Saturday, 31 January 2015

After the storm.

And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.

And I won't die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

Mumford & Sons, 2009

When we hurt and we can see no way of not hurting we must find some small way of wrapping ourselves up and holding ourselves tightly until we feel we can breathe easier. I love the above. I find the words alone are moving, the music, voice and words together provide the hope. I think it is beautiful and holds encouragement. Hope you do too. This is for anyone who needs a little hope today. Believe.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member

Friday, 30 January 2015

A great film.

You don't get better than this:

"I am a producer for Tech For Good TV. We are a new online platform, funded by the Cabinet Office and Nesta, to tell the stories – through film – of social innovation and how technology and people are building a better world. We would love to feature Moodscope in our content - it seems like you offer an amazing service and are leading the way in supporting those with mental health issues." Abby Schlageter.

Of course we were very flattered and asked if any Moodscope members would be happy to take part in the film to support Moodscope and spread the word to help others. Many of you offered to be filmed and we thank you very much.

We would especially like to thank those that did take part. Poppy Jayman, CEO MHFA who contributed as a supporter of Moodscope. Derek Chase a GP who is using Moodscope himself and also using it successfully with his patients, and Fiona Rae a Moodscope user.

We are very proud to be part of the film and couldn't have done it without the help of our Moodscope members. I hope you find it interesting viewing:

Kind regards.

Caroline Ashcroft
The Moodscope Team.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Moving can be SO hard.

When its morning its dark,
Many feel like this.
Life seems so stark,
But what do we miss?

I know when I move,
Things improve.
I know when I push,
I change the groove.

But boy do I struggle,
To stop the rumination.
Yet I know for sure,
It'll lead to aggravation.

Living alone,
Does not help my pain.
I really need someone,
To help me regain.
Some sense of perspective,
To help me see,
That things can change,
It's up to me...

I know this week,
I've progressed again.
My son has helped me,
Lose some of the pain.
We've come away,
The pair of us.
It got me moving,
Not still tied in a truss.

I intellectually know,
It's better for me,
To move and speak,
And even have tea.

But my emotions seek safety,
To stay locked inside.
My desire is too often,
To stay in and hide.

If these words can help you,
Pick up the phone.
Maybe you won't be,
A home alone clone.

Can you make that call,
Can you go next door?
Can you walk out and meet,
Can you start to seek more?

I know I can't sometimes,
Yet I also remember,
When I did move before,
It brought some splendour.

I could live in the moment,
With that glimpse of the now.
I forgot all my pain,
I was alive somehow.
I could fight on,
Instead of goodbye.
There was a life,
In my mind's eye.

What one action (tiny or otherwise) can you take today to move towards the light through your discomfort?

A Moodscope member.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

As The Daffodils Fade.

Every year, when the daffodils fade, I get a little depressed.

OK – let's be honest here. Every other year I get a LOT depressed – that's the down bit of the bipolar. On the "depression lite" years (like this one) it's just the ordinary, average, every day blues.

Yesterday, however, as I saw the first sharp spikes appear in the roadside verges (Cambridgeshire – it's a lot warmer than where you are, probably) topped with the faintest sliver of pale gold, I started to get a bit down rather earlier than usual.


And I started thinking. Just a little, you understand.

I've worked out that, by the time the daffodils have started to fade, the year is a quarter over and (yet again) I won't have achieved anything. My goals will still be there, lofty and unattainable, sitting serenely far out of my reach.

Attempting to cheat by not actually setting any goals doesn't work either. Nope. Frustration and feelings of futility abound come the time of the sap rising.

So, this year (safely clear of the treacherous January 1st), I'm setting some goals that I can actually reach by Easter.

Apparently all that setting SMART goals is profoundly uninspiring. No – you need BFH (Big Fat Hairy) goals to get your blood pounding and your juices – well – juicing.

So, by Easter I will have:

Finished the second novel. (Actually starting it would be good too)
Lost 20lb of the 35lb my doctor says I need to lose.
Booked a flight to see my dear friend who moved out to Georgia five years ago and who I haven't seen since.

They're all big but the last one's the scariest (for very boring reasons).

Those may seem big goals to you, but I know I can do them. I just need to kick myself very hard on the bottom to get them done.

The other thing with goals is to publish them so you can be held accountable. Right, ticked that one off then.

And I'd really like some company here, so how about sharing your goals with me in the blogspot?

So, come April, we can ask each other how we're doing, and give each other a big congratulatory bunches of flowers.

Tulips, I think. The daffodils will have gone over.

A Moodscope member.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Trading shoes.

'But you'd have to walk a thousand miles
In my shoes, just to see
What it's like, to be me
I'll be you, let's trade shoes
Just to see what it'd be like to
Feel your pain, you feel mine
Go inside each other's minds
Just to see what we find
Look at s**t through each other's eyes'
Eminem - Beautiful

I heard this song recently after not having heard it for a long time. It really struck a chord, not just for the obvious reason that it is, in my opinion anyway, completely true in how people with mental health problems usually feel about other people. But it also resonated in a different way. The thought that sometimes I, as a person who has battled depression and self-harm for a few years now, never really seem to understand why people get so bothered and upset by the things that my illness compels me to do.

For instance, I have particular problems with understanding why people get so upset about my self-harm. It helps me cope with the horrid feelings I get and is a successful release for me. However, when I do it, everyone turns on me and asks me how I could hurt myself like that.

But listening to this song made me realise that as much as I'd like people to walk around in my shoes to see how I feel, I probably ought to 'trade shoes' with them and see how they feel. Not only could it help me understand why what I do upsets them so much, but it could also help me see how they're coping with this upset. As much as I want to be selfish when I'm feeling low, maybe trying to understand other people could, paradoxically, help me understand myself.

So, maybe we should all try and 'trade shoes' with other people before we launch ourselves into a defensive attack of our coping methods. I wear fives, what about you?

A Moodscope member.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Blue Monday.

Our local Parish Magazine (the fount of truth...) boldly declares January 26th to be the most depressing day of the year. Experts differ but the challenge remains the same: what do we do if "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down"?

I thought I'd turn "Blue" into an acronym, a recipe for joy – a cure for Blue Monday and every other day like it.

It's got not one but four flavours to lift the spirit.

My "B" would be "Beauty". I love to focus on beauty – natural beauty, real beauty like Nature's finest, rather than the accentuated glamour of the fashion industry. I continue to rejoice in the fact that my mind really can only focus on one thing at a time, even if that focus is momentary and fleeting. So, I deliberately focus on that art, that Nature, that music, that moment that I find full of beauty: Beautiful.

My "L" definitely follows Pam's Moodscope blog on "Laughter"... the best medicine alongside a good sleep! If I could laugh myself to sleep, that'd be perfect! Giggles or guffaws?

My laughter-preferences are definitely old-school. Catching a series of programmes on Ronnie Barker last night really sent me off to bed with a smirk on my chops!

My "U" is to celebrate being "Unique" since, even though I regularly wrestle with unhappiness, I still wouldn't want to be anyone else but me... flaws-n-all. Of course, to make this work as a cure for (or at least a distraction from) the blues, I have to focus on those unique characteristics and skills I actually like! I'm sure I can find three!!!

My "E" is for "Entrainment" - the strange phenomenon where our bodies and minds can synchronise with a rhythm and change for the better. To exercise more effectively, we know that upbeat music helps to get the system pumping. To chill out, the right gentle music not only soothes the mind but actually changes our heart rate. So, on Blue Monday, I choose my music on purpose - I choose it carefully, mindful of the fact that music has magic in it to change the mind.

Happy Mondays!

A Moodscope member.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Compassionate Mind.

Compassion is the concern for the suffering of others and ourselves. It is a wish that our fellow beings do not suffer... It has the capacity to expand itself to include our loved ones, our friends and those who we regard as our enemy or who cause us hurt. It can expand to include all living things on our planet and beyond becoming awareness itself. It is liberating. Compassion is in all of us. We need to nurture it and make it grow.

We have two wolves in our mind. They are called 'love' and 'hate'. The wolf you feed is the one that will grow in your mind. The wolf of hate narrows and reduces our world to 'us' and 'them'. If turned against oneself it leads to self-loathing and self-hatred with all its negative consequences. The wolf of love neutralises hate, reduces anger, resentment, or jealously. It is the easiest way to destroy one's enemy. Compassion is very helpful to feed the wolf of love as it makes 'them' as one of 'us'

So what makes a compassionate mind?

To me its main features are:

It has empathy (the ability to see the world through somebody else's eyes) and sympathy (the ability to commiserate with others) who are in pain or are in mental or physical suffering.

It is the first to forgive, including oneself, and the last to condemn.

It makes an effort to help achieve other's happiness.

It is non-judgmental and accepts imperfections in one's self and others.

It listens with kindness and seeks solutions, never attacking but seeking to heal.

It does not 'price' people but 'values' them as fellow beings.

Acquiring this mind state is a prize worth fighting, particularly for those who suffer from depression. You can start by praising your own efforts, accepting your failures and rewarding yourself (preferably non-alcoholic) for your achievements great and small.

Another great way is through learning to do a loving kindness meditation. One can be no more compassionate to others than you are to yourself.

Hopeful One 
A Moodscope member.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

What I make you mean.

Quite some time ago a very dear friend said to me "You don't want the fact that you're bi-polar be one of the first things that people find out about you. Let them get to know you first; because many people have prejudices against any mental health issue." (By the way, some of you may remember that I started my first Moodscope blog with the words "Hello, I'm Mary and I'm bi-polar." You guys are a slightly different audience.)

So, just this year I discovered the joys and use of Facebook — because I always was an early adopter (ahem). I've joined several writing groups and have begun to get to know other writers around the world.

One particular writer accepted my friend request. I started a chat thread initially asking some innocuous question about the time zone they are in and we were off, exchanging details about our families (our kids are roughly the same age), the fact we never get enough sleep, and so on. I read a novel by this writer and sent a message of appreciation and we were off again. Somehow we got onto the fact that this author uses a generic image on their FB profile instead of a photo, to preserve some anonymity regarding their writing and oops, my blabber-keyboard struck, sharing how I'm completely "out" about my bi-polar in spite of my husband's ambivalent views...

...and silence...

For two days I fretted and made the silence mean – well, you can imagine what I made it mean. I thought about it in the car while waiting at traffic lights. I thought about it while looking at Facebook and seeing that this writer was not on line and so was obviously avoiding this mad stalker from the UK. I thought about it in bed as I lay waiting for sleep.

Pretty silly, huh?

Eventually I plucked up enough courage to post "OK, embarrassed now. Oversharing too much? Promise I'm sane and not a stalker at all." After which I felt much better.

And hugely better when the writer came back and said "Sometimes I fear *I* am the one who overshares... Sometimes I read messages and don't reply straight away...then get bombarded with other things and forget to get back!"

That writer was not concerned that somehow my bi-polar is contagious and will spread from the UK to affect them via their computer; they're not concerned about me being a stalker. It's just that life got in the way. It has a habit of doing that.

We need to remember that life happens to other people too. Incredible though it seems, it's rarely just about us.

Think I'll write that one down and stick it above my screen for the next time I'm on Facebook.

A Moodscope member.

Friday, 23 January 2015

You've got to laugh!

Laughter therapy is probably the best thing that ever happened to me.

You cannot laugh and be depressed at the same time. TRY IT! Where you are sitting right now - start laughing, be it a small giggle which develops into hearty laughter or laughter pushed from your tummy all the way up - do it for about 1 minute. How do you feel?

The real beauty of laughter therapy is the FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT aspect. You don't have to be really laughing you can start by pretending to laugh. Your brain doesn't know the difference and the affects are the same. The more you do it – the quicker the laughter becomes genuine. When I'm laughing I become a more compassionate person and in turn more humble. I generally become the person I really want to be.

I have a knee problem which can be quite debilitating at times and the last thing I feel like doing is laugh. However, there are a couple of laughter exercises I do which really help me get some pain relief. Norman Cousins published a book in 1979 called "Anatomy of an illness". He described a potentially fatal disease he contracted in 1964 and his discovery of the benefits of humour and other positive emotions, in battling it. He found, for example, that ten minutes of mirthful laughter gave him two hours of pain-free sleep.

There are so many benefits. Laughter quickly reduces levels of toxic stress chemicals, releases a natural pain killer, provides an excellent cardio and aerobic workout, increases energy levels, oxygenates our blood and major organs, boosts our immune system and levels of cancer fighting cells, reduces blood pressure, improves our digestive and sexual performance, protects us from cancer, colds, viral and bacterial infection, speeds healing and has a positive effect on heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and asthma.

It boosts our emotional intelligence, allows us to operate at peak performance and quickly reduces harmful negative emotions including fear, anger, distrust that lead to anxiety and depression. It increases positive emotions that make life a wonderful experience for us and those we come in contact with.

I can go on and on and on because it is such an exciting extensive subject but to actually see what I am talking about look up "laughter therapy" on YouTube. Participate with the videos that come up. Then look for a laughter therapy coach in your area. You will never look back.

A Moodscope member.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

To know and not to say = trouble.

I went to work in Switzerland with a group of women on 'Deepening their EQ'. They have been together now for 3 years in a very focussed and sharing way. The organisation they are in is a prestigious one.

The 36 hour session in the mountains went very well and the disclosures they offered blew me away...things that had not been revealed in 36 months...things that had been in people's heads and not out in the open.

These revelations truly made the group uncomfortable and some people feeling very guilty.

Briefly about one exercise (after building trust for 24 hours):

Everyone writes a post-it note with some feedback for each of the others in the room in silence. They then stick them on each other's back. I explore how comfortable they feel when others can see the feedback and they cannot. When sitting at lunch they take time to then read out in front of the others what they are seeing for the first time

One participant who had taken much thought in writing down feedback for all other seven members on post-its, was tearful at lunch but didn't reveal why.

When we returned to the workshop and during another exercise, the same person bursts into tears and states that everyone had had great feedback except for her and that she felt completely undervalued – WOW!

What courage to 'dare greatly' as you could feel the room shift and the EQ deepen. Now no matter what anyone then said – to DJE (Defend, Justify or Explain) – the damage was done.
No one had really spent any time talking deeply with this person over the 36 months that the group had been together to make her aware of how they felt about her behaviour.

So...they had always been positive with her, but, not truthful, authentic and transparent.
Now all the pain was pouring out in front of their eyes or more importantly their hearts.

If we wish for a sustainable relationship in work or even family we have to live 'in the moment' and speak from our heart not our head. If two people say exactly the same thing but one does so with the intent to grow the person and one is attempting to control a situation, the first will be welcomed and the second will be refused or even rejected.

How do we speak - heart or head? How do we offer - kindness or curt? What is our intent when feeding back? How many of us do not tackle a relationship with deep heartfelt intent?
How many of us avoid the discomfort in the hope that it will get better?

If you know and don't say – you don't know and neither do they.

A Moodscope member.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

I Believe I can Fly!

When he was four years old my brother broke his arm.

Now even in those days (the early 70s), doctors were well aware of the darker side of life and any parent presenting a child with a broken limb was faced with a gamut of hard questions about how that broken limb had come about.

Our mother was embarrassed and searched desperately for the right words to explain.
"Well, it's like this," she said finally. "He was balancing on a fence post pretending to be a bird. Then he tried to fly away..."

The doctor gave her a hard stare before bursting out in laughter. "You couldn't make that one up!" he said.

Now, if my mother had seen my brother balancing on a narrow fence post she would probably have said "Get down from there: it's not safe!" Because we spend a lot of our time and attention as parents trying to keep our children safe and protecting them from dangers. If we look back we can hear some of those messages our parents told us.

The problem with that is that our children can emerge as adults scared to try anything new because it's not safe. We can also fear things that are benign or at least neutral because of the messages we have heard over and over again.

So I've tried always to encourage my children to climb trees, to swim in the sea (not the local river; which really can be dangerous), to take on every new challenge and opportunity that comes their way.

But I've also made sure they had gymnastics lessons to help with the climbing and balance, swimming lessons so they're competent and confident in water, and all the support and coaching they need to help them with those challenges and opportunities.

Fortunately neither of them has yet broken a limb as a result of falling out of a tree, or off a horse, nor has drowned in the sea, and both embrace every chance of having fun that falls in their path.

I'm rather in favour of taking sensible risks. After all, you don't know if you can fly until you try, do you?

A Moodscope member.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

An important list.

1.  Take the time you need. Apply liberally to all areas of your life.

2.  Have a plan for your day. Every day before you rise. Any plan. Your plan.

3.  Have a basic, and rough meal plan for the week.

4.  Look at your photographs. We always photograph the good bits.

5.  Take the time you need.

6.  Find one achievable thing that makes your day good. Now do it every day.
(The above can be anything at all. My own is to do a headstand for up to 5 minutes, EVERY day. The blood flow on your brain is remarkable and I might write about this particular thing, if you can at all bear me. Opening a window, sticking out your head and breathing in and out to the count of 5 is very achievable and will change your perspective.)

7.  Sleep in the day if you need it. But never after 2pm.

8.  If you can't eat healthily, limit the trash to mornings.

9.  Ask yourself "what does this do for me" and apply liberally to all areas of your life.
(This is not as harsh as it sounds. Often we give more than we should.)

10. An oldie and a goodie…if you can't be good, be careful.

11. Forgive. Start with yourself.

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Strike 3... 4... 5...?

Moodscope Mary recently spoke about Mr Grumpy, Mr Irritable and Mr Touchy coming to (out)stay when hubby was poorly. Normally good-natured, charming and hospitable, hubby was transformed by being unwell. I'm smiling at the initials of Mr Grumpy, Mr Irritable and Mr Touchy: GIT!

I can be such a GIT. And it really doesn't take much. This morning I've had 5 minor irritations within the first hour. Laughing at myself, I observed that I gave the Universe "3 Strikes" before my patience was exhausted for the day. Why 3? Surely that's a choice?

We joke about going back to bed and starting again. Perhaps that's a form of resetting the "3 Strikes" buffer? Whatever it is, it's a strategy. And it is a strategy that won't get me through today - I'm not going back to bed again so soon!

We've all got our limits. The first hour of the morning is "sacred space" for me. It is important that it goes well and that I don't have too many unscheduled or unwelcome inputs. If truth be told, I'd rather not have to deal with another being in that first hour (no people, no cats). But we are not islands.

So, what to do? Today, I have chosen to return to the most fundamental vocation we all share. I choose "choice" - the ability to choose is the vocation of the human gift of consciousness. Today I choose to bend these irritations to my purpose. I choose to bend them to my will!! I will make them serve me. I choose to blog!

In the past I have waved my puny fist against the sky and told the Universe not to mess with me. It always ignores me and continues to mess with me. Let's try another strategy. Take everything that comes and, as Neil Gaiman says, "make good art". (Or choose to keep making art until you get good at it!)

Yours Pugnaciously.

The Other GIT
A Moodscope member.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

You've got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.

On paper my husband is not the brightest spark. He left school with just one qualification – gardening. When I was talking to my daughter about the new Stephen Hawking film she asked me if he was the guy playing the Hobbit in the latest trilogy. He does not even know how to turn on a computer, yet alone use one and Midsomer Murders often confuses him.

If you were to judge him on just this information you would think that maybe he has a learning difficulty or that to quote an English saying he is "as thick as two short planks".

You would be wrong through.

He is a very intelligent, kind and thoughtful man. He has skills and talents that make him extremely popular and busy in our village.

Need a hedge cutting straight and level? he's your man (and all just by eye, no lines or levels). Need a tree felling in a difficult place? you know who to call. Need your chainsaw/mower/hedge trimmer repairing? give him a shout. Need a hedge laying in the traditional English way? he'll do it.

And he is not just good with his hands.

He has an amazing talent for listening to people. He would rather have his teeth extracted with a screwdriver than go to a social gathering but when he meets someone within half an hour he will know where they have come from, how many kids/grandkids they have, why they came here and what they do. He does not "pry" people just tell him things!

He has an encyclopedic knowledge of birds, fish and plants and I have yet to meet any dog or cat that does instantly adore him, he just has a way with animals.

I could go on, but you get the idea!

However like most of us (myself included) he is not very good at recognizing his good points. He often judges himself on what he cannot do, not on what he can. He reminds me of the phrase "If you judge a fish by its ability to ride a bicycle then it will always think it's stupid".

In the UK we are not very good at "bigging ourselves up", recognizing your strengths is seen as being arrogant and so we are constantly in danger of comparing ourselves unfavourably to others. But we are all different and have our own strengths and talents (yes even you!) and have something important to offer the world.

After all it would be a pretty strange world if we were all expert hedge layers and nothing else!

A Moodscope member.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

I'd like you to be the first to know!


Please crack open the posh biscuits! Wear your good pants (the ones you keep in case you ever know in advance you'll need them)! Treat yourself and put 2 after eights on a saucer after lunch! I'm nearly smiling! (but we don't do that because we're depressed)

This, my friend, is a good day! It's here! It's arrived! Celebrate with me do! I can poach eggs!!

Don't get me wrong, I can cook. Not in a Marcus Wareing way. Not in a Raymond Blanc way. I am not Heston, not Jamie, my cleavage isn't Nigella's and neither is my lamb, but I can cook. I'm averagely good in that it's usually edible, always from scratch and I have a special interest in nutrition. But poaching eggs? No. Simply NO.

I love poached eggs. Adore. I would probably have pledged to marry the first person or animal who was able to teach me the secret. But, like all achievements, it means most when you get there yourself. I have had tips: "swirl the water", "use a dollop of vinegar", "pour the eggs in slowly from a cup", "use a shallow pan", "bubble the water first", "don't bubble the water", "fresh eggs only". I've bought gadgets ranging from little slips of paper to rubbery half-shells. I've even prayed to Ronald MacDonald. The last sentence was a lie.

My efforts have been like works of art. Really random, abstract art. The worst ones looked like I had a monster of a heavy cold and had sneezed an explosive sneeze into the pan. Cooked snotters. I have eaten all the watery efforts. Not true, I couldn't eat the ones that had disintegrated in the water. I have eaten yolks that have had their whites boiled off. I have eaten whites that I've collected with a tea strainer and rolled into a pile. I have eaten slurpy bits of something that was an egg for a short time.

Today, after YEARS of practice, and many sorry chickens slow-clapping me, I have poached two beautiful eggs. They were outrageously good. I surrounded them with all the things that make my perfect breakfast. I sat like a King and I chose every good word I could think of to describe myself (that was tough as 'useless numpty' still comes easier). I did it!! And my message to you, all you lovely patient people?


Love from

The kitchen near the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Friday, 16 January 2015


I have a confession to make, I talk to myself, yes, I know, it's the first sign of madness! Now I am lucky enough to work with a lovely team of caring colleagues, albeit in a cramped office, who are very tolerant of my constant mutterings while I work. However one of them pulled me up the other day. She expressed shock at the violence with which she heard me say "Frankie, you idiot; you absolute idiot; how can you be so stupid?" Her very wise point was that I should never give myself negative messages, only positive, affirming messages.
Which got me thinking, why don't we create our own list of affirming statements to say to ourselves so that we can drown out the negative chatter of our minds?

"I am loving"
"I am caring"
"I am helpful"
"I am gentle"
"I am respected"
"I am organised"
"I am capable"
"I am good at..."
"I am a good friend"

The list is endless (yes it is - for each and every one of us). No shoulds, oughts, musts, wills, can'ts or negatives of any description - just the affirmation "I am...".

By writing out our affirmations, we already begin to counter the negative messages we so often give ourselves; By saying one or two affirmations aloud throughout the day we may well surprise ourselves at how much more smoothly the day runs...

By sharing our affirmations on the blogspot we can marvel at the richness and diversity of wisdom we Moodscopers together represent, we can strengthen our sense of (on-line) community...(and we can nick some for ourselves of course!)

Wishing everyone peace of mind and heart.

A Moodscope member.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


How do I get back,
How do I breathe again.
How do I become self-repectful,
How do I feel sane?

From the darkness of day,
From my ever running mind.
From those self harm thoughts,
From a heart that is blind.

Blind to the kindness,
Blind to the care,
Blind to my own soul,
How can I dare?

To wake in the moment,
And feel I can live.
Not lie with ruminations,
Thoughts run through a sieve.

Not feel I can rise,
For fear of the day.
Or open my eyes,
And see the sun's rays.
Or battle to stand under,
The cleansing shower's streams.
But feel an awakening,
And feel what it means...
To enter the day happily,
To want to move out.
Into the rich world,
With a loud joyous shout.

How do I get past,
Those self harm thoughts?
How do I find balance,
And get past those 'oughts'?

I am caught in my head,
I am imprisoned inside,
Everything hurts me,
I have no real pride.

I got a glimpse yesterday,
Of how life could be.
Then I get frustrated,
Frustrated at me.

I fell back down,
And felt helpless again.
Now I can't see,
Through the wind and the rain.

Yet I know the sun is out there,
I know others can see,
The light that I'm seeking,
The light that is me.

I must keep moving,
I must find that step.
That gets me through one day,
To step into the next.

Each of us has,
Our own way in life.
For some it may be easy,
For others it's strife.

Frankie looks to the sky,
For that blue breaking through.
Where do you look,
For that breakthrough for you?

Step now out there,
A little further today.
Step, PUSH on through,
Find your own way.

A Moodscope member.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

When Mr Grumpy Came To Stay.

"Protect Your Child from Flu" declared the informational leaflet from the NHS.

Listen hard. Yes, that's the sound of hollow laughter.

The entire population of year 8 at my daughter's school was invited to be inoculated against the 'flu virus as part of a "pilot scheme."

There were the usual horror stories related with relish by the current year 9, who had done it last year: "They stick you with a big needle and it really hurts!" "Everyone has a really bad reaction and has to have a couple of days off sick: that's why they do it on the Thursday so you can be sick at the weekend,"  "They get two enormous Trolls to hold you down... oh no, sorry – that's the sorting hat from Harry Potter!"

So it was a big anti-climax when the children were escorted (at gunpoint, my daughter says, but I don't believe her) down to the hall to snuff some kind of liquid up their noses, and there was no reaction at all as far as I could tell.

Sadly, there was also no protection against the particular 'flu virus that hit the school at the end of last term, and my daughter who was particularly proud of her 100% attendance record for the past three years went down hard, spent the last two weeks of the term in bed and wandered around the house for the whole of the holidays like the ghost of Christmas Future. With her dead white face and shadowed eyes all we needed was a packet of black hair dye and a slash of carmine lipstick to hold auditions for Morticia Addams.

Next was hubby, who really doesn't do being ill and is not pleasant to be around when he is ill. Normally good-natured, charming and hospitable, he extended this year a Christmas invitation to Mr Grumpy, Mr Irritable and Mr Touchy for the season. I can tell you that they quite outstayed their welcome.

Then, two days after the start of the new term, daughter number two comes home wearing that interesting white, dirty grey and purple-bruise colour on her face (never a good look)and saying in a small voice "Mummy, I don't feel well..." She's still in bed, coughing and lethargic, as I write.

So it's been the season of misery in our house this Christmas. It's been somewhat disconcerting for me to be the only consistently cheerful one in my (normally) happy and well-balanced household.

It's almost impossible to be cheerful, to have a high Moodscope score when you're ill. In this season of coughs, colds, viruses and 'flu, cut yourself a bit of slack if the score dips. This time it might not be depression; it might just be the common cold. Achoo!
Bless you!

A Moodscope member.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Same recipe. Different Cake.

This morning I heard Jack Savoretti covering Johnny Cash. My ears were treated to a sumptuous cover of Ring of Fire. (Apologies to all who (a) aren't lovers of music and/or (b) not fans of either Jack Savoretti or Johnny Cash.) Anyway, as I completely stopped, stock still, for 2 minutes and 33 seconds, I breathed it in. I had that little light bulb moment and so came straight to my keyboard.

Years back, a kind midwife was asking me how I was getting through the hours with new-born twins. I was explaining that I was not sleeping at all as I couldn't get them to feed together due to their feeding differences. She was supportive but ultimately there was little to be done about it.  Her smile was warm though and that was enough for me to feel taken care of. She said "Ah yes, same recipe, different cake". I've always loved that phrase and today, when Jack sang Johnny, those words came right back to the front of my mind.

I'm feeling a little better at the moment and I don't know how long it will last. For now, I'm going to try to harness the power of that phrase. It would be ignorant for me to think my dark shadow, my heavy woollen coat four sizes too big, has gone, but I can try to hang on to the fact that, for now, it's with me but smaller. It's the same but different. My time to make subtle changes is now, in this window, to make something different so that if my shadow rears up again soon, it will find things jigged around. On a side-line…Jack has also given me a new crush for the day. Bruce Springsteen is still my one true love but Jack is my different cake for today. I wish for you all to retain the same recipe but try a slightly different cake today.

Love from

The room above the garage.
A Moodscope member.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Lex v5.312 - all will be explained.

"Imagine if your beliefs guarantee you can never get to where you want to go?" Tony Robbins during his most popular TED Talk, "Why we do what we do."

Our beliefs form what psychologists often term as our mental map of the world. Folks, I don't need a new map, I need a new atlas!

Robbins, in his TED Talk, also said, "The defining factor is never resources, it is resourcefulness." Changing our beliefs and thus transforming our mental maps is the only guarantee that we can change our destination. And, if this is not too corny, changing your destination kind of changes your destiny, doesn't it?

I like the idea of mental maps. I also like the idea of mental software programmes.  Approaching 54 this month, I would classify my current mental software as Lex v5.312!  It's still got loads of bugs and still crashes most days. Furthermore, I really don't like where I'm getting to in life. So, I really need to improve my maps and update – or even upgrade my software, don't I?

If you are even remotely like me, where shall we start?

Surely our transformation must begin with our beliefs? St Paul talked about a pathway to transformation. He said it was through the renewing of our mind. That sounds like new beliefs and paradigms to me – new patterns of thinking, backed up by new habits of action.

If we see limiting beliefs as software bugs or errors on our map – whichever works best for you - we can also see a way forward. Let's hunt out and challenge those limiting beliefs. Capture them, challenge them, change them.

I know enough of my own limiting beliefs to make a start - and I'm willing to bet that you know some of your own too. I'm not even going to share my dirty washing here! What I am going to do, in privacy, is challenge their validity and then, if they don't stand up well to scrutiny, I'm going to go for a belief upgrade!

Robbins lists the following as examples of resourcefulness:
·         Creativity
·         Determination
·         Love and Compassion
·         Curiosity
·         Passion
·         Resolve

Even looking at this list, I find helpful. All of these I have experienced in my life and yet some are at a low ebb at the moment. I believe that strengthening my resourcefulness will help. I know I can take action to change the health of those factors in the list that are currently weak. And that is what I have decided to do.

Thus I close with my final Robbins' quote today: "Decision is the ultimate power."

A Moodscope member.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Be more dog.

On the UK TV at the moment one of the mobile phone networks is running a campaign where a cat explains that he has become "more dog". The idea being that dogs have more fun than cats. I am not sure that I get the advert and I think that my cats may disagree, however there is something to be said for being "more dog".

I have a black and tan mongrel who I have mentioned before. This morning I was woken up by a cold nose being pressed against mine and opened my eyes to find myself looking into a pair of almond shaped brown ones filled with all the excitement of a three year old on Christmas morning. For her it was a NEW DAY and that means breakfast and a walk. Nothing else troubles her little mind, she does not worry what tomorrow, next week, next month may bring; today is sufficient.

When I look back over the last twelve months I realise that almost everything I worried about either did not happen or turned out ok in the end. Now I am not saying that I will stop dealing with things and planning for the future but I intend to try and become a little "more dog" and just accept that todays troubles are enough to deal with without adding ones that have not or may not happen.

Not easy I know, but worth a try.

Now where did I leave that bone?

A Moodscope member.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Gerald Wears Tights.

Good morning, good day, good evening to you all. Can you feel your breath coming in and flowing out again? Try it. In through the nose... <insert long smooth sniff here> out through the mouth... <insert large sigh here>. If you are having a moment or a rough day thus far, then repeat that last bit a few times and see if it can't give you some solace and a new starting line. Can your feet move you in some way in some direction? Even a bum-shuffle will do if feet are impossible. One day, on some heaven-sent, warm-ish, deserted island (where we will be having our Moodscope R&R) we will make merry acquaintance and Di will teach us all to dance and then the fun will begin for all of us!

Is anyone familiar with the book Giraffe's Can't Dance? It is a children's book. My favourite times (that I will ask for on repeat when I car-crash or bum-shuffle in through the pearly gates) have always been story times. I have thought of binding my children (the way the Chinese did with their feet) to stop them growing up, thus preserving story time forever. But I'd probably be arrested and, whilst fun to chalk that one up, it possibly wouldn't be my finest hour.

I frequently find the best nuggets of wisdom come from children's books. Giraffe's Can't Dance is the story of one animal who believes dancing is something he is incapable of and therefore feels he has no place in the jungle celebrations. And then Gerald finds his place. It's a glorious message of hope really...we each have a place, a contribution, a reason. For us who feel that only tenuously, it is maybe a book you should buy in its smallest size and keep it close, in that breast pocket, and consult it every time there is doubt. Emerge from the jungle, toilet cubicle or telephone box a new, epic you with a cape and wearing pants over tights!

For we each have a place.
We each contribute.
We are the reason.
This forest would be silent if you, my jungle friends, were not there.

Lets try to dance without inhibition.

Love from

The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.

Friday, 9 January 2015

What Did You Want To Be when You Grew Up?

I wanted to write.

You see, when I was six, in my last year of infant school, I contracted mumps, followed by severe chicken pox (really severe: I nearly died, I tell you), followed by glandular fever (they call it the "kissing disease": but I really wasn't that precocious, honest!) which meant I was in bed for a long, long, long time. In that time I discovered reading.

I read the Secret Seven and the Famous Five. I joined in with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as they solved their mysteries. The Lone Pine club had an extra member that they never knew about and Biggles always had me on his side (although I always liked Bertie best).

Eventually it dawned on me that Enid Blyton and Captain W E Johns hadn't written me into their stories!

So I started to write myself in. I wrote countless pointless stories featuring me and the Famous Five and Biggles into grey ruled exercise books which have long since disintegrated into dust motes.

At fifteen I read my first Mills and Boon romance and a secret passion was born.
Unsurprisingly I did rather well in my English exams and eventually ended up taking English as a degree.

I became a chartered accountant (huh?) and then, when marriage and financial security allowed, an Image consultant (yes: it is another passion, honest!)

Twenty years later, when I engaged a lifestyle coach, I didn't expect this!

With a suddenness and power I had not remotely envisaged the desire to write a romantic novel lifted its primeval head from the swamp of emotion and roared at me! So, I've done it: I've actually finished the first draft of my first romantic novel.

My husband, meanwhile, has been navigating terrors of his own.

He knew at the age of seven that he wanted to be a teacher. He is a natural teacher: children swarm to him in order to learn. For some reason he became a banker. (!!!) (Look: I got chartered accountant: let's not poke fingers here, OK?)

Having retired from banking he has now enrolled on a course to become a Teaching Assistant, with a view to becoming a Primary School Teacher.

So, at the age of 50+, we are at last realising our childhood dreams.

It's scary: not least because of the financial risks; but we have got something that really drives us, which really fuels us.

I hope so much we can pass this onto our children. So far we have one who wants status and security and Goldman Sachs after her Oxford degree and one who wants fluffy-wuffy animals and her dreams...

Heaven help me: I don't know which is best...

A Moodscope member.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

The True ‘Heart’ of Change.

Last year, I helped a friend reorganise his at home office. On my next visit I noticed everything was back in its original spot. There's comfort in the familiar. And comfort was certainly more important to him than a new, more efficient place for his mail.

We all know other people who are stuck doing the same things the same way expecting a different outcome. Yet we fail to see our own narrow views or the "I know what I know" attitudes we hang on to, never considering the possibility that we may be blind to a better way. (Here I am for instance with depression again...why?)

The world around us is rapidly changing - in fact the only constant is change. Flexibility and adaptability are critical success factors for people and thus organisations. Although openness to new ideas and a sincere desire for positive change are more important than ever, we often stay with the familiar assuming it will eventually produce the desired, or different results, mostly because our subconscious knows it kept us alive until now! (Think of smoking, alcohol or obesity.)

Albert Einstein said it best: "The significant problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."

When we resist change we miss opportunities because the discomfort we feel around change, fear, anxiety and worry, can literally limit the brain's ability to see other options. The heart in actual fact sends more messages to the brain than visa versa. It literally shuts down important decision making areas of the brain as our emotions move out of balance - the most obvious being don’t make decisions when we are angry.

If we want to think differently, we need to feel differently first.

As I have previously said EQ before IQ/feelings before thought - we need to be self-aware of our emotional balance first to ensure we can use the best of our IQ.

Next time you find you're resistant to change, make sure you aren't blind to other options. Start by disengaging from any discomfort and find a more neutral attitude: Focus on the area around your heart; breathe in and out through the heart. Then engage the power of the heart by activating a positive feeling. The physiological changes brought about by this emotional shift will facilitate cortical function and can help you view the issue in a whole different light.

And of course as Charles Darwin stated "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

And the most powerful agent of change - is a change of heart (EQ).

A Moodscope member.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The light at the end of the tunnel may not be an oncoming train!

My mother was always full of little sayings so when I woke up this morning with an itchy foot her words came back to me: "It means you will be going to a new place."

It's quite true though. 2015 looks like it will be a year of many changes for me.

In a few weeks I will move house and become mortgage free.

In the garden of the new house I plan to convert a large garage to a studio/gallery/classroom.

I intend to start running art classes to provide an income and a new life.

I will graduate from University after 5 years study with my first BA degree.

My son's girlfriend will move to the UK from Germany to start a course and he will rent a flat with her and move out (one down, one to go!)

After being married for 23 years it looks like my hubby may finally come and live with me.

At the end of the year I will have one of those special birthdays ending in a zero.

And after 5 years I will finally be discharged from the care of the local psychiatric team back to my GP.

A very different story from 2009 when I lost my job through depression and spent months hardly able to get out of bed. Or the start of 2010 when I recall sitting on a hospital bed in the mental health unit crying in despair convinced that there was no future for me and the world would be a better place if I was dead.

When you are in the depths of clinical depression it seems that things can never get better, it is an evil illness that robs you of all hope. People talk about being in a pit, unable to get out. For me it has been more like walking in a tunnel of twists turns which give you a glimpse of a light of hope in the distance only to turn a corner back into the darkness and an uneven floor which causes you to trip up and fall on your face over and over again till you believe you can no longer carry on, there's no point. But I am now starting to think that I really can see the opening of the tunnel and whilst I may yet trip and fall before I get out, there is some hope for the future.

Wherever you are in your tunnel remember there is a future for you, you just have to keep walking, putting one foot in front of the other and one day you will find the end...really.

A Moodscope member.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Let's count our blessings.

One of my best presents ever was given to me this Christmas by my strapped-for-cash student daughter who made all her presents this year. Mine is a decorated jam jar with "Mum's reasons to smile" written on it. Inside are slips of paper rolled up – there must be at least fifty. She has told me that when I feel down I am to take one out at random and read it.

Now, being me, I have been 'peeking' at them ever since.

They vary from the not very modest "Because you have me as a daughter and I am AWESOME", to the more obvious "Because you are always there for us"; from the affirming "Because whatever you are doing right now, you are doing great", to the laugh out loud "Because there is no angry way of saying "bubbles". (Try it!) Many of them are tea-related (my fall-back in times of stress and anxiety) and some are cribbed "Because today is the perfect day to be HAPPY".

So, why not write your own "Reasons to smile"? From the frivolous "Because there is always CHOCOLATE" to the obvious (yes, the obvious) "Because I am loved/wise/respected/caring..." from the cribbed "I have found that if you love life, life will love you back". Arthur Rubinstein, to the homemade "Every day we have choices."

Even the act of writing out affirmations helps: "Because when it is dark, you can look for the stars, and when it rains, you can look for the rainbow."
Why not share your favourite with the rest of us – I bet that between us we can produce an inspiring list of lift-me-ups as varied as the members of this wonderful community.

A Moodscope member.

Monday, 5 January 2015

"Let me inter//rupt you there!"

Growing up, the major way to buy our music was to go to a Record Shop and purchase vinyl. It was tangible. It was expensive. It was something I highly valued.

There is something magnificent about the scale of an LP. Not only was it big, it also offered a broad canvas for cover art. I loved the music. I loved the art. I loved the experience.

There is, however, a couple of problems with vinyl. Firstly, it is sensitive – it can warp in the heat (so you never left it in the car on a hot day). Secondly, if scratched, it never plays the same way again.

I am vinyl.

Well, my mind is like vinyl.

Often it is warped through being (over/hyper) sensitive. My perception of 'reality' can become twisted, distorted, bent out of shape in the heat of the moment.

Also, just like my first Album purchases, I can play the same old tracks over and over, over and over, over and over again. Some of these tracks are rubbish – bad compositions, badly recorded.

What do to? I seem to have little power over what to play. In the dead of night, the Jukebox of my consciousness chooses the same old tracks, coming back to haunt me with their accusing or fear-filled lyrics. I know they are warped. I know they are not reality. But they still torment and disturb.

One way to deal with them is to deliberately scratch the recording – to violate the vinyl! I can face my fears and challenge them with powerful questions such as, "According to whom?" or "What would happen if I did?" Or I can dig into the groove with a blunt needle and turn the recording into a parody of itself. For example, changing the quality of the accusing tone into the voice of Mickey Mouse. Somehow an accusational, "Why did you do that?" doesn't sound as intimidating on the lips of Mickey Mouse.

Some people call this a pattern-interrupt. Once you've messed with your 'pattern' the record will never ever play the same way again. It's a bit like standing up to a bully – once you've done it, the relationship will never play out the same way again either. Something has changed forever.

If you find yourself troubled by your thoughts, interrupt them! Interfere with them! Scratch them where they irritate! Interrogate them! Demand that they present evidence to support their statements! The very process will change the way you experience them.

Behind the distorted reality is often a better recording to be discovered or created – something beautiful can be learned. So record a new album…

And then, from your learning, on the cover, make great art!

A Moodscope member.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Create your own reality.

I use to think that this was the most frustrating concept. It would make me very angry to think that I was "supposed to" just turn my life into whatever I wanted it to be and if I couldn't figure out how to do that despite anxiety and depression, then it was entirely my fault. I was responsible for not creating the life I want.

Then slowly, after reading a book that inspired me, I started shifting my focus to small daily actions that I could take to get closer to how I wanted to feel.

It was worth it. I cannot help but feel a bit frightened and amazed by how far I've come. (And it's not just a metaphorical distance, I have moved from Canada to the UK!) I've gone through a lot of changes and I have had to deal with so much stress that it actually felt worse for a while, but somehow, most of the time I knew I was on the right track. When I lost sight of where I was or what I was doing, I just remembered how I wanted to feel.

These days, I'm happy. I still have mood swings, I still don't want to get out of the house most of the time. I'm still dealing with a lot of the same ingredients I had back before I started making the changes. The difference is how I choose to integrate them in to my reality.

I guess my message is: you can do it. No matter how small the actions you take to walk the path of how you wish to feel in your life, I believe that it does make a difference. Remember that it takes time. I have used my restrictions and my strengths to create a life that resembles me and no matter how much other people disagree with me, it feels so much better when I'm not trying to be them.

A Moodscope User

Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Passion For Onions.

My brother is an onion farmer.

At this time of year his barns are full of onions in great golden heaps; papery skins slithering like the reptilian scales of some mythical beast; so that one would not be surprised to see the blink of a jewelled eye and to realise that Smaug had deserted his mountain lair for the flat and fertile fenland of Cambridgeshire.

A few days ago I collected a bag of onions from my brother (c'mon, I'm not going to actually pay for onions from a supermarket when I can get them for free, am I?) He lifted out a sample of his crop with tender pride, exhibiting the glowing finish on the deep amber skin; the regular orb shape, so perfect that it could be used to decorate next year's Christmas Tree; the weight of it, a hefty nine ounces.

My brother grows damn fine onions.

Give him half a chance and he'll tell you about drilling them (that's sowing to you and me), fertilizing them, spraying them for weeds, irrigating them, irrigating them and yes, irrigating them (onions use a lot of water: my brother dug his own reservoir for the purpose) and harvesting them. Oh, and storing them and the rat problem he's had this year. He'll tell you about the man who comes to buy them and the prices he's been offered.

All this could be boring, but it's not.

It's not boring because when somebody is as passionate as my brother is, their enthusiasm is contagious. When he relates the story of the cyclone which ripped up all his freshly drilled seed, your heart is in your mouth. The tale of the rats is more gripping than the Pied Piper of Hamlyn; even if their end is rather more prosaic than merely dancing off in the wake of an eccentrically dressed flautist.

But my brother wasn't always an onion farmer.

Oh, he was always a farmer. There was the farm; he was the only boy: what else was he to do? But my late uncle was a cattle man. His passion was dairy shorthorns. Other uncles (although our father died young we're rich in uncles) grow celery, barley, sugar beet, potatoes. My brother tried for many years to grow potatoes too, without success. He farmed out of duty to the family, not for joy in his heart.

I forget how he discovered onions. He may have tried linseed, or celery or flax first. But then came the onions; and the passion and pride and (never to be sneered at) profit.

He didn't run away to sea. He didn't disappoint the family by selling up the farm and going to be a missionary in Africa (although if the Lord calls...) He just kept trying a different crop on the same land, with the same family commitments. He still found his passion.

And I forgot to say, the onions taste pretty good too. Have you ever tried roasted onions?

A Moodscope member

Friday, 2 January 2015

Renegotiate and Remortgage!!

You are free. You are freer than you may be allowing yourself to realise. You have all the time you need. You and I have 168 hours a week. It's one of the few matters in life that are utterly fair and equal.

The reason many of us don't feel free is that we've 'mortgaged' our time. We may have made some poor choices on how to spend our time. We've made commitments with our time that mean that it is no longer ours to spend as we choose. In this sense, this is like a mortgage – we've made a commitment to the future to spend time just like a mortgage is a commitment to pay money in the future. For example, when I promise a friend that I'll meet them next Monday for a cup of tea, I've committed in advance to spend that time. It is no longer 'free' time.

A proper job is like this too - a commitment of future time in return for money.

None of this is bad - it is just like it sometimes feels like we've sacrificed our freedom. And freedom is important to the human spirit.

Promises, commitments and appointments are all 'open loops' or 'unfinished business' that can create a sense of pressure until they are fulfilled (thereby closing the loop). They are like a sentence left unfinished...which we long to complete. We long to be free.

My suggestion today is to revisit some of your commitments. They may have seemed like a good idea at the time but times have changed. Now, it may be time to renegotiate how you have promised to give your time. Giving your time reluctantly or, even worse, when you've come to resent this, rarely leads to a good outcome. Your heart is not in it. And the heart is the powerhouse of motivation and results.

Sometimes it is simply better to be open, honest and assertive and see if you can change the deal! Just like a home loan, time can be remortgaged - commitments can be renegotiated. And sometimes, just sometimes, you can get a better interest rate!

A promise isn't broken if both parties agree to changing the promise.

I think it may well be time for you to take back control of some of your time and reinvest it as you choose.

Go on – have the time of your life!

A Moodscope member.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Fed up with hearing Happy New Year?

Well, no Happy New Year from Moodscope, just a message to wish you and all our other Moodscope members around the world, well in 2015.

We're also not going to talk about New Year resolutions - if they are helpful to you, you'll have already planned them and if not, you don't want to be told by us that you should make some!

One thing we will talk about though is how important it is take your Moodscope test every day or at least 3 times a week and how it could make you feel so much better.

The more often you take it, the more information you have to help you or your therapist/doctor understand your ups and downs and to deal with them.

Also, our research shows that having a Moodscope buddy can help your scores rise. It seems to help many members, just knowing that they've got someone looking out for them.

There's also the Moodscope community - a very friendly bunch who gain help, advice and reassurance from each other. Do take a look when you have a minute, there are some great blogs and they're written by our members for our members.

So what are you waiting for...go and take your test, get that buddy you've been thinking about asking and once you've done that, join in the conversation on our blog today - even if it's just to say hello.

Let's see how many people take the test today, how many invite new buddies and how many join in on the blog. See if we can break some records. We'll report back and let you know if we do. It's all in a good cause - to help you get better.

Last but not least, we would like to thank all of the people who subscribe to Moodscope Essential and Moodscope Plus as it really does allow us to continue and to offer Moodscope Lite free to those who can't afford it.

Good luck and best wishes for 2015.

Kind regards.

Caroline, Adrian and Stephen.
The Moodscope Team.