There’s a line in the marriage service, “And all my worldly goods I with you share.”

This doesn’t just apply to material things, of course, but to families and, I have found, friends too. When I married my husband, he came as a package deal with a couple of childhood friends.

When I met Roger, I was immensely relieved; Roger and I could be twins in our madcap impetuosity and chaotic disorganisation. “If he can put up with you for the last thirty-seven years,” I thought, “He can probably put up with me for the next thirty-seven.” There was an instant affinity between us.

It took longer to get to know Xavier, but I now value him immensely. Indeed, I trust him so much, he is now one of my Moodscope buddies.

A little while ago I wrote a blog called “How to Train your Moodscope Buddy and, having just gone through this process with Xavier, I thought I’d revisit the topic.

Xavier understands depression; he is subject to it himself, but everyone experiences it differently. What works for some people does not work with others. To begin with, if I had a bad day, he would send me (appalling) jokes to cheer me up. My kind of depression, however, means that I’m isolated from all emotion, unable to feel anything. Jokes are meaningless, as if they are written a foreign language I cannot understand.

He would sometimes ask “What’s wrong? What’s happened?” when nothing had happened to cause the depression but the chemicals in my brain misfiring.

Now he knows to send hugs into the void and to reassure me that he, like my other understanding friends, is there; waiting patiently for my brain to sort itself out or (these days) for the medication to do its work.

Owing to the medication, I’m now stable and nearly free from that deep, isolating and hopeless depression. We adjusted the medication last Autumn when I had a bad time and mostly things are fine. Occasionally, they are not. Xavier will pop over, to have a cup of tea with my husband, or to take him out motorbiking, but I know he’s also checking up on me.

Every buddy has their strong points, and Xavier is very good at telling me to do my test. He was a bit tentative at first – he didn’t want to offend me or upset me by the reminder, and he was far too tactful. I had to say, “Just tell me, okay?” I never mind being reminded.

Oh, and that reminds me – I haven’t done my test today. Just bear with me for a moment…

…There - done. It’s the normal score. Xavier (and all my other Moodscope buddies) can relax for another day.

A Moodscope member.

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