, I will always remember her love and be grateful for that memory.

Mary Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 12:00pm

And yes, divorce and bereavement are different, and create different sorrows.

Alex Sat, Mar 26th 2016 @ 2:15am

Room, Thanks....and thanks for remembering Spock and Data Alex

Alex Sat, Mar 26th 2016 @ 2:18am

Mary, No apology needed....Im in rather a dark place and agree that cat cuddles are a huge help. I just find the 'choice' thing triggers some things for me which are better not to go into here. Thanks again Alex

Lexi Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 11:38am

Mary - so beautifully put. I used to rage against the clouds, the darkness, and feel the victim to the dark skies over my head. But somewhere between reading a lot of Pema Chodron and doing a lot of work on letting go I began to accept that my life has dark times as well as light and I decide to shut down or remain open. I have been choosing the latter for the past couple of years and in that time I have gleamed a lot of silver. Self love, self worth, being able to show love and kindness to others, receive it in return. And often when I look back it was in those periods of darkness that I had the most growth.

Mary Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 12:11pm

I friend tweeted this this morning. I thought it fitted in well with the blog.

Salt Water Mum Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 2:42pm

Thank you Mary for this blog.

And I really like your response to Alex too - 'It's just that within the worst of times, there is always some kindness, some faithfulness, some gleam of love.'

That is so true. It does not take away from the darkness of the loss (be it bereavement or divorce or isolation or.... ).

The sadness is still there. The unfairness is still there. The pain is still there. But whether it is your cat, your friend, your child, your parent - someone close who understands, who listens, who listens but doesn't understand... that is the 'gleam of love' as Mary calls it.

That is the kindness. The sparkle of hope that allows us smile again. Laugh again. Feel again.

(I do like that we can all express our opinions on Moodscope and there is no judgement. Explanations yes but there is a real sense that we can be ourselves and agree or praise or disagree or question without fear of attack. There is a sense of authenticity about it. And thankfully a sensitivity too.)


The Gardener Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 6:02pm

Hello Mary, when I read the blog I could find no joy at all - awful news from Brussels, grand-daughter prevented from visiting by strikes, Mr G gave me an awful night. Then the sun came out - the market 'gang' came in bearing home-made cakes because it is Easter, and I've already made a sale on my 'house clearance'. Falling over tired, but, onwards and upwards.

The Gardener Wed, Mar 23rd 2016 @ 6:08pm

The market 'gang' is amusing. They all know I am confined to barracks, but my 'prison' is large, and, I| hope, welcoming. I have been elected for another 'gangs' after Easter lunch coffee - but one of them, dying to see what I've got myself into, is talking about tea in his garden in the finer weather. Let's hope it's catching.

Angela Thu, Mar 24th 2016 @ 10:24am

All I can say is " Love to you all " we have different struggles but still manage to support one another which is amazing. x x x

Nick Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 10:53am

Silence, stillness and for me, unconditional love. xx

Samantha Fri, Mar 25th 2016 @ 2:03pm

Beautiful Mary, simply lovely. I like the silver miner analogy too.
Thank you

Suzy Fri, Apr 15th 2016 @ 4:04am

This is lovely. It reminds me of the 'No rain, no rainbow' saying xx

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