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Times harder as we age? Everything at once

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  • #405267
    Sandhya
    Participant

    Like everyone, we can’t escape life and I do believe that the saying “Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans” is so very true.

    Last 2 years I have been having fun, met new people. etc etc. but even that brought heartache of its own. Then it all started mounting at once, taking care of a loved one, loosing pets (who were my children) illnesses of friend and family, and stepping up to the plate, getting a new baby (Older cat/rescue), my own Drs. appts. and injuring myself.

    All of this culminated in 8 days time. I felt at that point, someone/something was out to get me, then any other minor thing that happened was a joke. Hitting my head, falling out of bed etc…I thought okay…somethings got to give…something…”what you want from me??!!” Was god having fun at my expense or was it inevitable Karma for not paying attention the last couple years.

    I felt at that point, what was the point? was a tool? Did I suit any purpose what so ever except to be needed by everyone else? I know some folks need to be needed, but at this point, I felt like I was tapped out, I needed to need me. So at what point does one say “What doesnt kill you makes  you stronger” is B.S.? I feel like at this point if anything is thrown at me, something has to give, do I say “help!” and run away?. I really do not believe the adage; “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” is not true, since lots of people prove that wrong daily.  life was easier when I was younger…or maybe I wasnt paying attention.. Probably the latter, maybe I just have more time to focus on things now.

    So at what point can one actually say “wow…why was all of that thrown at once”…because in truth, thing are not going to get better, because I do have a few more challenges in a couple weeks.  Or simply is this a matter of “When it rains it pours”

    Right now I am taking the advice of some who say, “don’t give up, good will happen” or “dont give up, lots of folks never get the chance to complete all the tasks thrown at them” etc..etc…so I am holding on to those statements. But I am not 20, 30, 40 or even 50…I am older and loss, tasks, things thrown at me seem to be coming more frequent now, and I am not learning from them…

    Any thoughts? all are appreciated…I am sure I ask for multitudes of older folks who are experiencing life as well, because I guess “Such is Life” lolol hey I am smiling because it is sooooo true.

     

    Any suggestions?

     

     

    #405358
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sandhya:

    Last 2 years I have been having fun, met new people. etc. etc.“- I am glad for you, that you had two good years!

    Then it all started mounting at once…losing pets.. illnesses…  my own Drs. appts. and injuring myself…. Was god having fun at my expense“- that would be a cruel god… to enjoy a person’s loses, illnesses and injuries. Better believe in no god than in a cruel god, says I.

    I remember injuring myself 3.5 years ago, dropped a tree branch on my foot, badly twisted and bruised my ankle. It scared the hell out of me… couldn’t walk for a long time, and not without pain for months. I thought that I will always feel pain in that ankle. Fast forward, I don’t even remember which ankle it was… but I do have some new pain in my knees (weakening or disappearing cartilage, I suppose). Ever since the injury of 3.5 years ago, which happened because I wasn’t paying attention, I remind myself every day to calm my anxiety best I can and to pay attention. I say this to myself because the calmer a person, the more attentive one is, and the fewer the chances for accidents and injuries.

    What doesn’t kill you makes  you stronger” is B.S.?“- yes, I think so.

    the adage; ‘God doesn’t give you more than you can handle’ is not true, since lots of people prove that wrong daily” – I agree.

    When it rains it pours”- not where I live. Here, when it rains, it hardly ever pours.

    Life was easier when I was younger” – you are fortunate. My life was more difficult as a child throughout my 20s and beyond, than it is now.

    I hope to read more from you!

    anita

     

    #405363
    Sandhya
    Participant

    I guess to start from the end…how I reacted when I was young to bad situations, was different…there for I got through it easier…I feel like now that I am coming to the end with my family I am feeling loss more, and its resting on my mind harder. I also had a very difficult career, but somehow I remember surviving it, but I dont remember the pain involved.

    Ive had 11 surgeries and have never had pain medications because I learned to have a relationship with pain, I can still see myself going with out post op pain medications. Its the emotional pain I have more problems with now. Interesting because the way I understand pain, is your brain cannot differentiate how it reacts to emotional pain as apposed to physical pain, it sees both as the same stressors.

    I guess we can look at life as a series of tests. I am familiar with tests..but there are some tests I feel are just over the top..

    Peace on your journey as well…

     

    #405365
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sandhya:

    I will reply to you further tomorrow morning, in about 10 hours from now. I am curious about your 11 surgeries, about what they were about… In regard to “emotional pain as opposed to physical pain”,  I am reminded of what my former therapist said: “Everything is physical”, and it is indeed true: we can not perceive anything at all outside our physical brain.

    anita

    #405366
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Anonymous

    Sometimes feelings of guilt and shame are used as punishments. It seems to me that you are punishing yourself right now, for your mistake.

    But do you deserve punishment? It is helpful? Are there any alternatives? What is there to learn from the experience?

    It seems to me, the only lesson you can take away from this is understanding that drinking can lead to uncharacteristic behaviour for you.

    I also experience uncharacteristic behaviour when drinking too much. My personal limit is 3 drinks. I know that I can control my behaviour within this range.

    It might be helpful for you to plan as Anita suggested how to avoid similar situations in the future. Perhaps avoid drinking around men that aren’t your partner? Or do not attend events which involve drinking without your partner present? Or set your own rule about alcohol?

    My point is, other than learning from the situation, is there anything helpful to gain? It seems to me that self-punishment is only harmful. Once you have finished planning, there will be nothing left to gain from ruminating on this situation.

    Perhaps you feel it is just since your partner is not able to react to the situation himself? But would he even want this? I think that your partner cares about you and would not want you to suffer.

    Personally, I think that most partners would be able to forgive this situation. You have been very focused on what was said. But in the bigger picture, not focusing on the details. You simply flirted with an ex while drunk. Things didn’t progress any further than that. Whilst unpleasant, it is entirely forgivable. It is not even a large mistake, just a small one.

    Do you feel that your reaction is proportional to the situation? Are you beating yourself up for what could have happened, if you didn’t stop yourself?

    #405368
    Helcat
    Participant

    Sorry Sandhya! I accidentally posted on the wrong thread please disregard the message above.

    #405369
    Helcat
    Participant

    Hi Sandhya

    It sounds like you have been through a lot in your life and are continuing to experience many more challenging experiences.

    It seems to me that as we age, death becomes prevalent in our lives. I remember a colleague confronting her own mortality when her best friend suddenly received a terminal diagnosis of cancer at 40.

    I have a good friend in his 70s and recently his two brothers both passed within a short space of time. He copes by reflecting on his memories and looking at pictures.

    Death is a natural part of life, but it can be extremely distressing.

    Having a support network is very important, if you are losing a lot of people that you care about it is important to make some new connections. You can never replace those people. But being alone can be extremely difficult.

    A lot of the time people cope by being hopeful. But in the case of loss, this isn’t relevant. Perhaps acceptance is something to work towards? I find a saying comforting. The people you love are a part of you. So you can honour their memory as you live.

    Do you have any strategies for coping with the feelings of loss that you are experiencing? As someone with a chronic pain condition, I’m curious about learning more about how you cope with pain. This is something I struggle with.

    #405370
    Helcat
    Participant

    When you can, please take the time to rest and recharge. You cannot give from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself is also important.

    #405375
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sandhya:

    Thank you for wishing me peace. You shared that when you were young you went through difficult situations easier. You had a very difficult career but you don’t remember pain involved. “Life was easier when I was younger, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention. Probably the latter. Maybe I just have more time to focus on things now. Now.. I am feeling loss more, and it’s resting on my mind harder“- life was easier in the past because you were very busy with your career and otherwise, too busy to pay attention. Now life is more difficult because you are retired and otherwise less busy, and therefore, you are paying more attention.

    Perhaps if you get busy with something new, your focus and attention will again move away from life difficulties and life will get easier for it.

    I’ve had 11 surgeries and have never had pain medications because I learned to have a relationship with pain, I can still see myself going without post op pain medications. It’s the emotional pain I have more problems with now“-

    What if you can form a relationship with emotional pain, one that is somewhat different from your relationship with physical pain?

    apa. org/ aging (I added the boldface feature so to point to issues you mentioned or issues that may apply to you): “Geropsychology is the field within psychology that applies the knowledge and methods of psychology to understanding and helping older persons and their families maintain well-being, overcome problems, and achieve maximum potential during later life. As with younger adults, a variety of treatable mental health disorders affect older adults. In fact, older adults have the highest rates of suicide of any age group in the U.S., and depression is its foremost risk factor. In addition, stressors common in late life such as loss of loved ones, relocation, health conditions, caregiving demands, change in employment status, and poverty significantly affect the health and independence of older adults….

    “Geropsychologists are at the forefront of research on questions related to health and aging. Why are most older adults successful in adapting to the stressors of late life while others become suicidal? Why do most older adults remain mentally sharp while others have memory problems?”.

    I am guessing that geropsychologists address the topics of age-appropriate nutrition & daily exercise, & age appropriate socialization opportunities, as well as teaching emotion regulation skills, assertiveness skills (“Did I suit any purpose what so ever except to be needed by everyone else? … I was tapped out, I needed to need me”, you wrote in your original post).

    Also, Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning comes to mind. Quotes: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way“- one’s youth is taken away if we live long enough, but an older person still has the freedom to choose his/ her attitude and individual, chosen way of living.

    It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions“- the freedom to choose one’s attitude, one’s stand toward aging and other conditions.

    Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’“,

    Even the helpless victim of a hopeless situation, facing a fate he cannot change, may rise above himself, may grow beyond himself, and by so doing change himself. He may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph“, quotes again, are from Man’s Search for Meaning.

    anita

    #405972
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Sandhya?

    anita

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