I'm old/ my life is basically over

Ecdysis

MyPTSD Pro
I know "old" is relative... for an 18 year old, someone who's 30 seems OLD and if you're 60, then someone who's 30 is YOUNG.

I'm turning 46 next week and I never worried about age/ feeling old for most of my life, but these last few years, where I've had major depression for the first time in my life, I feel so OLD. I feel like my life is "basically over" and that if my life were a movie, then all that's left is tying up some lose plot ends and then the credits and THE END.

I feel like this is a dumb belief (part of my brain knows it's rubbish) but I'm so convinced it's true that it just feels like an irrefutable truth that is unchangeable.

It's certainly contributing to my depression and vice versa.
 
it ain't over 'til it's over. ~yogi berra

and then you get to be old enough that you are checking 46 year olds for diaper rash. yes, that would be me. do i need to get the rash ointment for you, my troubled cherub?

attempted humor aside. . .
i take that feeling that my life is basically over as a sign that i need to try something new.

steadying support while you decide what is right for you.
 
😄Thank you for the laugh

Yup, I know it's a sign... It's saying that things feel old, my life feels old, nothing is inspiring me, nothing is making me feel alive.

(As background info: I've had the worst bout of depression for the last few years, that I've ever had in my life)

Before that, all bouts of depression were like a molehill... This recent bout has been my personal Mt Everest...

So previously, when things have felt old/ stale/ over, I've always found something new and meaningful to me, that has kept me inspired.

This time, all my old tricks don't work.

My brain is convinced that there's no point in finding something new, because I'm old now and it's all downhill from here.

It's like this Catch 22 that keeps going round in circles. Feeling old cos there's nothing new and not finding something new because I feel old.

I feel stupid just typing it, cos if it were a friend saying that, I'd give them a good kick up the butt and a firm hug and tell them to quit feeling sorry for themselves and get on with it.

But my brain thinks I'm the exception... I really AM old and it really IS basically all over...

@arfie may I ask what's helping you age more gracefully than me? 🙂
 
i think my most compelling motive is my one ambition in life:
to be living fully on the day that i die.

at 46, (and 16, 26, 36), there was considerable debate on whether that ambition would kill me long before i reached my current age, but here i am. still contrary after all these years and grateful that i didn't waste the last few decades just waiting around to die.
 
There is a quote from a man who turned 100, saying he wished he started playing the violin when he was 60, and not thinking he was too old, as otherwise he could now have said he's played the violin for 40 years.
I like that because it shows you the opposite of what society makes you think.

Whilst I worry about my grey hair and wrinkles, and now menpause, getting older is a gift.
What we do with that gift, is up to us.
So, can you find counter beliefs to your current ones?
 
I feel like my life is "basically over" and that if my life were a movie, then all that's left is
Even if I assume that my best years should have been my 20s, and that it’s all downhill from here (in my 40s), I’m still looking at another 40 years if I live to the average life expectancy. Today’s life expectancy, so gawd knows how long they’ll be able to draw it out in 40 years time…

Another 40 years is a long time to sit on my laurels waiting to die. Fk that. Even if the next 40 years don’t turn out to be as woop-de-doo as the first 20 were supposed to be, that doesn’t mean they need to be completed boring. Irrespective of how good they’re supposed to be, the years ahead are going to be as good as I make them. As meaningful, or meaningless, as I decide to make them.

I’m already 40. So I know that 40 years is a long time, and that’s what I’ve still got to go. That’s enough to do something with myself. Make something of myself. Discover, learn, live, love. And it’s waaaay too long to do absolutely nothing with myself!
 
So, can you find counter beliefs to your current ones?
I was just thinking about this, while making breakfast.

Tried telling myself that I wasn't old and blahblahblah but my brain rejected it all (which is to be expected with a core belief/ cognitive distortion).

Then I realised that it's the depression. Depression is making me feel low on energy, lacking a purpose, devoid of enthusiasm, bored, lonely, insular, joyless, feeling like I have no future to look forward to and my brain sees a pattern in that and decides that all that = old.

But objectively, that's not true. People can feel like that at any time of life and it's called depression, not being old. And conversely, people can feel joy and feel alive at any age, including at 70, 80, 90, 100, so 46 is just an irrelevant number in that sense.

So I'm going to try that... when the "old" thoughts and feelings arise, telling my brain firmly that that's depression, not age-related. And then just trying to move on and to do something useful or positive, which will hopefully contribute to getting out of this depression and hence having fewer thoughts about age, over time.
 
God I feel this. Not helped by the fact that in sport (well, mine anyway) you genuinely do have a bit of a shelf life. Everything is categorised by age markers, and if you haven’t made it by a certain point? Ain’t gonna.

It’s that fun cycle of knowing you need to put your all in > too depressed > half ass it > get nowhere > more depressed because shite > do an even worse job of half assing it.

Find that motivation, or the lil spark that gets you lit and moving. It’s escaping me throughly at the moment.
 
I am entering the sparkling winter of my own life. I can only add that dealing with the natural progression of life in its physical and emotional forms is truly a universal situation that all will face.

i find consolation in the ideas of past generations, that with each stage of life comes new opportunities and ways of being, regardless of the path you are on.
 
find consolation in the ideas of past generations, that with each stage of life comes new opportunities and ways of being, regardless of the path you are on.
I like this...

And usually I'm good at spotting the positives and the new opportunities, but depression is smothering that ability like a ton of bricks.

But I do want to look for that stuff...

One thing I've noticed is that not only does sports related stuff have a shelf-life, as you say @No More but so does physical "attraction" in certain ways. I do love the fact that men no longer look at my boobs or my bum. It's like I've become invisible in that regard. I guess some women miss it but I don't. I hated being objectified and looked at through a sexual lens. I love the fact that I'm now viewed simply as a human being. I wish I could've felt like that growing up. That would've been amazing.

Another thing I enjoy is caring less and less about other people's opinions. When I was younger, I felt much more insecure and always considering what others wanted/ thought/ felt and now I'm much more like "Ehh, we're all grown ups... You do you and I'll do me." That's pretty liberating.

Another thing I've notice (but felt some discomfort about) is that this getting older means much more "living in the moment", for me. It's what my Buddhist meditation practice has told me all my life that I *should* be doing, but when I was younger, I was always only half in the moment and half involved in future plans, goals, ambitions, etc. At mid-life, I find that I've reached many/ most of my life goals (much to my own surprise! maybe childhood trauma meant that I didn't aim too high, who knows, but those goals seemed unattainable back then, but I've managed to achieve them anyway - even just surviving and living until 46 seemed a very improbable proposition back then.) So, being older and having fewer plans and goals and having seen friends and loved ones pass away, makes me realise that "fully being in the present moment" is the way to go, from here on in. I don't think I'm very good at it yet - but this is definitely something worth practising and exploring and learning to love.

And while all of those hopes/ dreams/ plans/ goals of youth are behind me now, I guess I should find some second-half-of-life goals and hopes...

I do also like that many of the things that I valued as a youngster are now basically meaningless to me (like worrying about other ppl's opinion, worrying about my looks, feeling like I need to prove myself, wanting success)... It makes room for different, deeper, more subtle values... but I must invest effort in finding/ intuiting/ developing these... because at the moment my mind's focus is on what is *gone* (the values of youth) and on the *absence* of those things but not on the new things that may fill that space now...

I also like the fact that I'm more in tune with my own feelings now, as I get older. Childhood trauma wreaked a lot of havoc there but over the years, trauma therapy and getting older and wiser has helped to feel more grounded and more connected to myself. That's been badly overshadowed by this horrible depression, but I would like to develop that further now that I'm finally starting to come out the other side of this depression.

Hmm... lots to think about... I guess one thing I really miss (also due to the depression) is the feeling of wild enthusiasm and energy and adrenaline that I do associate with youth. I feel like my life has slowed down a bit and is no longer this high-energy doing-a-thousand-things-at-once whirlwind anymore... I guess I have to find new and different ways of feeling "alive" that aren't based on the adrenaline surges of youth.

Hmm... I just googled "What are the benefits of getting older"... I think I'll read up on some of that.

One quote caught my eye by Eleanor Roosevelt : “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” I like that.

I used to have a note hanging on my fridge with the saying "You have exactly enough time for the important things" which I found very grounding.

Maybe I can adapt that to: "You are exactly the right age right now that you are supposed to be."

I like that. It's making me teary. The thought that things are exactly right, just as they are, that fate wants things to be just so.

Of course I'm going to turn 46 next week, because that's the exact perfect age to be between 45 and 47.

And yes, it's a bit scary growing older, but life has been a bit scary at every turn, just for different reasons. It's and adventure and adventures are meant to be a bit scary so that you have to be brave and so you can achieve things you never thought possible.
 
I just remembered that I also used to have a note on my fridge saying "Life is short but it is wide".

I think I need to write that down again and stick it on my wall, because I need that sentiment now, more than ever. Life is short. Ridiculously short. But it is infinitely wide. It*s width is expansive and holds room for everything under the sun and then some.

I need to focus on that expanse, the width as I get older, not on the "shortness" and the feeling that there is a "lack" of time left.
 
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