Sunday, 31 July 2016

I am happy. Or am I?

I hear people say that they need to be around people, that they don't enjoy their own company, they may feel lonely or depressed.

I don't get it, I suppose I always feel depressed anyway, a little bit inside out and not belonging, so being on my own or being with others doesn't really make any different apart form a short term distraction maybe.

But I feel the opposite. I love my own space, I could quite easily be on my own constantly and I feel the need to look at this. Firstly, maybe I don't feel lonely because of the world of social media, texts, whatsapp etc and knowing that I can access this 'other world'. So I don't feel lonely when I am alone, I feel at my most loneliest when I am with people who have absolutely no chance of understanding my innermost feelings despite how I ache to release them to somebody.

So I find my own space, find my keyboard and I am happy. Or am I?

In a session of CBT it was suggested that my coping strategy is avoidance, and that this need to be alone is a way of  me avoiding the outside world and the people in it. I take that, sometimes, but not all the time, maybe it isn't my depression, maybe it is me, so maybe it is about acceptance of the person that I am.

So how do I choose how to act, how do I choose whether to spend time with the person or people, or not? This is tough for me and is very much work in progress, it is my current focus with regards to self reflection / development.

I imagine being around that person and seeing it as a gift. Is that a gift I want right now? Is that a gift I need right now? If not, why not? What are my emotions regarding this, do I sense fear or apathy?

I share this because I don't feel I am alone in this. I wonder if others have this constant critical side who is analysing all their feelings instead of curling up on the couch with a good book and a nice cup of coffee and letting the world carry on without them :)

Peace Seeker
A Moodscope member.

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

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Rest or roam?

Sometimes when I am struggling with my mood, battling with it like a surly umbrella on a windy day with rain, I can't decide what I need. I lurch from one thing to the next achieving absolutely nothing of worth. My spaghetti brain has so many trails it's like trying to chase 100 marbles. I'm putting my best 50p on it that you do similar...

Ask yourself:
Does my head need to rest or roam?
Does my body need to rest or roam?
The chances are your head and your body will need different things.

If your head needs to rest, perhaps it will get that if you allow your body to roam.  Maybe walking, running, going on your bike, swimming, yoga, grabbing your loved one for a dance... moving of any kind might give your head its rest. Although I have yet to fall in love with it, I am still in training at the gym, it is a time my head just cannot keep on splurging but instead goes quiet in concentration.

And if your body needs to rest, maybe you can allow your mind to roam. Sit down and allow your body to be physically still by learning something, maybe reading the instructions to something you've meant to for a while, or reading up on something that has been waiting.  I often use this time to sort through computer files and organise my camera downloads. It means if I have nothing to give physically I can still feel I have achieved.

Fancy the see-saw anyone?

Love from 
The room above the garage.

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

Friday, 29 July 2016

To my loved ones, when dealing with me on 'A bad day'.

I don't want to hear you say that it's perfectly normal – there's no such thing as perfectly normal, and I'm not aspiring to that anyway thank you very much. Trying to normalise how I feel makes me feel invalid in feeling this way at all; that my feelings aren't of any significance or importance and I should just stop crying/worrying/stressing as there's nothing out of the ordinary that warrants these reactions.

I don't want to hear that everyone has them. I'm sure they do, but I don't care. I don't have the emotional ability to cope with my own bad day right now, let alone consider anyone else's.

I don't want you to helpfully point out reasons why I could be having a bad day – it's generally unhelpful, and often there is no clear cut reason why. Realising this just makes me feel worse for daring to have a bad day for no reason whatsoever. (You know that even if we do discover one, it doesn't actually stop me feeling the way I feel, right?)

Similarly, I don't want you to suggest a list of 'strategies' that could, as if by magic, eliminate my bad day. I will already be acutely aware of what I could do to help myself; if I'm someone that's been through any kind of therapy you can be assured that I'll even have my own list that I've diligently spent time compiling, of all the things that I know can help lift my mood. The problem, you see, is being able to execute these plans - which as we know, becomes Mission Impossible when experiencing a 'bad day'.

I do however want you to simply acknowledge and allow my bad day, without treating it (or me) as a problem to solve.

Most importantly, I do also need you to know that I reserve the right to exasperatingly change my mind completely. Because once we've got past the acknowledgment and allowing stage, and logic and reason have set in, I do concede that all of the above would actually prove quite useful, especially when delivered in a kind and genuine manner by someone who loves me and only wants to help.

Yours, from a complex but now much calmer place.

A Moodscope member.

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

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Coping with 'Moods' through the ages.

The news Tuesday morning was of another mass killing – in Japan – different in that the murderer wished to 'cleanse' Japan of handicapped people.

Quixotically, on my desk is the manuscript of a book I wrote in the 1970's on manic depression. More than a generation ago. Technology has galloped on in treatment, and most dramatic that we can share our worries through this medium. At the same time the population is aging and depression on the increase, whilst funds and personnel to 'care' decline.

I looked back at treatment through the ages. Herbal and other concoctions have been used right through history, many of our modern drugs still have a botanical derivative.

For many centuries any malady of the mind was thought due to pressure from within the body. Purgatives were often advised, and blood-letting a favourite, the leech (ugh) being used a lot.

In the Dark Ages any form of mental aberration was looked at as possession by devils, and these were cast out by exorcism, or at worst burning at the stake. Women sufferers were believed to be witches, and the practice of putting a stake through the heart when buried to stop them rising up to continue their witchcraft was popular.

In the late 17th century there was an idea that draining off some of the blood from someone mentally ill and substituting that with the equivalent from a healthy young man would do the trick.

In the 18th century it was shock tactics, flinging people into cold water, firing cannons, and confronting them with a facsimile of their own hallucinations.

Occupational therapy started in the Bicetre hospital in France. Psychiatry is pretty new, the other extreme being ECT and its like – still awful memories of the film One Flew over the Cuckoo's nest.

Among Moodscopers who have suffered long-term and recurrent depression, I'll use the question which was the subject of a previous blog of mine. 'From whence cometh your help?'

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

When You Need to be Selfish.

I had to make a very hard decision last week.

As a family we all sat round the kitchen table and talked about it. For a long time.

The question was, should I go on holiday with the rest of them?

On the face of it, this is simple, isn't it? You're their wife and mother: there's no question. Of course you should go on holiday with them!

Ah, but it's not so simple as that.

On the last family holiday, I fell off a horse and broke my ankle. Okay, so I didn't just break it, I comprehensively smashed it into tiny pieces so it had to be rebuilt with titanium rods and screws (see blogs of 24th February and 1st March). It is still weak and painful and I can't walk more than half a mile on it.

This would not be a problem if the rest of my family enjoyed holidays sitting on a beach or lying around a pool, but they are all terribly active. As we discussed alternative plans it became apparent that, if I were with them, one of three things would happen.

1) They would leave me behind in the cottage or hotel (and we can't afford the kind of plush hotel with spa facilities where I could be pampered) and I would be bored and they would feel guilty.

2) They would leave me behind in a variety of carparks while they went off exploring and walking and I would be bored and they would feel guilty.

3) They would end up doing only those activities that I am able to do and they would be bored and I would feel guilty.

So we took a deep breath and decided to leave me behind.

So, where does the selfishness come into it then?

Because my number one luxury is time to myself. I shall have a wonderful time all on my own. Those of you who are parents (dare I say, mothers especially) will recognise the bliss of not having to organise meals (Mum, what's for dinner?), not having to find lost property (Mum, where's my hairbrush?); not having to sort out squabbles (Mum, tell her to stop doing that!).

I can't help feeling selfish at feeling such joy in the thought of having five days all to myself. And acutely conscious of my good fortune in being able to do this when so many single parents cannot.

But a considerable number of friends have told me I need a break. Tom and Jenny have told me not to be so silly. My eldest daughter tells me, "Mum, don't feel guilty – this is best for everyone."

In the end it was a unanimous decision.

It's best for the mental health of everyone this way.

So I won't feel guilty: I will just enjoy my time alone while they explore the mountains and rivers of North Wales.

And I won't even feel envious!

A Moodscope member.

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

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

What's in your bedroom?

Well, a bed, obviously. But what else? And more to the point, why?

A Zimbabwean friend of mine used to refer to 'Katunda' – originally, a word used by Rhodesian soldiers to refer to their personal belongings, or kit. However, its meaning has morphed into covering all kinds of 'stuff', 'bits and bobs', life's trappings. So in a bedroom this might include clothes (clean or dirty, folded or flung), loose change, correspondence (some open, some still waiting to be opened), contents of pockets, paraphernalia, books, magazines, newspapers, suitcases, shoes, more shoes, possibly a television, a laptop or tablet, ornaments, photos, mirrors, make up, more shoes, etc...

Absolutely none of which are required for a good night's sleep. None. And so I decided to re-invent my bedroom, and make it the one room in the house which contains only that which is either beautiful or of proven relevance to a tranquil sleep. And with the exception of a few loved photos, a couple of candles, and some beautiful and extremely comfortable bedding, my katunda has been moved either out of sight, or to another room in the house.

The difference that this makes is huge. No longer is the last thing I see before a fall asleep the pile of papers, bills, junk mail and nonsense that I used to leave on my table in my room. In fact, no longer is there a table in my room. No longer is there an overflowing laundry basket, untidily decorated with badly discarded shirts. No longer is there a shelf full of dust collecting ornaments, bottles of after shave, business cards that were once in pockets long since emptied, and something bought on a holiday years ago that seemed nice at the time.

I allow myself music, as that can be conducive to sleep, a few books – but only a few, and possibly a cut flower if the season allows (the roses this year have been fabulous.)

And so when I enter this space, my body and mind know that it is a space for rest. Nothing is there to distract me, to alter the course of my thoughts, to detain from my intended purpose – to breathe, to rest, to sleep, and to refresh.

OK, so I admit, the rest of the house is a bit of a tip sometimes, and there is still a great deal of katunda I could and should discard – but my bedroom has become my own personal oasis of calm and placidity. I highly recommend this - you will be surprised what a difference it makes.

A Moodscope member.

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

Monday, 25 July 2016

Too Little, Too Late?

Imagine Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit" playing quietly in the background...

"Too little, too late!"

It's the accusation too often used by those who aren't taking any action themselves, aside from jumping to conclusions!

One day it will be too late - but not today. Today is the perfect day to give a little bit... to give a little bit of your love to...

... Making that call that you've been putting off and now feels 'too late.'
... Sending that card that now is 'late' - that 'thank you' card, that birthday card, that anniversary card, that congratulations card!
... Meeting that person - that friend you keep promising you'll catch up with and it's gone on so long now that you're embarrassed.
... Eating some humble pie and by taking some action.
... It's never too late to walk humbly, to love mercy and forgive someone, to act justly to right a wrong, to go the extra mile...

Give a little bit, give a little bit of your love today!

A Moodscope member.

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

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Losing someone dear to you.

Have you ever woken up and just for that tiniest split second all seemed to be well in your world and your day lies before you perfumed, pink and without a fluffy cloud in sight?

Then just as quickly the heaviness of heart strikes as you remember that you have lost someone so very dear to you?

This happens to me every day and has done for over three years, then just as that happiness of that teeny weenie split second seemed to be somehow stretching to minutes before that dreadful heartache, that black pain that reminds you that you are not part of the same family you once were, another deadly blow by that awful enemy called Death leaps into your life and you find yourself to be a complete adult orphan.

It is soul destroying, and now I know how utter sorrow feels - the wretched thing has me in its grip and tight.

This feeling I will never survive... but then again I might??

Like the birds above I long to be free of this deepest sadness, but there is no easy way out.

I recently dreamt that I was climbing out of a window, (such a struggle it was) but I finally got through and felt so free, free of pain and all the dark feelings that billow around me endlessly.

Somehow though part of me is hoping one day I can close the windows, open the door and let myself try and be able to live again.

There will never again be the 100% moments of perfect happiness that I took for granted.  The songs playing on the radio in the kitchen on a sunny afternoon, the laughter of a family picnic, the sunshine and the salty sandwiches on a day at the seaside, the smell of apple pie and the two pairs of eyes that watched over me endlessly.

Memories are met on the path of longing and I need to try and hope that one day we will all be together again in some sunny haze where the birds are singing and there is just a lovely perfumed pink day ahead, and I will feel those caring arms around me once more.

A Moodscope member.

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

Saturday, 23 July 2016

The Times They Are A Changing.

The U.S. is in crisis. Senseless gun violence, especially in my city of Chicago. There is no consensus on how to solve the problem. Our election process has been a complete circus.  It's like our nation is going through a total shift in consciousness, somewhat akin to the 60's.

Truth be told though - I haven't paid much attention to the news. It's been background chatter to me as I have been struggling with my own issues. Then I read this quote yesterday from Elie Wiesel: "The opposite of love is not hate. It's indifference." That stopped me cold. I was removing myself from participating in the world around me to focus on myself, but in doing so I forgot what I was supposed to be working on: compassion.

I don't want to get into the Facebook arguments but I do want to be a part of the change.

I have been having a lot of health issues lately - shoulder & back pain, now a nagging cough - and I am trying to view them symbolically because it is the only thing that helps me make sense of things. The areas that are giving me issue fall in the fourth and fifth chakras - for those that follow these things - and correspond to living my life truthfully, honestly, and forgiving myself. And I'm seeing that being played out on a national scale too. Compassion for all human lives. Living honestly. Forgiving those around us.

We as a nation are imploding. But that may be a good thing. Like my aches and pains the violence that is facing us daily cannot be ignored. We must change. But in this pain is a real opportunity to grow. There are many people in this country who wish to hide behind a 200+ year old document to justify holding on to old world beliefs and prejudices. But there are also many, including myself, who believe common sense and compassion will prevail. This country is in crisis but I feel the healing is beginning.

A Moodscope Member

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Friday, 22 July 2016

If I didn't think.

If I didn't think, I'd be much happier; Sylvia Plath

This quotation (there is a second part but I have chosen not to include it but concentrate on the first part - for the purists) means a lot to me. People have often told me that I think way too much and if I didn't think as much I would be more peaceful, calmer and possibly happier.

Now we are encouraged to change the way we think. We are told that what you think affects how you feel, so if you want to feel better we should change how we think. Counsellors challenge our pattern of thinking and show us different ways of thinking will hopefully be more helpful.

Why is thinking so problematic for some of us? Would we be much happier if we didn't think or didn't think as much.

Various studies have shown that the average person has more than 30,000 thoughts a day. About 90% of those thoughts are repetitive and 80% can be classed as negative.

Some of you will say 30,000 thoughts, I would not think that much in a year while others will say, like me, 30,000 thoughts, I think that before breakfast!

Negative here means those thoughts that do not give anything beneficial like support for our desires, health, ideas and accomplishments. Those thoughts are really your mind worrying, planning, going over and over problems. This means that studies show that the majority of our thoughts are a constant negative force in our body-mind because they deprive us of energy and mental peace.

I often wonder how this research is done and who does it. What machine is there that can detect 30,000 thoughts?

Would you agree that 90% of your thoughts are repetitive and 80% are negative? I would say some days that would be true but on other days it maybe half positive and half negative thoughts.

I know people who don't seem to think and worry as much as I do and they seem happier.

Do you think you would be happier if you didn't think so much or if you thought more productively, more positively?

What have you found that helps you to change your negative thoughts?

A Moodscope member.

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

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Personalities and Comfort Zones.

Leah wrote recently about her old pair of walking shoes and used them as an analogy for the discomfort of a new  approach to our depression/bipolar etc.

Then Andrew made the comment on the 15th July that it is almost comforting to wallow in that cloying sadness.

I am grateful to Andrew and Leah for giving me the opportunity to examine what is real sadness and depression and what is actually normal for our own individual personalities. I acknowledge this wasn't the point of either of their blogs but this is what I am choosing to take from their excellent writing and base my blog on today.

When I look back on my childhood and teenage years, early twenties, before I knew I suffered from depression, I see the same person as I can see now but someone, me, not defined by depression.

Life becomes more complicated for everyone as they get older; we take on more responsibilities at work and if we have children, with a family. Whatever our increased responsibilities are, I think that our personality will shape how we deal with the challenges. Our personality will also dictate to a large extent how we react and what permanent damage is done.

Therefore I am saying that although my insomnia is bad and the subsequent depression also bad, it's not the whole picture. Nothing exists in isolation.

A different personality to mine might not have been phased by the same things/life events that were thrown at me. Their choices would have been different and they may have been better (or worse) equipped to deal with them.

I understand that we can choose to try to change our way of thinking and get away from the comfort zone of staying with our depression. After all for many of us, this is all we have known for a number of years now. However we must not try to change our innate personalities which existed pre depression days.

One of the great and comforting aspects of Moodscope is that we all seem to have similar kind, sympathetic, caring and creative personalities. We care about others and feel frustrated we cannot for the most part, be what we want to be in terms of communication, creativity and light heartedness. We care about others more than we care about ourselves. This means we want number one i.e. us as individuals to be better so that we can continue to help and make the world a better place. This might sound a grandiose scheme but I firmly believe us Moodscopers are a lovely lot and I cherish our similarities.

A Moodscope member.

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

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Give and Take.

The Boomerang Generation it's called.

As parents you think you have successfully launched your children into the world, to make their own way and to stand independently on their own feet. Then, before you have even had a chance to run away to Florida without giving them your forwarding address, they're back! Sometimes they come back when they didn't even start with you in the first place, as has happened with the son we adopted as an adult.

So yes, we have Tom living with us. Not just staying for a while; he's actually living here and this is his official address. And with him, his Jenny. (And for those of you with eidetic memories who recall that they split up – yes – they're back together and highly delighted we all are too!)

Suddenly the house is very full. Full not just physically, but emotionally.

Tom and Jenny do things differently. They have their own habits and rhythms which are different from the previous practices and traditions of this household. Inevitably, there is friction.

But, blessedly, there is also communication. Tom is excellent at this.

A while ago Lex published a blog on emotional bank accounts. We have recently had a practical demonstration, involving many slips of paper, a notice-board and some bitter complaining on the part of people who didn't quite understand why they were so overdrawn with other members of the family.

It was salutary, but ultimately useful, to see how neglected some of our relationships had become. It was useful for my eldest daughter to see that her constant hugs and positive affirmations to all members of the family bear the fruits of easy love and gratitude. She has a healthy balance with everyone. It was probably just as useful but less comfortable for my youngest daughter to realise the effect of some of her actions. And yes – I had to assimilate and swallow the consequences of my own emotional withdrawal and demand for solitude.

So we have started the long process of mending, renewing and repairing.

I spent yesterday at a theme park with my youngest, getting scared and uncomfortable on the rides - and paying money to do it! It wasn't entirely unpleasant however, and the reward was that my daughter opened up to me on the way home and actually started talking.
Which meant an uncomfortable chat with her father as I explained that she really, really, doesn't want to do what he has planned for her this Summer.

Often communication means hearing things that are uncomfortable and saying things we don't want to say.

As Tom says, "It has to get worse before it gets better, Mum!"

We've all agreed to communicate more. How can I expect Tom and Jenny to follow the rules if I don't explain the rules first?

So, rule number one: Put the blasted toilet seat down. Yes, both bits. That means you, Tom!

A Moodscope member

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

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Songs from the seagulls.

I've been incredibly low. Inexplicably. Well, ok, I think I know why. I thoroughly burnt myself out over the last couple of months and I'm now left with shards of me. This time has felt harder than others and I don't understand why. After all I have been here before.  And before that. And again, before that.

I have refused to give in. I ache to give in. I don't have the opportunity to give in and that is my saviour. Today, at the beach with my children, it was empty, drizzly, but with a warm wind. The rain subsided and on the walk back I watched my youngest daughter. She is on the brink of changing into an adult but really still a child. Often swamped with inadequacy of appearance, and the pressure of conformity amongst her peers and today carefree in wellies with wild spirit hair.

It was just enough to be a reminder to me to stick to simple things. Not to over complicate. Not to be more than me. The lesson was that the best part is when life is allowed to bleed out like watercolour paint on paper. Not to harness and control and measure but to become pliable.

We leave our 3 day beach break tomorrow and I hope to take this with me.

Love from 
The room above the garage.

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

Monday, 18 July 2016

Life's Amplifiers.

You have an infinite capacity for Life.

When Life is good, it's highly likely that you'd like more of the good stuff! We all may have different desires, missions and visions in Life but we all share a common intent and purpose:

To live Life to the full.

I call this "Life Plus" or "Life∞" - simply because I meet so few people who are enjoying Life to the full. So how can we get more out of life? How can we move into more of this "quality of Life" that people mention so often?

To get more 'out' of Life, put more 'in' to Life!

There are many factors that will amplify the quality of life. "There" is an anagram of "Three" so let's just focus on three today!

Stroking {Positive}

You get more of what you pay attention to. This seems to be a Golden Rule of Mindset - the stuff you think about expands in your awareness, and often in your circumstances too. So a great place to begin is by paying attention or 'investing attention' in the practice of being grateful.

Firstly, then, what are you grateful for today?

This will prime your creative mindset to mine your experience for those gems of goodness. What's good and true and lovely and praise-worthy in your life? What's beautiful and funny and edifying?

Secondly, pay attention...

Some people are so poor they can't even pay attention! If you want inner peace, the lessons from history are clear: quality of life is about People first. And the currency of every good relationship is attention. In short, we need to quieten our inner dialogue and need to be heard, and turn up our ability to listen to others. Once again, there are gems to be found once you listen deeply to the message behind the surface noise.

Thirdly, Stroke people!

Really listening to someone is a wonderful gift to give, and a great investment in the future of your relationship. But you're not a microphone attached to a recording device... you are also a Broadcaster with a message to share, a Singer with a song to sing, a Poet with a love poem to speak into being.

What I mean is that true listening must produce tangible fruit. You must respond in some way. And this is where positive stroking will further amplify your quality of life. I am using 'stroking' here in the way it is meant by Transactional Analysts: a unit of attention. We won't go any deeper today but simply suggest you really turn up the volume when you say something good, and true, and lovely about the other person.

Amazing people will surround you today. Catch them doing something right, and tell them that you appreciate it.

If you can become more aware of what there is to be grateful for in your Life, and if you can really listen to others today, and if you can augment your listening with genuine compliments, your Life (and my Life) will be amplified towards its potential: "Life Plus" or "Life∞"

Have a wonder-filled day!

A Moodscope member.

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

Sunday, 17 July 2016


I wrote a blog with this title in March 2015. Over a year later, coping with a deteriorating situation, I'm still here – due very much to what I now term a 'watching' committee. They are the professionals, doctors, morning nurses. They are family, friends (so generous with e-mails) and the Moodscope 'world'.

'Opening up' in the morning, reading the day's blog and late comments from the day before, start my day. After three hours' solid abuse from 5am to 8 am and being called a terrible wife I've had a brainwave – I will get up and call my friends in Australia.

Over those 15 months I've lived with you all coping with depression of every severity – going through counselling, trying all sorts of drugs, weeping on shoulders, on cats; struggling with the work situation; struggling even to get up in the morning; risking alienating friends and family. But, with depression, a huge percentage (luckily), come out the other end. With Alzheimer's, you don't.

We've plumbed the absolute depths – and recoiled. Ironically I am glad that I worked 5 years with Samaritans, with Crisis at Christmas; that I have the experience of a daughter-in-law who spent 5 years working with Alzheimer's. If you've seen an 18-year-old girl 3 days from death from heroin addiction, the wrecks that alcoholism has driven to live under Hungerford Bridge, I think, I hope, spirit willing, that lessons can be learned.  Now I am being advised that my own health is in danger; it's time to call it a day, which equals a home for my husband. But – I cannot yet.

As he cannot manage phones or radios he would very quickly become institutionalised; good though our hospital and staff are. I hunt congenial radio programmes, English and French, on line. Friends and family can phone anytime. People go by in the road, pop in. Despite spending most of his time wrapped up in a cocoon of coats, blankets and misery I can still provide him a life.

With a little help from my friends.

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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

Saturday, 16 July 2016


Last night I had a dream. I was in therapy. It wasn't a great dream because I had to explain to the therapist what my anxiety and depression felt like. How I described it was quite deep and I'd like to share it with you.

To me, it's like being trapped within myself. It's like I have some sort of armour or suit on and my actual self is trapped inside, and I can't escape.

The actual me is someone who is happy and wants to try new things, wants to meet new people, and I'm confident in myself in many ways.

But the armour is so suffocating and there's no way to get it off. It weighs me down, it's heavy and wearing this armour every single day is exhausting.

In my dream, my therapist then asked me "Can you ask someone to help you take it off?"

It was quite an eyeopening dream for me.

Can you describe how you feel?

A Moodscope member.

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

Friday, 15 July 2016

Waking up sad.

Some days it just happens. Maybe the sky is slate grey. Again. Or the cat has woken early and demanded food. Again. Or the news broadcasts details of another atrocity somewhere in the world. Again.

The sadness that envelops me on these occasions is pervasive, invasive, massive. It weighs down on and over my head like a sodden blanket – suffocating, heavy, draining. Like the dementors in Harry Potter stories, it sucks life, snuffs light, drains energy, dulls senses, and, usually, wells tears. Not uncontrollable sobbing tears. Not the tears of sorrow or grief. But slow, heavy, dull tears, that well and ooze and dribble, like the final wringing of a rinsed garment when there really isn't much more to wring.

Thoughts are slow, dwelling on the triggers that first bring on the feeling. Seemingly unable to move on. Other events – a careless driver, a harmless piece of litter, a remembered pain, a glance in the mirror, seem to fly in from all sides, sticking like sand on a beach sandwich, unwelcome, inevitable, unpleasant, permanent, feeding the sadness and somehow giving it legitimacy. And so the spiral starts – the sadness feeding on itself, growing, thickening, sucking in a myriad of irrelevant and unconnected thoughts to become that single, cancerous, overshadowing mantle that is depression.

The critical voice shouts 'Snap out of it'; Screams 'What have you got to complain about?' Yells 'Pull yourself together! Snaps 'What are you, a man or a mouse?'

The critical voice knows nothing though. It has guile, and volume, and resonance, but no knowledge or understanding. It is incompetent.

It reminds me of the four stages of learning – in the context of depression it works like this: Stage One -  Unconscious incompetence:  We have absolutely no idea what is happening or why we are feeling so perfectly awful. (This is very scary and can last for years if no outside help is sought). Stage Two - Conscious Incompetence: We understand what we are feeling, but have no idea what to do about it. Stage Three: Conscious Competence: We understand why we feel the way we do, and we have to work hard using learned techniques and coping strategies to drag ourselves back into a better place. Stage Four: Unconscious Competence – we have managed to train ourselves to cope, and out of our awareness, we spot the danger signals and channel our thoughts in positive directions, watching the negative thoughts pass us by, like trucks on a busy road – we see them, we watch them pass, we forget them, we move forward.

Currently I am at Stage Three. Most of the time. This morning, I awoke and had slipped into Stage Two. Again.

What stage are you at?

A Moodscope member.

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

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Choose your maxim.

"In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can." I read that quote on Moodscope. But then came to mind a different maxim "Don't try to put a square peg into a round hole". Often to know how to proceed amidst the confusion we might go with the wrong maxim. It is a great thing to have self-belief, but sometimes it can turn to self-delusion. A delusion that might lead you to thinking a square peg can go into a round hole.

I say this, because of Frau Should. She comes to me, with exclamations such as "You should be able to teach at secondary school, other people do" "You should be feeling calm", "You should have worked harder and been a scientist", "You should have found the right partner", you should "x, y and z etc." She never runs out of shoulds.

Having said that, I believe that "In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can." But I also believe, that in order to succeed then we should first "know ourselves". Some of Frau Should's better advice. And I think, Socrates had something to say about the subject also.

I know then, that: secondary school teaching goes against my sensitive grain; I have tendency towards anxiety; I did not work harder, nor at the time did I have the competitive edge to be a scientist; I, like many people, have been disappointed in love and relationships; and sometimes a, b and c apply rather than x, y and z.

So, there is clarity, but often it is only to be found at the end of confusion. Like a baby trying to find the round hole for the round peg for the first time. Their innate curiosity is all they need. No intellectualising about belief, a lot of error, but also a great satisfaction in discovering the peg rule. And, though they don't know it, they have applied one of life's first maxims "don't try to put a square peg into a round hole"

A Moodscope member

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

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The Future and the Past.

Is it your future or your past you fear most?

I suppose that depends on whether we suffer nightmares, where our past revisits us clothed in hideous glory; where we run, but cannot escape our mistakes and the consequences; where the events behind us play out before us with tragic inevitability.

Then we might fear the past, because the past is our present day to day.

Or perhaps we have made a peace, however uneasy, with our past. We all make mistakes. We would all have done things differently if only we had known... And then the mistakes would simply have been different ones. So our mistakes, and the choices we made that were not mistakes but wise decisions, and just pure luck, have brought us to where we are now, the present.

For some of us it is the future we fear. A future of aging; of losing health, independence, quality of life; losing loved ones.

Some of us have lived with a mental health condition for as long as we can remember, and this brings its own specific fears.

Before my diagnosis of bi-polar, I had no particular fear of the future, because every time I crashed and burned on the cycle it was a new experience. I never once thought, "Oh, here we go again!" I just wondered why I was ill this particular time, and why I didn't seem to be able to go more than two years without some kind of debilitating illness (I have written before of the myriad diagnoses I had before my current GP, intelligent saint that she is, correctly identified what was going on).

Now it is a different story. Research into bipolar disorder suggests that this is a condition that worsens with age and my own observations and records (thank you Moodscope) suggests that is true at least in my own case.

So its unlikely things will get better. My highs are getting higher, and the troughs more frequent, and deeper.

It's not exactly fear for the future, but it is concern.

My siblings and I have all made a pact that we will not end our lives by suicide. We know this is a real issue for us and that we have to take appropriate steps to manage things if that particular spectre begins to haunt us with his cold and twisted logic.

We have GPs who know us well. We have overcome our reluctance to take drugs, because hey – the drugs work; if not perfectly, then better than trying to cope without. We have created support networks. We hope it will be enough.

We are shoring up our defences, stockpiling the sandbags, taping over the vulnerable windows. We are doing all we can. We are taking responsibility for the future.

And the future becomes the present, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Then it slips into the past.

And the past cannot hurt us - unless we succumb to the nightmares.

A Moodscope member.

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

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

My old shoes.

Every day when I go for a walk I think I should wear my new walking shoes but somehow I always find myself putting on my old shoes that are worn on the soles but are ever so comfortable. They are only two years old but I use my shoes, like other people use tyres as I walk everwhere because I don't drive. So my shoes get put through their paces. Even though my new shoes fit me well I just seem drawn to the old shoes which fit me well, like a shoe.

Often I read on Moodscope and in books that we should change our old ways and try new ways of thinking, new ways of looking at our lives and I agree with that. I never realized how hard it was to try something new until I remembered my old, ever so comfortable shoes.

It is not that I am not willing to try new things, but it is that the old ways can be so comfortable, so reassuring, so familiar. Trying something new may be a bit scary at first because we want something that is easy and comfortable. I try new things but when they don't work the first time I feel like going back to my old ways, my old shoes. New shoes take some time to feel comfortable to fit me like my old shoes do.

So I am going to hide my old shoes for a week and wear my news shoes. I am going to give mindfulness one more try this time with a positive attitude and a smile.

What do you find hard to give up, either an abstract idea or concept or a concrete object?

How do you approach trying something new? Do you find it easy or do you find it a difficult challenge?

A Moodscope member.

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

Monday, 11 July 2016

Involvement = Commitment.

One of my favourite scenes in movie history is 56 seconds from the film, "The Full Monty."

In it, you see an articulation of the magic of what happens when a fragmented group commit to a common cause. This seems rather relevant to the challenges facing the UK's political parties at the time of writing! The leader of the group, who has some relevant dancing experience, is seeking to choreograph the team to make a coordinated set of moves. It just doesn't happen!

He loses his temper and swears at the team. All he wants them to do is come forward in a straight line and lift their right hands as one.

Something beautiful happens when the group takes ownership of the problem. One of them has an Aha! moment where he understands the solution in his own terms. In a flash of insight, he perceives the dance move to be like, "The Arsenal Offside Trap"! He says, "Lumper, here, is Tony Adams..." and he continues. "If any ******* looks like scoring, we all come forward in a straight line and wave our hands around like a fairy!"

Politically correct, he is not. Functionally correct and effective, he is!

The clip is the best articulation I know of what Harvard's Professor Howard Gardner calls, 'Multiple Intelligence'. Building on the initial moment of insight (Reflective Intelligence), the team then engage to put the concept in their own words (Linguistic Intelligence), work out the sequences of moves (Physical and Mathematical/Logical Intelligence), work in solidarity (Social Intelligence), arrange themselves at the right distance from one another (Visual/Spatial Intelligence), and all in time to the music (Musical Intelligence). They get involved, intelligently... and as a result, show commitment and remain committed to the result.

I wish I was more mature than I am at times, but the truth is I am an emotional being! On three occasions recently I have not been involved in decisions that directly affect my well-being. The result (immaturely) is that I am in no-way committed to the outcomes. In fact, if there is any way I can throw a spanner in the works, I will! I realise that this is my inner-chimp, but he needs respect or at least a banana!

With a little bit of detachment, I can see my emotional reaction as typical of many of the issues I encounter in organisational and family conflicts around the World. The lack of respect shown in a corresponding lack of involvement leads at best to passive aggression and a will to revolt!

So if you need commitment from your team (or family), be prepared to involve them in the decisions that are made. They may not have the right, the power, or the authority, but they do have a will... and it would be far better for you if their will was in your favour! Even if you finally make a decision they don't agree with, you may be surprised by how supportive they will remain if, and only if, you involve them intelligently and respectfully.

A Moodscope member.

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

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Music Therapy for Bouncing Back.

Last Monday, on Moodscope, we shared a blog on Ebb and Flow. The idea being that 10 emotional states can push us towards resilience and positive psychology, and 10 emotional states can pull us back, or even 'down'. The dialogue that followed, especially an idea from Jules, highlighted the potential of music to help us bounce back from the negative states and thus overcome them.

So today, I've some music suggestions as our "Starter for Ten"! Please add your suggestions so that we can develop a music therapy playlist. I've already set up the first suggestions on my Spotify playlist for "Bouncing Back".

The power of music to change our state of mind is undisputed – but the choice of songs and the associations they trigger are tailored by each individual's experience.

The selection must be yours!

And in case you want to copy-and-paste, the first suggested songs are:

[For overcoming being Afraid] Whistle a happy tune (The King and I)

[For overcoming feeling Ashamed] Forgive me (Leona Lewis)

[For overcoming feeling Distressed] Always look on the bright side of life (Monty Python)

[For overcoming feeling Guilty] Forgive someone (Morrissey) I also like 'Only Human' by the Human League

[For overcoming feeling Hostile] Give peace a chance - John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band

[For overcoming being Irritable] Peaceful easy feeling (The Eagles)

[For overcoming being Jittery] Let it be (The Beatles)

[For overcoming feeling Nervous] Don't worry, be happy (Bobby McFerrin)

[For overcoming feeling Scared] A little bit stronger (Sara Evans)

[For overcoming being Upset] You've got a friend (James Taylor)

Really looking forward to hearing your suggestions.

A Moodscope member.

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

Thursday, 7 July 2016


"Never give up on someone with a mental illness. When "I" is replaced by "We", illness becomes wellness." Shannon Alder.

I only found this quotation recently. It just made so much sense and was so simple. Maybe many Moodscopers have read this before but the simple message deserves to be repeated.

For me it was not others giving on up on me, it was me giving up on me as I felt I was so isolated so alone that no one understood that no one cared that no one got me. I never felt part of a 'we' even though I knew there were people who loved me and cared for me.

The other thing that the quote is telling me, is to ask for help, ask to be part of that 'we'. Often when I was sick I did not know that I needed assistance or I had no idea what sort of help I needed.

Often we want to help people but we don't know what they need or how we can do something practical and beneficial.

Years ago when my children were small, and I was very low, a friend arrived on my doorstep with a homemade casserole. She told me she had no idea what I was going through but she thought a home cooked meal would be useful. She was so right. I felt so cared for and I knew I could feed my family that night without worrying about what I was going to cook.

I think as a community if we can focus on the wellness and the part we can play in being there for some one who is not well, it could make such a difference. It could transform a quotation into something practical.

I know that is not that simple and if you are having a rough time you may think I don't realise how complex things can be.

What can you do to help yourself or others go from illness to wellness?

Maybe you disagree with the quotation-why?

Do you find it hard to ask for help or offer help?

A Moodscope member

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

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Hard Times.

Well, it's been a rough two weeks.

So – okay – it's been a rough 2016 so far, but the last two weeks have been the worst yet. So bad I can't even begin to tell you about it – and if I can't talk, then you know it's bad.

But – we're all still here. We're all still together and if we can come through this as a family we will be so much stronger for it.

But the experience has been a little like sailing. One moment the sky is blue, the wind is sweet and we're skipping across the waves with a song in our heart and plans for a picnic on the other side of the bay.

The next moment, from nowhere, dark clouds are boiling overhead. A bolt of lightning takes down our mast, a boom of thunder deafens and an icy rain lashes down like a cat-o-nine-tails!

Our little boat faces thirty foot waves. We're driven up a sheer face of water by a vicious wind and then dropped, sickeningly, into the trough on the other side. Then again, and again, and again.

We can only hold onto our boat, hold onto each other and hope desperately we will come out the other side with everyone still on board.

There have been more hugs shared in the past two weeks than for the whole of last year. There has also been sniping; angry words, as we try to cope under the strain.

And, there has been support. When I turned up at church last Sunday and promptly burst into tears, I was swept up, mopped up and prayed with. I bonded with another member of the congregation with whom I had previously only exchanged good mornings; her family is going through bitter times too. We held each other and wept each on the other's shoulder.

There is support from the other side of the world from friends who know they cannot ask for details, yet understand family matters can be complicated and painful, so just offer warmth and care and prayers/warm thoughts. Another dear friend, who I thought I was supporting through his own hard time, turns out to be the one supporting me; someone I can lean on, just as he leans on me.

Other than death or family breakup, I cannot think of anything worse than what we are going through, yet even in these tough times, there are many consolations.
Maybe our mistake is in thinking that life should be easy and without complications. Maybe we should adjust our thinking to accept that normality is hard and any easy times are just a blessed respite.

We can never answer the question "Why?" We do not deserve this pain. But when life is good we are equally undeserving. Life just is.

We'll get through it. We have to. We'll just keep on holding on.

A Moodscope member.

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

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Playing Volleyball? Wear Sunscreen.

Recently I've been feeling rather pleased with myself for developing the skill of mindfulness. In those moments which don't require any extreme mental focus, I'll be thinking away freely and then every so often I'll catch one of my thoughts mid flow, stop it in its tracks, spin it around an examine it from all angles. This gives me the chance to say, "O-oh! We know where that's going to lead", chuck it away and simply choose a new thought path. Or even, "Oh! I'm being horribly mean about that person by thinking that thought. Am I projecting current feelings of insecurity onto others?"

This mental process is definitely a new skill that I'm proud of, but, as a wise woman named Mary Schmich once said "Don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either". The funny thing is, that in learning not to do the latter I have fallen into the trap of the former, and oh what a trap that can be.

It turns out that just like enjoying a long rally in a game of volleyball, sometimes it only takes a moment of lost concentration for the thought coming towards you to start tumbling until it reaches rock bottom, and it will hit the ground before you feel like you have had any power to stop it. You may even end up face-planting the sand for good measure.

So that's what happened to me tonight, during my little evening walk outside the hotel I've been living in for a month. Things have been quite emotionally difficult lately but as always, my work has provided a much needed injection of inspiration and happiness into my days. Work can often be so all consuming for me that there just isn't time for self-reflection. This can be both a blessing and a curse.

I had a wobble a couple of days ago due to a personal relationship. I thought I was better today after getting in-the-zone with my project and then as soon as I stopped, in crowded the unhealthy thoughts. They blindsided me. So much so that by the end of my twenty minute sortie this evening I was certain that the logical thing for me to do was to end my life. It was absolutely clear and made absolutely perfect sense. Face-plant. OK. That's when I felt the metaphorical sand in my teeth and heard my new mindfulness muscle finally pipe up and say "Oops! Sorry! Missed that one".

It's now much more difficult, having let the ball drop, to pick myself up off the sand, brush it out of my teeth and hair and get back in the game again. To be honest I feel like licking my wounds and removing myself from the game completely. My knees are grazed and my shoulder hurts. I'm not going to end it but I wish I could just take time out for injury. Shut it all out for a bit. That's not particularly helpful either though so here I am. Still standing. Just.

I'll say it again: "Don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. All your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's". Thank you Mary Schmich, who was the original writer of the lyrics "Wear Sunscreen" so often attributed to Baz Luhrmann. Thankfully at least, she still gets the royalties. A wise woman indeed.

A Moodscope member.

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

Monday, 4 July 2016

Ebb and Flow, For and Against, To and Fro.

As we seek to grow, to mature, to bear good fruit and to find our flow – there are always factors that will support our good intent and factors that will resist our progress.

10 of our Moodscope states support us, 10 resist.

Kurt Lewin developed a wonderful simple yet profound tool called Force-Field Analysis. In it you have a movement towards a desired change (usually in an arrow going left to right).  Then you draw smaller arrows going in the same direction for every force that supports that movement towards what you want.

Equally, you draw arrows in the opposite direction for the forces that slow, block or stop the change.

The exciting news is that you don't have to work on all the factors. Weakening just one of the resisting forces can be enough to release the flow in your chosen direction... the tide changes.

I think it is great to strengthen all 10 positive Moodscope states: proud, active, attentive, determined, enthusiastic, excited, interested, strong, inspired, alert – hey, it even feels good just typing them here.

But then, adding a bit of force to weakening just one of the unresourceful states could turn the tide.

When I am faced with evidence that life is unfair, I often max out on the "hostile" score on Moodscope. But I can weaken this hostile force by listening to Andy Williams and watching the birds. Within minutes, I'm grinning, I'm winning.

Action for today then, if you're up for it, is to think of an action you could take to strengthen 3 of the positive states – 1 action for each, and an action to weaken just 1 of the negative states. Keep that up and I promise you the tide will turn in your favour.

A Moodscope member.

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

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Three Days of My Life.

One of the most significant things I've done as part of my recovery from depression is attend a course called the Landmark Forum.  It was so amazing I have become a little evangelical about it, especially with the people I care about most in the world. I honestly think everyone should do it and that it should be taught to our kids. I feel like I have learnt to be a human being all over again, something our current education system fails at.

Just to be clear, the Landmark Forum is not a course designed for depression, it's a 'personal development programme', but for me (and most other people I know who have done the Forum) it is much much more than that.  In summary you sit in a room with around 150 other people while a course leader stands at the front and talks. At certain points throughout the three days people get up to share what they are getting out of what they are hearing and that for me is where the power is.

The course teaches that at some point in our childhood all of us hear or encounter something that makes us feel 'there's something wrong', 'I don't belong' and I'm not good enough'. I don't know about you but these thoughts have been my constant companions for a long time, so to see 150 other people all nodding and recounting how they feel these things too is totally life enhancing. Suddenly I got how all humans are the same, we share the same struggles, the same pains and the same joys. For some of us these thoughts are reinforced continuously over time and (in some cases) depression is the result.

Without a doubt the three days I spent seeing humanity laid bare were three of the best days of my life. It wasn't easy, and at times I was very confronted, but that's all part of it. I got to see what a victim I had been in life, how I'd resented people, isolated myself and then played the 'poor me' act with almost everyone I knew. After the Forum I have worked hard to use the distinctions they gave me to clear up my life – relationships, friendships, career, health. A life overhaul if you like. And I am now finally becoming the person I knew I was under all the layers I had constructed around me.

I would recommend doing the Forum to anyone (and frequently do!) so if it's something you're interested in do feel free to contact me through Moodscope - just email If in doubt just do it, it may just be the three days that change your life ;-)

With huge love,

Debs xxx
A Moodscope member

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

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: