Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 994306

Shown: posts 1 to 25 of 44. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

As I age (I'm approaching 50) I'm finding that I have a lot of issues coming up around looking older. I would love to talk about it with my T, but it seems so awkward. It's such a minefield. There's the fact that he's a bit younger than me, and a man, so maybe won't understand well. And then the fact that he probably would avoid any comment on my appearance, which is so critical to these issues, makes me wonder how the conversation could even be productive or helpful. And, of course, I don't want to know what he thinks of my appearance (unless he thinks I'm flawlessly beautiful, which is unlikely). So, I've avoided discussing it with him so far.

But . . . wow, aging is a challenging journey, for sure. I'll go ahead and be shallow, and admit that I've been moderately attractive until recently, and it's *really* hard to see myself losing that. Apparently, I have relied, consciously and not, on being pretty, sexy, etc. in the way I've related to people. Seeing myself less pretty, less sexy, I find that I feel less grounded in relating to people. I wonder how they take my drooping body, and ever more deeply lined face. I simply don't know how to relate to people as a "the aging woman", when for so long I was (in terms of internal and external identity) "the lovely young lady".

I try really hard to see it as an opportunity for personal growth. I mean, I do believe that aging is a useful experience that, if we can find a way to learn the lessons it teaches, can make us better people. I know that finding a way to fully value myself without physical attractiveness will be a huge positive accomplishment for me. And . . . I also see how older women are less valued in a sort of knee jerk way in our society (I do it myself!).

I try to identify with positive images of older women, such as the nurturing mother, and the experienced elder. But the truth is, I just don't identify with those much (yet?).

I spent 15 minutes at the pharmacy yesterday looking at all of the anti-aging potions. Often, I feel that I need to do what I can to slow down the wrinkles. But the sheer quantity of options, and the expense, are intimidating. I walked away with nothing, resolved to just keep using my usual soap, moisturizer, sunscreen routine. And to find a way to live positively with the fact that I'm going to keep looking older and older, and that looking older means being less attractive, which means being more ignored/dismissed/minimized by some.

I'd appreciate any companionship, support, or suggestions anyone has on this.

- p

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by sigismund on August 19, 2011, at 14:11:33

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

I'm almost 60. I start to feel strange, not in a good way, not to mention the whole appearance thing. When my nephew turned 21 a video was made of us all when we were maybe 35 and unappreciative and we all said 'We looked so good' and then 'We didn't think so then, did we?'

It's a complete f*ck up. No one can find anything good to say about it. I like to take an interest in it though, and with, for example, my wife, I want to be with her on the journey and if it is her turn to go first, help her with that. You may not be thinking in those terms. I think of it as being very close now, at least experientially. It is perhaps harder for women, I don't know? But to lose youth, doesn't it make you value it? But what use was it when you had it? Not like it would be if you had it now. You never compared yourself to old people then.

This is why old people can enjoy looking after the young so much.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy sigismund

Posted by floatingbridge on August 19, 2011, at 18:39:36

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by sigismund on August 19, 2011, at 14:11:33

Pegasus,

I'll be 52. I think about this myself, alot, especially because in the last two years I have developed severe fatigue and have sleep isssues that are worsening. So I have lost so much vitality. Which means ability to me.

Just yesterday, I was looking down at my hands and thought, crap, I don't really mind them anymore. And I don't mind how the skin has gotten thin and bony on my chest, oddly enough.
Some things I am not crazy about. When I see pics of myself, I am especially shocked by my fallen jaw line. There is something very touching about beauty. I have never felt beautiful, but I have had spirit, and a great love of beauty.

Ageism is what disrespect and disregard for the aging is, and
my country, the US, disrespects it's older citizens in countless ways. It's systemic, this disregard, and shows in our actions.

I don't resonate with being an elder or connecting with my grandmothers who were batshit crazy. So I have had to find
other ways of staying sane while aging. One story I find
comforting, well two, derive from the animal world. Whatever that may say about me, oh well.

In Canada, maybe in the 70's, 'they' were trying to control the caribou population. There were too many. The solution was
to kill the eldest. What happened was that the young adults began to lose their way. They began to fight, starve, die off. The forestry dept was confronted by the idea that these old caribou did something they could not see. They decided the elder caribou were a necessity to the survival of the group.
But how?

The other reminder is elephants. It has been documented that when there are no elder bull elephants, the young males act like vandals. There is some painful footage of some hoodlum elephants crushing a young hippo at a watering hole for no reason.

I think about this a lot. I haven't been very squeamish about aging, and have always been fascinated by life stories of those older than myself, but I didn't really think this aging process would really happen to me! I never realized, until a few years back, how much attention was given to me because of my appearance until I stopped
getting it. Like people disregarding me. It's something I have seen others do. I broke up with a boyfriend back when I was twenty because he thought his mother's flaccid upper arms were revolting. Now it happens to me. Like I never was young, was always old, never had a thought and couldn't
possibly have a relevant one now :-/

On the other side of things, f'd up as I am, I sometimes experience someone younger finding value in me. It's really
odd to experience this, and I am not phrasing it right. But it's like it's my core civility and morality that I work so continually at matters. Somehow.

People experience aging differently. I'd be lying if I said i didn't experince aging as a deep loss. However, I am more generous because I see everything as so temporary now.

Your post is very timely for me. I hope I have managed to say something coherent....

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 19, 2011, at 19:13:43

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

I went through a professional setback around 50 and it really freaked me out. I think I had started to define myself professionally partly as a way to deal with the fact that I was no longer young and pretty and able to use my looks as a way to get attention.

I talked a lot about this with my p-doc, though he is older than me (and male). I don't know if I would have felt comfortable talking about this to a younger man. Of course he never said, you look fine or anything like that. He wouldn't, even if he were female. Instead he asked about what my looks had meant to me, what life meant if I wasn't professionally successful, what it meant that I wasn't needed as a parent anymore.

I don't know if you have children, but having your children stop needing you just as you're aging is a bitch to deal with.

My only advice -- avoid spending $$ on those anti-aging creams. They don't work anyway.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 19, 2011, at 19:20:50

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy sigismund, posted by floatingbridge on August 19, 2011, at 18:39:36

I read a theory by some evolutionary biologist that the reason human females experience menopause (other primates don't) is so they are available to care for grandchildren.

I just turned 56 (!!) and know I look young for my age. I exercise a lot and am just lucky to have few wrinkles and no grey hairs. I had gained a lot of weight from psych meds and looked older, so maybe just having lost the weight and re-initiated a sexual relationship with my husband (who hated me fat) has made me feel younger than I am, or at least made me feel that I have gotten better, not worse.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98

Posted by Phillipa on August 19, 2011, at 19:56:12

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by emmanuel98 on August 19, 2011, at 19:20:50

Soon it will be 65 like me and being married to someone 13 years younger isn't fun. He can still do things has stamina. I did some plastic stuff when had money in bank from first marriage gone now and it brought me up to sinc with husband. But we think different. I've always relied on looks it stinks!! Phillipa

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by annierose on August 19, 2011, at 22:22:01

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

I'm turning 50 this year and I do appreciate how difficult it is talking about our appearance with our t's. I never thought of myself as especially pretty and I do harbour body issues. And my t is super skinny, petite and fit... just a few years older than me. I always felt like the ugly duckling compared to my two sisters. It was hard to bring up to my pretty therapist. Once I did, she did tread carefully pointing out that it's possible for me to hold two thoughts of myself at the same time, one is that I would like to make some changes and secondly, I am okay just the way I am.

We would circle around this topic for close to two - three years, dipping our toes in the water, and popping out when I felt so exposed. She pointed out that we are our harshest critic - - - no one sees our flaws as closely as we do.

I too see the fine lines popping up on my face and weird spots on my skin. But I'm trying to be nicer to myself and nuture more caring thoughts. My t would ask me to talk to myself as I talk to my 17 year old daughter - what would I say to her if she complained, "I hate myself".

On the other hand, years and years ago, I saw a different therapist who was much older and heavy. Throughout my life I always had 10 - 20 pounds I wanted to lose - besides the ugly duckling thing going on. I could NEVER bring up weight/appearance issues with her EVER ... because she weighed 100 pounds more and was 20 years older.

So your younger attractive therapist might be an easier person to talk to than the opposite.

You can start by saying, "I'm noticing all these little changes as I age." And see where it goes.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by Daisym on August 20, 2011, at 13:19:28

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by annierose on August 19, 2011, at 22:22:01

For me, how I look is the hardest therapy topic. I am also nearing 50, overweight and have never felt attractive. Since I am single, the way I look contributes to my conviction that I will always be alone and no one wants me. Of course, there are lots of old feelings in here - how often did I feel rejected because of the way I look?

My therapist is really, really careful when we talk about these things. He uses the words I use - and he doesn't give comment on the physical things I complain about. He knows I feel truly exposed - after all who wants to point out their flaws to anyone, especially someone they care about?

One of the nicest exchanges we've had was around, "I'm not loveable because I'm fat and ugly" and he got so upset with me that he listed "all the things I love about you." He wanted me to see it wasn't hopeless. And then he apologized for lecturing me - but he said he felt so sad when I said all that that he just really *needed* to make me see it wasn't true - that I wasn't unloveable. And me being me said, "so you are agreeing that I might be fat and ugly but that doesn't make me unloveable." He threw a pillow at me.

I do know how to dress - I call it putting on a costume. And I was always so smart that I was that "young up-and-comer" who always startled people with how much I knew at such a young age. Now - they expect it. I'm not this amazing young smart woman. So it is a weird issue in my work life.

We've talked about these things in therapy more this past year than ever before. It has led me to think about why I need to be "perfect" and what I'm afraid people will see/think if I'm not the best at everything. But these are hard conversations and we do have to admit that how we look is important to us - if indeed it is. The truth is, it is to most people - who doesn't want to feel beautiful? I think talking about it might help you normalize all your feelings.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by lucielu2 on August 20, 2011, at 17:04:03

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

Interesting thread. I'll be 60 next year.

I'm having trouble getting my thoughts together and have already started - and erased - several posts. It seems there are multiple ways I think about myself in the context of aging, and they don't always integrate very well.

On the plus side, I'm blessed with good genes and I do exercise for fitness. Especially since my husband, who's almost 5 years older than me, is exceptionally fit and I don't want him looking at me like I'm passing him in the aging department.

On the negative side, I seem to be losing my waist and jawline and I admit that I find this depressing. I am also very paranoid that I will end up looking like my mother, who gained a lot of weight as she got older. I have a lot of uncomfortable issues with my mother and I'm not really keen on being like her, especially as I age. I want to be different. I think this too drives me to try to stay young-looking. Clearly, this is something I'm going to have to work on because someday, if I'm lucky, eventually I will in fact reach her age.

While I have had to face losing my youthful looks, I've been lucky enough to be partially insulated at work, where I have a senior position that brings me some measure of respect. As I have aged, I have entered that male domain of trading youth for power, in a sense. The problem is going to be... what happens when I quit my job, my kids no longer need me (as you know, that's already happening), and my body just keeps going downhill despite my best efforts? I have a lot of fears about that. Aging really makes you feel a loss of control.

I can't talk to my T about any of the physical stuff. It's too embarrassing. He's the same age as my husband, and in reasonably good shape. I just don't want my aging self in the same therapy room as "me" - the one who does not feel any older than when we started years ago. Yet I see his aging, his balding. I wonder what we would say to each other if we really had an open conversation about this?

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by floatingbridge on August 21, 2011, at 20:35:47

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

Pegasus, I was thinking about your post today. I did start doing something else. I have always appreciated color, and maybe you already do this, but I only wear clothes in colors I prefer. It's different than matching. And I have decided to buy less clothes, but a few items that appeal in color and texture. Just another way of looking and being beautiful, I guess. I notice though, when someone looks handsome in their clothing. It conveys something to me regardless of age. Not exactly on point, but obviously your post has me thinking.

I now like my pj's to look nice with the sheets, even. Silly, but it pleases me.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by lucielu2 on August 21, 2011, at 20:55:53

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

Peg, you mention having trouble identifying with older women as role models, at least as nurturers or "wise women." But there are actually loads of beautiful and talented women over 50 out there. Some well-known 50+ beautiful women include Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Jane Seymour, Sally Field, Diane Keaton, Sophia Loren, etc. Most of these women are known as much by their character as by their looks. The list of brilliant and talented 50+ women is simply too long to enumerate. It might be helpful for you to find some good role models - they're out there. They are sexy, strong, interesting, and vital. Something to aspire to.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy sigismund

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 8:39:22

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by sigismund on August 19, 2011, at 14:11:33

sigi,

It was helpful to hear you say that you wanted to be with your wife on the journey of aging. That spurred an interesting discussion for me with my husband, who expressed a similar sentiment. He gets that it's harder for me than him, because our society judges women so much more by appearance. And that has happened in our relationship too. Fortunately, he seems to be the type to continue to see beauty in age (and in things other than physical appearance), as easily as in youth. Which is a precious thing.

Thanks,

peg

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy floatingbridge

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 8:46:13

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy sigismund, posted by floatingbridge on August 19, 2011, at 18:39:36

Interesting stories about older animals. I like looking at it that way. If only our society would recognize the value that experience and wisdom bring.

I know what you mean about being dismissed as you age, as if you had never been young, and the people dismissing you will never be old. Our youth focused society is so shortsighted, aren't we?

It's like dealing with teenagers as an adult. They think that their parents could never understand them, and so have no wisdom worth considering. What they don't realize is that their parents were once teenagers (albeit in a different era), while they have never yet been middle aged. So, the parents *do* tend to have relevant experience, but the teenagers have no way to know that.

Maybe things will improve, in the sense of valuing experience more, as the baby boomers age, because there will be so dang many of them. I'm one year short of being one myself, so I can say *them* ;).

- Peg

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 8:53:46

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by emmanuel98 on August 19, 2011, at 19:20:50

Thanks for the advice about the anti-aging creams. I was suspecting that they wouldn't be worth the high price. But everyone else I know in my age group uses one or another. And still looks their age, in my opinion.

You're luck to look youthful. I don't. I look old for my age, I think. Part of it is having had a very active outdoor lifestyle, in a sunny, high altitude place for a long time. Tends to be hard on the skin. Even so, my husband, who is 2 weeks older than me, looks younger. I have more gray hair and more wrinkles. Sigh.

I had a lovely chat with my husband about it last night, though. He said that he'd much rather have had (and keep having) all of those experiences with me than have a youthful looking wife. And that he thinks that my beauty has not diminished one whit. He's a real treasure.

One thing that helps me feel youthful is that lots of things in my life are at a stage where most people experience them younger. I've started a second career recently, and my daughter is young (we had her relatively late). It does help me feel young, although then I look in the mirror and realize how much older I look than my peers in these realms, which can be a bit of a shock.

- p

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Phillipa

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 8:58:39

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98, posted by Phillipa on August 19, 2011, at 19:56:12

Yes, I know I'm lucky to have a husband my same age, going through some of the same aging challenges. Such as physical stuff getting harder, and injuries more frequent. And being considered and old fogey by some. He's in a technical field, and he chuckles that anyone who experienced the rise of the internet in the 90s is considered ancient. He does have some gray hair, but - darn his genes - he has very few wrinkles.

But, as you point out, it is helpful that at least we think similarly, in terms of our age. It must be challenging to have a partner so much younger, as you go through this transition.

- p

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy annierose

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 9:01:50

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by annierose on August 19, 2011, at 22:22:01

Good point. I think that older women might understand better, but perhaps younger men have less of their own issues about themselves to get in the way of the discussion. I think I will bring it up sometime soon. I really need to.

You know what I really need, though? I need a group of older women to hang out with, and maybe talk about this with. Or maybe just to know, and love. I have so few in my life. It adds to the challenge, when I can't experience what I want people to feel about me.

- p

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Daisym

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 9:44:21

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by Daisym on August 20, 2011, at 13:19:28

I wish I had your therapist. :) He gets it right so often.

I know now that I'll have to bring it up. As you said, talking about it will probably help. And I trust him to be soooo careful about the minefield this is. Maybe if we're just very open about what feels awkward, and what we're avoiding talking about and why, it will be a bit easier.

Sigh. Sometimes just every day life is so hard, even when it's going along normally, isn't it?

It is interesting the professional transition as you age. Yes, there is more pressure, and some of my younger coworkers think they're as good as I am at things that they really need a lot more experience at to be at my level. It's maybe the one area where being older can be helpful, even if that's not always recognized by others. I'm so much better at everything I do at work than I was 10 or 20 years ago. And I know that some people value my experience and do rely upon me as someone with a high level of expertise and competence. I like that a lot.

Dressing is a tricky area. I'm not sure I know how to dress. I think I tend to dress younger than some my age, and I think I'm relatively stylish in terms of current fashion (this may be denial). I'm not sure whether that comes off as a positive youthful attitude, or as a crazy old lady who think she's still 20. I try to choose clothes that are professional and flattering, at least.

I did have a chat with my T once about the difference between dumpy and frumpy. I see myself as dumpy, but not frumpy. He thought they were the same thing. Which doesn't bode well for him understanding all of my issues. But I trust him to really try. ;)

- P

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy lucielu2

Posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 9:50:37

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by lucielu2 on August 20, 2011, at 17:04:03

Yes, I feel that trade of youth for power in one of my careers, sort of. But I'm not exactly climbing an organizational ladder, by my own choice, so it doesn't help me as much as it sounds like it helps you. I also have another career that is relatively new, so in that realm, I am totally *not* wise and powerful.

I guess the trade off is that I won't be struggling so much to re-identify myself when/if I retire, as you fear. But where is there something lasting to hold on to as you age? I see this as part of the challenge of aging, which I really think can be met well. I just don't know how.

One thing I want to ponder more around this is: what could be a good goal in terms of personal growth as I age? Is it to stay as youthful as possible? Or maybe to find ways to deeply value age (not just silver lining things)? Or maybe to detach myself from the usual judgements of our society around youth and aging and beauty?

- p


 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 22, 2011, at 21:51:58

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy lucielu2, posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 9:50:37

I feel very lucky about a few things. My husband, who is three years older than me, has many more physical issues than I do. We are both in good shape and exercise, but he has stage 4 arthritis in one knee, a bulging cervical disk for which he needs physical therapy and a rotator cuff problem which never seems to resolve completely. He is also always nursing his lower back with ice and such. So I feel, in comparison, in great shape. No aches or pains. His BP is high, mine is normal. His cholesterol is high and he takes crestor. Mine is normal. He even takes fosamax because his bone density came in low, while my bone density, on the last test I took, was equivalent to a 20 year old.

So he feels himself to be aging and deteriorating (though he fights this, he is an exercise nut) while I do not, though I am 56 and usually women in menopause experience a lot of these problems that he is having.

Also, our sex life is good. I was afraid menopause would dry me out, but it turns out not to be an either/or thing, but a gradual thing and right now, I am still okay.

But one of the things that makes me feel young is having a lot of friends of different ages. My best friends are 50 and 46. I have three friends around 65 who I really love to talk to. Being in AA, I also spend time with younger women. I get together every Monday with a 32 and 34 year old woman for coffee before a meeting. I realize they have their own set of issues and I can help them with some perspective and experience.

Also, I teach college, so I am endlessly mentoring and working with young people. I teach at a public urban college, so my students tend to be in their mid-20s to mid-30s.

Despite my depression, which came on just as I was about to enter menopause and my daughter was about to graduate high school, I haven't felt obsessed about growing old. I feel physically good and have a lot of good things that make me feel, if not young, at least engaged by life.

My hero is my p-doc who is 72 and, mentally, seems so young and vital and engaged, that I can't really imagine him being old.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by Tabitha on August 23, 2011, at 3:31:48

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

Hi pegasus, aging has been tough for me too. I hate the changes in my skin, hair, face, and the increase in aches and pains and mysterious health complaints. I have the hardest time with the decline in my memory and cognitive skills. I didn't see that one coming.

I'm in compensation mode now. I know the losses of aging will keep coming-- more health problems, more deaths in my parent's generation. So that's inevitable. Thus all I can do is compensate. What can I still do? What can I even do better than in my younger days?

One thing that's helping is to lose weight. I can't control many of the aspects of aging, but I can change that one (with difficulty). That helps my vanity and my feeling of loss of control.

Another thing that helps is I found a mate recently. That makes loss of general attractiveness so much more bearable. I don't really have to appeal to the market any more (not that I've had much general market appeal since my 30's anyway).

On the skin care, if you're using sun screen, you're already using the only effective anti-aging product :-)

Since this is the psychology board I feel I have to offer some kind of self-acceptance advice. This is the closest I have. I've noticed that I started feeling too old to be pretty anymore in my late 20's. Man was I nuts. Looking back at old photos, what I wouldn't give to look like that now! I remember feeling that same way over and over and over as years passsed. Reality is, the way I look now is the best I'll ever look for the rest of my life. I'll be in my 70's (if I survive) looking back at now wishing I looked like I do now. So shouldn't I be able to feel attractive now? Well I really can't But I should be able to. Sometimes this line of thought is a bit comforting.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Tabitha

Posted by pegasus on August 23, 2011, at 10:36:33

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by Tabitha on August 23, 2011, at 3:31:48

I find that even with a solid partner, I worry about my appeal to the opposite sex. Because, what if *he* stops finding me attractive? He obviously values my being attractive, and yet he says he'll always find me so, even as I become an old lady. He is very genuine when he says this, and I know he means it. But I worry that he just doesn't know what it'll be like. Which I know is kind of insulting to him.

You are so right that there is much to appreciate in our bodies at any age, as long as we're alive. And we're so conditioned to look for the parts that we *don't* like. It's heartbreaking, really. I do find that it helps to work at appreciating some of the good things. And really, there are a lot if I look for them. Thanks for the reminder.

- P

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98

Posted by pegasus on August 23, 2011, at 10:38:01

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by emmanuel98 on August 22, 2011, at 21:51:58

See, that's what I need. Younger friends who don't see me as a grandma, and older friends who can be positive role models for aging. I'm going to go look for them. :)

p

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by lucielu2 on August 25, 2011, at 12:30:22

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy lucielu2, posted by pegasus on August 22, 2011, at 9:50:37

I had a long talk with my husband on this subject. We concluded that in the absence of the things that normally define us, e.g. children and work, then we must find new definitions. These can be hobbies or avocations because you keep young when you are active and interested in life. I think it is also well worth it to fight the physical effects of aging to the extent that it is under your control just to give yourself a healthier and more active life. And finally, relationships are very defining. We have new opportunities to relate to people in different ways as we age. Maybe less competititon for some, more companionship. All in all, it doesn't sound so bad... sounds like a challenge in a good way. Please understand that I am talking to myself here too!

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by sigismund on August 29, 2011, at 19:10:01

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by lucielu2 on August 25, 2011, at 12:30:22

>Maybe less competititon for some, more companionship.

That has been my experience of it.

People, as they age, become more aware of the care they need to have for each other.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by Dinah on August 30, 2011, at 20:16:23

In reply to aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by pegasus on August 19, 2011, at 11:38:12

I've felt bad about how I look since my mid thirties, when I gained a lot of weight on Depakote. My face shape (or lack thereof) does not handle extra weight well.

But I do have issues about aging. Issues that my husband, oddly enough, shares. We were wunderkinds. Precocious. And now we aren't. And never will be again. I'm middle aged. I'm one of those "middle aged women" that are so often spoken of with disparagement. I had no idea how often until I was one. Now I hear it everywhere.

I don't feel old. I don't even feel mature.

I've been calling myself 50 since I turned 45, because I figured it would take five years to be able to say that without fainting. At first I'd know it wasn't true, so it wouldn't hurt as bad. Then it would be true, but by then I'd be used to the idea. So... The five years are about up. I'm not sure I'm used to the idea. I never ever minded turning any age up until now. I never minded thirty or forty. But fifty... I probably won't mind any future ages either. Once you've turned fifty does it even matter? I suppose if you get old enough it becomes something to be proud of.

I've been thinking about death a lot lately. Not just because I'll soon be fifty. Two people from my immediate social circle in high school are already dead and have been for a while. A coworker was told she had three months to live with an inoperable tumor. From feeling fine to having three months to live. She found someone to operate, and she seems to be feeling ok - though her husband looks like he's gone through h*ll. I don't think my husband would want me to go for the slim chance and the difficulties and expense for him. So I've been thinking about death a lot. I'm on the skeptical side of agnostic regarding an afterlife. I'm thinking it's more likely to be like going under for surgery and never waking up. I won't mind being dead, because I won't know it. I think I'll mind more not living fully in the remainder of my existence here on earth. If this time is the gift we have, I shouldn't spend it walking around in a fog.

But then I'm middle aged. A relatively despised age, apparently. Is it even possible to start living now?


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