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To my loved ones, when dealing with me on 'A bad day'. Friday July 29, 2016

I don't want to hear you say that it's perfectly normal – there's no such thing as perfectly normal, and I'm not aspiring to that anyway thank you very much. Trying to normalise how I feel makes me feel invalid in feeling this way at all; that my feelings aren't of any significance or importance and I should just stop crying/worrying/stressing as there's nothing out of the ordinary that warrants these reactions.

I don't want to hear that everyone has them. I'm sure they do, but I don't care. I don't have the emotional ability to cope with my own bad day right now, let alone consider anyone else's.

I don't want you to helpfully point out reasons why I could be having a bad day – it's generally unhelpful, and often there is no clear cut reason why. Realising this just makes me feel worse for daring to have a bad day for no reason whatsoever. (You know that even if we do discover one, it doesn't actually stop me feeling the way I feel, right?)

Similarly, I don't want you to suggest a list of 'strategies' that could, as if by magic, eliminate my bad day. I will already be acutely aware of what I could do to help myself; if I'm someone that's been through any kind of therapy you can be assured that I'll even have my own list that I've diligently spent time compiling, of all the things that I know can help lift my mood. The problem, you see, is being able to execute these plans - which as we know, becomes Mission Impossible when experiencing a 'bad day'.

I do however want you to simply acknowledge and allow my bad day, without treating it (or me) as a problem to solve.

Most importantly, I do also need you to know that I reserve the right to exasperatingly change my mind completely. Because once we've got past the acknowledgment and allowing stage, and logic and reason have set in, I do concede that all of the above would actually prove quite useful, especially when delivered in a kind and genuine manner by someone who loves me and only wants to help.

Yours, from a complex but now much calmer place.

A Moodscope member.

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

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the room above the garage Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 7:44am

In a nutshell Fiona! I don't really talk about my bad days to my family, in fact I can act over it 90% of the time, in performances of Oscar standard. But in my 10%, when I am at my limit and they must know...I too don't find it helpful to be 'fixed'. It makes me feel just as you have described. Thank you for making me feel just a little less alone today, love ratg X.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 7:58am

So honest, Fiona and so helpful for a carer of someone with both depression and an eating disorder. I am constantly treading on eggshells and, out of love and frustration, inclined to give the "wrong" sort of unsolicited advice you describe. I will acknowledge L's feelings and wait patiently for the more rational side of her character to appear. Thank you for your insight. Hope you have a good weekend. Go well.

Debs Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 7:59am

Oh my Fiona, you've described me to a tee!! Just yesterday I was describing depression to someone who was suggesting this and that and having to 'dig deep' to find answers... I almost screamed!! And then I remember people only want to help and 'fix', it's a rare friend who sits with it. My dips are pretty short these days but when they come they are still pretty rough and the last thing I want is to analyse the 'triggers' or the parts of my soul they might have come from! I just get back to self care as soon as I can and ride through. I'm also almost certainly pre-menopausal so the hormones are flying around all over... And I don't think any amount of analysis is going to have those bad boys calm down any time soon :-)) Thanks for sharing and writing so eloquently, please blog again!xxx

Orangeblossom Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 8:00am

Hi Fiona thanks for your blog which resonated for me. I don't like it when people provide me with unwanted advice when feeling low. I am sure that they mean well but would rather they just listened & stayed with me when I feel low.

Jul Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 8:46am

Hi Fiona. You have described me to a T! I smiled at your penultimate paragraph about being allowed to change your mind about all the advice and acknowledge the truth of it! Only we know ourselves and need to go through all the complex and different stages to actually feel those words of advice. One of my favourite blogs! Julxx

DAVE Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 9:55am

How sensitive, how profound are your feelings Fiona regarding your moods, stated above.

Good days, Bad days, are acceptable and commonplace for all. But on condition we have the same sensitivity and respect for others around us, because what we always fail to imagine is they too might at the SAME time feel likewise, with their similar sensitive feelings and moods.

Should we therefore clash with those in these situations, then to repair the damage that we OR they inflict, one of us needs to atone for our behavior, even if we are not the perpetrators, I believe to rise above maybe such pettiness, is the person, who does not allow the other the power and control over such situations, because, especially if there is a mutual love, it may cause irreparable lasting damage or loss of friendship.

So yes there is no antidote to our sometimes headstrong moods so longs as the ricocheting damage we may cause has been addressed and repaired to retain that friendship and love we have created over perhaps many years.

The consequences are, (if as sensitive as we profess) we will carry subconsciously bad feelings for the other person upon our shoulders for days weeks months or even years.....In those circumstances a consecutive build-up of similar situations, will eventually pull us down into depression....

So being aware of what exits our mouths is essential if we wish to maintain a balanced equilibrium in life.
These are the building blocks of inner peace inner happiness that maintains self-respect, and respect from all around us.

God Bless Fiona


Hopeful One Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 10:03am

Hi Fiona- an excellent blog which should be read by anyone who is dealing with a depressed person. I call them the 'snap out of it/pull your socks brigade' who cannot grasp that if one could do it one would have done it already.

To me the key lies in finding/stumbling across a person who can talk to one ' a kind and genuine manner by someone who loves me and only wants to help' These folks are unfortunately hard to find.I was very lucky as Alan did just that for me ..actually I do not even know if he 'loved' me as such ... he just mainly kept quiet...did not say any thing...just allowed me to ramble on until I found my optimism.

How about a laugh... does that make a difference to you?

Mr. Marcus was desperate for business, and was happy to be appointed by the court to defend an indigent defendant. The judge ordered Mr. Marcus, "You are to confer with the defendant in the conference room, and give him the best legal advice you can." After a time, Mr. Marcus re-entered the courtroom alone. When the judge asked where the defendant had gone, Mr. Marcus replied, "You asked me to give him good advice. I found out that he was guilty, so I told him to make a run for it."

Maria Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 2:04pm

Thank you HO. I look forward to your comments, and I always appreciate the "laugh of the day". I really needed that chuckle this morning.

the room above the garage Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 5:51pm

HO i hope you know how much I adore bring solidity and calm to my eyes as well as a much needed joke break. You're a gem sir, love ratg x.

Hopeful One Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 7:08pm

Hi Maria and RATG- happy beyond delight that my contributions are appreciated and I do have a soft spot for you darling RATG.

Tiago Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 1:52pm

Thank you Fiona.

I related with what you wrote, for I feel it is painful to deal with a “fix it” attitude, when instead of seeing it as kindness from a loved one (and feeling guilty for not letting them “care”), it feels as if I’m not being allowed to feel the way I feel, or worse, being made invisible.

But what really made your post resonate, was the fact that I also noticed, how sometimes, I am the “fix it”er myself. When I’m not allowing myself to feel the way I feel, when I feel guilty for not pulling myself up, and anxiously demand of myself to “be better”. Sometimes it is this part of me that thinks I’m not supposed to have “a bad day”, that needs to be reminded to let it be.

At the same time, there’s a part of me that believes I can never have anything but “a bad day”, and it is to that “me” I dedicate your last paragraph.

I’m not supposed not to have “a bad day”, but neither am I supposed to have one. What I think I am supposed though, is to acknowledge what is, and start from there.

Maria Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 2:01pm

Thank you Fiona for a wonderful blog that I think will resonate with many, as it did I.

The Gardener Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 5:16pm

Oh Fiona, what a difficult blog to respond to - seeing it from both sides. I do remember depression - if anybody came near me I would scream at them to leave me alone - then grumble that nobody 'cared'. I watched a son sink into alchololism then depression - when he was in France and I in UK I used to write what I thought were 'caring' letters - just news, love - not criticism or advice - but I found out afterwards that he and the people he lodged with called them 'Thatcher' letters (it was the '80's) most hurtful. Going through sheer hell here - non stop moaning, sarcasm, saying I don't care - then the blackmail, he's scared, and wants me in the room with him all the time. When I'm reduced to despair, exhausted and sad, I get a sharp 'stop crying'. Sorry to moan - but these things of the mind - depression or dementia - leave the looker-on SO impotent - whatever they do is wrong - but they are suffering too, watching, and waiting, for a hopeful 'change'.

The Gardener Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 5:18pm

After thought on 'treading on egg-shells'. The unpredictability of depressed people make friends and family nervous - I have been guilty of talking for the sake of talking - must do something - but you CANNOT leave a seriously depressed person without feeling guilty.

Tutti Frutti Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 7:22pm

I've sometimes wondered about using a time when I am well to ask friends who have tried to help me in the past to do something different. But I've always been held back because I know they meant well and it feels really rude to say actually you got it all wrong before.

For example I have a very chirpy, positive friend P from church who last time I was seriously depressed popped in on me with no warning to see how I was and cheer me up. She was far too bouncy for me to be able to cope with at the time so thank goodness my Mum happened to be with me and did most of the talking for me until she could politely get P to go away. I do appreciate that P was bothered about me but I would have loved a pretty card saying she was thinking of and praying for me with an offer to come over when I was feeling up to it.

In contrast another friend L (also from church) got it really right - which I didn't expect as I don't think of her as a tactful soul. First she waited until I was beginning to get better and I think sounded my husband out about what I could cope with. Then she invited me and a mutual friend E to lunch. My husband had to persuade me to go but it was actually really helpful. When I arrived (before E), L got me to chop stuff for the salad which was easy and meant I didn't have to make too much conversation. Then over lunch L and E chatted so again I didn't have to talk too much. And I had to walk about half a mile to get there. I felt much better for going.

Not only have I never managed to tell P what I would prefer from her, I don't think I have managed to tell L how helpful she was either. All in all seems rather daft of me! Can't imagine quite how I would bring the subject up though as neither are really close friends.

Feeling sad just writing this. But I am actually fine at the moment so am intending to "snap out of it" for once. I am going on holiday in a few days time so I am going to think about that now (and when I go quiet for a while you'll know not to worry).

Love TFx

The Gardener Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 7:56pm

Dear TF - yesterday I wrote that inertia and depression feed on each other - your story about virtually being kicked out then enjoying it is a perfect example. Your O/H, best friend, FaceBook whatever must take a risk sometimes - just to break the cycle - there's a risk - life's one long risk - what have you got to lose? Might get sworn at, told to mind own business 'am I my brother's keeper' much misquoted, is often apt when dealing with depression. Enjoy your holiday - whether active or lying on a lilo and consuming too much wine and sun - taken me to a beach which I could swim on - lilos, umbrellas little cafe with lovely salads, and a waiter who would give me wine intravenously if all else failed. I am there, physically, on what is a horrendous evening in the house - though lovely music on France Musique. Going round house feeling pride in all I have done well, looking at my scrap books of articles - anything positive to balance the agony - did some nice church flowers - smiled at lots of people - all part of my balance sheet to keep afloat. Love TG XX

Tutti Frutti Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 9:22pm

Thanks Gardener
I like the sound of your little café. I will mainly be chilling out. Glad that the flowers and scrap book got you through the day.
Love TF x

Mary Wednesday Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 10:03pm

so true. Just so true......

S Fri, Jul 29th 2016 @ 10:22pm

This sums up the complexity so well. Sometimes I have tried to fix and sometimes others try to fix me. Your word exasperating is well chosen- it's down to all our expectations I think, of ourselves and others. Chatting with family today, we talked about just someone letting you know that they are there if active support is needed if that is what I decide is sometimes enough to help. Sx

PS thanks all for your great blogs- I have been reading them x

David Sat, Jul 30th 2016 @ 11:09am

Thank you Fiona for such a wonderful blog. I think I might read this for strength when I need a friend

Antonella Sat, Jul 30th 2016 @ 6:00pm

Hi Fiona! Nice to "meet" you. interesting blog. Ooo ×××

Debbie Mon, Aug 1st 2016 @ 2:49pm

Thank you Fiona, it says it all. Please may I use your text on my fb page? I will credit you in whichever way you like (or not at all) but promote the Moodscope site and its tools. One day, I have to keep hoping, that one day, this will be the way that things happen.. All the best and I hope today is a good day for you all out there. xx

Fiona Fri, Aug 5th 2016 @ 8:50am

Hi Debbie, feel free to use anything that helps, no credit necessary, it's just ramblings from my brain! Xx

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