In this episode of the Kenn Blanchard Show podcast I hope to shine some light on a dark place in the lives of men. It’s known as Mid Life Crisis. I thought it was a load of rubbish but I assure you that it is not.
I woke up this morning and my knees were still aching from walking almost twelve hours at work on concrete. My lower back, elbows and neck have their twinges of discomfort probably the onset of arthritis. When I looked in the mirror, Grumpy Cat was staring back at me. Maybe you don’t know what I am talking about but let me explain.
I can’t retire. My body aches and I need to work at a job that is challenging only because of the child-like personnel I have to supervise. I’m 30 libs overweight and it bugs me more now that it ever has. I’m not happy with life I’m living. I think I could be happier, but the clock is ticking and I have obligations that prevent me from doing it. The job controls most of my day. I hate that. I am restless and easily agitated. I was in traffic the other day, and although I am not the road rage kind of guy, I think I would not be the peacemaker this go around if someone hit my car.
I thought I was having a pity party. And I was ready to get over it. I was sick and tired of being blue. I understand the struggle. I understand that things change.
I wasn’t really thankful for the good things. I would go sit on the porch and think. Not much was making me happy. Sometimes though I would remember some parts of my life that made you happy.
I talked to my wife but she didn’t really have any answers. Anything I proposed seemed to go against the life she was enjoying. I was finally making money after two years of being unemployed. We were starting over. I didn’t have any wise old pastors to talk to as I had hoped. All the ones I know are making bigger mistakes than me.
I was wondering if my dreams were real. I have done and accomplished a lot in my 50 plus years. But maybe this was as good as it gets.
I came out of my self-induced funk and realized I wasn’t just grumpy but was going through something common with men of my age. I decided to show it to you, share it with you. My findings, the information and maybe you can use it.
I didn’t want to claim it. I thought it was something that made you want to buy a sports car, chase skirts and drink a lot.
Remember you can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.
There is no exact age when it happens but you’ll recognize the symptoms.
This is a big list of 30, your mileage may vary; You or “that guy”:
- Looking into the mirror and you no longer recognize yourself.
- Desiring to quit a good job.
- Unexplained bouts of depression when doing tasks that used to make you happy.
- Changing or investigating new religions, churches or new age philosophy.
- Change of habits. Activities which used to bring pleasure now are boring.
- Unable to complete or concentrate on tasks which used to be easy.
- It feels good to get hurt.
- Wanting to run away from everything.
- A desire to get into physical shape.
- Irritability or unexpected anger.
- Desire for physical -Free Flowing- movement (Running, Biking, Dance, Fast red sports cars, Sky diving, etc).
- Exploring new musical tastes.
- Sudden desire to learn how to play an instrument.
- .Sudden interest in drawing, painting, writing books or poetry.
- Shifting sleep patterns (Typically to less).
- Thinking about death, wondering about the nature of death.
- Changes to the balance of vitamins you take. Or taking dietary supplements for the purposes of extending life.
- Extreme changes to what you eat.
- Excessively buying new clothes and taking more time to look good.
- Hair changes. (Natural changes in thickness, luster, color or Assisted changes in dying hair suddenly or shaving your head bald)
- A desire to surround yourself with different settings
- Hanging out with a different generation as their energy and ideas stimulate you.
- Restarting things, which you dropped 20 years earlier.
- Upset at where society is going. Experience a desire to change the world for the better.
- Feeling trapped or tied down by fiscal responsibilities.
- Desiring a simple life.
- Exxcessively looking back to one’s childhood.
- Keep re-asking yourself: “Where am I going with my life?”
- Recently experiencing something extremely stressful. Stress can trigger a Midlife transformation. Some examples include: Changing Jobs, Divorce, Death of someone close, Chemical/Toxic exposure upon the body or experiencing a major illness.
Doing things that get you into trouble when it surprises everyone as being out of character.
Many men go through a phase when they take a hard look at the life they’re living. They are not happy with it. They think they could do better, and if they need to make a big change, they feel the urge to do it soon. I mean, like yesterday.
What I am trying to convey here is brothers you are not alone. If you can realize that you’re in this phase, you make wiser choices and not hurt yourself and the ones that love you.
A midlife crisis can lead to “growth or destruction” for men. You can look for the causes of the unhappiness you feel, then make thoughtful decisions to address them. That’s growth. Or you can do something that feels good in the moment like trading in your family for a relationship with a younger partner that quickly ends, or buying something you can’t afford, leading to destruction.
That is the part I was used to hearing about.
I just learned that depression can hit you, man. And that struggle is real. It is not a sign of emotional weakness or failing of masculinity. But it is a health condition that affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. It can also lead to heart disease and other serious medical problems. Of course, it’s normal for anyone to feel down from time to time—dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life. However, if intense feelings of despair and hopelessness take hold of you, and interfere with work, family, and your ability to enjoy life, you may be suffering from depression.
And the first step to recovery or fixing you is to recognize that you might have a issue.
Unfortunately, depression in men can often be overlooked as many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings. Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression, such as back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences. In fact, men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. It’s important for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide. You need to talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind as well as your body. Once correctly diagnosed, there is plenty you can do to successfully treat and manage depression.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Available 24 hours everyday
Don’t waste the season your life is in now because you want the next one to come.
Three more things to help you.
- Remember that your feelings aren’t commands. Just because you feel like you have to escape your home, job, or marriage doesn’t mean you have to actually do it
- Be thankful for the good things. Take time to be grateful for the parts of your life that make you happy
- Talk it over. Before you make major decisions, discuss them with someone whose advice you’ll trust
I believe in the God of Abraham and Jesus the Christ, so being able to say thank you is easy. Start by being thankful for your life. Take inventory of not what you don’t have but what you do. There is a lot o stuff you miss. If you can walk, I would be thankful for my legs and the range of motion. You wouldn’t want to swap places with the many young people in the VA hospital right now learning how to walk on prosthetics would you? Thank continues on with your hands, arms, eye sight, all of that. Then go to your health. Ok you can’t run a marathon right now but you probably never wanted to anyway. Go to the survival level. Do you have food to eat, a place for shelter, air to breathe, sex would be nice. But don’t get hung up there. It belongs down here in this realm but don’t let the negatives or the devil hurt you in the feeling of what you are not getting anymore. I will have to address that later I can tell.
Be thankful for security, even if you hate your job now, you got one. Family, property, stuff you have
Be thankful for friendships, family and sexual intimacy. Different than sex and actually what you like after you get passed the orgasm. Yeah I have to explain that for some, I can tell now. I can see how you are looking at me right now.
Be thankful for who you are on the inside.
Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come. Remember all the battles you have fought, all the fears you have overcome.
There are some people that really like you and respect you. You know I am right. They would be disappointed if they knew you gave up on yourself. They are rooting for you. You help them.
Be thankful for the man that God has made. You are not perfect but you are still a work in progress. And He isn’t finished with you yet. Don’t you quit on you. You can get through this. That is what rough and tough times are. Times. Its not going to be like this forever. You have to keep moving.
I asked a older version of myself today how did he overcome the blahs, the blues, the mid life crisis, and depression?
He said I kept moving. We need to keep moving.
“A winner is someone who gets up one more time than he is knocked down.”
You see if you stay down too long. Your body will adjust to it and it will take booze, booty or something harmful to bring you up a little temporarily. And that is how we get trapped in addictions.
I do this podcast to connect with you. I hope it makes sense. I try not to waste your time. And even if some of what I say doesn’t pertain to you, you will have it to share with someone someday that may come into your circle of influence and need to hear a word to help them in the struggle.
On the Motorcycle Radio news, I am really feeling the itch right now. I got an idea for a revamp of my podcast but can’t do it right now. FYI-
National Ride to Work Day is June 20th.
Shout out to my brothers from MSG Det. London England, 83-85.
Shout out to my wife of 25 years.
“Remember that guy that gave up? Neither does no one else.”
Thank you for listening, downloading and subscribing to this podcast. http://blanchard.libsyn.com
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the founder of Blanchard.Media and the GunPodcastNetwork.com