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Why I'm comfortable with 0%. Saturday October 15, 2016

When I began using Moodscope, back in 2012, I used it daily and diligently; I read the Post every day and, every day, I carefully and as honestly as I could, completed the Test. I annotated my results too. It created a sort of diary for me; a way of expressing for me my most troubled thoughts and my most vicious feelings. Reading them back, I am slightly shocked with how violent I felt then. There is no doubt in my mind, that Moodscope allowed me to a safe place to process my thoughts and off-load my terrors.

I cannot imagine I would even be here, had I not had that safety valve.

That particular crisis passed; as I have learned in my long enough life (I am 62) that most things do pass; if you can wait that long.

My need to off-load my agony reduced and I stopped taking the Test so regularly. Why did it tail off? The reasons are surprising, I think. I was shocked when my score showed anything above 50%. The highest score I achieved – 71% - was over 3 years ago. And I stopped taking the Test on that day. So high a score could not be "me". To be "me" I had to score consistently under 20%.

In these recent months, perhaps the last 18 months or so, I have occasionally done the Test. And have been approving of the result; a consistent 0%. I approve of this result; 0% is how I feel I am most of the time, inside.

To the outside world, I present a very different face; I am told I "glow with happiness"; that I have an "aura of joy"; my smile "lights up the world". People tell me I am a most nurturing and loving person, one of the most capable, consistent people they have ever met; that my "can do" approach leaves them reeling in awe. One person told me that in moving to this place, I had become one of the village's most important assets.

Which just goes to show that our private thoughts and our public personas can be poles apart.

And that both are equally valid.

So, that is how I use Moodscope, as a safety valve so my social face is on show most of the time... do you have a comfortable score?

A Moodscope member.

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

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Melanie Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 6:35am

Wow Christine thank you so much for your blog. It so speaks to me as I am so struck as to this difference between your outside persona and how you feel internally. I have a strong outside persona to some extent but it is very porous too - I am very easily moved to tears and often (from my point of view) have tears at inappropriate times and situations - I often feel out of control and embarrassed when these come. The other your blog speaks to me is regarding your identifying with this 0% self - I have felt the sadness IS me at times and gradually am coming to see - no I HAVE this sadness at times - it is not me or at least not the whole of or real me. Recently I have been following a training programme to become a coach (with Katherine Woodward Thomas) and have learned to distinguish a more adult grounded self and inner (wounded) child self or another way to put this - I have distinguished the part of me that is loving me and the part of me that is feeling. The first part can interview the second part - it is sometimes called inner child work. It has helped a lot. Even more recently I have been reading Teal Swan's 2016 book - The Completion Process where I am able to follow a process to heal (literally heal) and rewrite traumatic childhood experiences - I am hoping that my sadness will be reintegrated and not come out in inappropriate times and situations and also that I will be able to help others too. Thank you for your inspiration and my very best wishes to you.

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 1:34pm

Dear Melanie, thank you for taking the time and making an effort to respond to my Blog. I have tried to explain what is appropriate for me; and I too am very easily moved to tears.....trying to hide the tears is too hard, so I just cry, I no longer care if others feel it appropriate or not. I'm glad to hear you have found your own coping strategy; the book I would recommend to help you understand yourself a little more, is "THE SPIRITS ARE ALWAYS WITH ME" by JANE SHUTT....but you are the one who understands herself better than anyone; not me, not a book, not anyone else. knowing yourself and knowing how to care for you is the key to our own emotional well-being. My best wishes to you, too. xx

Sally Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 6:51am

Amazing, Christine, and very revealing. I am fairly stunned that you manage to "act" so well in public but not that people describe you as they do. You sound an amazing person actually.
And a little sad for you, too. But I know that we don't always know what another person is feeling and do a lot of assuming about their mood.
Do you think you could get help to feel more positive about yourself? For instance, to get such a low score, you must be choosing 3 on ,say, guilt , and , perhaps distress . Which is to me excruciatingly painful.
Do you know why you "berate" yourself so forcefully ? Can you not feel good about yourself? For instance, to have written and published on Moodscope such a good piece, would you not put a 3 for Proud? I would!! But of course, that's the thing, isn't it? I am NOT you, & you are not me. So different gauges apply.

All I can say, Christine, and I do take your point about Why I'm comfortable with 0%, is that you are one brave person ! Thank you for writing for us less.

Tutti Frutti Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 11:43am

Sally. You are so right about different gauges. When I managed to do a moodscope blog which got a fairly positive reception on here I was quite pleased with myself for having done it but only got to a 1 on proud. I'd have to do something really heroic like the pilot who saved all his passengers by doing a perfect landing on the Hudson river to give myself a 3 for proud. I am not sure if I have ever got to 2 on this card let alone 3. Love TF x

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 1:47pm

Dear Sally...thank you for your comments and observations. I am just a person, like all of us, trying to find a way of coping in a world where depression is not readily recognised. All I really want to do is growl and snarl at people...I have found however, that it doesn't help. My huge, gigantic bursts of utter fury will get me arrested if they happen in public...that I know for sure....having my "two personas" like Jekyll and Hyde, allows me to face society without too many hindrances. But my recent overnight stay in hospital has lowered my resistance, and the nurses there called me "nasty" a lot, and I was bullied. We all know, don't we, that the way to get on with folk, is to smile and simper and to thank people all of the time? To be grateful for every little thing that is done for us? In hospital, I forgot the script. I have been frightened by the savagery that uncovered in the nurses there. So, as soon as I am able, physically, I will return to the coping strategy that works for me. And you can continue with the one which works for you. xx

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 1:55pm

Dear Tutti Frutti....we all can do only what we all can do. I can only imagine that the airline pilot who saved his passengers would give himself 3 for proud - but most probably also 3 for SCARED. we do not know how any of us will react or respond to any situation until we have been tested. I have developed my personal plan of survival, which has been seriously challenged in the last few days, when I was hospitalised for surgery. I am still suffering from abject shock and terror from coping mechanisms are at 0%. I hope I will recover soon, but in the meantime, I do what I have to in order to keep myself safe. And I know you will do what you have to do, to keep yourself safe, too. xx

Lexi Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 5:51pm

Christine, You were not the bully or nasty - the nurses were! How could people in a position to HELP OTHERS expect the person who needs the help to act any other way than honestly in need of help! I so wish I could help you to see that you are a beautiful person with all of your moods, all of the parts. I so wish for you that one day you can burst into tears and know that it is alright, that we all do it, and none of us is perfect. But as many others have said, we must all find this out for ourselves I know that only you can be onyour own path, own journey, but know that I wish the very best for you.

Lexi Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 5:57pm

And I honor your coping strategy too. You have found a way to survive. We must all find our own path.

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 7:22pm

Hello Lexi...thank you your kind and supporting words....there is no doubt in my own mind that I was neither nasty or a bully; but experiencing such institutionalised and systematic bullying in practice was a really shocking thing. And the results of that on the other long stay patients, is demoralising at best; traumatising at worst. I will do my utmost to end it. ...and thank you, but I am aware that I am a beautiful woman, along with all the other beautiful women and men in this world...bursting into tears helps at does bursting into laughter - I often do both simultaneously! ...we have to know we are safe and as well as we can be before we can help anyone else. My strategy works for me...and I offer it to everyone in the spirit of us all seeking our own hesitant path through this minefield called "depression"...and we all find what works for us! xx

Sally Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 7:06am

So sorry...I have no idea why the "less" at the end of my comment came to be. I think it may well be "all" that was intended...but altered by the autocorrect...

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 1:56pm

autocorrect sends up some interesting words and ideas! xx

Smudge Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 7:21am

Oh I soooo relate to what you say Christine. . Outside everyone thinks I am so confident and cheerful and positive. All my life I have been told I am confident. This just show how well I mask my fear. Then I get home and fall apart as the effort was so great. If the effort has been very high I don't sleep as I relive the whole experience and beat myself up for days.

I gave up doing my score on her as it's always so long low. I don't need to be told I am low. In fact it makes me feel worse but to see other people with the same problems always helps.

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 5:45pm

Hello Smudge...thank you for your kind comments; you sound like you have a strong personality who manages to cope in the world using your own carefully thought out strategies...well done! The trick for me is how to manage the "falling apart" bit afterwards...because resorting to alcohol or drugs to "help" really doesn't! Beating myself up has never appealed; I know I am doing the best I can...and all I can do is my best...sometimes my best is 0%; sometimes it s 50%. Whatever, it is my best and my best is Good Enough. I hope this encourages you a are your own best..xx

Smudge Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 7:21am

Hi Christine You are also strong as you have developed your own coping strategy. Mine is finding pen pals. I am older than you and I don't cope well with being alone. I have moved house and county recently and trying to make a new life for myself has been very hard. Yes I have turned to alcohol in the past...all it did was give me stomach problems and put on weight. I turn up at all these new venues to try and make friends and have human contact. I make people laugh and seem to be fitting in but I come home and am so stressed by the effort I often can't sleep. I don't like myself. I don't understand why other people seem to like me. Well the happy smiling me that is.......people dont see the unhappy real me. I am glad you have found some level to be contents. What would we do without th internet!???

Christine Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 3:32pm

Hello Smudge...finding pen pals is a great strategy if it works for you...making "actual" friends is messy and not linear, if you know what I mean...there you are, all ready to become best buds with people, and they kind of back off...shrug...people, eh? There is a woman I know in a village close by who annoys everyone around as soon as she opens her mouth...she annoys me to the extent I can be actually very rude to her...but via email she is great. My social skills are not "regular"; and clearly, hers aren't either...mine shoot off in odd directions, even with my "coping strategy" firmly in place....all I can do, and all any of us can do, is our best....and then NOT beat ourselves up for it afterwards! xx

Smudge Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 8:50pm

Hi Christine. Can't help beat myself up. It's part of me but I try only to do it for a few minutes these days. I just rehash everything and in my mind always come out wanting. I dont prefer pen pals it's just living alone there is no human around to talk to. I can't be out all day every day. I hope to make friends eventually but I have only been here a year and it takes time...well for me it takes time. You talk about 'with your coping strategy in place''. That's the problem isn't it. We are putting up a front in public, acting, and sometimes it slips and a bit of 'us' slips out. That's how I see it. The sad bit shows or the hurting self seeps through the cracks in my armour. As you can say...all we can do is our best...that's who we are and we should accept that.

Jul Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 8:22am

Hello Christine. What an interesting blog! How do you actually feel when you are out and about meeting the people who describe you in such a lovely positive way? I am acutely aware of how I am feeling inside when I socialise and it's such an effort not to show it. My laugh sounds false and too short lived, my tone of voice needs to be raised and to be more light hearted and the topics I choose to discuss or respond to should be of the moment and not too serious. I go against the natural grain all the time. But even though it's an effort and I too come home analysing and staying awake that night thinking too much, it does me good to pretend (I think!). But and this is a big but, no-one I know and I know many people both in France and where I live in England would describe me as glowing with happiness etc.etc. You do so well Christine. BTW my score when I did the graphs was a consistent score and it rarely changed. I don't think I was completely honest with the answers. Julxx

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 2:13pm

Hello Jul...thank you for your kind comment about my Blog. You ask, how do I feel when out and about, meeting these other people. I wonder why you ask that? We are all very different people, with our own coping strategies; mine is to focus on other people. It is my experience that what most people want to talk about, is themselves, so, I let them. I think sometimes I am one of the few people who actually "hears" them. It doesn't matter to me that I am not heard; my coping strategy accepts that. I deflect, always deflect, so the focus moves from me to them. I find it works for me. You may find your own way through this...I wish you well. xx

Jul Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 5:31pm

Hello Christine. I asked you how do you feel as I wondered if it was an effort for you to be someone you maybe didn't feel deep down. I agree focussing on other people helps enormously but I do that and I'm not seen as glowing with happiness. I think you have developed your persona very well over the years maybe and as you say it is a coping strategy which (I am saying now!) has become part of you and is effortless. Thanks for explaining! Julxx

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 7:07pm

Hello Jul...well, whatever it is, it helps me...and that is all I can claim for it! I think one other word I would ban, is TRY. I have stopped "trying" and just do something...or not! To "try" can just add to my list of, even if I can't do it, I've given it my best shot and I move you, I say, JUST DO IT! xx

Hopeful One Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 8:43am

Hi Christine- wow! Try as I might I could not imagine a score of 0%. This discrepancy between your outside world -full of friends paying you all these lovely compliments- and your inside self- rating yourself as 0% -would suggest to one a lack of self esteem, self worth and maybe self confidence. Would you agree with that?

If I may say so you are severely discounting the positives which will undermine your self worth and self esteem even more . One needs to start thinking that what one's friends are telling one IS genuine and the real YOU and NOT your assessment., This 'old tape ' of 'discounting the positive' one feels will need replacing with a more realistic'new tape' for your score to start shifting.

Lawyers, who one feels must have a constant conflict of fiscal convenience and trying to dispense the law ( one can guess what will win) are still in the frame.

One afternoon, a wealthy lawyer was riding in the back of his limousine when he saw two men eating grass by the road side. He ordered his driver to stop and he got out to investigate. "Why are you eating grass?", he asked one man. "We don't have any money for food.", The man replied. "Oh, come along with me then." "But sir, I have a wife with two children!" "Bring them along! And you, come with us too!", he said to the other man. "But sir, I have a wife with six children!" The second man answered. "Bring them as well!" They all climbed into the car, which was no easy task, even for a car as large as the limo. Once underway, one of the guys says, Sir, you are too kind. Thank you for taking all of us with you." The lawyer replies, "No problem, the grass at my home is about two feet tall!

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 3:30pm

Hello Hopeful One...thank you for taking the time to comment on my Blog. I am interested in that you say you can not imagine a score of 0%; why would you think you should? I am not talking about you and how you feel, I am talking about me and I how feel. It is my coping strategy; not yours. My coping strategy may suggest to "one" that I have low self-esteem, self-worth and maybe self-confidence. It does not suggest that to me. What it says to me is "I know who I am; I know what works for me and I am confident enough to allow it to do so". You may say whatever you wish; and so of course you may say you feel I am "severely discounting the positives". It is also perfectly fine for you to tell "one to start thinking that what one's friends are telling one IS genuine". I am under no obligation whatsoever to heed what you think or feel about me. I am the Boss of me. I know more about me than anyone else can ever imagine they do. I have found a strategy that works for me. I am interested to learn what works for other people. What works for you? Do you find yourself full of happy sunshine by replacing your old tape with a new tape? Or have you found that the new tape is the old tape with a different tune? I cannot understand why you felt it important to include a joke in your comment to me about my Blog...but then that is the glory and the wonder of us all; we are all so very different. xx

Hopeful One Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 6:42am

Hi Christine- thank you for your comment.My profound apologies if I offended or upset you as that was not my intention.One would suggest that your Boss( otherwise called the Inner Voice or Critic) is a severe one to an outside observer. What works for me you ask. Simply directing my mind to focus on the silver lining rather than the cloud- every cloud has one if one looks for the lining..And yes it was only when I consciously started replacing my old thoughts driven by my Boss at the time that I gradually started coming out of my depression. It was not a different tune- the words of the lyric had changed.I had changed by Boss who used carrots instead of sticks. As somebody else observed I always post a joke. I believe it lightens the day no matter how one is feeling and dare one say it changes one's perspective . xx

Christine Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 3:51pm

Hello Hopeful neither offended nor upset me...I am interested in the form of formal address you use..."one" is a very distancing way of referring to would it be if you replaced "one" with "I"? Thank you for explaining your strategy for coping; the silver lining approach seems to work for you, and that is good. I am glad that even the lyrics changed for you; it is not something which has ever bothered me; I have never had those thoughts that so many seem to have, that "I'm not good enough" or had parents brought me up to dislike depression came from other causes...I have always been very sure of who and what I am. I was aware that someone on this Blog always added a joke; I had not realised it was you. My difficulty with your joke of yesterday, was that it was too close to actual events in the world today for me to find a joke about exploiting the starving by the wealthy, even remotely funny. So, no, it did not lighten my day nor did it change my perspective. However, I will read you joke for Sunday 16th with interest. xx

The Gardener Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 11:08am

Christine is a generation younger than me - but it seems we may have been brought up in the same school - however awful you feel you present a good 'front'. People NEVER believed I suffered depression. I still do the test every day - more by habit - although, like Christine, it has proved a lifesaver in two ways - the 'homily' after doing the test is virtually useless in that the advice has usually already been taken and there's little hope of changing the 'status quo'. The second way is posting and 'meeting' so many people - reading how they're coping (or not) with their own devils - and the extraordinary comfort and understanding I receive. I'm never above 40%, except times during respite for Mr G when I have been spoiled rotten and find that there are people out there who like me and my company. The 'positive' cards get a low score - life is horrendously uncertain. I 'lie' about the 'Proud' card - built in resistance to saying 'I've made a good job of that'. I ought to be proud with the compliments I receive - but I'm British! Still got my mother's words, perpetual denigrating anything I do, well entrenched in that tape in my head. Lots of you have counselling, I know, some are counsellors themselves I think - any ideas how to rid oneself of the ideas received at a very young age? I think HO may have partially answered this above. And, HO, when are you going to start on Estate Agents? Trouble is, their antics are not funny. Last two have said the house needs thousands of euros spent on it (have I been living in a ruin for the last few years?) The other is that nobody wants to live in our town! That said, the latest one has managed a spectacular array of photos. Another one has a wet fish handshake, which probably deters anybody from returning.

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 3:44pm

Hello The Gardener...thank you for taking the time to respond to my Blog. I can see from what you write that we are doing more or less the same 0% comforts me; your regular score comforts you. I know how to cope when I get that score and am able to put on the brave face, the social face in company...and it sounds like you do the same. We all do what works for us; and if I had my way I would ban words like "ought" and "should" my own experience all they do is make me feel more guilty and a failure. And what on earth is the point of that? A book I recommend to help us understand ourselves a little better, is "THE SPIRITS ARE ALWAYS WITH ME" by JANE SHUTT...but I would never suggest you must read it, only that it is out there... I firmly believe that you know you best of everyone in the whole world, and you know how to care for you best. You have your own strategies and you know when they are not working. Mine are not working right now after a short but terrifying overnight stay in hospital for surgery. So I am staying away from people until I can smile again. That may well be some time. xx

Marie Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 12:32pm

Thank you for this post! This is me! Mrs 'fix it', everyone's support, mrs happy....but inside. Thank you for making me feel less of a freak!

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 3:49pm

Hello Marie...thank you for taking the trouble to respond to my are the only one who knows you, so give yourself a hug, and know you love you. We all do our best to get by, that is all we can do...thank you for saying my coping strategy helps you too...xx

Tutti Frutti Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 12:33pm

I am glad that you find moodscope works as a safety valve for you. I assume that to get a score of 0 you have to get 3 on every negative card and 0 on every positive card which sounds a horrible place to be so I am sad that you have to go through this. I hope in time that you will come to be able to accept your slightly happier times which give you higher scores as still a part of the real you.

I think our normal scores on moodscope when when things are feeling OK very much depends on our interpretation of the questions. I have a comfortable range on moodscope of 40-60 and an overall average just under 45. My score doesn't go over 50 very often but it's lovely when it happens. In the 30s I feel bad but function OK. In the 20s I am really struggling. I have not been lower since starting moodscope but was somewhere much lower once in the past. Over 60 is almost unheard of for me and tends to make me double check I'm not going manic.

Sending hugs to you Christine. Love to all TF xoxo

Christine Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 3:59pm

Hello TF...thank you for your comment on my Blog, but please remember it is MY coping strategy, not yours. It works for me; I am not advocating it be adopted by anyone else. I don't see the point of "feeling bad" about my score on Moodscope; but you say it works for you. Fine. Equally I do not see the point in re-checking if I got a high score "in case I've gone manic"...but I am not you, and you are not me. I think we all find the strategy that works for us....and, we allow that the strategy can change as our needs change over time. The important thing is to continue to be aware and not to score each card through habit. I carefully consider each score I make, and I make it as honestly as I can in that moment. The important thing is to find what works for you. xx

Jul Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 5:56pm

That is so true Christine with the cards. Not to score each card through habit. Julxx

Tutti Frutti Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 9:58pm

I don't think I got across what I was trying to say. Bad grammar I think. I get a given score because of how I am feeling rather than the other way around. So when I am feeling reasonably comfortable I find that I tend to get a score of 40 to 50 and at my best a bit over 50. However, I do get a bit concerned if my score is unusually high (over 60) but when I say that I check in case I am going manic I don't mean that I redo the test. I just mean that I think through my behaviour and whether I have been sleeping properly to see if there are any warning signs that I might be going manic and should go to the doctor. Provided there aren't any worrying signs in addition to my high moodscope score I just enjoy the way I am feeling. I also think the scoring on moodscope will vary a lot between people as who knows what "a little" or "very" mean to different people. And finally I am sorry that I wasn't able to fully understand where you were coming from Christine and that you possibly felt I was urging you to abandon your coping strategy rather than just trying to wish you well. Love TF x

Another Sally Sat, Oct 15th 2016 @ 8:01pm

Hi Christine, your blog and the comments that followed make interesting reading. Perhaps you did not realise that Hopedul One nearly always posts a joke at the end of his comment. It cheers quite a lot of us to have a smile or a laugh when we read the comments. I love to read all the comments, though I often do not have time to do them justice. Thank you everyone for your contributions and helping me to keep my problems in perspective.
Another Sally

Hopeful One Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 8:56am

Hi Another Sally- thank you for your comment. So pleased that the Vitamin L I dispense is appreciated in some quarters.

Christine Sun, Oct 16th 2016 @ 3:56pm

Hello Another Sally...thank you for taking the trouble to write to me...I had not realised Hopeful One wrote a joke at the end of his comments....I am now aware! I'm glad you found my Blog and the following comments of interest....I am quite overwhelmed by the number of responses to it; quite touched, so thank you! xx

Wyvern Mon, Oct 17th 2016 @ 10:26am

Hi Christine
Do I have a comfortable score? Gosh, that's a hard one to answer. My score goes up and down like a yo-yo from day to day but over the months I start to see a bit of a pattern of more upp-y ups or more down-y downs. If I dip below about 25 I know I have to take some serious action before I start to drown; if I get a day or two over 60 I just rejoice and hold on to the memories of those special days. I'm around mid-30s at present, same as this time last year ... so what does that tell me? I don't entirely know yet, but I find it interesting to compare with what was going on in my lfe then and now.

Nicco Tue, Oct 18th 2016 @ 3:54pm

Thanks for your blog, Christine. I feel less guilty, somehow, having read it as I, too, have stopped taking the test, and I have come to realise that, like you, I tend to use it as a safety valve to get me through life crises. I'm so glad it's there. Looking back, I was amazed to see how situations and other people's reactions and moods affected my moods and therefore my score. I don't know why I was so surprised, but I was. I think I tended to imagine that my feelings and variations in moods were entirely of my own making and not at all influened by other people or things. It's good to look back and see how far we have progressed. Thanks Again.

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