Moodscope's blog



Towards or Away From? Saturday October 17, 2015

One thing which is certain in our lives is that there are only ever 24 hours in a day! We cannot extend or reduce them, no matter how hard we may want to try.

I was once made aware of focussing on the things I want more of in my life and to move towards them – think of them, do them, rehearse them, whatever.

The alternative is to focus on what we want to move away from, thus we keep thinking of the things that we do not want.

Why would we want to do that?

It's a bit like the kid walking along the wall and one parent states 'Be careful or you will fall off' and of course with that 'in mind' the child falls off and the parent says 'I told you so'! Negative spiral begins.

The other parent could offer – 'Now focus on the end and balance well and you'll make it'. The child inevitably makes it and we say 'Well done'.

A bit like life really?

We may want to 'move away' from falling off the wall and even by thinking about it, we thus fall off.

So while we may not want to be; depressed, in an unhappy relationship, in a tired state, in the job we are in, the more we say we do not want that and want to move away from it, we inevitably feel worse simply by thinking about it and mouthing our concerns.

If however we focus on how we wish our lives to change – move towards - our subconscious will get on with making that happen.

Move away from people who are energy leaners. I will not be around them,they make me feel awful.

Move towards people are energy lifters. I always want to be in their company, they make me feel great.

Now, imagine a circle containing the days 24 hours. Inside that circle is another circle. Within the smaller circle you have all the things you can influence in life (Circle of Influence) and between that circle and the limit of the bigger circle of 24hrs you have all the things you are concerned about (Circle of Concern).

If we focus on everything that concerns us, what happens to the time we spend focussing on the things we can influence? Yup, it gets smaller, so life gets smaller and 'darker'.

Now switch that and focus on all the things we can influence – the Circle of Concern gets smaller and thus life and our circle of influence gets bigger and life becomes more positive.

Do you have the necessary desire to move towards what makes you feel good about yourself (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health) and focus on things you can influence, or are you going to sit there and moan to others about why you cannot do 'stuff' and thus continually focus on what you would like to move away from?

Our life is what we make it... isn't it?

A Moodscope member.

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

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Julie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 6:21am

This is so very true and for me very timely, so thank you Les.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 7:43am

Hi Julie Many thanks for taking the time.

Paul Mon, Oct 19th 2015 @ 10:37am

Les, that was particularly powerful, thank you. We all have parts of our lives that are less than ideal and it's so easy to focus on them internally and when talking to others. Your advice is superb, thanks again

Alex Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 7:39am

Unfortunately, depression - as opposed to 'feeling low' - isn't wished away; comparing it alongside things which, while they may be not great - jobs, relationships - is not ( in my view) a proper comparison. They aren't the same kind of thing.

(My words aren't coming easily today, so apologies if this isn't as clear as I wish. Im doing my best)

I take the point....that sitting on ones backside and grumbling isn't going to achieve anything....but there are some life situations which are just what they are: extremely distressing events about which I can do no more than I have already done, but nevertheless are deeply traumatising: and sometimes just talking about it helps, just a little. In the right place, to the right people(learned that the hard way, but still stumble sometimes)

So, Im not sitting moaning....Im still trying to come to terms with my mother being burned to death in a house fire - the anniversary of which is approaching - followed shortly after by losing my soulmate. Nothing I can do except "accept", but these are not things which I choose to feel pain over.

And believe me when I say that I am in no way trying to make out that I am in any way "special" or that my pain is worse than anyone else's....Im not, and it isn't. However, it really is one of those things which unless you have experienced it(and I would not wish that on anyone) you cannot imagine how it feels, how it impacts every aspect, every corner of your life, your psyche, your being.


Anonymous Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 8:56am

Hi Alex (Crafty?) Just to say hello. I will be thinking of you during this time coming up to the anniversary of your mother's death. Was it 2 years ago now? Very fresh in your memory. J xx

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 8:56am

Hi Alex You are absolutely right in that no one can experience what you yourself feel. We are all as unique as our fingerprints - which is why the NHS in the UK cannot really deal with mental health in any productive way, in my view and experience. I also sense the pain of the loss of your mother and soul mate. I cannot feel how you feel just as you cannot feel how others feel in their own traumas. I felt completely lost when my mother died when I was 15 and we were separated from my violent semi alcoholic father. The explorative thought I attempted to offer people to that you can either move on from that (while still respecting the memory) and live the life that I'm sure your mother and certainly my mother would want us to live - or continually look back and live your life allowing yourself to suffer and thus also letting others - even loved ones - always feel that pain in your presence. Thus your presence comes always with pain..... Having suffered depression for many years in the past I knew it was up to me to change my life by finding some way of becoming more resilient and healthy - to move towards a healthy life I wanted - rather than make my depression the focus to move away from - while possibly mentioning it everyone else to let them know my pain and how unique I was. I also through passed experiences, knew that it was only up to me to get myself out of whatever means - for some it is pills - for some its talk therapy - for some it may be moving towards something new - ultimately we all have our own unique ways to become healthy or we simply stay struggling in life and some, as we know, 'end it', as they cannot see a way out - it engulfs them. The only person we can change is ourself. Now, for sure no one could ever understand what you have gone through, and we can feel your emotion through your words. Your situation is clearly distressing - as you say. I don't think anyone would think you were 'moaning' if you were explaining that situation and why you were not able to cope at the time and how it affects you on the anniversary. The fact that you openly say you talk to others is great...crucially you say...'in the right place to the right people'. If however every time I met you, you showed you had not coped and moved on and was thus living your life 'in' that ongoing pain, I would not be comfortable for you - as you would then be asking others to constantly share that pain with you......we all have our own 'darkness' and I know I make a choice to be with people who look forward not back. I believe positive people use their past pain to have grown and become wiser, and hopefully to be more compassionate to others when they are actually 'in' their own pain, while helping them to move out of it and onto a broader and more self aware life. The ultimate challenge in life is getting to 'acceptance' of what has happened (not forgetting it) and thus becoming all that you can be in your life and not constantly 'living' in that place of denial, anger, bargaining or depression. See Kubler-Ross model Today - the word 'moaning' struck a nerve for you and you took the time to express that emotion.....and get it out there...thank you for that. I'm sure it will be of interest to others. My question to you....would be to explore why it did that and why you felt the need to write what you did? Did I not express my thinking as well as I could have? Depression is for sure different from feeling low......I had years of 'feeling' that. However I do not now talk about getting away from depression....I focus on being happier and more content with my life and how much I can make of it. I also talk about how much my mother gave me through her love and even the gift of intuition through fear of my violent father and out of his darkness came my strongest 'skill'. Depression quite rightly cannot be 'wished away' as you say.....for me.....unless there is a bigger move towards health than possibly move away from depression....that period of pain and darkness may last longer and even worse, continually affect those loved ones around you who also may not be able to cope with you or even themselves. I wish you well in fully moving to acceptance - if you are not already there - when possibly blogs like today, don't trigger those deep emotions in you, as this one seems to have done. And once again, thank you for expressing your feelings. "Tell me what it is that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

Lesley Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 11:14am

Dear Alex, I send you heartfelt hugs. As children we were taught to be brave little soldiers and move on. That can be ok if someone is there to rub it better and help heal you. But emotional pain is rarely rubbed better by anyone else. Personally I have found that breathing into that pain helps. Being with it but then having some small reward for myself to congratulate myself on the bravery that takes to do. Gentleness is the ultimate strength so be gentle with yourself and move physically. If you have 5 Rhythms classes anywhere near you they can be cathartic and help release the emotional pain trapped in the cells.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 1:45pm

HI Lesley This is a useful offering..... The word emotion comes from the Latin 'emotere' meaning 'to move'........... If there is no positive emotion to focus for at least some time on your circle of influence i.e. something you CAN turn into action for you - there will be no change and thus no movement..... As I hope many will have found....even to get out the front door and walk, can shift something..... Often I would even fail that in my darkest days.....I KNEW however that I would feel better if I did..... Towards........or....?????

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:33pm

Hello Alex I have been thinking about you recently and wondering how you are ... For me, writing about my feelings at my father's loss and, more recently, my beloved mother-in-law (anniversary approaching)helped, as did writing to them, initially daily, and over time less and less often ... Wishing you strength for your ongoing journey, and peace of mind and heart ... Frankie

Alex Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 4:25pm

Les, Im afraid I couldn't follow your concentration isn't great and I just couldn't take it in. However..... This: "My question to you....would be to explore why it did that and why you felt the need to write what you did? Did I not express my thinking as well as I could have?" I have no idea why I felt that way; I responded because I felt upset at your implication that I could choose not to feel as I do; and I have no idea as to how well you expressed yourself, other than to say that I find it difficult to follow long passages(no ones 'fault'....part of my mental and cognitive abilities having been affected by stroke) And this" ".that period of pain and darkness may last longer and even worse, continually affect those loved ones around you who also may not be able to cope with you or even themselves" There are no loved ones around me to be affected, so that's not an issue. I have no family. And as to whether the implied guilt over "making them feel unable to cope", well, that's another example of what is - for me - generalised unhelpful suggestions and assumptions. And: "Tell me what it is that you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver No idea. Do my best to keep going. Some days that's harder than others. Alex

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 5:11pm

Alex.............1) I think you'll find that at no point did I say you are 'choosing' to feel as you are! 2) I did ask which way are you looking? 3) Do you, if you cannot take it all in, need to emphasise and thus 'respond' by focussing on the pieces that you do not like or do not apply to you specifically - as I attempt to offer a broad reply and thus for me, you again focus on what you have not got - rather than what you have?.................... For sure its tough for you right now.........many of us have simply survived at times.........and some of us know some who have not............. 4)If you have 'no idea' of where you are going - any road will get you there....!! ----- Now that is your choice...............5) Maybe if you cannot take all of anyone's reply 'in' as you state......your present 'state' will only take your eye to the 'bits' you find uncomfortable and thus 'choose' to focus on? ...........6) I actually believe, although for sure it is hard, that you are making the very point that my blog seeks to explore........and bring into people's self-awareness. ....Life will develop from what we choose to focus on.

Lesley Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 7:04pm

Alex, I only read later in the comments that you have had a stroke. I have not had a stroke but do some voluntary work when I can for the Stroke Association. In my training and experience, I realise it must be very tiring for you to write and read long texts. I have had severe adrenal exhaustion before, and fibromyalgia.It is hard to string things together. Nobody is in your shoes and your pain is great. At one time I could not lift a mug or fill the kettle and I was only 34 years old then. Just be gentle and know you are loved. Small steps as my psychologist told me time after time. have you been given a mindfulness program on the NHS? I learned in it that is expectation and disappointment which took away my energy more than anything else. Sending you admiration for your bravery and courage. xx

Debs Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 8:06am

Alex - I just wanted to reach out and send a huge enormous hug and so much love. I can't put myself where you are, it sounds like your life turned on it's head and to be coping with that and to have written so eloquently as you have this morning is truly amazing. It makes me realise what true pain must be. I wish you all the love in the world to help you through.

In terms of the blog, I don't think there's a one size fits all with Moodscope, sometimes the words just don't fit your situation and that's ok. For me, I know I ruminate on things I can't change - like my partner having left while I was pregnant and being a single parent - and that the rumination is unhelpful and I should move towards a positive future. But it's taken time to get to that point. For a long time I needed to grieve and feel incredibly sad and alone. Whichever place we are in is right for us right now. It sounds like it's right for you to be feeling what you are feeling right now so be there. There is a place for moving toward and there's also a place for just being still. With love and thoughts, Debs xxx

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 9:02am

Hi Debs Great stuff......thanks

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:36pm

Hi Debs "There is a place for moving toward and there's also a place for just being still." Thank-you -I'm writing this down and displaying it ... what a pearl of wisdom. Frankie

Eva Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 8:27am

Grief is a strange and painful time, going through coming out of the shock stage twice in succession has dropped me lower than I have been for years. I had no idea I could stay in shock for so long. Alex, I do not wish to compare but to empathise, my father in law was killed in an air accident last year and my father passed away this year, so I do understand the double whammy. Losing a partner, so much more day to day, hour by hour. I can see that like me you know that grief is just a life stage, we must all lose people that we love, getting through it is a different process for everyone. I am starting to come out of my deep low, but significant dates, events, someone turning up with momentos that they think will help still floor me for a couple if weeks at a time. I am trying to make the most of the weeks inbetween were I feel almost normal and not having to be on auto pilot to get through the day. Time changes things, I used to get angry with folk telling me that time would make things better, you can't fix this, you can only accept and adapt and move on, one day maybe I will reach that stage, I hope you do too. I use my dad's love as a balm these days, it helps a bit.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 9:04am

Hi Eva Another great and compassionate personal story which may well help others. What a fabulous last line..... Thanks

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 4:29pm

Eva, you remind me of my grief when my father died (several years ago now, but his birthday was a few days ago). I found consolation in accepting that the depth of my grief was in fact an expression of my deep love for him. I also took comfort in accepting that he wanted us all to move on; "Life goes on" he would tell us. My current sadness is for my middle sister (the alcoholic) who still cannot let go, and who resents us letting go and moving on ... Sending you gentle smiles Frankie

the room above the garage Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 11:02am

Hello Les, your blogs give me such a brain workout and I am grateful for it. I realise I have lost my "necessary desire", I wasn't prepared and skidded into my current and unexpected low. All people are taking my energy so I don't want to be near anyone. I'm just trying to mum my way through my three and hide it and feeling horrid plus guilt in the attempt. How can I find desire today? I've walked this path before but I've always managed to fall apart in private and pull it together in front of my children. It's torture to find I'm not quite able to. I hate asking even in here.

susan Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 12:09pm

RATG, if you've always managed to pull it together in front of your children, then i am in awe of you and you have my utmost respect and admiration. Very difficult to consistently achieve this. I've not been able to. As for have often mentioned the lack of physical movement in relation to a kind of death of the spirit. This may be an unhelpful suggestion (forgive me) but can you shut yourself in a room, turn up the volume on some music and just dance till you fall down? Boogie? pirouette? The 'necessary desire' might be linked to your instinctive physical body and not your brain at all. Sending love xx

LillyPet Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 12:34pm

Hi Ratg, I've been thinking about you. Firstly I totally get that you are feeling drained and can just about manage the basics. No need to try even to think about a response to my post here honey.xx I'm by no means any kind of expert, all I have is bucket loads of compassion and a desire (as many moodsopers on here do) to help ease the pain. It seems to me that you do have desire but are maybe not aware of it? You desire to be in a better place, just don't seem to know what the next small step forward could be. Maybe you've had to learn to be strong so asking for help is hard, but you have done it and that shows again that you have had the desire to take that small step today. A good choice as Mary's blog and response to Alex have been amazing! I have my kids here too they're probably a bit older than yours. I have felt that I'm not coping lots of times and hidden most of my tears from them. When I've been low. Maybe you're aware of this, but it's good for them to see a few tears or what ever emotion, that it's ok not always to be feelin ok. Maybe you do that though hun. I would say be patient with yourself, it will take time. Recognise any small acomplishments. Accept that at the moment all your dealing with is the basics. And trust your self that the many great things about you arent going any where and will get you to that better place even if you dont know how or when. When I've had that scary feeling that I'm not coping, I've gone to my gp. The nhs, which Im enormously grateful for havent been able to provide the long term psychotherapy that I feel I need as my need isnt severe enough. I havent given up though! If I were physically ill they would treat the most minor ailment! But the act of taking action has always set me on the right path forward. Once I felt so desperate I rang the samaritans from my bed. I thankfully have never had suicidal thoughts and thank goodness thats not why I called. Just that knowledge that someone is out the to call came to me and I just did it. All I remember is that the peron at one point simply asked me about what I was going to do. I didnt feel under pressure. I didnt have an answer but I had a little light go on in my mind. Not long after the call things just came to me and I started searching the internet for nhs support. The point is that just the action of doing something in itself took on a life of its own. That action that leads to motivation that Im sure you know about. Anyway my dear I'm so glad for you and for us that you are here. You need to take things slow and gentle with youself. It would be grand to hear about any tiny steps or minor achievements if only the basics :) no pressure hun. Take care. Love P xxx

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 1:51pm

Hi RATG Please accept from me that your blogs and even your comments on others blogs, I'm sure offer so much to even while others are 'taking your energy' have a reservoir of giving.....I would offer that you have 'found desire' today by simply putting it out there and helping others......Lillypet I believe is spot on - one small action in itself - even possibly what could be called a 'wrong' action creates its own desire. Often we have to drive the car in the 'wrong' direction before we can steer it round that situation to turn to where we want to go..........momentum is all.

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:41pm

Yes RATG - I miss you when you are quiet; what comes across to me in your posts is your courage and compassion. Sending you gentle hugs Frankie

Lesley Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 7:59pm

Susan, thank you for your comment. The movement is vital. I now realise that as a teenager I got myself through my Mum's death when I was 18 by dancing. When I stopped physical movement I got sick in body and sick in mind. Each time I put physical movement - dance - on hold I get mentally ill again. I run a free dance session where I live but it is hard to get people out to dance to non-choreographed music!

susan Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 8:13pm

Lesley, that sounds like such good fun. I would actually prefer a non-choreographed structure. Let the music inspire! xx

Lesley Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 11:31am

RATG, my heart is with you. I don't know where you are in the UK but I am sending a gentle smile to you.
Les, The moving towards is indeed living. As a child I sense I was brought up to be scared and anxious "Don't do this or you will get hurt etc" which sets up that spiral of moving and negativity. These patterns can be set up so early.

For many years (30 +) I have had such muscular problems and pain. When asked what I would do if I didn't have the pain, I had no idea. All I wanted was the lack of pain and exhaustion. I had someone showing me a gentler way of self acceptance and indeed I had an absence of physical pain and yet I ran from it and "lost" all I wanted most in life, including that person who was a guide sent to me by serendipity and God.

He moved forward and towards the good in life wherever it was - I didn't always do that and have had to learn the hard way. I has a great "IQ" but no sense of what life is about - the journey.
The loss of that person, his entire family, a new life of different living by the sea in Sweden as part of a large family and all the physical healthiness has been a living bereavement that has dwelled in me for some 4 years. I have no option but to move forward and as my wonderful hypnotherapist has told me "This was just one of many potential futures".

The emotional pain has been wretched for my physical health and has nearly caused me to take my life. But I wont do that as it would just cause pain for others. instead I am choosing to start a new chapter in my life by not being so absolute in my beliefs, by starting a new career AND surrendering to the wisdom of the universe.

Our Moodscope blog allows us to express ourselves safely with others and I knowing that many of us have similar struggles, move into life and taking action. Life is movement and physical movement really helps me. It unlocks some of those locked chakras which had been locked since childhood.

Love to all.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 1:53pm

Hi Lesley.........I love the 'moving towards' simply being 'living'......There is no Nirvana....only the road to Nirvana...and for many....The Road Less Travelled. Take a step.....then another........then another...........movement is you identify.

Mary S Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 11:42am

"Do you have the necessary desire to move towards what makes you feel good about yourself (physical, mental, emotional & spiritual health) and focus on things you can influence, or are you going to sit there and moan to others about why you cannot do 'stuff' and thus continually focus on what you would like to move away from?"

If you do then yes!!!!. Follow this advice!!
If like me you suffer from severe mental illness then you DON'T have the necessary desire.

"Our life is what we make it... isn't it?"

Well I guess I made it really, really crappy.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 1:59pm

Hi Mary S............I sense your frustration....... I would simply offer do not give up.....where there is a will (to live) and another day, friends, family or offering....there is ALWAYS matter how dark! So many have felt as you do - some for years - and got through. . . . Thomas Fuller: "If it were not for Hope the heart would break". Voltaire said "... One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Today everything is fine, that is our illusion."

Alex Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:31pm

Mary, Thanks....much appreciated. And thanks to all the other folks. I just don't know if I fit here. I spent many years in a self help group which did help me initially, but ended up damaging me too. I try. I try....hard. I have interests, hobbies, distractions. My religion is precious and a great help. But....sometimes, I feel the way I feel today. And there is a great deal which I do not discuss here, partly because it would not help me(much as today here didn't help me), partly because it's too, I don't go into it. It's just not possible, some days, to "decide to be happy" or other variations on that theme. Some days the best I can do is be. And it's not a help to hear that Im choosing the way I feel. Trust me. I'm not. Alex

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:50pm

Alex.......see Debs and Frankie's comments above.......stillness......??......and I don't think people are asking you to 'decide to be happy'....all too often we are caught in the dualism of the IQ world, where there is a 'right / wrong & black / white' Newtonian answer......Emotions and feelings are different - unique to each of us - which is why many people and most organisations do not like to explore this subjective stuff! Its not happy or sad....its not where you stand - its the direction you are moving in.....hopefully towards happiness or at least peace & acceptance.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:50pm

Alex.......see Debs and Frankie's comments above.......stillness......??......and I don't think people are asking you to 'decide to be happy'....all too often we are caught in the dualism of the IQ world, where there is a 'right / wrong & black / white' Newtonian answer......Emotions and feelings are different - unique to each of us - which is why many people and most organisations do not like to explore this subjective stuff! Its not happy or sad....its not where you stand - its the direction you are moving in.....hopefully towards happiness or at least peace & acceptance.

Leah Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 2:07am

Alex, I am in a different time zone so have just read the blog and comments. I just wanted to say and echo what others have said you are most welcome here. I understand that feeling of not fitting in. Took many months to comment on a blog. I find your replies honest and refreshing because you are expressing what others are thinking but can't express. I wrote before that different opinions are healthy. I think the concept of choice has always concerned me because it depends on so many social, economic psychological factors etc. My heart goes out to you and I admire how you are coping. Please come in and express yourself as it is very important to have many ideas and opinions.

Alex Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 5:29am

Leah, Thank you....what you said is helpful, hopeful, and very much appreciated Alex

susan Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 11:55am

i am quietly here, taking all this in. The collective presence this morning is profound. Such brilliant spirits, all. Les, your blog as usual was wonderful, but some of the things you've said to Alex will stay with me for days and days. Heartfelt thanks to every one of you amazing people. Sending love. xx

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 2:00pm can sense your calm.......and compassion........thank you

Maria Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 12:38pm

Thank you les for framing so clearly for me the struggle I'm in each day to make the circle of influence bigger which in turn makes the circle of concern smaller - the two can't get bigger together ; sometimes I get lost and I find focussing on the breath ( meditation) can help me start again . Surrounding myself with people who encourage and allow me to make the circle of influence bigger has helped but sometimes I need their help when the circle of concern becomes overwhelming - I worry then I'll become an energy drainer . Then my circle of influence becomes small and I do give up but being reminded usually by my loving husband that even with no desire if I just get out go for a walk / cycle / cry that life will come back to me ; no effort required . This year I've become a cancer survivor it has brought this struggle to live into sharper focus but it has always been there . It's hard to accept the positives that have come with such pain and fear. We have an instinct to move away from both of these emotions but can love and positivity exist without them? Thank you to all the contributors to this blog ; I send you gentle hugs for the pain you feel and gratitude that in sharing your responses I understand my own pain and fear a little better. I know my experience and your experience of pain is different but our humanity recognises the suffering we share. Understanding the pain and my relationship to it ; is the path to acceptance and I believe whether we know it or not we are all on that journey. In the meantime the relationship of those circles keep interchanging their influence ......

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 2:03pm

Hi Maria..............FAB stuff......and a great picture of how the two circles operate within the 'fixed' life we lead, governed by each 24 hours. Can we move to accept you identify......let alone what circumstances 'appear'.......that is wise wise stuff.

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:49pm

Brilliant Les, thank-you; read it to darling hubby this morning hoping to ease his current low ... we'll see (actually I quote you quite often, oh wise one!)


Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:55pm

Dear Frankie.........its your wisdom that enables such rich dialogue for you at home......The clever person knows the answers - the wise person knows the questions...........questions are ALWAYS more important than answers (in my view of course!!) as our answers are inside us all. In here - not out there. Inscaping not escaping.....

The Gardener Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 6:11pm

Trying to use the wisdom/experience contained in these writings is to me like Frankie - quoting to 'hubby' hopeless. (Blog below). He's never considered he needed any help - mentally - physically the uncharitable would call him a hyponchondriac - but any help with the mind? who needs it - retire into a book and let it all go away. Trouble is, now no books - nowhere to go at all. If only, only, only he would talk to somebody. If only he would admit that he might benefit from help. The Gardener

Mary Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 3:56pm

Hi Les. Thank you as always. I first came across this idea of concentrating on your circle of influence as opposed to your circle of concern when I read Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. While agreeing with all the people above who point out that, whilst in the grip of depression we do not have the desire or energy or indeed the ability to move forward, for those of us lucky enough to have times when the depression lifts or even retreats altogether, then that is the time to practise these good habits. The more we practise these habits in the good times, the stronger our "mental muscles" are in the bad times.In the bad times we are paralysed, but each bout of depression can occur within a more positive place overall. If the depression is permanent and unremitting then things are more difficult - but I remember one Moodscope contributor sharing the advice her therapist gave her,"Just shuffle on your bum a few inches." Even paralysed, can we make just that inch? And another on tomorrow? I don't know about you, and call me bloody minded if you like, but I refuse to give up. I will get the better of this condition and it will not defeat me.

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 4:13pm

Go Mary! Cheering you on from the side lines with all my strength! This reminds me of something said during an Al-Anon session (for family members/friends of addicts and alcoholics) along the lines of: We may feel we are going round in the same circles, but actually each new time the lessons are embedded a bit deeper and so we are in fact spiralling upward (even if it is a case of two steps forward and one step back) - sorry mixing images here, now feeling dizzy! Thank-you for this reminder Mary - particularly appropriate for me this afternoon as I try to follow my youngest sister's advice to breathe deeply and let go of my anger, frustration and grief for my middle sister's alcoholism and associated manipulative behaviour... Frankie

Alex Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 4:27pm

Apologies for not doing so individually.....head too fuzzled right now. Just wanted to say thanks for the kindness and support from various folks. Really appreciated that.


The Gardener Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 5:44pm

Life just took such a hellish turn that I am in total disagreement with Les - life is NOT for some of us what you make it - circumstances are forced on you and my 'indomitable' spirit, future plans, bloody-mindedness have disappeared.My husband's life if grim - but all our married life, at crisis times - his bad back, getting flu, nearly going broke, dramas with our daughters he's never put a thing in to looking after himself - always looks to me what to do. He's refused to eat last few days, physically very weak, but NOT ill, certainly would not be taken into hospital. With a huge physical effort I've got him downstairs, safer - my back was giving out up and down stairs. Have bought every sort of 'goody' to tempt him to eat. Begging him, bludgeoning him to make an effort to move - to live - he says he still wants to. In a bitter moment I said we could 'leave' now, bottle of wine each and a packet of sleeping pills - he was horrified.First objective is to chase the guilt away - I WILL spend the evening writing to friends, 'paper chasing' very necessary, crochet (my new design is pretty good) and then? And then? He likes being take to see friends, but if he can't move, won't move I can't move him. In my blog on 'Job Satisfaction' I spoke of my friend who always wanted to play the piano then made every excuse not to. Just seen Mary's blog about 'just shuffle on your bum a few inches'. When you think of the Paralympics, and what people overcome. But when someone was left out when will-power was handed out how do you fight adversity for the two of you? I've said, 'come on, try to move, for my sake'. Forgive all this, my friends - Les's blog was so hopelessly unattainable to me - and I usually get something out of every blog.

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 7:03pm

Hi TG................when it 'hits' its tough......we have mostly on this site, all experienced that.........and no matter what will be what we make of what happens to us.....and sometimes, as is stated may simply have to sit for a while... .... and today could simply be one of those my own period in the psychiatric ward many years ago........where all that mattered, as far as I saw it - was no one committed suicide any anyone's watch!! One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest for sure........ "I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." Martha Washington

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 7:16pm

Evening Gardener No need for forgiveness - we are here - rant away if it helps ... Yes, of course, circumstances are forced on us ........ just had friends for the weekend dealing with Dad's sudden deteriorating health - 3 weeks in hospital and only option to move to nursing home as prognosis very poor; meanwhile they have been living with "dementing" mum who is fit but confused - found nursing home, moved mum in, mum perks up and begins to respond in a happier way; Dad leaves hospital and moves into home with mum and refuses to accept that they can't move back to their own home ...... It has reminded me of the agony of seeing our loved ones behaving like strangers ... my sister-in-law used to refer to "a woman in a nursing home in Dorset who used to be my mum ..." and I now refer to my own mother by her name to help me accept that it is now me who is the parent and she who is the child ....... I recognise that this is my grieving process which has begun before her death ... One question occurs to me from what you say; are you trying too hard dear Gardener (to fight adversity for the two of you)? For all the right reasons you want to help your husband but if he doesn't want to be helped ... maybe that is the one thing over which he has control - to refuse all help? Yes the agony of watching loved ones refuse all help - (been talking today yet again about my alcoholic sister who refuses all help, then claims none of us want to help her - SO untrue and SO UNFAIR ..) From your previous posts I think that you do a fantastic job of dealing with an indescribably horrible situation - and look at your determination and courage shining through despite yet another ghastly day ... (I WILL spend the evening writing to friends ...) Once again Gardener, I salute you, and know that I think of you each time I read Moodscope and wonder how your day is going ... Frankie

Alex Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 5:28am

Gardener, Yep. Alex

Debs Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 9:49pm

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone, reading through the comments tonight has moved me to tears. I can't remember how I discovered Moodscope, I'm just so thankful I did. The warmth, wisdom, compassion and love that comes through from each of you is immense and it creates an energy that lifts me and brings a light to my days. I don't know who you are, where you are, what you do or what brought you to this site but thank you for being here and supporting each other the way you do. I get so much out of each comment and interaction - nothing is ever wasted. I feel at home here and that's not something I ever thought I'd say. With love and blessings, Debs xxx

Frankie Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 10:01pm

Hi Debs What a lovely comment - thank-you! And I am so glad that Moodscope helps you; it certainly helps me! Frankie

Les Sat, Oct 17th 2015 @ 10:41pm

Perception - the lens through which we view life - is at the root of how we deal with all of it. ...................As Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor and author, put it so eloquently,....................... "Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

From Chaos to Coherence, Doc Childre and Bruce Cryer, (c)1999, HeartMath

Alex Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 5:37am

I'd prefer that you not speak for me -"I" rather than "we".....and Id prefer that you not quote Victor Frankl, or other Holocaust survivors. Alex

Les Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 9:02am

The word 'I' - I usually always avoid as it is usually a selfish focus......we is inclusive.........and includes others who may gain from reading about 'our' situations, unless 'we' make them too much about ourselves! ,,,,,,I will also choose to write what I write not what someone else tells me!....That is the beauty of writing on such blogs......its varied and diverse..........that seems to trouble you?

Alex Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 9:24am

Exactly...."we" is inclusive, and therefore makes the assumption that I feel as you do. I prefer that you not assume that. And I'm not telling you what/not to write: I said that I preferred that you not quote Holocaust survivors: using that fact (his survival, through such dreadful circumstances) feels - to me, as I speak only for myself - out of place and a misuse, giving an unspoken, but nevertheless there, comparison which is inappropriate, to me, as a Jew. I do have difficulty putting my feelings into words and have done my best to explain my meaning. Alex

Les Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 9:52am

I think 'we' should leave this you are making the blog about you and I - and there are many who are not Jews - just as there are many who are not depressed - and also I think you'll find that I have at no point attempted to say I understand your feelings......go back to my first long comment that you were not able to 'follow' and thus possibly missed the bits you didn't want to see - yesterday 0856hrs......... ....."Hi Alex You are absolutely right in that no one can experience what you yourself feel." 'I' believe you are only 'seeing' what you want to see in my opinion......not thinking about others.............given your challenging situation. You seem to be focussing on what you want to move away from and not what you want to move towards - which is what my blog was all about..... I will not be replying to any more of your comments...........this site is about many people.

Alex Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 12:41pm

Sincere apologies to you, and all the group, for any upset/ill feeling I have caused. Alex

the room above the garage Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 12:03am

Alex, you fit. We all fit. It's a large jigsaw and without each of us there would be no picture.
A million thanks to those who have offered me their hands today. I managed a walk! And meals. And whilst I could cry myself inside out with apprehension, I didn't, I haven't and I won't. I took three photographs and now I have them to remind me of why. Peaceful sleep to each of you, and to the ones who read but who can't comment. You're a lovely bunch. I owe you. Much love from this room, above the garage xxx.

Alex Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 5:27am

Room, Thanks Alex

LillyPet Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 8:59am

Go girl! I am bursting with joy that you found some light. Love LP xx

LillyPet Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 9:04am

Les, thank you so much for your blog. You have opened the door to dark places and even if people feel that they can't move towards the light they have seen where it is. Your journey to health is hugely inspirational.
LP xx

Les Sun, Oct 18th 2015 @ 9:12am

Good Morning LP..............that is my offer some thoughts which may be ALL personal growth comes from facing discomfort. It may be too much for some right now - and for others it may help. I will however write in a way that most seem to find we all grow through sharing our matter how we will all keep moving or stay forever stuck in some dark corner..............................

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced". James Baldwin

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