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My Confession to The World

I have confession to make, and before I do I don't want you to literally read too much into it.  My confession is that I am having a midlife crisis.  Now that doesn't mean I'm shopping for a new sport's car, and it definitely doesn't mean I'm looking for another woman.  I have a very crappy car, but I have a hottie at home that makes me very happy.  However, this isn't a joke and in fact it is painful for me to discuss it.  I told my wife Amy last night that this is a first for me.  Meaning, I'm usually an "open book" with my thoughts and feelings, but this has been such a difficult time in my life that I haven't been able to share it.  

It likely started surfacing a couple of years ago when I turned 40ish, but I began stuffing the emotional baggage away by trying to achieve greatness in many different areas.  Side note, when deflated I tend to look for ways to inflate...and I have used dieting, excercise, ministry, radio, and many other things to do so.  However, over the last few months that strategy quit working and then it hit me like a ton of aging bricks.  It being the anxiety attacks that launched with full force when the dermatologist removed what he thought could be precancerous spot off my lip.  And on the very same day they told us that Amy would have two spots removed off of her back, and they believed that they were cancer (she had Melanoma 2 years ago).  At that moment it was like a bomb went off in my life.  I know how crazy this sounds coming from a guy who is a licensed counselor and pastor, but I'm simply being honest.  At that moment I honestly thought I was going to colapse, which freaked the dermatologist and my wife out!  I began sweating profusely, felt light headed, and then felt like I would puke!  Yes it was a full-blown panic attack that was based not just on what was happening at that moment, but over my entire life.    

Yes, I am very thankful that the doctors said we are now fine, but I couldn't get past hearing and seeing that emotional bomb explode in my face.  The bomb that represents that life is short, and can become even shorter in the blink of an eye.  It was a reminder that life is fragile, and going faster than I would like for it to go.  When I fully realized that I hit the midlife mile marker it simply made me slam on the brakes and look backwards and forward.  And when someone looks backwards it often leads to depression, and when they look to the future it often leads to anxiety.  For me it has lead to a combination of the two despite the many blessings in my life.       

Fortunately I found a great counselor who is helping me work through what seems to be the perfect shit storm of anxiety.  The storm being a combination of Amy having yet another skin cancer scare, my midlife crisis, and PTSD.  And all of this is just the tip of the emotional iceberg...the tip that sticks out of the water.  Meaning there are a lot of issues that I have stuffed away for 46 years that I need to deal with to get emotionally healthy.  

There is so much more that I can say about this interesting phase of life, and I may do so in the future.  The point of the blog is simply for those who may be feeling the same way and think they are alone, or for those who want to lend some advice by posting in the comments below.  If nothing else we can all pray for each other that we make this a time of growth, and not allow it to keep us from living the abundant life God intended for us to live.  Please feel free to click one of the share buttons above to post this on one of your social media sites...the more advice the better! 



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05/01/2013 9:00AM
My Confession to The World
Please Enter Your Comments Below
05/01/2013 10:24AM
You are not just helped me!
Thank you for sharing. I don't want to say much but my husband and my life has been difficult lately. Great marriage, hard life issues. You helped me in knowing that we are not the only one having struggles. I thank you for that. I believe you are going through what you are to help others at some point in our/their lives. Today you and your struggles have helped me. Our marriages are strong which is really amazing today. The other stuff is out of our control. When I have had huge emotional situations I always tell myself that a year from now things will be better. Surprisingly every year I'm right. I think God probably helped too!
05/01/2013 11:06AM
Thank you
Thanks for the kind and encouraging words! Tony
05/01/2013 10:13PM
Anxiety bites
Tony, It is refreshing to hear of a fellow Christian struggling with the aging process. I too battle anxiety from it. I think we have to remember that the anxiety does not come from God. He wants our joy and faith and He is with us. Yes time passes quickly, but it also teaches that we need to follow our dreams TODAY. So very glad you have found a trusted counselor to help you through. We will pray for you!
05/01/2013 11:42PM
Trusting God
Thanks for sharing Tony! I am 52 . I have had melanoma and continue to battle with skin cancer. My baby boy turns 29 this month and my baby girl turned 24 this past March. Time marches on at a rapid pace. Most of the time I feel like I don't have control over it, but knowing that God does sure makes life easier to deal with. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you are not alone. We are in this together and we know where we will be spending eternity. Hang in there and I will be keeping you in my prayers. God Bless!
05/02/2013 6:02AM
Looking Back @ Sixty
Tony: I never had a mid-life crisis. I absolutely expected one, complete with car buying and ogling young women and trying to act like I'm 25 again. But it never happened. And the reason it never happened was that I found that I was busy and productive and I kept taking chances; kept trying new things and accomplishing, frankly, in larger and better ways than I did when I was actually trying to succeed for three decades. A chef buddy of mine and I once had a conversation over beers after we both got off work and it came out that we both fervently believe that you do your best work as a chef when you stop thinking and let your training take over. Don't think. You know how to do this, he said, so just do it. Since then, I've talked to maybe 100 people who are great at what they do and they all agreed: If you just surrender tthe stress of trying so hard and just enjoy each monent of the task, you'll succeed in a far better and more solid way than if you push. I think it works for life too and that little wisdom is all around us, expressed in countless ways: "Don't Worry, Be Happy", "Live Like You Were Dying", etc., etc., etc. I've hit sixty and each day is an adventure. And I honestly don't even think about being sixty. In my head, I'm not really any age. In my head, I'm just Steve and I like Steve better without all the worries. It counts more to make each day as good as it can be, each moment mean something, than it does to fret over the future because you can't do squat about tomorrow but you have complete control over how you roll with every moment. Stop worrying and just Live. I'm convinced that's the big "secret".
05/02/2013 7:45AM
Thank You
I really appreciate all of your comments and encouragement!
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