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Up and Down. Sunday January 10, 2016

I'm cooking tea and I'm a man. There are lots of levels. Turn them up, turn them down.

There is music, a good track, turn it up then an advert so turn it down.

Pour the rice in, turn it up, starting to boil over, turn it down. Throw the ginger and chilli and stuff into the oil, it sizzles, turn it down.

The telephone rings, one of the favourite daughters, they all are. She's walking through wet and noisy city streets on her way home from the tube. I can hardly hear, she sounds beautiful, turn it up and turn the music down.

I'm always pleased to talk, especially since their mother died. I'm not irritated, I'm smiling, turn it up, turn it down. Listen, listen, turn it down. Maybe five minutes and she's home, bye bye, turn it up.

Music up, gas up, start sizzling again, oyster sauce and kale. Eat, just eat, turn it down, but the music is so good. Where will the evening end, turn it up or turn it down? Did I eat? I want to go out.

I have pills, one to turn it up, one to turn it down.

I have a shed full of tools to make adjustments, gizmos to tighten up and loosen off, and libraries, yes a lifetime of learning. I have the great outdoors to climb up and slide down, to sweat and to chill, turn it up and turn it down.

I'll rest, honest I will. I won't go too far again, I'll turn it down, really I will... before it runs me down.

And I have Moodscope, the feeler gauge. What will my score be in the morning? In a week, in a month? Quiet, listen.

A Moodscope member

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

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Margaret Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 5:09am

Hi Terence. What an interesting blog. I have to admit I feel a little perplexed because I'm not sure if you are saying that life is full of ups and downs and we have very little choice, or that its the choices we make that create our ups and downs. The last two words - quiet and listen - are you saying that we won't really know what we feel unless we give ourselves the quiet to listen. Thank you for making me think.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:20pm

I will now attempt to follow the lovely tradition of replying to each of you who commented, here goes… No Margaret, I thank you. Little by little our moodscope friends colour in the meaning. The blog is just a stone, the comments are ripples (circles seen from above) x

Lex Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 6:25am

Terence has a Thermostat;
He turns it low and high;
With Moodscope as his thermometer;
He can track his reasons 'why'.
Just notice how his rhythms flow:
Sometimes high and sometimes low;
But best of all, he's in the 'know'
Learning when to 'pause' and when to 'go'.

Sheena Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 8:43am

Love that poem Lex! Sheena

Soulmansblue Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 9:52am

Lex that's well written text, What will you write next? Will you save it for tomorrow, When another poor soul is down in sorrow? Will you bring forth inspired wisdom, Or express just doom and gloom? I hope as with today it rythms, And speaks of far happier times!

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:21pm

Thanks Lex, lovely rhyming echoes x

Barbara Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 7:26am

Fabulous piece of creative writing, Terence, giving us an insight, presumably, into your bipolar swings. Am I right?

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:22pm

Thank you Barbara, yes you are right. Bipolar is just a word x

Norman Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 7:28am

Terence welcome (First post?) Lovely extended metaphor and thought-provoking.

BTW "Real Men cook tea!" (and make time for their children)

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:22pm

Thank you Norman x

Susan Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 7:59am

Hi Terence. I love your blog today
Yes, we need to accept the ups and downs of life..I try to surf the waves instead of getting washed up and overwhelmed by them, but often fail. I love the highs but try to limit 'cranking it up' as there is a balance and I can't cope with the lows that invariable follow.. so I look for peace, for quiet, for inner silence and listen to calming music to trusted friends and family. A taunting inner voice however, says 'Don't 'waste' the short burst of energy and 'productivity'.. do more!.. do it faster!!.. do it NOW!!!'. This is the one voice I should NOT be listening to. But I do what I shouldn't and struggle to do what I know I should....hey ho!

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:23pm

Thank you Susan, yes a balancing act x

Anonymous Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 8:23am

Fascinating! Life for many of us who suffer with mental illness, consists of coping with ups and downs and to make sure we don't go too high or get too low. I love the imagery you use Terence to explain your life. More prose please!

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 4:00pm

Thank you, it could be explain or just introduce x

Paul Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 8:23am

I have started, for the very first time, to tell a particularly difficult part of my story. Instead of a personal statement which could easily set me off again, I chose to write it as a poem so I can 'perform' it and include observations about how thing felt and observations of what was around me. Terence's blog stuck a chord with me because it is stuffed full of observations about how he is feeling and what is around him - being truly mindful. It also stuck me how poetic his blog seems to me. Thank you Terence.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:24pm

Thank you Paul, wow a performance, that’s very brave x

Sheena Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 8:47am

Very good blog Terence It sounds like you've totally exhausted yourself trying to be everything to all who need you in the past. Take good care of yourself: eat, sleep and play - and so glad you have that real awareness of tuning how high/low. Sheena

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:25pm

Thanks Sheena, and you take care x

Sally Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 9:34am

I enjoyed reading this nicely written piece ,Terence. It was a beautiful cameo. I feel for you so much, having lost your wife as you have. Your daughters will soothe your pain to some extent but your feelings will probably run up and down for a while... Listen is good. Tell is also good. Wrap yourself up in loving kindness as far as is possible.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 9:42am

Thank you dear soul, she died four years ago and we were divorced. However, you are correct in thinking that it was devastating x

Soulmansblue Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 9:44am

Hey Terence,

You trying to steal my style man!

Very identifiable blog there. Smooth and with a tight follow through. Yes it is always a case of turn it up, turn it down. You can add to that move forward and then back off that is life I'm afraid especially when your bad.

I'm like this with women, I never know which step to take so I'm always moving forward and then backing off!

One day I hope that I will find another woman to love who will love me right on back. We'll match our steps and not need to keep on moving forward or back or tun it up or turn it down.

Take Care and think of yourself. I'm sorry for your lose.

Mary Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 10:02am

Hoping for that for you too SMB. Communication at the start is great you know? If you let someone know that you will take two steps back form every three forward and seem to blow hot and cold and why, then you have a lot more leeway and less room for misunderstandings later.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:26pm

Thank you SMB, don’t worry x

Soulmansblue Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 4:12pm

We're here to worry and support each other. So I'm SMB now cool my own calling card!

Mary Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 10:01am

Terence - thank you so much for your blog. Thank you. Why? Because you have illustrated so clearly that everything in life is a series of adjustments: turn it up, turn it down; tighten it up, loosen it off; tip it one way, slide it another. For the first time I can see that having bi-polar is not necessarily a disability but a natural part of my human nature. I just have to do a bit more of the adjusting (and use medication for it) than "normal" people. My settings are a bit more fluid and wide-ranging than "normal". Your post has been a great gift to me. And - it is beautifully written too. (I always appreciate that!)

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:26pm

Thank you Mary, I agree, I don’t see it as a disability, it is a gift x

Soulmansblue Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 10:15am

Something I added yesterday to Mary's reply to what I'd said and you may have missed and it ties in with Terence's Blog.

When we use our scores to plot our mood score take notice of your average. Take to can go up or down. When it goes down it means that our overall mood is dropping. Even if on that day you score is high.

If your score has dropped and your are informed that okay it has dropped but it is still above your average. Be Warned your average might be dropping so you are going down.

I'm just saying be aware of what your average score is doing. It is a good indicator. There should notice/record of what your average score is doing.

Gill Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 10:39am

Beautifully written.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:27pm

Thank you Gill, beautifully commented x

The Gardener Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 12:01pm

Too busy to have absorbed Terence's blog yet. Seems as though I am writing my auto-biography on Moodscope! But this comes from yesterday's 'Surviving' and is so pertinent. I went to put the lights on in the shop. All the windows on to the road have my collection of dolls - for the millennium I produced, in knitting, 2,000 years of fashion on Barbie dolls. The then secretary to our mayor, who did brilliant crochet, asked if she could help. I gave her four models suitable to crochet and sewing. She came up with four bridal 'creations' nothing to do with subject at all. They were THE most brilliant creations, one in bubble plastic! Next I know she was in hospital with depression - next news she had committed suicide. Her creations have pride of place in the collection 'Creations of the late ***'. She had a son with an African man, then lived with another. This son had the problem of being illegitimate and mixed race (Brittany is not the most tolerant place) then mother's depression and subsequent suicide. He was 12 at the time. How on earth did he survive (if he did) such a crescendo of tragedies.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:28pm

Thank you TG, I love your writing, whatever. My mother left us this year after wandering down Dementia Av for years but she kept her toothy grin, it’s very hard x

susan Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 12:02pm

What a beautifully written piece, Terence. An insightful metaphor, too. We sensitive types need to be aware of having to consciously turn on and off our nervous systems; more 'normal' people regulate much more easily, almost automatically it seems to me. I couldn't turn it down over the holidays due to family commitments and had to almost turn it off for a week afterwards. And I love that your daughter phones you on her way home from the tube, seeking a warm loving voice after being out there in the noise. Thanks so much. Just lovely. xx

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:29pm

Thank you susan, you are too kind, hmm… sensitive types, when I go up too fast, too high that is not who I am x

The Gardener Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 12:56pm

To Terence - what a brilliant blog - should be published as an 'aide' to all who are widowed. In our area there is a surfeit of widows. I believe, statistically, that it was (is?) for the men, one of the highest areas of death from alcoholism, they were heavy smokers and had little respect for machine safety - accidents frequent. The women looked after the house, children, kitchen garden, milked the cows and frequently helped with the harvest. They were from tough stock, and their culture would not have allowed them to smoke or drink (except for the occasional calvados in the dregs of their coffee). Now we have three widowers in four months last year - they are all 'coping'. My brother-in-law is of Terence's stamp. His second wife got cancer when he was 77, and died when he was 80. A brilliant scientist he was regarded as rubbish on the domestic front (knowing him, might have been deliberate). Now he cooks brilliantly - bon viveur standard. He lunches out with buddies 2/3 times per week. He goes on National Trust tours of historic houses and gardens. And, most staggering of all, he runs the village hall! His noise comes from Radio 4 and opera.

Claire Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 1:09pm

Last week I was a ake,
And people couldn't keep up,
Do this; do that; every night I would stay up late.
Can't sleep - got ideas - yes let's change it all - come on keep up.

Today I am in pain,
And I really just can't keep up,
Can't do this or any of that;
Just so tired and want to sleep.
Stay in; lock the doors; stay away.
I want to escape it all - I really can't keep up.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:30pm

Thank you Claire, are you ok? when you can’t keep up, don’t worry, there’s always someone further back who will be along in a minute x

Lexi Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 2:08pm

Beautiful Terence. I could imagine the moments with you, second by second, task by task. Just remember to breathe.

Terence Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 3:31pm

Thank you Lexi, yes I’m still here, ("Out, in, out, in, out, in...") x

Soulmansblue Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 4:19pm


I wrote a book called 'A LIFETIME IN DEPRESSION' if anyone is interested and wants to have a read you're welcome.

All I ask is that you don't freely distribute it. One copy each. I am going to do a further revision on it and add more material.

I'm then going to put it on Amazon as an ebook but without audio. If you'd like a copy download it just follow the link or copy and paste the link into your browser. Unzip and just double click the exe file and it will open.

[Sorry this file is for PC ONLY]

Files (113 MB total)
ALID [8.4.2] Revised

Will be deleted on
17 January, 2016

Download link

Amanda Mon, Jan 11th 2016 @ 3:10pm

Thank you for sharing your e-book. I really like it, especially the art-work. I have wanted to try to do some atrwork for a long time but couldn't think how to approach it (my sister is so tal;ented in that direction it's hard to find something that isn't simply a shadow of what she produces!). I now have some inspiration, so thank you!

Anonymous Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 10:00pm

Terence, this was very moving. I often find poetry inaccessible. Too cryptic for my mind to grasp meaning. But every so often, something like this tugs at my soul. It's a story, an observation, but it taps into something deeper in the human experience. Boils it down and sings it in a way that moves me and echoes. My day was going really super and then I crashed hard this evening. All okay, part of my rhythms, but quite jarring all the same. Then I read your blog post and it made me teary and smile simultaneously. Turning it up, turning it down. And the low suddenly felt even more just a thing, rather than a thing to feel weighed town by. I'm turning it down for tonight, and I'll be able to dial it up again real soon. Thank you for sharing this moving prose!

the room above the garage Sun, Jan 10th 2016 @ 10:39pm

Terence it's wonderful to see you writing! Really enjoyed reading It, I love that you had a chat with your daughter as she walked home, great's little but it's major. Delighted to read you, it made me feel I was inside a Beatles song. Love ratg X,

LillyPet Mon, Jan 11th 2016 @ 12:15am

Thanks for another perspective Terence. I like the idea that we can learn to make adjustments and do a bit of fine tuning. A lovely blog and very best wishes.LP x

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