What is your “happy hat”?

17 Jun 2021
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Last week while I was volunteering at the local charity shop, I put on a sailors/captain’s hat and wore it all day. I noticed that after a while I forgot I had it on, but other volunteers and customers would comment by smiling, saying Hello sailor, Captain my Captain, Ships ahoy, Anchors away and other comments.

It was interesting that I felt no different but everyone seeing me only saw the hat.

A woman who has quite a prominent birthmark on her face, who I met says she has forgotten about it until  people stare or ask her about it.

A neighbour who has no left arm due to a car accident many decades ago often forgets that people seeing that she has no left arm may be shocked, but it is normal for her. She does not like, when she is out shopping, and she wants to buy something, and people stare and ask so many questions that it can be hard for her to shop.

With a mental illness; it can be the opposite because we may be struggling but have on our smiley happy face, so people only see that and are unaware of the turmoil underneath.

Sometimes when I am feeling low people say how well I look as I try hard not to show my real feelings. Other times when I feel OK people say I look so tired.

I wonder what metaphorical hat do you wear that others notice while ignoring the real you? How do you cope, or does it not bother you? Are you aware of other people’s hats or masks (not covid)?

Leah

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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Comments

Bubble

June 18, 2021, midnight

All I can add is that people sometimes say things for the sake of saying them when they have little else to say. A familiar one with me is “you need to eat more, or I won’t be able to see you”. You may have been disappointed if nobody had mentioned your happy hat!

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:27 a.m.

Thanks Bubble, The thing is I forgot I had a hat on until someone commented on it.

Little Lighthouse

June 18, 2021, 5:13 a.m.

I'm not aware how others feel when I'm curious about something, sorry its just the way I'm made. But worry quite a lot about what I wear so don't displease my dad. But the sales assistant informed me people don't look at your feet when you walk along I wanted to challenge her but decided to accept that little nugget for my treasure chest. When I do wear hats to cope people don't usually comment and my daughter does really worry as that is a sign I'm totally off my head. But I love them. Sorry I see in writing.

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:29 a.m.

Little house, I have heard that no o w looks at your feet and I disagree and have a blog I will write about it one day,

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 8:52 a.m.

LL, people USED to look at my feet - mainly at the height of my heels. I was once asked if I was a dancer, I walked so well. Perplexed, but I think riding horses gave one good posture, and as all the men in my life were a foot taller than I it was necesary to stand up straight and wear high heels! How I miss them.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:07 a.m.

TG A dancer on heels is an image.

Little Lighthouse

June 19, 2021, 5:12 p.m.

Whatever it takes to makes us happy. Go get them. My eyes are down it's where you find good fortune.

Leah

June 20, 2021, 5:16 a.m.

Thanks LL

Sally

June 18, 2021, 5:26 a.m.

Great blog, Leah. I like your examples. My mother would've approved of the sailor's hat, she'd been a WREN ( during the war) and was always using naval expressions in her speech. Once she bought the grandchildren,then 6,4 and 2, matching sailor's outfits. I become the joker, tears of the clown and all that. People assume I'm in good form. But underneath I'm hurting. I think it's quite a common one to do?

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:31 a.m.

Yes we make jokes and look at famous comedians who suffered from depression. People used to say you are funny how can you be depressed.

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 8:55 a.m.

Sally, my second year in grammar school (1946!) a new, with-it headmistress arrived. Away with gym-slips, and the pudding-basin hat was replaced by a sailor type design. We loathed that as well, of course. My sons are utterly ashamed of any photos of them in school caps.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:10 a.m.

My sons are ashamed they were every children.

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 2:15 p.m.

I’m sure that can’t be true Leah. I think we can easily focus on the bad times. Which many must have had. Us, our parents, our children. For me there were good times, I just seem to focus on the bad bits.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:24 p.m.

Bubble maybe ashamed is too strong but to be reminded they were ever not fully functioning adults seems to annoy them. They don’t like me telling stories when they were young not embarrassing ones but happy ones ,

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 10:48 p.m.

Interesting. I think boys will be boys. My brother hates talking about the past.

Leah

June 19, 2021, 1:42 a.m.

I think some people don’t like to be reminded thst they were once a child.

Daisy

June 18, 2021, 5:38 a.m.

Hi Leah- sometimes people misjudge me based on being quiet and softly spoken and speak slowly. So maybe not a hat I am wearing but my voice and demeanour. Some people really can wear a hat very well my sister bought a very wide brimmed hat for a wedding and looked fantastic like a film star. Others would have looked awkward in it. Take care

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:33 a.m.

Daisy yes we make assumptions about people’s demeanours and voice.

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 8:58 a.m.

Hi Daisy and Leah. My husband said, and I think it applies to most people with depression, that the voice is a real guidance. He knew, if I spoke on phone or personally, that there was no 'life' in my voice, but behaviour was 'normal' (on the surface).

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:16 a.m.

TG Yes the voice is an indicator.

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 2:22 p.m.

I’m quietly spoken too. It’s hard because I think I’m not being heard and if I’m around partially deaf people I find it such an effort to speak loudly.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:17 p.m.

Bubble I am around elderly people who don’t think they have a hearing problem so I have to nearly shout and it is exhausting to have to repeat every second word. I know it must be hard fir people with. Hearing problem too especially in crowds .

Pegoir

June 18, 2021, 5:40 a.m.

Good blog Leah. My happy hat is having my hair neatly in place, make up on, then turn on the smiles and jokes that everyone expects from me. Inside I feel so low and the tears often flow without warning, but because I appear so “together” there can’t possibly be a problem…..can there???? ***

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:35 a.m.

Pegoir thanks. I have heard people do that , look so well and smiling, so how can they be sad.

Oli

June 18, 2021, 6:10 a.m.

I’m usually as open as I can be Leah. There are exceptions, for example playing a lively gig you’ll definitely see a bigger, louder version of me which is all smiles and looks like I get on well with the singer. And there’s a therapy version of me which always has to have a layer of perspective and assessment, although it’s still as true to me as I can be. But your other point which has been commented on a few times already is really valid: people say stuff just to hear noise coming out of their mouth. They don’t think. I shouldn’t judge; I’m sure I’ve been guilty of it too. For example, my name, Oliver, used to compel a certain sort of person to sing a line from a once-famous musical. My friend Maria had a similar problem with unasked for serenades. My solicitor shares the name of someone very famous; I’ve not gone there, I already know he doesn’t want to be reminded of it. People see what they think they see and speak. I’m grateful this place exists you know. Thanks Leah.

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:37 a.m.

Oli, I can imagine as a performer you would appear larger than life. I too am grateful to have a place I can be myself and not be judged.

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 9:02 a.m.

A d-in-law wanted to call her son 'Paris'. She was dissuaded - he's not a bad looking bloke at all, but imagine, at school, what any classical scholars would have done to him in the way of teasing

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:12 a.m.

Paris and Jordan are now popular girls names or they were a few years ago.

Patty

June 18, 2021, 1:53 p.m.

I wish I could see you perform Oli. Do you have anything on youtube?

Sally

June 18, 2021, 7:01 p.m.

When I moved up here, the North West, people were always singing Gracie Field’s Sally, Sally, Pride of our Alley..” at me! It gets a bit tedious, after a bit.....

Oli

June 18, 2021, 7:05 p.m.

I thought we had some stuff from just before lockdown but I can't find it. Try a minute of this. I'm playing the guitar (not the bass) on the Left of the screen and yoiu can hear me doing the backing vocals: https://youtu.be/2Xcpe1clYd4

Oli

June 18, 2021, 7:13 p.m.

Or just strumming on an acoustic as lockdown started... https://youtu.be/CxgPxtj6W8Q

Caroline Ashcroft Moodscope

June 18, 2021, 7:44 p.m.

Great stuff Oli!

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:20 p.m.

Thanks for link Oli.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:31 p.m.

Sally and Oli I wish there was a song with Leah in it. There is one by Roy Orbison but it is not that well known and sad and the Leah is nit a nice person.

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 9:40 p.m.

Le-Leah, Leah! Le-Leah, Leah! Here I go, From the hut to the boat, to the sea For Leah. Ah-hah, I gotta go diving in the bay, Gotta get a lot of oysters, find some pearls today, To make a pretty necklace for Leah, Le-e-ah. I've gotta go deep and find the ones just right, I'll bet my Leah'll be surprised tonight. I'll place the pearls around the only girl for me, Le-e-ah. But something's wrong, I cannot move around, My leg is caught, it's pulling me down, But I'll keep my hand shut tight, for if they find me, They'll find the pearl for Leah.

Leah

June 19, 2021, 4:56 a.m.

Thanks bubble, I knew Leah was mean and cruel and greedy. !,

Liz

June 18, 2021, 6:12 a.m.

I don't have a happy hat unfortunately, I really need to try and work on that.. I just try to avoid people if I can because they can usually figure out I'm not feeling happy..

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:38 a.m.

Liz, yes I have tried avoidance too.Thanks for comments.

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 2:36 p.m.

I can appear in a good mood when I’m not. Maybe it’s the manic side of me. When I’m quiet, it usually means I’m ok and just making the most of it but then others think there is something wrong.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:22 p.m.

Bubble it is interesting thst when I am quiet people Wonder if I am ok. It is as if we are not chatty we must be unwell. W hen I was very depressed I was more catatonic than quiet. As soon as a person comments on how quiet I am it makes sure I won’t say another word. Thanks for comment

Orangeblossom

June 18, 2021, 6:45 a.m.

Hi Leah thanks for your blog which made me start thinking. Yesterday I bought a floppy, crochet cream hat at a charity shop I had seen it two days previously. I had dithered about buying it & was delighted it was still on sale. I was outside, at a real live committee meeting which previously we had held on zoom. I was complimented on my sensible precaution. When I came back home my OH, who doesn’t really like hats, fell about laughing. Slightly disconcerting but it had kept the sun off my head. I don’t always read people accurately.

Reply

Dragonfly

June 18, 2021, 7:14 a.m.

I'm sad to read this OB. It's taken me until quite later on in life to feel confident wearing a hat of any sort - just for practical reasons, a sun-hat etc. I'd feel quite crushed if someone laughed at me in such a way. I hope you continue to wear your floppy, crochet cream hat x

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:39 a.m.

OB, If you like the hat wear it with pride.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 7:40 a.m.

Rainbow I agree that OB wear her par with pride.

Dido

June 18, 2021, 8:25 a.m.

great to hear you are wearing your hat OB. wish the OH kept his thoughts to himself. Have you ever seen a meeting of the redhat club? I came across them in a cafe with gorgeous red titfers of alsorts. I love my hats! I have one when I travel in my van that I put on when I want to remind myself I'm ok.x

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 9:06 a.m.

There was a saying, never hear it now, 'MY hat'. Also, an advert, soon after the war 'If you want to get ahead, get a hat'. Think it was aimed at men, the official 'bowler' had given way to the more fashionable 'trilby'. Photo of my Pa, good looking, very dashing under a wide-brimmed trilby.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:20 a.m.

Dido, I would like to see your hat.

Dido

June 18, 2021, 2:02 p.m.

It's a green trilby with a button broach made by a friend. :D

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:19 p.m.

Dido sounds great.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:26 p.m.

Yes dido I know the red hat club I think they are a charity.

Susannah

June 18, 2021, 8:09 a.m.

Interesting blog, Leah. Thank you. I was walking with a friend the other day. We often have quite personal conversations. I was telling her how, on reading Philippa Perry's book 'The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did)' I realised why I am so needy and clingy (not good traits, but if I can't share them here, where can I?). I have strategies for dealing with it when my partner is away. My friend was so surprised. She thinks of me as the most confident person she knows. I guess that she doesn't see the 'wrong' side of me, as that is tucked away in a private place.

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:26 a.m.

Susannah, Thanks for your comment. That book sounds interesting I may look at to help with grandchildren. Thanks for your honesty.

Teg

June 18, 2021, 8:11 a.m.

Hi Leah I think you make some valid points. Sometimes it is difficult to see that someone is a mental health sufferer. It happened to me on the bowling green on Tuesday. We are all early learners so we don't know each other. One chap mentioned he had been very depressed and we immediately connected. If he had not said I would never have known. Like a lot of people I smile a lot on meeting and am soon looking for an opportunity to make an amusing quip. It can hide a lot of mental anguish. Moodscope helps!

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:31 a.m.

Teg Thanks for your comment. Yes smi,e can help and hide.

Lex

June 18, 2021, 8:21 a.m.

This is encouragingly 'spooky', Leah, as I'm just writing about Thinking Hats for Monday! I love it when there is a theme developing. Thanks for your blog.

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:36 a.m.

Is that the Edward de Bono ‘s thinking hats.. or Lex’s thinking hats .?

Dido

June 18, 2021, 8:28 a.m.

I wear bright clothes usually when I feel bright and breezy, sometimes when I am down and sad. I helps when some one says they like the material and I feel brighter. My brother said I was looking smarter than usual a couple of days ago, I was in bright orange, Candy stripes today

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

Dido, I avoid bright colours when I feel down and I don’t want attention. Thanks for your comment

Dragonfly

June 18, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

I'm the same Leah. When really down I feel less confident than ever and don't want anything to draw attention to me. I think like others here, in the past I've smiled when I've actually been dying inside, so people have been surprised to learn of my depression. I no longer do that so much. Thanks for another great blog.

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 2:50 p.m.

I had a grey top on the other day and my friend said, are you ok, you are looking a bit pale. Next time I saw him I had a red top on. “Oh you look much better than last time I saw you”. I swear it was the colours of my clothes! Motto of the story, don’t wear grey!

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:18 p.m.

Rainbow , I find it hard to smile anyway as people mistake my resting face for a frown. I wrote a blog about Please smile. Thanks for your comment.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:27 p.m.

Thanks Bubble. That is a blog there how the colour of our clothes affects how we see ourselves and others see us.

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 9:12 a.m.

Leah, I could write pages about my hats, love them. For second son's wedding came downstairs, black and white outfit, wide-brimmed hat, son-in-law 'Joan Collins', still don't know if it was a compliment or an insult. That hat must have had 10 re-incarnations. It had a red satin ribbon, and a beautiful Indian ornament in the centre. ~At a smart Paris wedding official photographer said 'I collect modern hats, may I have a phot for my collection!' Modern?> 10 years old, then. Greetings from Adelaide this morning, it is raining and they do not have mice. A lovely city. xx

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:38 a.m.

I am sure you have an amazing hat collection metaphoric and teal.

The Gardener

June 18, 2021, 9:19 a.m.

Leah, the main point of your blog - however hard you try you are mesmerised by people with handicapped - no intention of being rude, but eyes seem drawn to it. Usually, it is amazement and admiration at the amazing things people cope with. Those in public eye suffer because cartoonists are always looking for some feature to make them stand out. Dennis Healey (who he? Ed) had crazy eyebrows. They made Mrs Thatcher's nose look like Concorde. The Duke of York's daughters wear the most awful creations, probably cost hundreds of pounds.

Reply

Leah

June 18, 2021, 9:40 a.m.

I think my lint was that we sometimes just see the exterior and not the person. Thanks for your comment.

Tutti Frutti

June 18, 2021, 6:15 p.m.

Hi Leah When I was younger I used to wear high heels and make up for client meetings as it made me feel that I might be perceived better and that made me more confident. Now I still may not be very confident with clients but I can't be bothered with makeup and high heels are too uncomfortable to contemplate. Love TF x

Reply

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 7:25 p.m.

Oh high heels, I think you know you are getting old when you can’t wear them anymore. I’ve kept a couple of pairs but I think they are going into charity soon. Sad but realistically I’m never going to wear them again.

Leah

June 18, 2021, 8:29 p.m.

TF I only had a pair of heels ones, lovely long leather boot. I fell down the stairs at age 16 when wearing them for first time and sprained one ankle and badly bruised the other. That was end of heels for me!!!

Bubble

June 18, 2021, 10:44 p.m.

Oh *** that was unlucky !

Leah

June 19, 2021, 1:47 a.m.

No I am clumsy and was running down the stairs. Plus my mum told me they were too high and I would hurt myself. My pride was hurt more than my ankles.

David Gosling

June 20, 2021, 7:04 a.m.

Hello Leah, A very late comment but reminds me of the saying where ever I lay my hat is my home. David Gosling

Reply

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