The mid-life crisis...
Fact or fiction? Crisis or Breakthrough...?
The mid-life crisis is the butt of much humour, yet for many people it is a very real experience and can be the catalyst for much emotional turmoil but also huge changes.
Perhaps then we could help reduce the stigma around it by calling it a Mid-Life Breakthrough, because after all, life is just one long journey of little breakthroughs...
When I look back at my own mid-life 'breakthrough' I recognise now that the biggest shift in me was that for the first time in my life I was looking back...reflecting on my past, on everything I'd ever done, or said, or met. For the first time in my life I realised I was aging and in my own personal circumstances I realised first and foremost was that I hated my career. It was making me ill.
The realisation that I'd wasted 20 years in a job that had sucked the life out of me quickly gave in to depression, and the inevitable attempt to escape that feeling of sadness.
For other people it could be something else, or a number of things...Perhaps in the background you are feeling the passing of youth and an aging body?
Maybe you feel you have unmet needs, or are unable to communicate them - perhaps you don't even know what they are anymore?
It is not uncommon at this stage of life to also feel deep career dissatisfaction and crave a different direction.
All of these things can impact on our relationships, often leading to separation and divorce, substance abuse and other maladaptive coping strategies.
If you're experiencing any of these feelings, let me tell you, your not alone, and also I've been there.
And you can get through this, in fact, I'd say this can be a wonderful opportunity for change if embraced and discussed. Imagine it as a doorway that opens, a chance to go again, a chance to give it one more try, a chance to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
It is never too late for change, and that often means sacrifice, it might mean less money for a while for example whilst you retrain for another career, and you will need the support of your loved ones for this. But nothing is worse than being stuck somewhere you just don't belong.
Maybe this mid-life flashback is simply just your inner self trying to break through, in that sense then, the mid-life breakthrough is an opportunity to explore self-awareness and invite a more conscious and fulfilling life into your experience.
Maybe it's time to take a different road, the one less travelled...