Midlife Woes of Many Church Women


I was reading a book recently that had a chapter on Menopause. It could have equally been entitled, MidLife Crisis and Women.

She described her story something like this [revised slightly]:
...I had hot flashes at inconvenient times. I always felt like I needed to announce them, but my husband really didn't want to know. But I wanted him to know because we're close in age and I wanted to go through this together! After all, if my fertility were drying up, shouldn't he be aware of it? Isn't it the end of "our" fertility?

...I noticed new wrinkles on my face, and a double chin. I needed to color my hair more often. No matter how hard I exercised I continued to gain weight, I hated my reflection. I wanted to look great at my daughter's high school graduation, but I felt frumpy and self-conscious. I wanted my husband to be attracted to me, but he was getting really lousy (or lazy) about giving me compliments--when I needed them most..."

MIDLIFE WOES
Many women in midlife women have issues common to these. Many of the issues are rooted in physical changes but those issues can effect emotional well being too.

These topics are rarely addressed in Christian, work or family circles. If a woman seems "unbalanced", other things are often blamed.

Many women pretend they're okay, or joke about it, not revealing their own inner turmoil.

Not every woman may feel she has midlife challenges. Some get no symptoms, but for those who do it can sometimes help to be able to label the feelings and to understand many women have similar challenges.
Some of these issues can become very debilitating for women. Some need excessive sleep. Others struggle with chronic insomnia that affects the quality of their work day. Some feel dominated by hot flashes or menopausal migraines. The symptoms of perimenopause, menopause or midlife can go on for years!

FIND HELP AND ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER

When the Bible suggests encouraging one another or helping those who are struggling, things like menopause and mid-life crisis are rarely what comes to mind. But these REAL LIFE issues can be included!

When women share their feelings, struggles, and most of all, solutions, they help each other.

There probably is no one-fits-all solution. Some women are relieved by HRT (hormone replacement therapy), while others refuse to try it--sometimes because of family history health reasons or simply fear.

Some women prefer to just try and manage their symptoms. Some don't recognize that they are depressed and fail to get help. Others think they are depressed, when really they might just need more rest and recovery than before.

Some women make drastic changes in their lives such as separation, divorce, have affairs, and a host of other strange activities.
The woman in the book I was reading told her story while looking back. She admitted that if she had found a circle of friends to talk it out with that she might have faired better. She ended her story by saying she did indeed move through it all and came out a happy, well-adjusted woman by the age of 60.


If you're struggling, do you want to wait until you're 60 to feel normal or to find solutions? Don't struggle alone. Find another woman to share with. Gather professionals around you to provide guidance.
  • There are solutions for hot flashes/night sweats when or if they get intolerable, speak to your doctor.
  • Therapy when depressed can be very helpful, don't dismiss it.
  • Don't be afraid of trying anti-depressant medication if your brain chemistry is the root of many or your issues.
  • Do current research on HRT. There is much that debunks former fears. Talk to others on HRT and hear their thoughts.
  • Talk to your own mother or siblings and find out what worked for them.
  • There are solutions for the mixed-up feelings about life. Seek other women to talk with, read good books, participate in church activities.
  • There is life beyond midlife.

Stay encouraged with this quote from Rick Warren from The Purpose Driven Life, page 31:
"If you have felt hopeless, hold on!
Wonderful changes are going to happen in your life
as you begin to live it on purpose.

God says, "I know what I am planning for you...
'I have good plans for you,
not plans to hurt you.
I will give you hope and a good future.'"

"God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of--infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes."

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