Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 994306

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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?

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on August 30, 2011, at 22:37:08

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by Dinah on August 30, 2011, at 20:16:23

I came apart and detoxed from drugs and alcohol when I was 49. At the same time, I started seeing a p-doc for therapy. I think one of the things that made me feel desparing was that I was too old and it was too late to change. But that turned out not to be true. Therapy changed me. AA changed me. I made new friends and developed a life for myself. I went back to school when I lost my job. (i've since gotten my job back). So fifty barely registered for me. So much was going on in my life.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98

Posted by Dinah on August 30, 2011, at 23:41:29

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by emmanuel98 on August 30, 2011, at 22:37:08

I'm tired tonight, and that may be making me feel more negative than usual.

When I was growing up, my father said over and over and over that life ended at forty. That life wasn't worth living once you were forty. I think I was seven or eight when he turned forty, and I was half afraid he'd drop dead on his birthday. He lived to 76.

My husband says my fifty is my father's forty. Maybe he has a point. Maybe I did absorb his point of view.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah

Posted by Phillipa on August 31, 2011, at 0:14:28

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by Dinah on August 30, 2011, at 20:16:23

Dinah and hear me loud and clear you are the best age in life would trade in a minute with you. I just turned 65 almost six months ago. I have nightmares nightly of death. If only to be your age again. I sincerly mean this. 65 the government says retirement. So that is old. Phillipa

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah

Posted by floatingbridge on August 31, 2011, at 19:58:56

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by Dinah on August 30, 2011, at 20:16:23

> 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 so dislike that disparagement you speak of. It's wrong you know. But I think it still can sting.

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

That's one of the screts of aging I have heard people older than me, heck, my own grandmother tell me. She would sayshe felt like a teenager or young woman inside. That some things didn't change. She thought growing older would be more synchronious (made that word up I think).

>
> 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 had great difficulty with forty. Maybe it was like your dad's forty. I didn't think I'd ever make that age. I guess for me a PTSD foreshortened future type thing. Fifty was like, okay,
here we go--. But I've been very depressed.

Pride? When read your posts, I am always so appreciative of your communication skills online. I think you taught yourself those skills over time, and they have real value in the world. Last week my son didn't want to draw because he said I drew so much better. I startled him by laughing. 'I hope so', I said. 'I've been practicing for 50 years.'

> 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.


Life really does have an end. I doubt I'll be 100. So at 51,
the future timeline is shorter. And I know more now. Kind of a shame in my eyes. A waste.

>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.

(((Oh Dinah))). Life is so imperfect if one is an idealist.

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

But do you despise it in others? I don't despise any age. You have been living. Maybe it's a let down in retrospect to
what youth expected, but yeah, I feel you can live better if you want to. How is my question.

These are big questions. Essential and uneasy. I say break the mold regarding age and let your own appreciation of life and your natural appreciation of others be your guide. Jettison as much as you can that way some look at the
middle-aged and older. Your curiosity is still intact. That says so much.

You feeling a little differently today?

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy floatingbridge

Posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 7:59:40

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on August 31, 2011, at 19:58:56

Well, perhaps it's a bit further below the surface today.

I certainly don't despise people at any age. But when I meet many people my own age I have a tendency to call them "ma'am" or "sir", and see them as an authority figure. Not all of them, certainly. But it's always a shock to see people who look quite matronly, and discover they are my age. Thank heavens no one seems to see me as an authority figure.

I don't think of myself as an idealist. Just someone who tends to hoard scarce resources. I have three diet cherry cokes left, and can't seem to find more. I sure do worry about how I use those three diet cherry cokes than I did when my pantry was full of them. Well, I'm not exactly down to three diet cherry cokes of life, but neither do I have a pantry full. I get angry with myself for squandering them.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Phillipa

Posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 8:03:04

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah, posted by Phillipa on August 31, 2011, at 0:14:28

Well now, there are benefits to being retirement age. :) Once I get near 67, I'll likely be looking forward to getting older. Unfortunately I'm still 17 long years away - far too long to see it as a goal.

Why do you fear death? I find life ever so much more scary.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 8:07:35

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

Sorry, Pegasus. That was hardly supportive or positive of me. I think it just hit a nerve on a bad day. That being said, I think women are staying sexy and attractive far longer than they used to be. Time and gravity do terrible terrible things to the body. But I think even so, it's possible to stay attractive. It's a good age to grow old.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on September 1, 2011, at 18:42:51

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98, posted by Dinah on August 30, 2011, at 23:41:29

They say 60 is the new 40. I am 56 and feel great. Our generation will live longer, healthier lives than our parents. My mother died at 61, my father at 63.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on September 1, 2011, at 18:49:16

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on August 31, 2011, at 19:58:56

I don't think middle age is despised. After all, given the size of the baby boom generation, about a fifth of the population is middle aged. I am around young people a lot (teaching college and AA) and don't feel despised at all. I feel respected. Recently, I spoke at an AA meeting about getting sober at 49. The next day, this very young woman came up to me in a meeting and told me a friend who had come to yesterdays' meeting with her cried when I spoke. The friend said, if she can get sober at 49, maybe my mom can get sober. We all have so much to teach one another.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy

Posted by emmanuel98 on September 1, 2011, at 18:55:55

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 8:07:35

I think at 56, I am still somewhat attractive. Certainly no less attractive than my husband is at 59, so we still find one another attractive.

I find Dinah's comment about "squandering" those diet cokes very interesting. Do you feel you have squandered your life? Used it up thoughtlessly and unproductively. I don't feel that way. I had some good years and some bad years. I raised a good child. I did some useful work. I feel now like I have a lot of wisdom that I didn't have 5 or 6 years ago, some idea of the pain life can bring and how to cope with it. Therapy has made me a much better teacher and mentor to my students. I don't feel my life is over by a long stretch.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah

Posted by Phillipa on September 1, 2011, at 20:02:34

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Phillipa, posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 8:03:04

Dinah being married to someone 13 years younger doesn't help. But that aside I love life. It's not scarey to me. I get bored easily. Used to love being active very active and don't want to slow down. Plus already traveled all over Europe, Carribean, Mexico, Hawaii, California, The East Coast. And had two careers I dearly loved. Would like to go back and live it all again. Seriously. The thought of a hole in the ground isn't my cup of tea so to speak. Phillipa

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah

Posted by pegasus on September 2, 2011, at 10:37:51

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus, posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 8:07:35

No worries about being negative. It's helpful to hear what comes up for different people when they're handling it well, and when they're not. Because I'm having those up and down days with it myself.

Today I feel matronly, dumpy, and not at all sexy or attractive. 50 feels like a big number, and I know it only gets bigger from there. I'm glad to be living that long . . . and I'm really challenged by the changes that go along with that. And the lack of support for the way I'm trying to come to terms with it.

I've tried out my idea that maybe accepting the visible signs of aging can be a form of valuable personal growth, on a couple of people recently. They were more or less shocked (and not in a good way) at the idea of not doing everything one can to look younger. They were very against leaving nature alone (in terms of anti-wrinkle potions, etc.) and instead accepting the increasing wrinkles and jowls etc. as part of that stage of life. Which was profoundly disappointing to me. But what do I expect in this youth obsessed culture?

Then, the other day I dressed up rather smartly for work, and during the day my husband had to stop by to get something from me. As I met him, he got all flustered, and distracted, and later he told me it was because I looked so good, he completely forgot what he was there to do. So, I guess I still have some modicum of sexy attractiveness left. At least in his eyes. ;)

So, I go back and forth, wanting to be younger, and wanting to accept being older. All perspectives, in all directions, from others are helpful around this.

- Peg

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy emmanuel98

Posted by pegasus on September 2, 2011, at 10:44:16

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy, posted by emmanuel98 on September 1, 2011, at 18:55:55

Its a good point. Maybe I need to focus less on how I look, and more on what I've done, as a way to more gracefully come to terms with aging.

I've actually accomplished a lot that I'm very proud of, especially in the last 10 years. And I definitely feel much wiser than I used to be, in so many ways. I actually sometimes feel so sorry for people in their 20s, who haven't learned so many lessons yet, and have no idea that they haven't. In that sense, I'm very happy with where I am in my life.

I also have a lot of really exciting things that I'm working on right now, and am looking forward to the future. I feel very vitally alive. I should be, and I am, sooooo grateful for that! In that sense, I should be glad for what I have, and count those silly superficial losses as very minor.

- p

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by floatingbridge on September 2, 2011, at 10:56:24

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah, posted by pegasus on September 2, 2011, at 10:37:51

Peg, I have always found 'older' people sexy. (Well, now I'm older myself it more complicated....). Sexy has something to do with being one's self in my mind. Because then it's more real. And more intense.

So nice to have that response from your husband. He sounds like a good partner for you....

And those anti-wrinkle people.... There's a point when that approach doesn't work any longer. It's not sustainable. When I lived in LA there was so much surgically enhanced folks, and some reached the point of being just bizarre. I'm talking on beyond the discreet surgery here and there. No judgements on that..... Some people I have adopted a talk to the hand attitude.... I hear you though. Support was not forthcoming. Actually the opposite, it sounds like. But not everyone thinks that way.

Hope you have a very smooth three day weekend. With your (wonderful) husband.

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah

Posted by floatingbridge on September 2, 2011, at 11:11:41

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy floatingbridge, posted by Dinah on September 1, 2011, at 7:59:40

> Well, perhaps it's a bit further below the surface today.
>

:-/. Sorry. How goes it today?


> I certainly don't despise people at any age. But when I meet many people my own age I have a tendency to call them "ma'am" or "sir", and see them as an authority figure. Not all of them, certainly. But it's always a shock to see people who look quite matronly, and discover they are my
age. Thank heavens no one seems to see me as an authority figure.
>

Why? Certainly you have some authority, yes?


> I don't think of myself as an idealist. Just someone who tends to hoard scarce resources. I have three diet cherry cokes left, and can't seem to find more. I sure do worry about how I use those three diet cherry cokes than I did when my pantry was full of them. Well, I'm not exactly down to three
diet cherry cokes of life, but neither do I have a pantry full. I get angry with myself for squandering them.


I guess I confuse perfectionist with idealist. I recall you posting once about the possibility of being a perfectionist, thus not getting things done. But maybe that was what I read
into it....as in why bother even starting when it won't come out 'right' anyways. I get to be both in this life. Woo-hoo.

Anger about squandering resources. Guess I feel grief right now. About squandering those resources. I have heard that coming to terms with all those roads not taken and the losses (if i am reading you at all correctly...) is a passage of maturing. With a passage, there is another side to get to. Being so aware sounds like a ticket to a good destination to me.

I think you are the bee's knees, Dinah, and I find your posts and the thinking implicit in them interesting.

Best wishes to us all on the journey.

 

Justly punished by the fates

Posted by Dinah on September 4, 2011, at 10:54:38

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on September 2, 2011, at 11:11:41

Who reminded me there are some good aspects to aging. They sent me my first period for well over a year.

 

Re: Justly punished by the fates Dinah

Posted by floatingbridge on September 4, 2011, at 11:11:38

In reply to Justly punished by the fates, posted by Dinah on September 4, 2011, at 10:54:38

> Who reminded me there are some good aspects to aging. They sent me my first period for well over a year.

What? You mean the almost forgotten monthly visitor?

If so, I don't know why it's just punishment, but if I have the correct meaning, it could explain a darkening of mood.

Oh, ugh.

You got power I guess, where you are....

 

Re: Justly punished by the fates

Posted by Phillipa on September 4, 2011, at 19:56:47

In reply to Re: Justly punished by the fates Dinah, posted by floatingbridge on September 4, 2011, at 11:11:38

You don't mean first was a year long? Just that a year now since? Phillipa

 

Re: aging issues in and out of therapy pegasus

Posted by floatingbridge on October 7, 2011, at 21:33:19

In reply to Re: aging issues in and out of therapy Tabitha, posted by pegasus on August 23, 2011, at 10:36:33

Pegasus,

Thought of this thread today. I am more curiuos and less afraid now than when I was younger. That is not said without a sense of pathos, but that's the way it is. I would love to have the vitality I had as a young woman, but not at the price of amnesia.


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