They say it is normal to get the blues when yours children leave the home. And I thought I was prepared. Well, the tears and emotions hit me unexpectedly and I realized it was time to be honest and admit that I have empty nest depression.
But who cares what tag or name I use for it? The bottom line is my children are going on with their lives.
I am happy and excited for them, yet I feel so sad.
I was feeling so proud of myself. Here I am, separated at fifty years of age. I have been feeling wonderful, living my life to the fullest. And I have been proud of myself.
I really have been doing an excellent job at going through this “midlife change.” And it is a complete transition. Over the last few years, it seems nothing is the same. Over the last few years, I left my husband and set up residence for myself and my two youngest children.
It was such a relief to make these positive changes. As a mid-lifer, I made some significant changes. My kids were older so they didn’t need me as much. And life is great!
Then I find myself in this depressed funky state. And I realized that I have empty nest syndrome. And its no wonder. Over the last 2 weeks, my oldest daughter got engaged, My middle child moved out on her own and this weekend my son will graduate high school.
And I found myself moody and depressed rather than excited and happy, like I should be.
So I decided to take an honest look at my feelings and I realized that I was simply being normal. Of course, I’m going to feel sad and maybe even a bit lonely. I had spent the majority of my life taking care of my family.
So I went through the process of mourning…
I went through a 4 step process in dealing with the sadness of an empty nest. Here are those steps…
1: Cry – I don’t care what anyone says…crying helps in healing your soul. I think that tears help to wipe away the fears and the worries. So just let it all out. Cry as much as you want.
2: Embrace the feelings: I realized it was okay to feel a little down. Of course I feel sad. I love my kids and I wont get to see them as much as I would like. There is no reason to feel guilty about your feelings.
3: Talk it out: I have a wonderful friend who is an excellent listener. He doesn’t tell me my feelings are wrong or that I am over reacting. He simply listens. He lets me know that it is okay if I feel lonely and sad.
My biggest worry about dealing with an empty nest was that no one would need me. And my friend asked me if that was true? I realized it wasn’t true at all. My kids will always need me. And it is funny, while my friend and I were discussing this, my oldest daughter called me. She just needed my opinion on something. And I just smiled ear to ear, because I realized that it was true. My kids will always need me just like I will always need them.
4: Get excited about what life has to offer you: This same friend reminded me about all the exciting things I have to look forward to. He pointed out that although I will miss my daughter, I will no longer have to wake up at 6 am to drive her to work. When it comes to cooking, I don’t have to make a meal if I don’t want to. I can just make something simple just for me.
I have so much more freedom than I ever did with children in the house.
The reason I shared this with you is because I want you to know that I think it is okay to be emotional when your children leave the nest. Cry and get it out of your system. But don’t do it for too long, because you have an exciting future ahead of you!