Friday, 19 December 2014

A taste of Mid-life Depression

Dealing with the curve balls life sends your way -Delicious Ambiguity  ~ Gilda Radner

Last year parts of my life imploded before my eyes. My husband, who I had been supporting financially since his redundancy 3yrs before, decided he didn't want to be married any more and I was looking down the barrel of starting life over again with just my cat and a part time job. The scary thing is that there were parts of that scenario that were strangely appealing.

I read an article recently by Anna Moore that said "if you're fed up with family and work and feel it's time for an overhaul, you could be experiencing mid-life depression. But be careful what you wish for."

This rang true on several levels because I was fed up with going to a fairly mundane job to keep the roof over our head while my husband stayed home doing study and planning on the wonderful life he would be embarking on when he started his new career "one day". I think I soldiered on because there wasn't really any alternative to the 'for better or for worse' that was married life.

The catalyst to my midlife crisis was my husband telling me that I wasn't supportive of his hopes and dreams and he didn't want to be married any more - apparently I could move out because I could support myself and he'd stay home. After recovering slightly from being completely blind sided, I took my stand and "the worm turned". He finally acknowledged that his clinical depression had returned and got some help, took on a part-time job to contribute and apologised for pulling the rug out from under me.

On the surface everything was fine, but there was still something eating away underneath. I was crying anytime things got too stressful, thinking about having my own place and how I'd decorate it, and wondering how family events would pan out if I left. Basically life turned on it's head and I was the one thinking of leaving. I knew in my heart that I really wanted us to stay together, but I longed for some direction and hope for the future, and maybe a little "settled-ness" after the chaos. 

I've since worked out that this is a combination of a lot of factors, menopause, situational depression, maybe a bit of PTSD, loss of relevance and uncertainty about the future. I've bitten the bullet and gone on a low dose of anti-depressant until I feel more balanced and I have a little more clarity in my life. My husband is now finishing up the part-time job and we're back on the treadmill of what he will do in the year ahead - but at least we're together and with time I'm sure some direction will come. In the meantime I choose carefully who I share my life with, try hard not to let the uncertainty of the future get to me and try to count my blessings. At least I know I'm not alone in this midlife stage - and I'm not about to run off to a yurt in Nepal or visit a guru in India - no, I'll stay put and try my best to make lemonade out of those lemons that keep being thrown at me. "Delicious Ambiguity"


  1. Leanne I had never read this post before and it has me crying so hard. While it was brilliantly written my heart broke for you. You are one of the strongest people I know and it's not just tonight I get it by your posts. You have a resiliency like no one I know and I admire you so much for that, but part of me wants to say you deserve a soft place to land for however many days, weeks, months or even years it takes you. What happened to you is one of the most devastating things that can happen to a woman our age. We all fear it in the back of our minds and anybody that doesn't is a liar. You deserve to have a safety net. You deserve to be loved and cherished. You are a remarkable woman to have raised two fine children and from what I read you've been the stable, supportive one. I don't want to over step my bounds and you can delete this so no one else sees it. Heck I've had a cabin in the woods decorated, paid for and needing renovated in my mind I've decorated it so many times. We love our families and when you come from a screwed up one I think you hold on even tighter to it because you know it's something special, but sometimes you eat a lot of crow as well. I'm rambling and I guess what I intended to say is if you need a shoulder I'm here.

  2. Thanks so much Rena - I wrote this right at the beginning of my blog when I was getting a lot of stuff out of my system. I thought about removing it, but it is an honest look at how my life was at that stage. I had so much invested in my marriage and our life together and when things went haywire it really threw me. Things are a lot better now - although I may be taking antidepressants for the rest of my life to combat the fallout + menopause + they reduce my headaches and help me sleep. I'm a lot more accepting of other people's weaknesses now and definitely believe in "never say never" Thanks so much for your support xx

  3. Love your honesty and perspective. Unfortunately I think so many midlife women feel this way and can relate. So often we don't know what these feelings are about. Good for you for uncovering what is really going on instead of just heading off to Nepal. I might join you by the way!

    1. Nepal has a certain attractiveness to it at times Rosie - the simple life and peace and quiet always have their appeal :) I'll message you if I buy a ticket!


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