How I Keep from Imploding – Part 2
As people grow old they undergo physiological and psychological changes that usher in a lot of physical and mental issues.
Physiological changes are generally discernable and can be addressed through lifestyle changes. Only in severe cases is medical attention necessary.
Psychological changes, on the other hand, are more difficult to address. They are usually undetectable in their earlier stages. Even those suffering from it cannot quite figure out what’s happening, thus they keep it away from people close to, and can help them.
Another reason why they keep it to themselves is fear, or embarrassment, of being brushed aside as simply signs of “old age.” Society, in general, is quite insensitive to the feelings of people it deems “old,”
If you feel some of these mental issues creeping up on you, do something. Don’t keep it bottled up until you implode. By then the damage done may be permanent and expensive to treat.
It does not require rocket science knowledge to feel them coming. They are ushered in by feelings of extreme loneliness to melancholy, fatigue, loss of purpose, appetite, and focus. You develop distaste in doing your regular routine and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts flutter in your mind like flies on a pile of poo.
Immediately shift gears when these negative thoughts start dominating your mind. You can rapidly go downhill if you let them prevail.
Each time I feel my internal strings pulled so tight, I go to the beach to loosen them a bit. I just sit there immersed in solitude while listening to the unending rhythm of the waves rushing to the shore. I go snorkeling if I feel like it. Life beneath the surface is so colorful, beautiful and awesome to make me forget about myself.
On other occasions I get physical; be active like a child. I do brisk walking mixed with isometric exercises while listening to my favorite music through my smartphone. It works all the time and costs nothing.
Sometimes my daughter and her hubby, like manna from Heaven take me on long drives. Early this year we had lunch in a far-out roadside diner famous for roasted native chicken. In late March they took me along in an 11-car convoy of the members of the Philippine FJ Cruisers Club, Inc., to enchanting Sagada, in Mt. Province.
On the way down, the group made a swing to La Union and spent an evening in exquisite and lovely Kahuna Beach Resort.
These trips took my mind off the loneliness of being a live-alone senior and allowed me to interact with a bunch of friendly and considerate grownups.
Two-in-one pill against implosion:
Then late last month, we had another road trip. I call this one a two-in-one pill against a possible implosion.
First, it was in historic Calamba, Laguna, the birthplace of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the country’s National Hero, where we toured his ancestral home, cum museum. It was a very revealing and educational experience.
Then we attended the first summit of the Philippine FJ Toyota Cruisers Club, Inc., and had so much fun watching old boys playing with their big toys.
Sophocles said, “A man growing old becomes a child again.”
Though he lived around 406 B.C., watching the members of the Club acting like children during the summit proved his point beyond reasonable doubt.
The following pictures express it all:
We started bidding goodbyes to the rest of the group slightly after 12 noon for the long drive back home.
I was totally exhausted, but it was worth it. The discomforts I went through, i.e., long ride, lack of sleep and irregular meals were a small price to pay to keep my inner balance in perfect rhythm. Besides, a good sleep and a hearty meal are all that’s needed to recover from those shortfalls.
Not so with mental fatigue. A long sleep or good food will not. It stays with you day in and day out; makes you constantly hungry even after having a good meal.
Relief can only be found by going out of your shell and get involved with the bigger world outside. You can only find relief by shifting your focus from “self,” to others, stop being too egocentric and start being selfless.
You can only find inner balance and peace by being with people who can bring out the child in you.
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