• By Amanda Blackburn.

My Midlife Crisis!

This post is a little more personal, it’s not about all things positive, how to do yoga, best toys for kids, diet, fashion and my usual stuff. It’s just about me, and how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s a need to write from the heart, get feelings off my chest and hopefully reach out to others that might be going through the same thing as me.

I promise not to swear as I know it offends some people but this does contain personal feelings that I’m being honest about. There will be the talk of sex, so if you don’t like reading about this I suggest you stop here. I really don’t want to upset my usual readers. Also if you are my parents do not continue to read. ...My parents never read my posts, I’m sure they don’t even know how to, but just in case. STOP!

At this moment in my life, I’m finding myself facing a very challenging period. My life suddenly feels different, I feel like my mind is taking over and trying to kick me off the track that I thought I was happy moving on. I feel the need to give myself a strong evaluation about where I want to be in life versus where I actually am. It’s confusing but exciting at the same time.

At first, the feeling I had was making me feel really depressed, I couldn’t understand why I suddenly felt like something was missing from my life. I’m married things aren’t perfect but they are not bad, I enjoy my job most days and I have the most amazing family who I absolutely adore, I have so much to be happy about. Not understanding what was happening to me made it worse, I felt so guilty for feeling miserable. Then something happened, I bumped into an old school friend, it had been a long time since I’d seen her and we arranged a meetup.

It was lovely to catch up, we had so much to talk about. During our time together we found that we both had the same feelings, it was great to talk and get out all the guilt that we were storing inside our heads. This friend is now part of my life again, through our teenage school years we were there for each other, helping each other cope with our hormones and now she is here again to help me through another transition of my life. If there is such thing as a soul buddy, she is it!

My friend is very different to me, always has been but we really get on. I’ve always been the sensible level headed one and she’s always been a crazy risk taker that oozes with confidence. When we were at school together she always pushed me to do things I was too scared to do. I needed this and I’m grateful for her help, it definitely made me stronger. I helped her by listening and being loyal, she shared some very tough secrets with me and I was there for a shoulder to cry on. Anyway, you get that I love her... enough of the soft talk!

During our time spent together, we were able to self-reflect, this has all been so positive because it has helped us both to eliminate the things that are no longer in sync with who we are today. The chats we have had together has helped us to focus on our purpose in the world. Having each other’s support has helped us to find creative solutions for our challenges.

So why do we both feel this sudden shift in personality? I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase "midlife crisis.” Apparently, women that are anywhere between their 40s and early 50s, experience a transition and an adjustment during the mid-years. Studies show that this crazy feeling is usually due to a decrease in estrogen, which can begin anywhere between five to 10 years before menopause. (FYI: Menopause is defined as one straight year without a period.)

Hormones have a lot to answer to!

My head was so full of negativity, below I have listed a few examples of my feelings;

“I’m getting old, I no longer have all the time in the world to follow my dreams."

“I’m so bored, hubby has been so boring, he never does anything romantic, doesn’t even acknowledge me when I walk round in front of him naked, he never wants sex, never tells me anything nice, doesn’t fancy me anymore, I’m just the mother to his children and his housekeeper.”

“I want a new man, someone who will make me feel sexy again, some excitement, some release from working so hard every day to pay the bills and give the children as much as I can!”

“I want to change my job, I need to be earning more money, I haven’t got all the things I thought I would have at my age.”

“Hubby hates me and so does everyone.”

“Something in my life is missing but what?”

“I’m so ugly, I look so old.”

“Why is sex on my mind all the time?”

“I want to go on a girly holiday (I’ve never done this!)”

“I want to party again, I want to be single!”

I could go on...but I think you can get my drift...things were not good!

I tried to keep these feelings inside, it was making me feel so down, I was constantly arguing with hubby and having one or two glasses of wine every night to help numb the depression. I was seriously thinking of going on anti-depression tablets, I couldn’t shift the black cloud that was following me everywhere. I could only see the bad in everything and felt like I had nothing to look forward to. I’m sure someone who’s reading this can relate to my feelings.

So how am I working through my current state of mind?

Meditation helps clear my mind. When my mind is clear I can then really think. “How old do I feel?" “Do I really feel old?”

When I had a really good think about it, I actually don’t feel old! I don’t really feel any different to how I did 10 years ago. I still exercise, don’t sit down all day, work hard, and need the same amount of sleep, This has changed my attitude, I’ve stopped feeling older and started acting younger. I’ve been astonished at the effect I’ve had on others, it’s rubbed off on them too, my crazy don’t care if people think I’m silly attitude has certainly put smiles on some faces. Smiles are contagious, smiling makes you feel happy.

A ten-year study conducted at the University of Waterloo found that simply feeling older predicts lower psychological well-being and lower life satisfaction compared to those with more favourable attitudes about ageing.

I also had a very serious chat with my hubby, I told him how I was feeling and although it hurt him at first, and we argued and didn’t speak for a few days, it did give him a massive wake up call. It made us both realise that we needed to be a fun couple again not just good parents. He’s been trying really hard to help me through my crazy phase by being more fun, it’s been great to spend some fun times together away from our jobs and our children. We had always put the children in front of our own pleasures and we both realise, especially now they are older we need things for us too.

The pressures of adulthood have definitely been weighing us both down, we were both feeling like we were stuck in a rut. Although I can blame my hormones for my craziness it’s not only hormones that are to blame, it’s that mid-point in your life, pure boredom, time for a change. After talking with hubby he was feeling the same, we knew something had to change if we were to stay together.

So we have been doing things that are outside of our typical routine, things that light us up. Hubby purchased some decks, he used to DJ and has been missing it, he’s been mixing again and it’s made him feel young again. I’ve been getting out more, planning events and weekends away for us as a couple and family weekends. It’s helped to have something to look forward to every weekend. My daughter has been babysitting so we can get out for a few hours on our own. She appreciates the responsibility and cash so it works both ways and we don’t feel guilty. We have been planning a monthly surprise for each other and the children have been having a monthly surprise too. Last weekend we took them to a theme park we all had a wonderful time.

Yoga and Zumba help's me feel better about myself, physically and mentally!

Writing has been helping clear my mind and get out my feelings, my social media has helped boost my confidence, I’ve had so many lovely comments from others it has helped me feel better about the way I look.

The most important thing I have to say is to my readers is, “don't let people tell you that you have no right to be unhappy with your life. It is okay to lose your way through life and evaluate from time to time. It is okay to question your life's purpose. It's okay to say, "I don't know who I am." It is better to ask the questions and seek the answers than to live a numb life.”

So I’ve decided to embrace my midlife crisis, I’m going to make the most of everything I have learned over the last 43 years and use it to make my life the way I’d like it to be. My children are getting less dependent on me and it’s healthy for them to see me happy and in control of my life.

If you are feeling like I did, please try and find someone who you can talk to, don’t suffer alone. Please feel free to email me, I will happily chat to you if it helps.

If you have a few minutes I would love to hear your comments on this post. The comment bar is below and I promise not to share your email address with anyone.

Thanks for reading!