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Just round the corner from the house by the sea where we spend our summers, lived – until his death last year – Bob.
Bob was a real character: everyone knew Bob. He had lived in the area all his life and in that house for most of it. When the big floods came a few autumns ago he refused to evacuate as ordered. "I didn't move for Hitler," he grunted. "I ain't moving for some jumped up snotty nosed council official. That tide won't come over the wall, I tell you!" He was proved correct in this forecast and he stayed dry that night.
Bob could do anything and fix everything and he always had the right tools. Your drains were blocked? Bob had the drain-rods and he'd help you with that smelly job. That funny shaped and rusty bolt that needed to come out? Bob would have, not only the right size spanner, but the grinder to cut it off when the bolt proved too rusty to shift. The electricians who delivered your new oven refused to connect it because the electricity supply was somehow inadequate? Bob would remind you he was a qualified electrician and connect it all up for you. Bob is very much missed indeed.
They say a bad workman always blames his tools. Well, Bob always had the right tools for the job, and was always willing to lend them out. He always had the right spare part – or a spare part he could fiddle with until it was a clone for the right part.
He suffered with depression after his wife died. I asked him how he had dealt with it. He thought for a moment and then lifted his glass to me. "Long walks by the sea," he said. "Long talks with my sons and my sister. Long evenings with a bottle of wine."
I'm not sure about that last one, but I was remembering Bob today and thinking about all the tools we can use when our soul's dwelling is attacked by those terrible twins Anxiety and Depression.
Exercise should probably be the first tool we reach for. A brisk walk in the open air is good medicine for nearly everything (except possibly pneumonia). Some people find team sports lift their spirits (I can't think of anything more calculated to depress mine, but each to their own). Some like solitary running or swimming.
If we can't take exercise for any reason we must look at other tools. Meditation can calm things down and buoy things up. Mindfulness can quieten the screaming squirrels in your brain.
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and TAT (Look up Tapas Fleming on You Tube) can help some.
A support network (family and friends) is vital - if maybe difficult to maintain.
Gardening, craftwork and pets can all help.
You will have your own tools and it would be great if you would share them with us in the comments.
We too can be Mr or Ms Fixit.
A Moodscope member.
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