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July


Wellness. Thursday July 7, 2016

"Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When "I" is replaced by "We", illness becomes wellness." Shannon Alder.

I only found this quotation recently. It just made so much sense and was so simple. Maybe many Moodscopers have read this before but the simple message deserves to be repeated.

For me it was not others giving on up on me, it was me giving up on me as I felt I was so isolated so alone that no one understood that no one cared that no one got me. I never felt part of a 'we' even though I knew there were people who loved me and cared for me.

The other thing that the quote is telling me, is to ask for help, ask to be part of that 'we'. Often when I was sick I did not know that I needed assistance or I had no idea what sort of help I needed.

Often we want to help people but we don't know what they need or how we can do something practical and beneficial.

Years ago when my children were small, and I was very low, a friend arrived on my doorstep with a homemade casserole. She told me she had no idea what I was going through but she thought a home cooked meal would be useful. She was so right. I felt so cared for and I knew I could feed my family that night without worrying about what I was going to cook.

I think as a community if we can focus on the wellness and the part we can play in being there for some one who is not well, it could make such a difference. It could transform a quotation into something practical.

I know that is not that simple and if you are having a rough time you may think I don't realise how complex things can be.

What can you do to help yourself or others go from illness to wellness?

Maybe you disagree with the quotation-why?

Do you find it hard to ask for help or offer help?

Leah
A Moodscope member

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


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Comments

DAVID HAMILTON Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 7:10am

Hi Leah,

Haven't heard that one before, but so appropriate, to life generally.
Reaching out to others is exactly how I remain well, no meds for 4 years, but never think that I'm Bipolar free. Always the optimist in preparation for it to rear its ugly head once more.

Helping others is a sure method to keeping well, 'loosing yourself' in the service of others.

But think this one, carry on helping those who're ill. BUT in addition, seek out someone who is WELL...Why because to associate with those who have good health, but have other practical problems, will get you closer to the 'we' because they will discuss their needs other than depression which sometimes, if not careful we can become 'weary in well doing'. ! !

In associating with those 'normal' people dare I say....we will find new interests in occupying our minds and getting off the 'Groove' more often....This will give personal confidence, a place where metaphorically you'll find yourself on 'higher ground' and STRONG enough to lift others, with depression to your platform, and not be returned to that depressing groove so often.

God Bless

Dave.

Belinda Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 7:32am

Hi Dave, I so agree. I wish I could get off the medication I take, but the risks are greater than the benefits at the moment. God Bless Belinda

Lesley Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:07am

I agree that we need to help others but focus on the "normal" people and establishing relationships and activities with them. Keeping busy and being around good energy is key.

Lesley Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:07am

I agree that we need to help others but focus on the "normal" people and establishing relationships and activities with them. Keeping busy and being around good energy is key.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:39am

Thanks Dave for your comment full of wisdom and helpful advice.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:41am

Belinda, I am on medication probably for life and I accept that. I dont see it as a problem as we are all different and being medication free has never worked for me. All the best.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:42am

Lesley , I think being around well people can help but of course some people who appear as healthy really are not underneath.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 3:42pm

And of course, medication or no medication is not the point, it is being able to function and to live a full life. Dave, it's brilliant you are where you are and as you say, being optimistic but also being prepared. And yes - mixing with everyone without shame and without being shamed. Nobody is normal because there is no normal!

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 3:42pm

And of course, medication or no medication is not the point, it is being able to function and to live a full life. Dave, it's brilliant you are where you are and as you say, being optimistic but also being prepared. And yes - mixing with everyone without shame and without being shamed. Nobody is normal because there is no normal!

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:58pm

Mary, As I said before we are all different with different needs and must work out what works for us without comparing ourselves with others. Thanks for your reply.

Holly Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 9:16am

I really needed this right now, thank you. Am not feeling too good at the moment, and wanted to give up on myself. But I might give my counsellor a call instead.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:45am

Holly, I am glad the blog helped but sorry you are not feeling too god. I think giving the counsellor a call is a great idea. Let us know how you are going. Sending you hugs.

Jul Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 9:47am

Hi Leah. I find it almost impossible to ask for help which is why I find Moodscope so very helpful. Help here is freely given by people who understand totally and just get it. So I know that if I asked for help from Moodscope, it would come in balefuls and it would all strike a chord with me. However I don't need to ask for help on this forum as it arrives in different guises each and every day. Just opening the blog each day relaxes me. I am happy to give help though. I think I should be better at asking for help from my family however. Jul xx

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:47am

Jul, Thanks for your thoughtful comment.It is hard to ask for help but as you say the blogs and comments are full of helpful advice.

Lesley Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:14am

Leah, great blog. Practical help is some of the best help there is. It speaks volumes and allows the ill person not to rest more. I got myself into a situation where I felt very isolated but didn't manage to ask for concrete steps as help (I was in another country) to get a job and bring routine into my life. My pride stopped me and my fear of the return of pain stopped me. Much of my depression manifests itself as physical pain. I am ashamed to say that my pride stopped me. Doh!
Just finished reading an excellent book about our love needs - The 5 languages of love.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:49am

Lesley, Thanks for your honest and interesting comment. At least you recognise that you find it hard to ask for help thats a start. I am glad that book has helped you.

Lesley Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:15am

Leah, great blog. Practical help is some of the best help there is. It speaks volumes and allows the ill person not to rest more. I got myself into a situation where I felt very isolated but didn't manage to ask for concrete steps as help (I was in another country) to get a job and bring routine into my life. My pride stopped me and my fear of the return of pain stopped me. Much of my depression manifests itself as physical pain. I am ashamed to say that my pride stopped me. Doh!
Just finished reading an excellent book about our love needs - The 5 languages of love.

Orangeblossom Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 2:09pm

Hi Leah, thanks, this is great. Thanks very much for the quote & suggestions.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:21pm

Orangeblossom, Thanks for your kind words.

Maria Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 3:38pm

Wonderful blog Leah! I get joy out of helping others but find it very hard to ask for help for myself. A recent accident, which has me house-bound for twelve weeks, changed that. I knew that I would probably sink into depression due to isolation so I actually reached out to some friends and asked them to visit me. This was a huge step for me! It has been instrumental at keeping the black dog at bay, and I strongly urge others to ask for help in their time of need. It can be difficult to do so but it can make a world of difference.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:20pm

Maria Thanks for your reply. I am glad you were able to ask for help but sorry about the accident. Thanks for sharing your story.

Mary Wednesday Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 3:45pm

A good point. I too am lousy at asking for help, although just recently I have become better. When in the grips of depression I just want to hide away from eveyone and it takes a real effort of will to reach out. But at least I can now way, when I reach out, "Please, just hold my hand. Stay with me. Don't try to pull me out, don't try to cheer me up; don't try to make me feel better. Just stay with me. That will help so much."

Tutti Frutti Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 6:29pm

Leah Liked the blog and i agree that supporting others is a great thing for us to be focussing on. Like various others who have commented I also find asking for help difficult - even to the extent of putting off trying to strange baby sitters who I am going to pay! I am currently stressing about having to find someone to look after our gerbils when we go away next month, particularly as one of them is now rather old and doddery. I also find it very difficult to refuse to do things if I am asked - eg I didn't manage a flat refusal to cover a stint on the church coffee rota despite having a bad wrist (though my husband has now volunteered to step in and do it for me). I think my difficulty asking for help and difficulty refusing to help when I don't want to are probably linked. I tend to imagine that if I ask someone to help me and they can't for some reason then I will be making them feel really bad about it. Pretty sure this is seriously squiffy logic! Love TF x

Tutti Frutti Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 6:30pm

Should say "arrange baby sitters" ;)

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 7:07pm

TF...can't help with ageing gerbils as I have a doggit who would have them as a snack...but do hope you find a home soon! If your logic is squiiffy think most of us are the same...and not a squiffy gin and tonic in sight!! Bear x

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:00pm

Mary, Thta is great that you know what you need. I think that please just hold may hand... is a good way of asking for the help you need.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:05pm

TF Thanks for your detailed reply which is relatable. Asking for help and difficulty in saying no to thers who need help is a dilemma for many. Not sure what squiffy means but guessing it may mean odd! Hope you have a nice holiday next month.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:06pm

Bear, Always good to see your name. Squiffy, doggit , gerbils, this Aussie sheila needs a dictionary or a translator!! Cheers

Sheena Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 5:29pm

Thanks Leah - I'd never hear the Illness Wellness quote before. I do agree though that feeling alone is exhausting. It is only with hindsight that I can understand just how much I only really relied on myself when young. Being surrounded by peers is not the same as being part of a community. Feeling always respnsible is too much! Sheena x

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:08pm

Thanks Sheena, I like this sentence"being surrounded by peers is not the same as being part of a community". Feeling lawyas responsible is too much thats why we need that caring community.

Sheena Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 5:29pm

Thanks Leah - I'd never hear the Illness Wellness quote before. I do agree though that feeling alone is exhausting. It is only with hindsight that I can understand just how much I only really relied on myself when young. Being surrounded by peers is not the same as being part of a community. Feeling always respnsible is too much! Sheena x

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:09pm

Sheena, Do you find it easier to rely on people now or is it still difficult?

Sheena Fri, Jul 8th 2016 @ 8:17am

I am still very independent! However, feel loved by husband, children - the family we've grown rather than the one I came from. So I guess I now feel there are people I could rely on. Mostly I now enjoy being allowed to be me. Thanks Leah - You make me think!

Sheena Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 5:29pm

sorry - duplicated :(

The Gardener Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 6:42pm

The exhausting of the endless nagging is lifting after a week off - resume my responsibility for Mr G tomorrow. Have to make huge efforts at organisation - because, yes, I do feel well - loads to do and doing it well - taking care of myself - sunshine good for everybody. 'Never give up on mental illness'. But Alzheimers? Can one try? Mr G, visited by one of the nuns when I was in UK, knew I was away, was not resentful, and said I needed a break. Most cheering, because he had been totally self-obsessed and could not be persuaded to take notice of anybody's troubles. When the MP was killed he was upset - for the fact that the news worried him, not a thought for the husband and children. So, we shall see!!

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 7:05pm

Ah dear TG....I don't think you have it in you to give up on anything, let alone giving up on Alzheimer's and Mr. TG!!! Just remember to be kind to yourself as well as him!! Bear x

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:13pm

Gardener, I am glad you had a nice time away. That is good that Mr G realised you need a break. I hope your shop was all right- good thing the nuns were on the ball. I think thq quotations means as a society we should not give up on Allzheimer's and the carers. Take care xx

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:14pm

Bear, I always appreciate your caring and thoughtful comments to others .

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 7:03pm

Hi Leah...great blog to get us all thinking. A great quote which I may have read here a long time back but had forgotten....being that sort of a Bear!!

I find it really, really hard to ask for help. Often when I have asked, the help is given but if it's family, it often comes with strings attached making me feel guilty!!

I cannot help wanting to help others. At the hairdresser today (having ears lowered and sparkly bits coloured in...no greys here thank you very much!) a dear old lady was worrying about going into hospital next week as she will need someone to walk her dogs. I said I would come and help each day, but then I found out she lives too far away and I have no transport at the moment...so felt sad for her and sad for not being able to help her - so frustrating!!!!
Bear hugs x

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:16pm

Bear, Thanks for your reply. I think when help is offered but because of the conditions it sometimes feels like we would be better off with out it. Like you I often wnat to help others but find I can't then I feel guilty, but thats another story.

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:22pm

PS Sparkly but no greys- what is your secret- you must be so very young!!

The Gardener Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 10:25pm

Thanks bear - last evening of my 'holiday' was incredible. Friends's husband also in hospital - let's have dinner'. We did, in the sun. Went home for coffee - hear a noise - fantastic son and lumiere on the Mairie building. Decided it was bed-time - but some enterprising individual has started up the equivalent of a Bond Street gallery in a disused shop - loads artists around here because of the Mont St Michel. Then - piece de resistance - France beat Germany - so everybody is roaring round town hooting. A definite high! All friends more aware of my need for TLC - my garden will be open to public week-ends as well - meet more people - and so to bed - thanks Pepys. (and not peeps - a RATG saying?)

Leah Thu, Jul 7th 2016 @ 11:18pm

Gardener, Your last evening sounded wonderful. I always enjoy your stories. Will be thinking of you when you go back home but hopefully that short break will help a little.

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