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A-Z of Midlife: E is for Emotions

July 9, 2009


E is for Emotion

E is for Emotions.
Talk about an emotional rollercoaster…. I can honestly say that my tears have never flowed so frequently, easily or unexpectedly as they have over the past few years. I am moved to tears by…. well, most things actually … books, films, songs, nature, animals – you name it, I’ve probably shed tears over it!

It would appear that I’m not alone – there’s an awful lot of emotion going on out there. It is all too easy to put the blame on hormones of course, and although they can (and frequently do) wreak their own special brand of havoc, they’re certainly not the whole story. Many of the midlife women I work with feel truly battered by the emotional whirlwind they find themselves in.

ScreamWhat are the emotions we experience at midlife?  Well, there’s sadness and a sense of loss at what is ending and what we’re saying goodbye to; frustration and anger at the realization that we’re never going to be this or it’s too late to achieve that; confusion and fear about what’s around the corner when the path ahead seems so unclear. And that’s just a few for starters.

We can become so caught up in the ‘emotion of change’, that we miss the signs pointing the way forward. We may interpret all this bubbling inner turmoil as signs of failure, when they are actually indications of growth and progress.  Think about it for a minute… hormones, anger, confusion…. ring any bells? If this reminds you of adolescence then you’d be right – and if you cast your mind back, you can probably still remember the emotional intensity of that time. What’s going on here is very similar – as we emerge into our second adulthood, we struggle to let go of who we were whilst getting to know who we are NOW. It’s an emotional business, forging a new identity.

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