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Who are the mad ones? Monday August 4, 2014

Listening to Chris Martin of Coldplay speak about their latest album he humbly acknowledged how ruthless folk are about them and especially this latest album. Why has their latest album been so rebuked? "Because it (the album) has been so open and some people really don't like that." Yes, there is no doubt, people are afraid of feelings, be it their own or that of others.

Speaking to an older lady just recently, she kept saying, "You've just got to keep busy haven't you? Just got to keep busy." This is a sentence that makes me feel perplexity, sadness and rage all at once. Yes, I know the busier one is, often the happier one is.

Alas, what if health means that you can't always go, go, go? What then? And what's truly painful about these words is that all too often they are aimed at the very people who can't keep busy: the depressed and grieving being at the top of the list. The very ones who have done everything in their power to keep busy. The result? The've run away from feelings for so long they've got sick.

When I gently prodded the lady about this sentence, her words were both telling and heart wrenching. "You have to say that because that is the only thing people want to hear," she admitted. "No one wants to know your pain or feelings lovey, they just want to see you functioning." This was a lady who has just recently lost her adult son; her only child.

I really do treasure a paragraph in Sunbathing in the Rain by Gwyneth Lewis:

It's not the people who get depressed who go mad, it's those who don't. Those who experience its emotional short circuit have a chance to check the wiring throughout the house and prevent the start of a fatal electrical fire."

I know I'm talking to the converted here but if we allow the feelings to um, well, feel, they actually become fluid, like water, and like a river or waterfall, they flow and pass. They then create strength.

Feelings can hurt very, very much but run away from them or treat them unkindly and they get bigger, stronger, and wield more power over us. Look after the feelings, however, and they flow and pass.

Oh how I wish folk who don't understand depression could grasp this! We who are, or who have been, souls accompanied by sadness are ever learning, reading and studying about ourselves, psychology; our emotions. We find beauty in it. We find beauty in feelings. We'll carry this information, this learning, with us for always.

This is not being unhealthily self-focused or a failure to "keep busy". It's studying the very stuff that makes us human. We feel and that's OK!

We're not the mad ones, you are!

Oops, did I say that out loud?

A Moodscope member.

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Theresa NZ Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 6:13am

Thank you thank you thank you Suzy. You have articulated beautifully many of my thoughts. God bless you.

PurpleSuzi Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 6:38am

Beautifully written!
Thank you xx

glad Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 6:50am

thanku suzy! perfect timing! x:)

Nortthen Exciles Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 7:45am

I wish that sometimes people did concentrate on how you were feeling rather than trying to ignore or cover it up. Id never thought it from your perspective suzy.its a very good point

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 8:01am

What an eye opener this has been. Wonderful. Thanks so much.
Yes, we have feelings, and that's good, even the not-so-good ones.

Di Murphey Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 8:18am

Dearest Suzy,
Exactly! I have dear friends who say "Get over it, Di, and move on!" leaving me feeling a bit of shame and a desire to pretend I am fine. I really like the analogy of the fluidity as a river or waterfall. It is so comforting to consider the dark times as serving a constructive purpose. Thank you, from my heart.
Warmest regards,
Di Murphey

Julia Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 8:23am

Agree with everyone above. A wonderful blog Suzy. The number of women I have met over the years whose husbands have died ,many prematurely, who have said I don't want to bore my friends (my friends!!) with how I feel, they don't want to listen to my sorrow! I always think well I want to hear what it's like for you! I want you to talk to me! But at the same time, I think to myself, am I slightly weird, am I the only one who thinks this bereaved lady should be allowed to talk talk talk until she is too exhausted to remember any more about her husband? I suppose this is why Cruise exists so that widows and widowers have somewhere to go and someone to talk to. Anyway your bog says it all Suzy..much better than I ever could.

Trisha Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 9:16am

Thank you Suzy needed to read that. It was my birthday yesterday and I was struggling with connecting with the outside world and just wanted to go inside myself and be at peace. However well meaning family and my mother in particular insisted that I should be happy it is your birthday, I should be out there mixing and you never know I might actually meet Mr Right.
I am now in my mid 50's by the way and the last thing I wanted yesterday today was to go out there and mix. I tortured myself with feelings of being an alien in a world of normal people.
Today and thanks to your blog I have reconfirmed my belief that I am amongst many superior beings who understand the value of introspection!

Les Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 9:18am

A very wise and thought provoking blog, which offers both support and a gentle paradigm shift for those caught up in the 'busyness' of the modern world.

Modern day 'freedom' means that we have to assume radical responsibility for what we are, at every level of our mood-scope.

For me, that means identifying people I trust for some moods, to run things by, to advise or question, my proposed action. I even have someone with Power of Attorney for my darkest times. Only I am responsible for my actions, or who decides on them.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 9:41am

I'd actually go one step further and say that people aren't just terrified by feelings but often it feels like they are repulsed by them. "You'll be ok" "There's always someone worse off" "You ok?" (said as they are backing away from you) Many things are well meant (and true) but if you are depressed or grieving sometimes the only way to get through the feelings is by sitting with sadness, allowing it, FEELING it - preferably with a good therapist!

Who's normal anyway? Not me!

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:37am

Dear Suzy, you have such a beautiful way with words. Funnily enough I wasn't a big Coldplay fan until this latest album; something about Chris Martin's voice when I hear him sing the lyrics to Magic & Sky full of stars.. puts me in touch with the pain I feel still, but mostly bury, about my mum who passed away 6 years ago, about lost love, missed chances.. Ironically, I'm surrounded by people, family, friends, colleagues who will listen to if I need to express my pain, but something Inside stops ME from letting it out, I'M the one who's scared of imposing on people. Your blog reminds me that getting through depression is a two way street; even when I'm suffering I know that if I open up, someone will help me. I just have to be brave enough to take that responsibility. God bless. Katie

Elizabeth Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:40am

Very nice, very beautiful, Suzy. I love so many of your blogs, but this is a especially soothing one for all of us, who have been told not to care about what we feel that much for so many times.
I don´t agree with any feeling of superiority resulting from this "skill" or sensitivity of ours, as a few of the comments sugests. I believe some people are just perfectly happy without great introspection. I even believe, that it is better for some people to ignore some feelings, since dealing with them might be as big and lifelong stress as just forgetting them. People are just different. But for me, for the person I am, there is something very valuable in how I learned to treat my feelings, even the bad ones. And yes, there are still some of them I fear ...
Good luck to everyone reading!

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 11:56am

Wow, I feel I'm in a crowd of like minded people, but that your message today is directed to me. I have woken up with a mood that has plummeted and I'm not sure why. Added to this on getting up I was greeted with two bits of really sad news that is the pain for others not myself. I totally agree with the old lady, I am surrounded by well meaning people who appear to listen but are in fact just going through the polite motions, and I appreciated their efforts as it must be hard to understand something you haven't experienced. So yes facing my depressed mood, my feelings are now producing tears by the bucket load, and I am constantly reading, learning and searching for my answers, which keeps be busy. However it was the thought for today part that hit my like a brick, it says I must go to where I am appreciated, well that's where the problem is because it's my other half and my son, sister etc who don't appreciated me, how do you walk away from your whole family?

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 12:15pm

Dear Suzy
So true, do feel for the lady, she is right nobody wants to listen really even if they say they do. I do get so annoyed with people who say oh! when I get down I just go for a little walk around the block, I feel so much better, it's no good wasting my breath saying my "down" can last weeks, and one little walk round the block doesn't cure me!!!! I have tinnitus and people say oh! I get that "sometimes", I could scream I've had it for 42 years not sometimes, we just have to smile through gritted teeth.
A CPN once said to me when I said oh yes there are people worse than me, (when
feeling very low), yes but that doesn't help you, it did make me think no saying there is always someone worse doesn't help me. Oh! those poor people out there that has so many things wrong I pray for you all to get better.
Thank you Suzy

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 12:21pm

Beautifully written, and timely. I've forwarded it to someone I know who is struggling and trying to pretend it isn't happening in the hope it might help him open up. Thank you x

Mary Blackhurst Hill Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 12:45pm

Fantastic stuff Suzy: incredibly moving and just so pertinant to all of us. Thank you so much.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 4:59pm

The heartfelt fluidity of your writing is as engaging as ever Suzy. Thank you O Wise One :-)

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 5:46pm

Suzy, you are wonderful! I just wanted to say that, because that is so how i myself feel! The thing about going mad/ not going mad rang a HUGE bell as I have known people who were not allowed to feel the pain of their feelings. It drove them to insanity. All of us can reach out to show empathy if only we allow others ownership of their own feelings, and trust them when they tell us they are low. Acceptance and kindness to our fellow men is the way forward i believe.

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 6:19pm

You are so right Suzy. It is we who dig to the depths of our minds & souls who are the strong one. To simply stay busy is addictive behavior serving to avoid the discomfort that brings the growth. It isn't only depressipn or any mental
illness from which we need to rest & recuperate. Rest from business keeps us mentally, spiritually, & physically strong. The next time your lonely, grieving friend offers that advice, know she is suffering. What people need is another person to listen to them.
Pittsburgh PA

Anonymous Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 8:49pm

I have just joined Moodscope on the advice of my doctor, so not quite sure what I am doing!! I have been suffering with bad anxiety attacks and i'm trying to work out if this website is for me..... Thanks for taking the time to read....

Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:05pm

Oh you lovely, generous people you, taking the time to comment.

I've been without internet access for much of the day (I was secretly glad because my fear of checking any comments for any blog post I write is huge at times. I dread causing anything other than comfort or encouragement and I do so fear being misunderstood. Always. Something I'm working at) and have just checked my emails to find a mail from a friend saying, 'Suzy, don't be frightened to check the comments today.' Ahhhhh

It's been quite a grueling day this end and I do apologise for not replying to you all but please know I appreciate each and every one of your thoughts.

May your dreams be sweet and fluffy, like candy floss clouds. ;o)


Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:14pm

I'm very impressed by your doctor Anon of 8.49pm. He/she IS on the ball! I think you will find measuring your mood daily to be invaluable in helping your mental/emotional wellbeing. It takes time for good habits to form and it maybe a bit of struggle remembering and making the time to do it but I think you will find it very helpful. Many 1000's have. I hope you navigate your way around. You'll get there. ;o) And there is always help at hand if you are a struggling.

Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:16pm

Kindness is always the way forward eh Anon 5.46pm? I'm right with you there. Thank you. ;o)

Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:18pm

Oh to be wise! I fall very short on the one Anon 4.59, but thank you! You made me smile.

Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:34pm

Ahh Anon 11.56. My heart did melt when I read your comment. To not feel truly appreciated or "seen" can be soul destroying thing. I'm no Agony Aunt and have no easy answers but I can say that understanding ourselves and empowering ourselves with as as much information as possible about any health issue we are faced with will always serve us well. It helps us understand others a good deal too, I feel. The book Please Understand Me by David Keirsey is phenomenal for this.

Also, you said, 'I have woken up with a mood that has plummeted and I'm not sure why.' The beastly "why?" can be so counterproductive can't it? There have been blog posts written about this on this very site. Here is one that I can pluck out of the hat quickly...

I send you hearty greetings 11.56am. Thank you for taking the time to comment today and please be gentle with you.

Suzy x x x

Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:46pm

Do you know Elizabeth whenever i write about feelings or sensitivity, I do always, always fret that some folk may think I'm somehow saying it's a superior trait/way to be. Nope. I totally agree that we are all indeed just different. If everyone were like me, for example, well, it really wouldn't be good. Jittery, over-analysing, sleep indebted, anxiety ridden,.....


Suzy Mon, Aug 4th 2014 @ 10:56pm

It's an amazing album isn't it Kate?! I love all the wonderful bits and bobs going on (not very professionally phrased that!) in every song that you can easily miss if not giving the music the due attention it needs! ;o) Always on my Mind reminds me of my dad (a huge Coldplay fan) who also died 6 years ago. I heart you Kate.

Your words remind me of a phrase I once heard: Each man knows where his own shoe pinches. In other words, no one will know if our shoe is pinching unless we tell them, will they? People can't read our minds eh?

Ahh, You're half way there m'lday. You know you can open up, you just have pluck up the courage to do so. Grrr, that's a challenge. I know!

But I've a feeling that you definitely will!

Jeanette Beardow Sun, Aug 17th 2014 @ 8:51am

Hi Susy,

Ahh that words feelings, feelings are emotions that have been suppressed by our selves for one reason or another. These emotions need a release before they become toxic to us. Many want to run away from our feelings, thoughts, our own little world but yet we can't... Even if we ran away the problems would still be there.
There is a reason why we are depressed, a reason for everything, its difficult to always keep busy, especially if depression isn't your only problem.
I can't run from mine as it will still be with me, if only I could. My mother often says you just have to get on with life, and to keep busy. Still its difficult when one you don't have the energy most of the days , two when pain and fatigue just plagues you on the spot. Its just like someone putting a blanket over your head with magic sleeping dust with it.
My son also suffers from depression but if you knew his life style you would see why he is depressed. He plays on his PSP 24/7 he only moves to feed and to go to the toilet . He says his game console is a way of an escape, you can only escape for so long then you have to come back to reality at some point. To him that's sleeping more.
I really don't see how playing games can help your depression?, look at how your leading your life and then attempt to adjust it.
There is a reason for your depression like everything, there's a reason for everything.

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