I have listened to one sad song for a whole week – managing mood swing.

“Our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves”.    ― Wilhelm Von Humboldt

5 mins read

M oods, no matter what they are, have a way of paralyzing us, making us switch off completely and literally curling into our own self-induced cocoon. Some however take out their moods on those around them, transferring aggression or ill-feelings as a way of handling negative emotions.


Ironically, moods are fleeting emotions; they’re not the core of your being. They are temporal feelings that can easily overwhelm a person while playing gingerly on the mental disorder edge if it lingers.

Mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder, interfere in the brain’s ability to regulate mood and emotion, initiating the downwards spiral into mental disorders requiring medical attention.

So dealing with our moods – the reflection of life issues on our emotions and personality- is certainly a big issue in our journey through life.

Like every human being I also have to deal with mood swing many times. I have no statistics how often these mood sneak up on me, but one fact is clear, I allow it!

I recollect one instance where I dwelled for long periods in one crazy bad mood for over a week. I had a setback in my career at the time and I couldn’t believe the sudden change I had to deal with. I was gutted and upset with everything around me. There was no one to blame. Not one person to lay the blame on. The issues was a tactical decision about role placement and a reversal had to be made promptly.

I was at the receiving end of the reversal and when the news broke I was literally devastated.

I withdrew from everyone, well that isn’t unusual is it? I had enough supply at the house and I simply stayed indoors. I was unable to rationalize the decision.

There was nothing I would say to change the situation. Absolutely nothing!

I just needed to come to terms with it. Rather than brushing it off, accept the new terms, I slipped into an incommunicado mood, no bath- personal hygiene went out of the window, no tv, no books, no phone contact.

All I played was one track. One long track in a continuous non-stop loop. The song filled every facet of the house. Every room. The music didn’t need to be loud, it was just pervasive. It played everywhere, in my head, when I slept off, when I managed to cook or sulked, it was just the same song. It was the darkest moment of my expressive self. I allowed myself explore the dark depths of self-denial.

If I got violent, it would mean kicking one half-inflated ball within the house against a wall repeatedly.

Did I even cry? Yea…I probably wailed!

I started pondering on all my options, resignation, anger, acceptance, denial, shame. They all converged to one sad option- acceptance and move on.

Did I have to lock myself in for that long to just accept one option? I probably wanted to deal with the disappointment in private, sulking, wailing, angry and disappointed. But I wanted to rise out of it leaving all that emotion behind emerging as those unfazed by the issues and move on.

You know these things don’t quite work that way especially when in reality, you must cope with fall-outs of the decision, requiring you to rationalize and deliberately get a grip of yourself.

Clearly it was a moment of self-discovery from me. This was the year 2012! I had just 7years work experience and was quite ambitious.

It was also the only time I let the mood consume me for so long. It got everyone worried. Family members were worried sick about what had happened to me during the “black-out” and I couldn’t even dare share the weakness that got me there.

Now to the song.

Tracy ChapmanUnsung Psalm off the album Telling stories released in the 2000

Lyrics – Unsung Psalm

 There would be psalms sung by a choir

I would have a white robe a halo newly acquired

I’d be at peace and I’d have no desire

If I’d lived right

There would be cherubs with tiny harps arrows and bows

I’d have a halo and a flowing white robe

I’d be enfolded by a celestial light

If I’d lived right

 But I’m feeling hot and bothered under the collar

I feel the sweat breaking out on my brow
I feel the heat and I know it’s the passion
The love I can’t disavow
If this is a dream wake me up now

If this is a movie let’s edit these scenes out
It would be a PG instead of an X-rated life
If I’d lived right
Some would call me a cheat call me a liar

Say that I’ve been defeated by the basest desired
Yes I have strayed and succumbed to my vices
But I tried to live right
But I have no regrets no guilt in my heart
I only feel sadness for any pain that I’ve caused
I guess I wouldn’t bother to worry at all

If I’d lived right


Do you live by the book do you play by the rules?
Do you care what is thought by others about you?
If this day is all that is promised to you
Do you live for the future the present the past?
If there is one thing I know I know I will die
If anyone cares some stranger my critique my life
I may be revered or defamed and decried

But I tried to live right

There would be psalms sung by a choir;
I would have a white robe a halo newly acquired
I’d be at peace and I’d have no desire

If I’d lived right

I still have the song on my phone, it is resonating in my head as I write this piece and I think it is a fantastic piece of music by Tracy. Take nothing away from her artistry.

I will probably just play the song right about now…

How do I deal with moods 7 years after? Well, quite a lot has happened since then. The situation in fact took a dramatic twist 6 months after and the role was deservedly offered to me.

 I went on to discharge my duties successfully in that capacity for 4 straight years working with a fantastic boss.

I don’t get fixated on disappointments that long any longer.

I have learnt a lot about the things I am incapable of changing and the interesting twist of life. From experience everything happening to us is part of a perfect story designed to get the best out of us. We must be in tune to the big picture, not just dwell in the presence.

The journey is a long haul, many battles to fight, some you will lose, and others you will gain. No matter how much you rationalize a lost battle, the war is lifelong!

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