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3 stages of midlife crisis

by Agata Dzierżawa
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A graphic depicting a woman looking at herself in the mirror and an emu bird next to her.

3 stages of midlife crisis do you know them?

The midlife crisis is associated with a whole range of different emotions and behaviors. Sometimes you do not recognize yourself. Usually, we can notice 3 stages of midlife crisis.

1st Stage of Crisis: Anger

Your first reaction is anger. Why nobody didn’t warn you?  Why nobody didn’t tell you how it will look? 40-ty it was supposed to be a time of success inebriation, skimming the cream off the top of the life cake, existential ecstasy straight from “The Wolf of Wall Street”.

Instead of that, you got fear of the future, health issues, job burnout, lack of satisfaction from your relationship, fear about your getting older parents, apathy, and boredom.

Maybe they were warning you, but you didn’t listen to them? You thought it was a myth. Or maybe you did believe in your immorality so blindly, didn’t you? Maybe it was your ignorance that misleads you or maybe it was just too high confidence in yourself.  

So you start making a balance of your life like a qualified accountant. The Debit and the Credit side. You check what reconciles what doesn’t. What will be the result? Profit or Loss? What works and what doesn’t? What will you do with the second half of your life?

Till now you knew who you are. A mother, a wife, a lover, an accountant, or maybe even a grandmother already.  You had an identity. Why do you have doubts now? Why don’t you identify yourself with none of these roles? Are these roles not enough for you anymore? Did you assume that everything that you achieved and built in your life would last forever, that you would never negate it? Did you presume that everything would stay as it was before?

Don’t you grow up? Don’t you constantly change?

The future came too fast to you, you were not ready for it yet.

You still have the same dreams to come true, but do you still have enough time? Will you be able to achieve something else? You begin to feel the pressure of passing time. The old age is just around the corner smiling ominously to you.

You are pissed off that you have wasted so much time.

2nd Stage of Crisis: Rebellion

The next stage is rebellion. It was not supposed to look like that. You didn’t sign for it. You don’t agree with it. So you pretend it doesn’t affect you. Everything is great, as it used to be. You refresh your Tinder profile and your facade at the aesthetic medicine clinic. You are still young, beautiful and you can do everything. So you start working out at your fitness club with double enthusiasm and after your classes, you exercise with Kayla Itsines at home. Also, you follow the Women’s Health diet advices and again everything is as it used to be. Everything is all right.

Unfortunately, this is just an illusion. A getaway from yourself. Another mask and short term solution.

Or maybe you turn your world upside down?

You can’t accept, that you can only experience, achieve, and collect a limited amount of stuff and experiences in your life. You have the impression that you didn’t achieve enough in your life. That’s you, who are afraid that you won’t have time, that you lose some deal.  So you throw yourself like crazy from one adventure into another new adventure. Only to get as much as possible from your life until you still have time. New haircut, a new dress, new romance, exotic place, or maybe bungee jump for a change. Only harder, only more, only more intense. To live, to feel, to be able to do something.

You are stressful, driven by fear. Fear of death. You can almost feel the breath of death on your back.

3rd Stage of Crisis: Acceptance

Finally, the last stage comes, the acceptance and liberation and freedom with it. Permission for Evanescence. Healthier and less risky reaction. You accept the fact that you are a part of nature, in which everything has its own beginning and its end. You also. 

With a raised head you step into maturity period, time of collecting fruits, and using the wisdom of experiences. It is not an easy process, but you don’t escape, because how far could you run away from yourself? Not too far. You slow down, maybe even pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and without expecting too much, you keep walking. Forward. It is time to change the program. Because it brings peace and joy. Not everything is behind you yet. Ahoy new adventure!

Apparently, in Japan, a word crisis means also a chance. So since you get it, don’t waste it!


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