Midlife and Menopause – Dealing with Depression
The purpose of a midlife crisis, perimenopause and menopause (from a spiritual perspective) is to move us beyond childbearing to birthing ourselves…and this is as true for men as it is for women. In birthing our new selves, we are birthing our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment in our lives and the way in which we find fulfillment by contributing to the betterment of our world. As is true of childbirth, birthing ourselves is no less painful. In the coming blogs, we will explore some of the physical, emotional and mental challenges that come with midlife including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, changes in libido, physical changes, etc. Today, we explore depression.
Midlife and Menopause – dealing with depression
Bill Plotkin, in his book, Nature and the Human Soul defines depression as “stagnant, unassimilated emotion.” Bill’s definition is not meant to demean or diminish the experience of those suffering with clinical depression, but it does shine a light on our society’s over-pathologizing of the symptoms of depression which often accompany midlife, perimenopause and menopause. During the midlife transition, as our Soul is trying to be born, we are invited to confront all those things we have kept on the shelf or locked within the deeper and darker recesses of our psyches. We are invited to explore all the losses we have not grieved, all the painful emotions we kept at arms-lengths, all the betrayals and heartbreaks we have held at bay. We are also invited, during midlife and menopause, to confront all the places in our lives where we were not heard, where our needs were not being met, and where we were silenced or punished for trying to speak our truth. For every emotion that we did not feel or chose to ignore, or kept locked on the shelf, a brick tumbles into the depression bucket. During midlife, perimenopause and menopause, we are invited to empty that bucket brick by brick by painful brick. We are invited to identify, confront and FEEL every one of these losses, humiliations, betrayals and heartaches so that they can be healed and release and so that are emptying bucket can be refilled with the joy that is waiting for us at our Soul’s birth. The crucial thing to know is that we do not have to do this part of the journey alone. When confronting the stagnant, unassimilated emotions of our past, we are invited to seek support, assistance and guidance from those who have gone before – who have emptied their own depression bucket and who can help us to learn to be present and safe in the face of our pain and to find healing and release from it.
How has depression been a part of your own midlife awakening?
How have you found support in emptying your stagnant and unassimilated emotions bucket?
Lauri Ann Lumby provides support and guidance for those moving through the symptoms of midlife through one-on-one mentoring, classes and workshops. To set up a one-on-one session, call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.