Thursday, June 19, 2008

Emotional Stages of Aging

Bekah, at Bekah's Bits, has turned thirty. I'm not giving away any secrets, because she told us herself when it happened.

Then today she revealed that the physical effects of no longer being in her twenties have begun. She's had to switch to decaf in the evening.

That got me thinking. There are the very famous Kübler-Ross stages of grief, which are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Dr. Kübler-Ross described these stages primarily as they relate to people who are facing their own terminal illness. People who are grieving the loss of a loved one may skip a stage or two.

Bekah's recent Caffeine Crisis has brought up an entire realm of untapped psychological analysis, which I will attempt without any scientific study whatsoever, I'm that good. So here they are, the SkyePuppy Stages of Aging Milestones:

Confusion: Something's different, but you're not sure what. And even when you think you've identified the problem, you know that's not something you struggle with, so you try to force things back to normal.

Mortification: Extreme embarrassment at having an Old People's Problem (OPP). This reveals itself in public places, particularly in stores when you're forced to look at shelves that have OPP remedies. The most common symptom of this stage, after reddening of the cheeks, is the wearing of disguises when shopping.

Depression: The sense that any meaningful life is over. You are OLD now and wear the proof every day in the form of reading glasses or the ache of bursitis or the ordering of decaf with your dinner. This stage is optional.

Acceptance: Most often accompanied by a sense of humor. Recognition that limitations do not prevent joyous living. Acceptance brings a return to normal, with a couple extra quirks along for the ride. This stage is optional.

So when you find yourself facing another Aging Milestone, know that you'll be going through most of these stages. The last two, though, are up to you. You can choose to go through both Depression then Acceptance. Or you choose one and stay there. I recommend you don't choose to stay in Depression. It's too depressing, and life is too short for that.

1 comment:

janice said...

Outstanding breakdown and analysis.

For the past 5 years I have watched my mother choose to remain in the depression stage. This is a very dangerous and repelling stage.

She's a bitter, negative and oppressive woman. It's very sad..