Playing the Blues...

Friday May 13, 2016

Q: What happens if you play blues music backwards?
A: You get out of prison, your wife returns to you and your dog comes back to life.

Ah, if only it were that easy, you say! Well, sometimes it is.

I have been going through a period of the blues lately.

Yes – the blues – not depression.

A lot of people can't tell the difference, or rather, they mistook those blues for depression. Because, yes, they were pretty deep and my Moodscope scores took a dramatic dip.

But it wasn't depression. How did I know? Because it was all linked with circumstances and events. My broken ankle had meant a loss of independence; I couldn't even leave the house unassisted, let alone drive. I had done no exercise for a couple of months - and we all know how exercise improves our mood. My novel had got to a sticky patch and was going nowhere. A couple of health issues had raised their heads, so I was in pain and worried. My daughter was distressed about her SATS (she's 11 – and the exams this year are vicious – just vicious). My husband and eldest daughter were stressed and irritable and to cap it all, I fell out with a close friend (and I never fall out with my friends).

That was a couple of weeks ago. Since then I have been given the all clear to drive. I have started back at the swimming pool most days, I have written another two chapters of my novel and have renewed faith in it. My daughter is now actually doing her SATS this week and, having revised all she can, is now philosophical. My husband and eldest daughter are now less stressed because I can do more and my friend phoned to apologise and make up. (The apology was unnecessary – but the making up was!)

The result is scores back in the seventies! Yippee!

I'm not saying that it's never depression if your mood is linked to events, because I am sure that has a lot to do with it for some, especially where grief is involved. But for many people, our depression is utterly unlinked to circumstances; there is no reason at all for us to feel blue.

And often we don't feel blue – we feel grey. We feel disconnected from the world and as if we are experiencing that world through a fog bank and all we can do is smile thinly at the people who say, "But what have you got to be depressed about?"

The answer is nothing. Because our depression is not the blues. A change in circumstances will not reverse our condition, and as far as I know you can't play depression backwards.

We just have to hang on and ride it out. And music does help. Quite a lot sometimes.

Anyone up for playing the twelve bar depressions then?

A Moodscope member.

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