Prompt: What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?
When you are young as a child or teenager and even in your twenties, it is difficult to understand aging. As in, you see a picture of someone you know well when they were near your age and it is difficult to see how they came from being a fresh faced handsome young man to a gray-haired face wrinkles from the sun overweight sixty-year-old. It is interesting how a person looks a bit the same in their old pictures, yet completely different.
The first big age milestone in my life was eighteen because I could drink and buy alcohol in Alberta. My next big birthday was twenty-one because I could legally drink anywhere in the world, even in Las Vegas and in L.A. My next birthday I remember of being if some significance was age twenty-five. I was still quite sick and not able to do much of anything but I thought it was something to be a quarter of a century old. I was happy with how I looked, my weight wasn’t too bad, and if I had my health I would have chosen to stay twenty-five forever.
Now I’m thirty-years-old and I suppose the meaningful birthdays come less often after this, nothing of much importance until I am forty. I spent my thirtieth birthday in the hospital. This summer, my Doctor had me come into the hospital to do some major medication changes. I was able to take less of a cocktail of medications and the medication I needed as an antipsychotic would also help me as an antidepressant and a sleeping pill. On my birthday I was still quite new to the medication they put me on but my Mom and my eldest younger brother took me out to lunch to Earls. It was a nice location but I couldn’t have alcohol. Instead I had chocolate Carmel pudding cake for dessert.
I don’t know what to think about aging from now on. I read somewhere that from the years of fifteen to thirty-two years old we should worry about having fun and seeing the world and don’t worry about settling down until after that thirty-second birthday hits. What happens when I am thirty-two and I still don’t have my life together. For me the factor which is always present for me every year I age is my disease.
To think about a life-time of possibly being depressed and having to deal with constant low energy levels scares me. What happens if I have to take a different medication and I become fatter because each medication of psychiatric drugs I take for awhile seems to add ten pounds? When do other side effects of medication take effect if they ever do?
Will I shake when I’m old because of them? How will my lack of being able to be physically active effect me? Will it cause me a heart attack? Will it age me quicker? When am I not young and beautiful anymore?
Will I have a husband, even if I can’t handle kids? Will he love me for another fifty years? Will I ever be able to live on my own? Will I always have no energy? Will it get worse the older I get? What do I do to live when I no longer receive disability payments? Will my brother’s marry and have kids? Will I see them often? Will I drive again? Can I fulfill my dream of writing books if it takes me so long to write? Will my parents grow very old, older then their seventies or eightees? What about my Godparents? What about it all?
Growing old is hard and overwhelming to me. I see old friends and they are happy, in shape, have good careers, have pets, marriages, have kids, and travel. I feel so far away from that way of life. I feel like I’m thirty in my body, but twenty-five in my head and in my life. I don’t know what keeps you young. Maybe, trying to have a positive attitude. Maybe having a life that’s full whatever your situation. But I’m scared. Not of death. But of suffering in life. Of that I don’t want any more.
But when I wear myself out thinking and worrying I remember the Bible verse written in Matthew 28:20 “… and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Knowing I have God always with me makes growing old not as scary.
©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.