Anxiety and depression are still subjects that we mid-lifers just don’t want to talk about. For some reason it has been seen as a weakness, something to keep to ourselves, and for most we have suffered in silence.
Not any more I say!
Well, it’s not shameful, it’s not embarrassing and it’s defintely not a weakness. I can tell you in my midlife, I am finally free. It’s bloody liberating, it didn’t come easy but hell it was worth it.
The best part of ageing for me – and there are many – is that I’d spent many years in anxiety hell. The year this picture was taken was the year I was finally able to walk the streets by myself without fear of being attacked, I could fly in a plane without a sedative, when I no longer hated my body, when I realised that forgiveness is freedom and not weakness.
The year I challenged myself with both little steps (leaving the house) and big ones (flying in a helicopter and hot air ballooning). This was the year I set myself, my mind and body free.
Today this image came up in my feed as a memory, and it reminded me anything is possible. I was determined to not let someone else’s behaviour ruin my life. It didn’t and I’m proud of myself.
To anyone going through or suffering anxiety, depression or post traumatic stress, you will get through it.
I’m better in my midlife, I’m happier in my midlife, more confident, kinder, wiser, empathetic and grateful that the more years I gather, the happier I am.
It’s not easy facing your fears, talking about them, reliving them or sitting down with a professional and asking “what the hell is wrong with me?”.
When I did, I was scared of the answer, but I shouldn’t have been. My anxiety was caused by a past trauma, but I had to work through that, relive it, I hated it, I didn’t want to do it, but I did, and that year of hell was worth being able to live the rest of my life free.
I couldn’t have done this when I was younger, I wish I had, but I just didn’t have the strength or the capability to cope with it.
Midlife gave me that, and that is something to celebrate.
Here’s to embracing midlife, it’s not half bad (now, if only I could sort those bloody hormones out).
Side note: If you need help, please see your GP, they can refer to you a counsellor. You are entitled to up to 12 sessions free. It does help to talk to someone. Most importantly be kind to yourself, don’t be hard on yourself, and put yourself first, because you deserve it.
Let’s talk about it more, let’s share more and let’s help take the stigma away. As a community we can support each other and that is bloody brilliant.