Saturday, 2 July 2016

Improve your inner confidence and self-control.

My positive approach, implemented in my life with great personal success, gives me more inner confidence and self-control than ever.

Please remember this is only my opinion, but it really does work for me - I've been in that ditch, no light, no end of the tunnel many times.

1. Starting with myself, keeping a house of order in everything we do, everything in its place and a place for everything.

2. Always be honest, in thought, word and deed, doing the right thing regardless of temptation, if we cheat, we cheat ourselves and if we lie, we have to have a very good memory.

3. Work to separate the negative from the positive, in life and in others' opinion.

4. Other peoples' opinions, including Medical and Financial, are generally just that, an opinion, which we can either accept or reject, but question always, its your life.

5. Strive to become solvent, get rid of debt as far as possible, don't work for loan companies.

6. Procrastination in adversity pulls us down, start with the most painful, deal with it, don't allow it to fester in the subconscious, it gives power to control and destroy our inner confidence.

7. Strive to be more positive within yourself, we're all equal, no one is better, and we are no better that others.

8. When doubt sets in...reach out to someone less fortunate than ourselves, in that instant, we forget our own adversities, (most of which we create ourselves). We become extrovert, which has a calming effect upon our emotions, it HALTS our selfish, self-centered attitude, because we become needed, wanted, and of worth!

9. The greatest attribute we can obtain, is to strive hard to be a good listener. That way we are able to offer effective counsel based upon sound opinion.

10. Allowing others to 'unload' serves two purposes, 1. We create a real friend. 2. We see the love reflected in the recipient's eyes, as we have given 'spot on' counsel.

11. Say what you mean and mean what you say, do not deviate.

12. NEVER give up on anyone or anything... see it through to the end result, don't be put off, by anyone.

13. Don't allow ourselves to become offended, this is probably the most demanding of our persona, but that which holds the key to inner peace.

14. Don't contend with anyone, state your opinion and walk away from contention, holding our head up high, and not allowing others that power that motivates most folk, because contention is of the devil.

15. Keep your promises, no matter what, and be punctual.

Good luck.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above, please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Friday, 1 July 2016

No Idea.

"It is better to have absolutely no idea where one is, and to know it, than to believe confidently that one is where one is not." Sharp.

I found this quotation cut out  of a magazine and placed in a book in my shop.

I can relate to it on a few levels.

At times I have felt totally clueless with my emotions and I have no idea where I am and what I am doing. This worries me but to read that someone thinks it is better than being so confident about where one is and what one is doing, when one is not where one thinks one is.

I have known people who have convinced themselves they are well, they are fine, they don't need help only to find that in a short space of time they are sick and rundown or have collapsed.

It is a very uncomfortable feeling to have no idea what one is doing in life, and I think it takes courage to acknowledge how lost one feels. To realise one is clueless is quite scary but at least one is honest.

Sometimes in life we convince ourselves and others that we are in a safe healthy place when we are not. I know I have done this because I felt it was the only way I could cope. Being honest with friends and family especially after one has been doing so well, can be extremely difficult. When all those around you assume you are 'recovered' it makes it so hard to tell the truth.

Do you acknowledge when you have no idea where you are? Why or why not?

Have you ever believed confidently that you knew where you were but you did not? Why? Why not?

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Thursday, 30 June 2016


This reading both comforted and inspired me as a moody teen and its words have shaped my adult life. It was hung in my mum's room beside her dressing table where I would dry my hair and just BE unhappy because it was Sunday. It speaks such great stuff. I thought it might be a good time to refresh those who already know it and show it to those who don't:

"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy." Max Ehrmann, 1927

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Coming Back from War.

A friend of mine has a best friend, also named Mary. We are each known as "The Other Mary."

This Mary has a son; we'll call him Colin.

When he was eighteen Colin joined the army. He did really well in his training and his mother was so proud of him. He went out to Afghanistan.

In some ways Colin was one of the lucky ones: he came back alive. He came back physically unharmed. But he didn't come back the same.

Colin is quieter now; more withdrawn. He hates loud noises. He was out shopping the other day with Mary when a pallet slipped off a loading truck and fell with a crash. Mary looked round, as anyone might, and saw Colin flat on the ground beside her, his hands over his head. For Colin that loud crash was another bomb.

The family used to love November 5th and the firework displays. Last Bonfire Night Colin stayed at home with the dog. The dog hid under the sofa. Mary says she thinks Colin would have hidden there too, if only he could have fitted his muscled six foot three into that space.

And Colin has nightmares. Nearly every night he has nightmares. A boy of four can run to his mother, climb into bed with her and allow her to sooth the monsters away. A man of twenty-four cannot. And the monsters he fears are not imaginary, but real.

Colin has PTSD. He is, thank goodness, recovering. But he will never be the carefree boy he was, and he can never forget those images that haunt him.

Colin's experience is all too common. The MoD insists that the rate of PTSD, depression and suicide among the serving military and veterans is comparable to that in the general population, but the soldiers who suffer will disagree.

The UK does not keep records as does the US. In the US there are a reported 22 suicides per day among military veterans. Over here all we can say is, that in 2012 (the most recent figures I could find) more serving army personnel and veterans lost their lives to suicide than did in combat. That is a sobering statistic.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, if you have served in our armed forces, you will understand. And you may feel that we, the general public, cannot understand. You know that we Moodscopers experience depression, but it cannot be like yours.

And you are right. Which is why I ask you please, to consider writing for Moodscope. The most valuable service Moodscope provides is a community where you can know you are not alone.

No, you are not alone, but you may need to be the first military voice to speak in order that others may speak too.

Help us widen our reach, so we can serve and help everyone who suffers with depression, whatever the cause, whatever the circumstances.

Thank you.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

On the subject of caring.

Whilst trying to assist a colleague through a rough patch recently, a wailing, despairing type of rough patch, you know the one, I was struck by how helpless I felt, even having been there so many times myself.

It didn't help that I could only respond by phone having received a far-too-bright text with "help me" written clearly between the lines. I had to listen to this lovely person wailing their heart out on the other end of the line, when I wanted to just hug them, listen and hand out the tissues."

And I realised, even as a fellow passenger of the good old roller-coaster that is bi-polar and its siblings, that mere blandishments over the phone seemed so glaringly insufficient.

The colleague was in a place of safety, hiding upstairs, family downstairs, an understanding one at that, but he didn't feel he could impose, as "There's nothing really wrong with me".

I tried to tempt him out remotely, using the following analogies, on the basis that people want to be allowed to try to help, and they can't try to help if you shut yourself away.

Thus, if you find someone lying in the road, you don't attempt heart surgery, but you care, within the limits of your expertise – from getting assistance, keeping them warm, safe and comforted. You are there for them.

A sick child: comfort, warmth, a tentative diagnosis to assess need for intervention, and reassurance go a long way. You are there for them.

A friend suffering a bereavement of someone very dear to them – hopefully most of us haven't had this experience – just listening helps a lot. You are there for them.

A howling, grief-ridden pal, partner or relative arriving in your midst, you don't immediately start psychotherapy, you sling an arm around them and dole out the tissues. You are there for them.

So my message is, I think, that we must allow people to try to help, as I find just being with people, and being allowed to be there but not there, is good therapy.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Monday, 27 June 2016

KISS and Make-Up.

This is not going to be about what you may be thinking! Forgiveness and reconciliation are gorgeous achievements in life, but today's message is about you and what goes on between your ears!

As I grow older (and, frankly, way more cynical) I realise that most of the rules we live by are made up. Gravity is real, and represents a law, rule and principle that we do well to respect, but most other things are made up by our culture. Somehow Life has bolted the 'gift' of consciousness onto an existing monkey and lizard brain, and we thus do our best to make sense of it all. But we don't always get it right. Some of our made up rules keep our inner monkey and lizard happy and safe and maybe they need a shake-up.

I would like to stir up the Revolutionary in you today. I believe you are highly likely to have bought into some rules that no longer serve your best interest. For example, I have a 'rule' that I should be at my damn computer by 9 am to work for a client I don't enjoy working for. I write this blog on a Tuesday, which we call "Choose-day" in this house. So today I have chosen to put my writing first in the chance that it just might help someone (other than me – it always helps me!) Today, I have broken the rules.

Of course, I will pay a penalty for breaking the rules – after all, I can't charge the client for time I don't invest, but there is also a reward for breaking the rules – I get to make my art.

Here's the challenge: if most of the rules are made up, make up your own! Rules like the 10 Commandments are very sensible rules – I wouldn't change those – but I would challenge the little rules we make up or accept that tell what we should and ought to be doing with our time. Time freedom is one of the greatest liberties on Earth.

Today, I would ask you to give yourself permission to do something you wouldn't usually allow yourself the luxury of indulging in. Break and old rule and make up a new one. And use the KISS principle – "Keep It Short (and) Simple" because all of us could benefit from having a simpler life with less restrictive rules.

So there you have it: KISS and Make-Up. (Off to put on my mascara.)

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Sunday, 26 June 2016


I'm not a fan of Neighbours. But I gather Natalie Imbruglia acted in it.

Like many actresses, Ms I. went on to forge a successful singing career. These days, there aren't many songs that grab my ear. But her "That Day" did. It still does. Every time I hear it. That day; this day. Today. Just a "beautiful" portrait of the human condition, in all its ugly and awkward contrariness:

Well, that day, that day
What a mess, what a marvel
I walked into that cloud again
And I lost myself and I'm sad, sad, sad
Small, alone, scared, craving purity
A fragile mind and a gentle spirit
That day, that day
What a marvelous mess
Well this is all that I can do, I'm done to be me
Sad, scared, small, alone, beautiful
It's supposed to be like this; I accept everything
It's supposed to be like this

That day, that day
I lay down beside myself
In this feeling of pain, sadness
Scared, small, climbing, crawling towards the light
And it's all that I see and I'm tired and I'm right
And I'm wrong and it's beautiful

Well, that day, that day
What a mess, what a marvel
We're all the same but no one thinks so
And it's okay and I'm small and I'm divine
And it's beautiful and it's coming and it's already here
And it's absolutely perfect...

We think we're alone. We FEEL alone. We cry, strive, howl, despair... alone. And so do a thousand others. So we're together. Together in our aloneness. Or our loneliness. But together. Sharing that same humanity. Screaming at it. Against it! But shackled by it, constrained by it, held by it, enabled by it, freed by it. Stuck in a body, stuck in one mind; hating it all, hating all others, hating ourself. And then, above the scream, a tiny child's voice: "Love yourself". Love the closest person to you: Love You. The You you hide.

Charity begins at home. Begins within. Goes without. Love Thy Neighbour.

Who is my Neighbour? Turns out it's Natalie. And it's me.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope website:

Saturday, 25 June 2016

My .............. used to say.

Recently my partner suggested that I seem to be quoting things my mother used to say and  I had not realized I was doing this. I think as we are growing up our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles say things that influence us in some way.

Sometimes a saying that we hear all the time as children we will later find ourselves repeating to our children. A saying might be something that really helps us in hard times or simply brings a smile to our faces.

These sayings don't have to be profound or witty or clever but the fact we remember them when we need them makes them special.

So please share any sayings that people from your past, or people in your life now say. I would love to read them. If there is a background to the sayings or you want to talk about how the saying has affected you that would be good too.

The saying may be very short or long. It may be in a foreign language. It may be something that was said often or just once but had a profound affect.

I will start.

My  mother used to say, "Don't worry about what others are thinking about you as they are too busy worrying about what you are thinking about them". She used to say this if I was nervous before going to a party.

So please share your memory but completing the line

My ............. used to say...

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site:

Friday, 24 June 2016

Labour and other Pains.

Pain is a very powerful motivator, physical and mental. When it's extremely bad, you'll do anything to stop it. I have suffered mental anguish, but I've never been actively suicidal. So when I try and imagine what that might be like, I think of the time I was in the worst pain ever in my life, when I was in labour.

With my daughter, because she was induced, the pain was sudden and unendurable, so I had strong drugs to stop the pain. With my son, it was slow and bearable, at least at first. As the waves of pain became more intense, I started to get agitated, even though I'd prepared for it. The pain got to a peak and I thought it was never going to end. It did, but because each one got stronger and the pain increased, I was more terrified as each one came.

I try and imagine what it would be like to experience that rolling peak as a mental pain, as a negative voice that drip-fed fear and loathing, building and falling, infecting so much of my life until I'd do anything to shut it up. Or imagine if it was a sudden unbearable pain as with my daughter, that shrieked through the brain and overwhelmed me.

How long would I have been able to survive if I didn't get the right drugs, medical help or ongoing support? If I'd been alone, the feeling would have been magnified. As it was, I had two midwives, my friend and a husband to help me through it, with doctors on hand if things went pear-shaped.

Being alone in your head with dark, depressive thoughts whizzing round is such a hideous place to be, so I think that the more we find common language to coax these into the light, could help on a personal and societal level.

For carers, it can frankly be terrifying when someone you know and love says they feel suicidal or does something extreme like hold a knife to their throat, because that's the only way they know to express their pain. However, looking at it objectively, it is actually a positive thing that the person is confiding in you. The more we can talk about it, the less frightening it is and I think the easier it is to find strategies to deal with it – or am I being completely na├»ve?

It would be great to get your feedback on this. I don't expect or want people to feel they have to share stuff here; it's an open forum and the last thing I want to do is make Moodscopers feel vulnerable. Perhaps this blog can be the start of a conversation with those whom you feel safe: family, friend, carer or medic, although of course if you want to comment here, that's fine too.

Lastly, remember that awesome things can come out of extreme pain. In labour, after my friend told me to shut up and breathe, I learnt how to surf the waves of pain and eventually my son was born. Meanwhile, in terms of mental pain, look at how Jon Cousins gave birth to Moodscope. Isn't this seven-year old doing well?

A View From the Far Side
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope website:

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Nappies on!

I saw a brilliantly simple and powerful poster today. I am sharing its description with you in the hope that its simplicity and power will stick with you too.

It was a photograph of a baby learning to toddle. Picture a baby trying to stand, photographed from behind wearing a nappy. Beside it were the words:

"Never once did he think 'I just don't think this walking thing is for me'..."

It doesn't matter how you recover, just keep at it.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our blog on the Moodscope web site: