Question for the Expert: I have just turned fifty and my life is falling apart! I am going through a divorce, my self-esteem is on the floor and I feel old and ugly. Help!

Asked by Lizzy1959

Answer:

Turning fifty is a celebration! I would like you to think about all of what you have experienced including the successes, as well as the challenges, you have had on your journey to turning fifty. You are at the stage in your life where these things become inevitable. There are lots of changes going on around us that we do not see or have the time to appreciate/enjoy such as getting older, coping with an ever changing world and we sometimes we feel like we have lost our way.

As for feeling old and ugly I would like you to consider:  are these feelings relating to the outside or the inside of ourselves - Self-esteem or self-concept? Sometimes we need the help and support to show us and facilitate us to recognise and address our Emotional, Relational and Psychological well-being in order to find our way again and get back on a track that reflects where we are in our lives.

Here are some of my tips to help you increase your self-esteem:

  1. Identify your needs - what do YOU really need and want?
  2. Are they achievable?
  3. What support might you need around you in order to get your needs met?
  4. Devise your plan to get your needs met
  5. Implement your and live the plan and enjoy the journey to your goal

By incorporating my 5 tips into your life this will increase your self-esteem, allow you to see and acknowledge your fabulousness and beautifulness and will also show you that you can!

Norman Wright MSc, Dip Sup, Dip SW

Written by: Norman Wright MSc, Dip Sup, Dip SW, Clinical Psychotherapist

Author: Andrea1955 Date: Tue, 03/31/2015 - 20:20

Before turning age 50, I wonder if any woman's imagined scenario of what the 50's will be like is ever accurate? I'm nearly out of my 50's now and I can see that some things were better than I imagined--my eyelashes grew longer and (so far) no hot flashes; and some things were not even on my radar of possibilities. The day I turned 50 I was told by a medical professional that I would never sing again due to complications from a surgery a few weeks earlier. I could barely talk. I was a singer with a swing band. At age 50 my life fell apart. There were other medical scares, hormonal imbalances, family challenges and my previous mood swings became deeply erratic. In my instance, I think Norman Wright's #1 tip in his answer above was-and perhaps still is- the largest challenge for me.

After decades of considering other's needs and being so busy with daily schedules, raising a family and all that it entails, I wasn't sure who I was, nor could I pinpoint what I really needed. I chose to take time each day for prayer and reading inspirational scriptures and hopeful books. I made the choice to "move forward", and I sought counseling and medical evaluation for the debilitating mood swings.

I can look in the mirror now and tell myself "I love you" and I can be appreciative of the bumps in life that I have, and am still, dealing with. I recognize the courage it takes for anyone to just keep trying. I couldn't do it on my own. Many things happened during my 50s that have made me a better person. God has blessed me, and after years of struggle I am singing again. Lizzy1959, you are worthy of happiness. We all are.

Author: Editor Date: Thu, 04/02/2015 - 01:36

Andrea1955 You are absolutely right it's very hard to imagine how life will be in your fifties, like so many things, nothing prepares you. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for you to have such a life changing medical conditions at a time when your body seems to be challenging you at every turn, both physically and mentally.

Most women that I know dedicated so much time to their families and careers during their thirties and forties and it's only now in their fifties that they have really considered what their own needs are. We aren't used to putting our selves first, it's something that we have to learn to do!

I am so pleased that you shared your journey here and that you are now singing again. May your sixites be swinging and full of joy, I wish you much happiness. Tracey x