Rise in Suicide Among Midlifers

I read an article from the New York Times website that made sense to me. Link is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/us/19suicide.html

I am nearing 47 years of age, have experienced a divorce after a long marriage, and have had “empty nest syndrome” twice now when my children have finished college and moved on.

I find that I have plans and goals for a career, yet I wander aimlessly through each day, as though I were a visitor in my own body – a tired and aging body.

Life isn’t getting better for me. It’s getting worse. I broke my family’s heart with a divorce (my choosing). I had to watch my kids have pain and anguish over their parents’ split. We’d been a very close family for 25 years. I’ve let the relationship with my parents fade.

I’ve raised my children. They are educated, married or engaged to wonderful partners, and have good jobs. My work is done. My marriage is done.

My career goal is to become an RN and work in an inpatient hospice environment. I’ve done it before as a CNA and loved the job. However, I have no motivation to finish this goal. I have gained a lot of weight. I have to drop out of life (missing classes and appointments), and spend days at a time in the house without leaving the bed except to go to the kitchen or bathroom.

I realize this is not “normal” behavior, but I’ve been on two antidepressants and take xanax to sleep at night. I’m tired of fighting it all. I have a new affinity for white wine and xanax together. My doctor told me that these two and my regular daily antidepressant can slow my system to a stop. She told me to stop the alcohol consumption and only take the prescribed 1 mg Xanax at night (instead of the 3 mg and half a bottle of wine).

I don’t really want to die. I just want to stop the feelings of hopelessness and pain. I want to stop hurting those I love. I’m just not sure how to go about those things.

I am very good at avoidance and denial. So, I stuff the feelilngs. No one seems to have answers for me anyway. 

When I stop calling my friends and family. When I stop answering my phone. When I stop bathing and leaving my bed. I know I’m in a stupor. But, so? I’m stuck there.

Sad songs on the Ipod, smokes in my pocket, and a heavy chest, I survive. I don’t thrive. Far from it. Where is the potential I used to have? The hope? The energy and excitement to help others?

I understand the statistics in the article (link above). I’m one of those strugglilng to stay afloat.

A post script to this blog: I am in perimenopause and have occassional rollercoaster moods. THIS was one of my “bad places.” But, I share the good and the bad here. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Rise in Suicide Among Midlifers

  1. We all struggle with life; we all make mistakes, we all do things that make our selves feel bad. Some can just forget about things and go on with life. Some continue to fight the demons that control their thoughts. How do we continue to live life when we feel we have nothing better to live for is hard to say? The things that make me go has no effect on others and what makes others go has no affect on me. We each have to look into our heart and our soul and find the things that make us go. It could be the simple desire to help others; it could be the love others have for you. Again it is different for everyone, but each of us has something to that makes us go. We can not let things stop us from continuing our fight, we can not give up on the things that or coming to our life. The world is a hard place for all if it was easy anybody could do it good. The best people fight when things are hard. The next beautiful thing in life is enough to fight for. It may have to be your smile in the mirror or it may be the birth of baby, what ever it is we have to keep treading through this life to see what GOD has planned for us. We some times may have to crawl, but we have to just do it. The thing that have gone on in the past is the past we must learn to avoid what we disliked and try to do more of what we liked. The desire to see the best things in life has to start within our heart. When we work hard we get calluses on our hands, or feet. When life is hard we get calluses on our heart. We can not let these calluses get so hard that we feel nothing soft and beautiful. Life is full of good and bad soft and hard we have to be a part of all of it. Do not let the bad get us all the way down be a fighter and make thing softer. It is not easy and it is not fast it just has to be done. If you ever wonder why, do not feel bad we all wonder why. Just do not spend all you time wondering, spend some of the time doing. Life is not easy, it is hard, but it is our job to help make it easier, and softer. Life is love and it starts in our hearts. Loving our self and loving others. Say sorry to those that we have trespassed and thank you to those that have treated use well. Not forgetting to say thank you and I am sorry to our own heart. A phone call is a chance to make a mend to many mistakes a though is an easy way to make a mends within.


  2. As you know, I teach yoga and am a Zen student. The practices in yoga and Zen such as meditation, mindfulness, attention and awareness, breathing, etc. help to center oneself, become aware of thoughts and feelings, develop acceptance and move forward in a way that is from your authentic nature. I think you are tuned in to your self and your situation. This is very good. I think that some of these practices may support you in freeing you up to move toward the things you desire in your life. The smokes, pills and wine are all ways to self medicate. They are very valuable as markers of your situation. If you do begin other practices then watching when you reduce your desire or “forget” one of these things may be a great indicator of a shift. If you do something like this, I would like to hear the results.


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