Moodscope's blog

15

July


Waking up sad. Friday July 15, 2016

Some days it just happens. Maybe the sky is slate grey. Again. Or the cat has woken early and demanded food. Again. Or the news broadcasts details of another atrocity somewhere in the world. Again.

The sadness that envelops me on these occasions is pervasive, invasive, massive. It weighs down on and over my head like a sodden blanket – suffocating, heavy, draining. Like the dementors in Harry Potter stories, it sucks life, snuffs light, drains energy, dulls senses, and, usually, wells tears. Not uncontrollable sobbing tears. Not the tears of sorrow or grief. But slow, heavy, dull tears, that well and ooze and dribble, like the final wringing of a rinsed garment when there really isn't much more to wring.

Thoughts are slow, dwelling on the triggers that first bring on the feeling. Seemingly unable to move on. Other events – a careless driver, a harmless piece of litter, a remembered pain, a glance in the mirror, seem to fly in from all sides, sticking like sand on a beach sandwich, unwelcome, inevitable, unpleasant, permanent, feeding the sadness and somehow giving it legitimacy. And so the spiral starts – the sadness feeding on itself, growing, thickening, sucking in a myriad of irrelevant and unconnected thoughts to become that single, cancerous, overshadowing mantle that is depression.

The critical voice shouts 'Snap out of it'; Screams 'What have you got to complain about?' Yells 'Pull yourself together! Snaps 'What are you, a man or a mouse?'

The critical voice knows nothing though. It has guile, and volume, and resonance, but no knowledge or understanding. It is incompetent.

It reminds me of the four stages of learning – in the context of depression it works like this: Stage One - Unconscious incompetence: We have absolutely no idea what is happening or why we are feeling so perfectly awful. (This is very scary and can last for years if no outside help is sought). Stage Two - Conscious Incompetence: We understand what we are feeling, but have no idea what to do about it. Stage Three: Conscious Competence: We understand why we feel the way we do, and we have to work hard using learned techniques and coping strategies to drag ourselves back into a better place. Stage Four: Unconscious Competence – we have managed to train ourselves to cope, and out of our awareness, we spot the danger signals and channel our thoughts in positive directions, watching the negative thoughts pass us by, like trucks on a busy road – we see them, we watch them pass, we forget them, we move forward.

Currently I am at Stage Three. Most of the time. This morning, I awoke and had slipped into Stage Two. Again.

What stage are you at?

Andrew
A Moodscope member.

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


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Comments

Carol Anne Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 6:49am

Andrew - thanks for this. So descriptive and accurate. I love the way you've articulated the 4 stages of recovery/learning. I would say I'm at stage 4. But I do return to stage 3 periodically.

Today is good - because that's what I'm telling myself. It's Friday. Almost the weekend. Two days away from work and time doing more pleasurable things which will lift mood.
Of course I can hear the 'real' underlying sabotage unhelpful thoughts - Fridays are rubbish - extra busy days in work, back to back calls for 4 hours, deadlines and btw just as you start to enjoy your weekend you will be back to same.
I know through experience that every bit of my unhelpful thoughts can be challenged but today my positive voice is strong enough and my intention to refocus on activity rather that 'dwell in the the bad neighbourhood alone'.

Thanks for your insightful and helpful contribution which I'll be sure to pass on.

Have a great day. X

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:42am

Thank you Carol Anne. If you are at Stage 4, you have worked hard and deserve to enjoy not only your weekend, but all those other fleeting moments which we so often miss - a bird singing, a child skipping to school, a great piece of music on the radio. Have a great day and stay strong! x

Lou Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 6:53am

This blog spoke to me on a number of levels; I quite often wake up with a difficult thought which snowballs into an avalanche before I know it.

The four stages of learning is an excellent way to look at dealing with MH issues and I shall continue to ponder this idea.

My cat comes in as soon as she thinks I am awake but in her case it is in search of a fuss - breakfast can wait but apparently reassurance that she is still loved can't, which I find a lovely way to start my day. This made me think how curious life is that we all see things in different ways!

Thank you for sharing!

Lou

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:33am

Hi Lou,Thank you for your comment. You are so right - we all see things in our own way - wherein lies the problem, as so often we assume that everyone knows, understands and fully appreciates the way WE are feeling, in our little bubble, completely unknowing of the way THEY might be feeling in theirs (be they human or feline!). It takes love, understanding and trust to navigate that particular minefield and avoid the anger that so easily erupts when we feel misunderstood. There's another blog about that - perhaps for publication at a later date.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:33am

Hi Lou,Thank you for your comment. You are so right - we all see things in our own way - wherein lies the problem, as so often we assume that everyone knows, understands and fully appreciates the way WE are feeling, in our little bubble, completely unknowing of the way THEY might be feeling in theirs (be they human or feline!). It takes love, understanding and trust to navigate that particular minefield and avoid the anger that so easily erupts when we feel misunderstood. There's another blog about that - perhaps for publication at a later date.

Lou Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 4:07pm

What an excellent point! I very much look forward to reading that blog too ;)

Orangeblossom Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 7:46am

Hi Andrew, thanks for this illuminating blog which is very helpful.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:35am

Thank you - you have no idea how much I appreciate your positive comment. Have a good day!

Jul Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:02am

Waking up sad. I woke up fairly happy today for a change until I heard the news from Nice. Your blog so uncannily appropriate Andrew for global events rather than personal. I must re read your four aspects of depression and dealing with it as on first reading they seemed to make a lot of sense and are something new for me Thanks Andrew. Jul

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:43am

Thank you Jul. Of course I had no idea when I wrote this a few days ago, that it would be published the morning after the Nice atrocity. But so often we (I anyway) can allow the global to envelop and take over the personal. I am devastated by the news. I have a deep love of France and all things French. I know that area of Nice well. And I feel helpless. And I can too easily allow these events to take hold in my head and suffocate me. But today, I am staying strong. I am refusing the temptation to 'own' them, to become one with them, and to allow them to suffocate me. Of course I am sad - devastated. But I am also screaming at the grieving, angry, 'woe-is-me-we're-all-doomed' inner voice that IT IS STILL OK TO ENJOY MY OWN LIFE. I hope you have a great day!

Deborah Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:32am

Meanwhile you can take solace in the fact that even at stage 2 you are a fantastic writer with great descriptive powers!

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:45am

That means so much - thank you! Compliments are really hard to accept (there's another blog there I think!) - but thank you...

Deborah Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:33am

Meanwhile you can take solace in the fact that even at stage 2 you are a fantastic writer with great descriptive powers!

Deborah Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:33am

Meanwhile you can take solace in the fact that even at stage 2 you are a fantastic writer with great descriptive powers!

Hopeful One Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:39am

Hi Andrew -Thank you for a thought provoking blog . To be at stage four one has to go back to what triggers stage I . In your blog the trigger is in the first para. It confirms something I believe ( I accept not in all case and in certain types of depression ) that depression is a reaction to "loss" either past or present . So one would suggest that one asks oneself what one feels one "lost " after that para. Workout how one would accept that loss and one will start moving towards stage 4 .

Laughter I maintain is one strategy that helps .

A man seeing flashing blue lights in his rearview mirror pulls over to the side of the road. A police officer approaches the car. The man says, "What's the problem officer?" Officer: You were going 75 miles an hour in a 60 mile an hour zone. I'm afraid I have to ticket you. Man: No sir, I was going a little over 60. Wife: Oh, Harry. You were going at least 80! [The man gives his wife dirty look.] Officer: I'm also going to give you a ticket for your broken tail light. Man: Broken tail light? I didn't know about a broken tail light! Wife: Oh Harry, you've known about that tail light for weeks! [The man gives his wife another a dirty look.] Officer: I'm also going to give you a ticket for not wearing your seat belt. Man: Oh, I just took it off when you were walking up to the car. Wife: Oh, Harry, you never wear your seat belt! The Man turns to his wife and yells, "For cryin' out loud, can't you just shut up?!" The officer turns to the woman and asks, "Ma'am, Does your husband talk to you this way all the time?" Wife says, "No officer, only when he's drunk."

Jul Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:04am

Made me chuckle

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:52am

Love that story! Laughter is enormously important! And of course you are right - it is that deep, sunken, empty feeling of loss that lurks at the core of many a depressive state - and it is the ability to accept - or at least to accommodate and give space to one's loss, which moves us forward. I hope you find opportunities to laugh today Jul!

the room above the garage Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:02pm

Hello HO, fascinated by your explanation of 'loss' at stage 1. I don't even know where to begin!! Perhaps thinking about it will eventually let the shapes fall into the sorter. Thank you xx.

Hopeful One Sat, Jul 16th 2016 @ 7:25am

Hi RATG- that loss is very individual . It can be tangible or intangible, mental or physical, real or imagined , perceptible or imperceptible , small or big , something that one had and is no longer there, but there will be a sense of loss.

Rupert Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:49am

Hi Andrew a brilliant description of how I expect many of us feel. I have recently been pondering how to describe the waking mood or feeling and the best description I could come up with was "crushed" i.e almost trapped under such a heavy weight that it takes all your might to struggle out of it before even getting out of bed! I wouldn't say that external events necessarily influence the mood too much as it could not be at a lower point anyway and is on a much more personal level. I think I never really properly reach stage 4 though as I suspect is the same for others. Rupert

Jul Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:08am

I agree Rupert about that crushed waking up feeling.I get it most mornings. Today was an exception. I must have had a rare good night's sleep. So unusual that when i do wake up from one, I feel so good about it.Most mornings, I just get out of bed regardless as I know for a fact that lingering in bed feeling awful is worse than getting up. Oddly. Julxx

Hopeful One Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:55am

Hi Jul - one stretegy I find useful is to give that feeling a name . I call it ' my early morning dip' And then say 'that's all it is' . Curiously it loses its sting pretty quickly.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:01am

Hi Rupert - thanks for your comment. Crushed is a great analogy. And to be honest, whether it's internal or external events which provide the weight, the effect is the same. And just as devastating, as suffocating, as paralysing. I agree with Jul - pushing though and making what can feel like a supreme effort to get out of bed (if you can), is always going to be be better than staying put - if only to move those thoughts along the road a little, and give other thoughts a chance to squeeze in - different, small, positive ones.... I hope you have a good day. And thanks for reading and taking the trouble to comment.

The Gardener Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 8:50am

Echoing Jul - Andrew could not have known how horribly apt was his blog today. We, of course, live in France, and France Musique is playing lovely music, albeit sad, in homage to the dead. My morning started well - sun shining into my lovely bedroom. Then Mr G starts grumbling - he heard the news - but comes downstairs saying nurses late, they weren't. He comes into our lovely kitchen, delicious breakfast and coffee in place - and immediately wants 'comfort' because he is 'scared' by the events. To stop me screaming hysterically that he might give some thought - even prayers (he was brought up a church-goer) for those who have suffered so terribly, and their relatives who mourn those who were mown down while enjoying a traditional 'fete'. My reaction, daft and illogical, is to do everything I do as well as possible - as a thank you for being alive? Who knows. I abandoned Mr G and took my breakfast into the sunshine of my shop window with the cat - a beautiful blue Persian who suns herself on a red and gold sequined sari displayed in my 'voyages' window. She proves a complete show stopper.

Jul Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:10am

We are in France right now and my daughter just back from Nice.I am glad you took yourself off to the terrace or shop window to have your breakfast. Today is a day for reflection (that is, when you can get away from Mr G's demands) Julxx

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:15am

Dear Gardener - You have a love of life - and your comment (and location and user name) put me in mind of Voltaire's Candide: - “Cela est bien, repondit Candide, mais il faut cultiver notre jardin.” It may not be 'the best of all possible worlds' in which we live, but we all have a garden of sorts, figurative, or real, or both, and tending to it is the best way to enjoy the life we have. Enjoy your sunshine, and coffee, and garden!

silvia Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:22am

Thank you Andrew for this blog, you expressed it so perfectly. I think I'm at stage Three.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:16am

Hi Silvia - Well done - me too! Most of the time. And thank you for taking the trouble to comment. I appreciate that more than you know.

DAVID HAMILTON Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:29am

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your descriptive insight into your very personal feelings...We have , are and maybe will be in that place you so graphically describe. When you yourself re-read, it directs the mind to negative thoughts, this when caught up in depression to a line of least resistance.....Can we stop our minds consistently to embrace a non self-destructive mood....that of course is the key to lift the negative thought and realise a state of balance. It takes a lot of initial focus in training the mind to PROHIBIT
these negative soul destroying thoughts from entering our minds, food comes into this in DIETARY form....It is NOT impossible.....

Thoughts, vision, hearing good or bad, positive or negative can ONLY enter through our minds....IF WE PERMIT them to enter.

So the first stage is to recognize that to obtain INNER peace and HAPPINESS, CONSISTENTLY ( I mean specifically AWAY from that of the self-inflicted kind of adversity) is to start the day with signs and symbols of positive directives...

1...By your bed, a note....I am a good man, as good as any person, but no better. THE WORD CONFIDENCE repeatedly shown three times.

2...On the bathroom mirror....I will not allow my mood to dictate anything but positive thoughts today.
CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE written across the mirror.

3...In Your Wallet or pocket, when we get that LOW mood entering the mind, pull out the piece of paper upon which is written.....THREE TIMES.....CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE CONFIDENCE. (We'll begin to know WHY we go to our pocket or handbag, every time, but we need to 'STICK AT THIS method of AUTO-SUGGESTIONS for days weeks months, to even start the process of retraining Our Minds.

This process I stuck to DETERMINEDLY for several weeks as a young man in my selling career door to door selling Cash Registers and Electronic Scales to the retail trade.

I remember one day in front of a prospective buyer, I could not overcome his particular question to the product, the sale of which hung on his question....I pulled out of my pocket.a piece of paper and read its contents, put it back and found the time to answer the question or CHANGE the subject.

This happened several times, and eventually the buyer asked me why I kept reading this piece of paper and what was so interesting about its contents....

I showed him.... He read the words CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENCE, CONFIDENCE.
He was unable able to contain his laughter, it 'broke the ice' and I obtained the sale. my mind was consumed with CONFIDENCE.

I used and still use that occasionally even at age 71, what it actually achieves is....It stops other people from gaining power over us, where WE remain in CONTROL...There are several other ways we can extract ourselves from delicate situations, yet still retain that self-confidence that has resulted in the re-training process.

It's also great fun to see, (when we are very serious in this approach), the look in the recipients eyes...
So Andrew and all others out there, please start this process and become well trained and positive and get ORDER in all you do, think and say.

But please remember, LIFE IS FULL OF OTHERS' OPINIONS, such as this is mine....But the FOOLISH person, is the one who pooh poohs it and sees the negative. The WISE person is that who looks positive, and says well if it works for him, I'll try persisting at it, and if it DOESN'T work for me then it won't be for want of trying ! !

Good Luck.
God Bless.

Dave.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:24am

Thank you Dave - very wise words. I agree whole-heatedly that the mind, as the body, requires regular training to become stronger. And I like the word you have chosen - CONFIDENCE. A great way to start to silence the inner critic..thanks for sharing

CityChick Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:35am

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for a beautifully written comment. I liked the new use of the conscious competence learning model - it reminded me of the link between what happens, learning to deal with it and then actually taking the required steps. I seem to enjoy the first two steps but often founder at the third so can rarely achieve the fourth! Its fine for a new skill at work but you think you mood is so natural that it should sort itself - and yet it doesn't. So just when you feel least like making any effort at all you need to rouse yourself. Reminding me that even though it useless to stay "snap out of it" i still have the answer within myself.
Thanks :)

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:28am

Thank you - sadly, it's taken me many many years to understand that moods don't sort themselves out - or at least if left so to do, they will often take a wrong turn and hurtle into a brick wall of anger, frustration, and ultimately deep sadness. Taking active, conscious control - becoming consciously competent, is tough, but worth the effort!

Charlie Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:36am

Probably the best description of what I term the "non-resolvable circular reference cycle" that I have ever read. It's being copied into my favourite blogs in my "headology" file. Thanks Andrew, top man.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:35am

Hey Charlie - thank you! For some reason I do not understand at all, reading yours and other positive comments on my (first ever) blog is making me well up - not sadness exactly, but an emotion close to it. The inner critic is telling me I'm not allowed to feel good and that I am undeserving of any compliments. Meanwhile Andrew is elated, drowning out 'inner critic', and sat here with tears of....joy? no. Relief... -not that either.... love? Yes, maybe that's it. Love - It is OK to feel loved, Andrew. it is OK.

Kathy Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:48am

What an eloquent, perfectly captured description or depression, if I could writes as well as you that s exactly how I would describe my feelings, it s like you read my mind completely and utterly.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:36am

Thank you Kathy. You have no idea how impossible and yet great it is to read this comment.

The Gardener Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 9:55am

To Andrew, Charlie and others - the day and the eloquence of the blog have hit all of us. My bloody-mindedness has surfaced - I will survive, even enjoy, with, at the moment, the totally unselfish help from friends and family

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:38am

You WILL survive. You ARE allowed to enjoy. Thank you.....

Kathy Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:02am

ps. I am also copying this into my favourites. How are you not a writer already??

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:38am

:-) I think I may have just become one!

Andy Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:47am

Thanks Andrew. This really hit home with me. I've been finding mornings excruciatingly difficult for a while now. I managed to reach stage 3 for most of yesterday but again 'bang', stage 2 again this morning with sickening avengance. It is reassuring that I'm not alone in these dreadful feelings. And that is all they are 'just a feeling'. 'Just a thought'. We are so much more than our thoughts and feelings. I am practicing daily Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. I am confident confident confident that this well make a difference and I will have more and more stage 3/4 days to look forward to.

Thanks also to Helpful One re 'the early morning dip - it well pass'. I intend to try this right now.

Best Wishes for today and the future everyone.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:58am

Hey Andy - this morning was particularly difficult I think - you are certainly not alone. It's almost as if there is something warm, comfortable even, in allowing oneself to wallow in that familiar cloying sadness - we become so used to it, there's a part of us that almost, despite ourselves, prefers to be there. Moving out of it requires such effort, such strength, such determination - all of which are in extremely short supply, and often not fit for purpose, as they have been left unused for so long. And this is where your daily Headspace practice will I am sure be of such huge help - so well done for that! keep it up, and best wishes to you and your loved ones.

Andy Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 10:48am

Thanks Andrew. This really hit home with me. I've been finding mornings excruciatingly difficult for a while now. I managed to reach stage 3 for most of yesterday but again 'bang', stage 2 again this morning with sickening avengance. It is reassuring that I'm not alone in these dreadful feelings. And that is all they are 'just a feeling'. 'Just a thought'. We are so much more than our thoughts and feelings. I am practicing daily Headspace by Andy Puddicombe. I am confident confident confident that this well make a difference and I will have more and more stage 3/4 days to look forward to.

Thanks also to Helpful One re 'the early morning dip - it well pass'. I intend to try this right now.

Best Wishes for today and the future everyone.

Skyblue Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:01am

Andrew, this is a most beautiful piece of writing, full of empathy and understanding and hope. Don't ever doubt your gift. Thank you so much. After a lot of hard work and determination over several years, I now move between Stages 3 and 4. Love to everyone today, especially those who can't believe they can ever get to Stage 4. You can. xx

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:01pm

Thank you thank you.... x

Ella Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:08am

For me there's another sub-stage around Stage 3 and it's the Can't-Be-arsed Conscious Competence or The Lazy Conscious Competence or (more kindly) the Haven't-yet-quite-developed-lasting-good-habits Conscious Competence. ie I know it all so well, I know what works, I know what doesn't and the likely result of letting it slip, I know I'm scuppering myself by my actions or inaction - but I still don't get it together. It fits with bi-polar and it's partly me and partly brain chemistry (which is of course part of me). My strategy then is to try not to beat myself up over these times and get back on track as soon as I can. And of course I can't get back on track when my mind is lying to me and I'm taking the blame and heaping on the guilt. I get back on track when I spot what's happening and retrieve my kind, accepting mind, then my physical actions respond. Perhaps this isn't stage 3, it's more a hovering between stages 2 and 3.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:05pm

I agree - there are many 'sub stages' in fact. Sometimes the 'can't be arsed' stage becomes strangely comfortable - and we feel justified in feeling bad as we knew that would happen because we couldn't be arsed to make an effort to change. So that's ok then. Until we feel guilty! Goodness me how complex we are! Take care Ella. Keep working at it!

Eva Sat, Jul 16th 2016 @ 11:25pm

Hiya I fall into can't be arsed conscious competence, I think generally in a lull before pulling together and moving onto organised conscious competence. I kind of just accept it and let it happen as from previous experience I have found its better to let it be that way for a while and that allows me to conserve energy for the next big push. I feel that if I didn't stop there when I feel the need to I might make myself ill . I think maybe I should stay there a bit more just now to assist in my recuperation. Really a great blog thanks Andrew. And to Ella and all for thought provoking responses.

Eva Sat, Jul 16th 2016 @ 11:25pm

Hiya I fall into can't be arsed conscious competence, I think generally in a lull before pulling together and moving onto organised conscious competence. I kind of just accept it and let it happen as from previous experience I have found its better to let it be that way for a while and that allows me to conserve energy for the next big push. I feel that if I didn't stop there when I feel the need to I might make myself ill . I think maybe I should stay there a bit more just now to assist in my recuperation. Really a great blog thanks Andrew. And to Ella and all for thought provoking responses.

Dee Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:17am

Thank you, just recognising the words waking up sad made me realise I am not the only one, so helpful, I seem to sleep all the time and when awake just fight to stay there using one technique after another, fighting takes what little energy I have. I resist taking more pills but am exhausted, love to you and everyone feeling like this, Dee x

Dee Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:17am

Thank you, just recognising the words waking up sad made me realise I am not the only one, so helpful, I seem to sleep all the time and when awake just fight to stay there using one technique after another, fighting takes what little energy I have. I resist taking more pills but am exhausted, love to you and everyone feeling like this, Dee x

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:06pm

Be as kind to yourself as you can Dee. You ARE worth it.

The Gardener Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:27am

Dear Andrew - the carnage in Nice will not cure depression - but the 'welling up' is a good emotion - all our emotions are heightened today - and your blog underlined - we've all gained from it. And I hope you, like me, will realise that joining the Moodscope 'Club' will give you love, support, advice and just listening to the outpourings of grief, woe, anger, puzzlement and the feeling that you are not longer alone in fighting the 'Black Dog'.And thanks for the 'Candide' quote, TLC being lavished everywhere today. X

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:08pm

:-) Bonne journée!

Dolphin Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:55am

I well up when someone shows me kindness or concern when I am sad....

Your blog was marvellous and the four stages very useful for me to ponder. Hopeful One's advice to look at what triggers phase 1 was a useful addition. So for me, I think it was feeling unloved and unsupported at an early age (as it is for so many of us). So, when I feel overburdened with responsibility, I can wake up sad. And when I see injustice in the world I feel sad.

I'm mostly in phase 3, but I am in a period of transition (death of mother to adjust to, retirement looming faster than I would choose, therefore big financial decisions to make, including where to live). TOO much!! therefore sad...

thanks to all for a marvellous community. xx

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:16pm

I recognise all of this Dolphin - take care and be kind to yourself today! In the words of L'Oreal: Because you're worth it!

Dolphin Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:21pm

ha ha!

the room above the garage Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 11:59am

Perfectly timed! I adore how a blog can pull everybody together, wonderful, I'm hearing John Lennon's Imagine and imagining us all gathering around our table with coffee. Like Rupert, Jul and Andrew, I wake with what I feel is an iron cloak. I tried explaining to the man I was training with how hard I find it by asking him to imagine doing his set wearing a giant's coat. Thank you if this beautiful blog Andrew, I'm a stage three who cha-chas into stage two rather frequently. Great reading and hello everyone. There is more good in the world than evil. Pass it on. Thank you Andrew, love ratg x.

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 12:13pm

Thank you ratg! There IS more good in the world than evil. And more strength in the human spirit than that for which we give it credit. I feel humbled. And reassured. And uncommonly strong today. Thanks in large part to this wonderful MS community.

Laura Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 2:08pm

Hi Andrew -

This piece is beautifully written! You can be proud of it. I think you should write more often.

I am currently in Stage 4, thanks to a treatment here in the U.S. called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). It's non-invasive (unlike ECT) and has little to no side effects. I've been doing well for about six months, which is a miracle to me. I hope you find Stage 4 soon.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us.

Laura

Andrew Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 3:20pm

Thank you Laura - I really appreciate that. I have written another one, and submitted it - and there may be others in the pipeline! Take care

Dee Sun, Jul 17th 2016 @ 10:28am

I have just written a post to you in the hope that the alarmist post that someone wrote is taken for what it is - unhelpful and full of fear. As I said I was helped by ECT and will forever be grateful to it. I hope you remain well.

The Gardener Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 2:46pm

Any treatment like Laura speaks of scares me out of what's left of my wits - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest looms at the slightest thought. There is a guy at the hospital where Mr G goes for respite who is like the huge Indian chap, who eventually suffocates the patient (forgotten name). This guy claims me as a friend, and why not - but he's scary - he's about 6'6" and has a lowering forehead and menacing gaze - no harm in him a bit.

Anonymous Fri, Jul 15th 2016 @ 7:36pm

good post. i wake up most days with midlife crisis questions floating around my head, where am i going, what have i done, i'm not 21 anymore! it makes me sad if i think too long, but i would not say i wake up sad. sometimes i'm lucky and fall asleep again quickly, other times i try and distract myself. the hardest thing to do is take action and make big life changing decisions to try address some of my existential questions!

Dee Sun, Jul 17th 2016 @ 10:22am

Thank you Laura for your post re your treatment, the only thing that brought me round was ECT and I had 11 - nothing to be frightened of, nothing like the feelings I was experiencing which prompted the treatment, I wish you well.

Lesley Sun, Jul 17th 2016 @ 6:32pm

Hi Andrew, well observed. I am a stage 3 to stage 2 like you. Reading David's comments I can remark that I had lots of confidence earlier in life and zoomed ahead until I met people who were bulldozers and I realised that I was sensitive amongst some sharks. Anyway, confidence is an important word but BREATHE is more important for me. GENTLENESS and PERSEVERANCE are also important. Entraining good habits is a process - regularity. Off to finish a task - cleaning. Bah.

Lesley Sun, Jul 17th 2016 @ 6:32pm

Hi Andrew, well observed. I am a stage 3 to stage 2 like you. Reading David's comments I can remark that I had lots of confidence earlier in life and zoomed ahead until I met people who were bulldozers and I realised that I was sensitive amongst some sharks. Anyway, confidence is an important word but BREATHE is more important for me. GENTLENESS and PERSEVERANCE are also important. Entraining good habits is a process - regularity. Off to finish a task - cleaning. Bah.

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