Sunday, 26 March 2017

Altered sensations.

I was reminded today of how much our senses overlap...

We tend to think of each of our senses as having mainly one purpose, yet how many of us look but don't see; listen but don't hear; touch but never feel? As I sat under a large laurel with the snow gently coming down I began playing with words to try and find a connection between nature and its multiple dimensions.

So as I opened my own heart I became aware that as the snowdrop fell on my cheek it became more than just a melting snow flake – it had real energy to it. For the short time it was with me it moved between landing as gently as a feather, through the wet of its melting state and onto the movement of it slipping down my cheek. Then I began to feel the warmth my clothes afforded my body even as my face became colder to the crisp morning air. There was a Robin sheltering just behind me and together we silently listened. The leaves around us began to droop under the weight of the snow and sighed gently as it slipped from them to the ground beneath. I became fascinated by what was unfolding before me and with that in mind wanted to try and share with you my thoughts on just how multifaceted the world we live in is.

I hope you enjoy a little journey through altered sensations…. ('enjoy the grass; watch it play' may seem a little bit of a stretch haha.)

Feel Nature Calling

Taste the rain upon your face
Smell the wind its sweet embrace
See the scent of webs of lace
And hear nature calling

Feel the cacophony of birds up high
Smell the trees and watch them sigh
Consider the rabbits in sun they lie
And hear nature calling

Embrace the trees and all they say
Listen to bulrush gently sway
Enjoy the grass; watch it play
And hear nature calling

Hold onto sand as it drifts
Engage the shadows as they slip
Dance with nothing as it sits
And hear nature calling

Quench the pain of hungered love
Grasp the kiss of one black dove
Play the dance of one last move
And hear nature calling

Caress the sun and all its rays
In your own adoring gaze
Feel the ice through the blaze
And hear nature calling

Drink the sounds of oceans deep
Watch the dance of restful sleep
Time to feast and drink in deep
The sound of nature calling

With very best wishes

Rosemary
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/altered-sensations

Saturday, 25 March 2017

An interview with myself.

It feels like there are 2 people in my head. One is confident, courageous and positive, the other is conservative, cautious and anxious. Most of the time they co-exist peacefully, but when I am under stress they fight. Their battles go on for days and weeks, as long as the stress persists. But I am determined and the confident one suppresses the worried and anxious one, not letting her speak, pushing away her comments forcing her to be quiet. This needs to happen so I can continue to move forward and progress to do the things I need to do. But then when I am asleep, I start sleep talking, repeating the same phrases over and over, sometimes to shout out - shouting is something I am too quiet to do when awake.

I asked a psychologist about it. He said it is quite common for people to feel this way, and many people have a chattering conversation in their heads, that the sleep talking was the repressed person not being able to get a voice in the day, emerging from the sub- conscious at night.

I was tired and worn out with it all. He gave a simple exercise to do. To put 2 chairs (e.g. Kitchen chairs) opposite facing each other. Sit in one and ask a question. Then move to the other facing chair (it doesn't work if you don't move) and answer your question. Moving forward back and forth, interviewing yourself. At most I can manage about ten minutes. But it really clears my mind. Everyone has a chance to speak, all are listened to, and the tension in my stomach released.

It helped me, what do you do to find peace?

The woman whose feet don't touch the ground.
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/an-interview-with-myself

Friday, 24 March 2017

Do you seek approval?

Recently a friend told me about her relationships with her adult children who are in their 40s and 50s. After bringing up her children she went back to study and through a lot of hard work she obtained her MA then a PHD and also about 4 post graduate diplomas. This woman also teaches at universities, teaches writing workshops all over the state and helps other people to edit their books. I was surprised to hear that her own children are not impressed by what she has achieved or interested in what she does. She says she does not want their approval but it would be encouraging to have their support.

I was surprised to find when I googled to find information about adult children who disapprove of their parents or make their parents feel that everything the parents do is worthless and uninteresting. All the articles were about how parents should give unconditional approval and how children can spend their wholes lives trying to seek parents approval.

I agree it is so important to support and encourage children but when children become adults it would be helpful if they showed an interest in their parents' achievements. Several parents have told me how they have felt their children have never felt proud of them and they feel they have disappointed their child/children in some way.

"You will never gain anyone's approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows." Mandy Hale

My friend is very confident about her own worth, but respect from her children does not follow. Nor does she beg but she would like respect.

All relationships are complex.

Do you find with adult children or other people, work colleagues, relatives that your life does not seem to interest them and your achievements of little concern to them?

Is that ok or do you continually seek their approval?

Or do you cope in other ways?

Leah
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/do-you-seek-approval

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Solution searching.

When my paranoia really takes hold it's difficult for me to see what's real unless I have 100 per cent proof to the contrary! This can be exhausting for my friends. It also feels confusing for me as I've always had very good intuition. Therefore I have to try to solve the mystery of what is true, as my intuition has proved right many times, and what is not, as my paranoia has been proved wrong many times!

I've spent the last 4 years 'working' on my paranoia in addition to my anxiety, bouts of depression and extreme sensitivity. I'm often led to believe that being too sensitive is a fault of mine.

Now I've begun to wonder if not thinking altogether is the solution. To just try and focus on the here and now at every opportunity. To try not to hide behind endless work and study and general busyness.

Or is there ultimately not a solution? Do I just need to accept the way I am and maybe even feel proud? This is the first time I've publicly admitted to having paranoia. I've never had a diagnosis.

Do you feel proud of who you are? Or like me do you continue to try and find 'solutions?'

Jane SG
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/solution-searching

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

We have Normality. I Repeat, We Have Normality.

[To listen to an audio version of this blog please click here:  https://soundcloud.com/user-231831520/sets/we-have-normality]

Aficionados of Douglas Adams will recognise this quotation from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect are rescued from certain death in space by the Starship Heart of Gold, operated by the Infinite Improbability Drive.*

Our heroes experience some pretty weird stuff, before the ship restores a probability factor of 1:1 – normality.

"We have normality," says Trillian. "I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem."

I've had a few weeks of "normality" now, but today? Irritable, hostile and agitated.

Normally, when the children say, "Mummy, why are you so sad/tired/angry/grumpy?"  I have to say, "I don't know, darlings. It's just part of the cycle. It's not your fault: it's not anyone's fault – it just is."

But not today. Today I know exactly why.

No – I'm not going to bore you with too much information. Anyone who has a family will know that things don't always run smoothly. There are times when I feel like Prometheus, chained to a rock, while ravens eat my insides (and yes, I know it was an eagle in the original). Every night I heal, and every day it starts all over again. I love my family, I do. But no family is easy.

Just because you are not depressed doesn't mean everything is sunshine and roses.

Sometimes it seems harder. Suddenly there are no more excuses. If this new medication works long term, then I have no reason at all not to succeed long term. And success is important to me.

I want to be a successful business woman, a successful writer, a successful mother. The bipolar cycle that has bound me in barbed chains for so long has been lifted; I am free!

And it's frightening.

There are all the "normal" feelings of inadequacy, fear, self-doubt. But these are only the same feelings everyone has. It's time to pull up my big girl panties and face them. And I'm wondering how much of an excuse I have made my bipolar for not facing them before.

This feels like entering unfamiliar territory. While the ground was trembling beneath my feet, the only thing that mattered was staying upright and making some form of progress, or at least crawling forward. Or sometimes, just holding on; clinging to the side of the crevasse.

Now the earth is stable. There is nothing to impede my progress, except the perfectly ordinary slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

There are two things I need. I need stamina to just keep going, putting one foot in front of the other. And I need a way of reinforcing those big girl panties so they act as armour against that outrageous fortune.

Hmmm – why is there suddenly a picture in my head of a fantasy heroine scantily clad in bikini leather armour?

Is this me? I don't think I ever had the figure for that kind of thing.

But oh, if only!

Mary
A Moodscope member.

*For explanation of this, see http://bit.ly/2nCTzr0

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/we-have-normality-i-repeat-we-have-normality

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Invisible.

I am a daughter, looking after an elderly quite sick mother. I am a mother looking after a 14 year old son whose hormones have kicked in with a vengence. Who am I?

I dont exist, what I want doesnt matter. My soul function is to make sure that my mother and son have good fulfilling lives. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or window, I dont know who I am. Grey hair scraped back in a clip because I havent the time or inclination to wash it, clothes un-ironed, I dont care how I look it doesnt matter because I'm invisible. I used to care but that person is long long gone. I lurch from day to day going to a job I hate then making sure both of them have everything they need to be happy. Day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. The only thing I had was my sense of humour but even that has got up and gone.

I can't feel pleasure with anything, I don't even know what makes me happy anymore. I want to scream, stop the world I want to get off!! I can't let people get close to me, it's as if I have a wall around me. It's so high and wide I'm safe in its protection, I can't let go and break down, admitting I cant cope, for God sake people in the world are living in the most horrendous circumstances my problems are nothing compared to theirs. So I say to myself pull yourself together, but it doesnt last long. I am fortunate to live on a most beautiful island with no crime and eveyone knows everyone, but to me it is a prison and I am trapped.

Sometimes I look at photos of my younger self, I can hardly recognise the smiling happy face looking back at me. Is that me? I am now 52 severly menopausaul! I want a life I want to be happy but I dont know how to get that life. Anyway it doesnt matter what I want.

So I plod on with my life, in and out of hospital with my mom and in and out of school with my son! But where am I, where is that happy smiling carefree Tracey?

Tracey
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/invisible

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Dog, The Kids, And The Radio Show.

Lady Penelope, my partner, used to know 'everybody' in the village. She hasn't become less sociable, but she knows far less people now. Is this because the village is so much bigger? Is it because people are less friendly? Has she become less confident?

The reasons may be many but I do know one truth: Penelope has lost the 'interface' that used to make it easy for her to talk to relative strangers. That 'interface' was a dual one for her - she had a very friendly Labrador and she had young children. When people have a friendly dog, or young kids, it seems acceptable for strangers to stop and talk to them.

Alas, the dog has passed on and the children have grown up. It is far harder for people to approach one another without an excuse.

If the thought of owning and walking a dog doesn't appeal, and the idea of having kids doesn't work for you, is there an alternative?

Not really. There's something about the attractiveness and innocence of dogs and children that makes it 'safe' and OK to reach out and connect. What people need is a reason or an excuse to connect. They need to feel safe and comfortable to risk what could otherwise turn into a rejection.

There is a less intense version of this challenge with Networking events. We need a non-threatening point-of-contact.

Structuring an event so that there is some kind of round-table or 'speed-dating' experience can help, but it can also still feel uncomfortable for those of us who are not natural networkers.

This is where 'tangibility' becomes a great ability to have. A business card is tangible - touchable, exchangeable. If you want to feel more comfortable at networking events (and help others to feel that way too), have something tangible to give them, and give them a reason to connect.

I confuse the life out of business people I meet because it's difficult to put your finger on what exactly I do. To overcome this barrier, it is essential for me to offer them a point-of-contact and a conversation opener.

When I used to volunteer as a Breakfast Show Host on the local radio station, it was easier. Being a volunteer wasn't glamorous, so there were no bragging rights, but it was interesting and it was exciting to chat to people about being a guest on my show.

Nowadays, I can get a similar impact with less time constraints by talking about podcasts. I can use my broadcast experience and help people get their message online and on air by recording a podcast with them. This potential benefit makes it easier to connect with relative strangers. It gives us an excuse to talk!

It would seem then that to meet friends and influence people, it helps to have a dog, or young children, or a radio show! Go get one - or all three - and be clear on your conversation opener! Don't be a stranger!

Lex
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/the-dog-the-kids-and-the-radio-show

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Endings.

We all experience endings
On our journey through life
Some of us appear to pass
Through very rugged terrain.

Somewhere along our way
We experience an ending
Some are more painful
Distinctly more dramatic.

These can be life changing
This year I have experienced
At least five endings
Fortunately not due to loss
Through an eternal separation.

Please help me to come
To terms with the various endings
I have experienced recently
Fully accepting that they
Could possibly be fresh horizons
New beginnings for the other.

A chance to use
What they have learnt
During our encounter
A meeting of lives
And a hope that
It was also a meeting of minds.

Zareen
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/endings

Saturday, 18 March 2017

How @findyourwe Helped Me

A couple of positive things took place as I felt my latest major period of depression lifting. One of them was that I went on a Mental Health Mates walk @findyourwe, and I did, find my we! I was immeasurably reassured by the group of people who I walked with 'without judgement'. We were an eclectic group, all ages, male and female, from varying walks of life. I really wasn't alone. We could have been any group of people on any bus, in any cafe, or in the Co-op, but we were all finding our way through mental illness.

I listened to someone who voiced so succinctly the fear when you're well of becoming unwell again. I talked to someone about my struggles with medication and the lack of control I felt when I was on them. We talked about striving to battle through and keep yourself well; the importance of routine and support. 'Find your We' is such a simple term but it rings so true.

It helped listening to other people who have the same worries, concerns or issues and knowing that for the couple of hours that we engaged in conversation I wasn't responsible for making them better or them for helping me, we were simply just sharing and as the posters say 'walking and talking without fear of judgement'. I didn't have to try to explain what being 'mental' felt like.

I say that going on the walk helped me as I was coming out of a bad period, it just seemed to lift me a little bit more. I'm not as sociable as I once was and a walk and talk is a good way to have the face to face pressure of meetups removed. It provides other people and distractions if you want to keep your head down and interact less. I'm not as adventurous as I once was either, so turning up to a venue that was new to me ( I left an hour for a 20 minute drive, just in case!) to meet a group of strangers actually gave me a bit of a buzz when I'd achieved it!

Mental Health Mates walks are a brilliant initiative, thank you to everyone who has had the courage to set one up in their local area!

Lizzie
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/how-findyourwe-helped-me

Friday, 17 March 2017

Is everything out to get me?

I made a small breakthrough the other day.

Things weren't going well.

I was trying to list a piece of furniture and the app on my phone crashed again. Just as I was taking a deep breath to upload all the pictures and text again, I remembered, my car!  I left if it on the high street yesterday and should have moved it by 10am! It was raining, so I put on a jacket and headed round the corner and started thinking about how good it would be to find a house with off street parking. Except, in the two months since we decided to get our own place, we can't find a house to rent at all. Oh, but wait, my partner didn't get his contract renewed so he leaves next Wednesday, so maybe now is not the best time for a bigger financial commitment...

I felt a woe list starting. Instead of heading down the spiral, as it's easy to do, something clicked.

I've always felt a little bit of pride about being an intuitive sort of person and living my life that way. Feeling an accumulation of signs leading me this way or that.

I suddenly realized, a series of little wins or losses can be totally unrelated.

If I get a parking ticket, it's my own fault for being parked in the wrong place. It's not an occurrence, specifically designed by a malicious force, to attack me at my lowest moment.

The parking attendant doesn't know that my Dad died last year and since then I've been struggling to cope. The rain doesn't know we can't find a house to rent and the app doesn't know I might be about to get a parking ticket.

It's tempting sometimes to feel that things are out to get you.

But don't be tempted to see a pattern that isn't really there.

Kate
A Moodscope member.

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

https://www.moodscope.com/blog/is-everything-out-to-get-me