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  • Writer's pictureAnne Walker

Growing old – Acceptance and being you - Counselling can help.

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Growing old can be a scary time for some people, the unknown and what is to come can cause fear and anxiety, counselling to help you comes to terms with these feelings and at Lincoln Counselling Centre we have a great team of counsellors that are here to help.

Growing old - Acceptance and being you - Counselling can help.

I have just watched part one of a two-part documentary with Kathy Burke about growing up, well growing old actually.

It has got me thinking about my feelings of growing old, am I fighting or embracing it?

I am now 54 years old; do I feel that old? no, I feel exactly as I did in my late twenties, the age I was when I first met my husband, at the same time I feel life is freer but in other ways more restricted.

What do I mean by this? well in my younger years I was less sure about myself, more conscious about my appearance, what other people thought of me, and lonely at times.

Now I am happy and content with who I am, I don’t worry about what people think of me, they either accept me for who I am, or they don’t.

Feeling more restricted as we get older is very much down to how culturally, older people are seen, in the UK, they are seen as dispensable to a certain degree, they are past their best, this is seen not just in the working world, but sometimes in the health system and other areas of life.

Once you reach a certain age, younger people are seen by some as the better option, an older person’s wisdom it not taken into consideration. I feel that they are judged by their body or a number on a form and not really given a chance.

It’s sometimes hard to think of our bodies ageing, acceptance is more difficult for some people than for others, and counselling can help, some people struggle to accept the ageing process, for some it is a hard battle and that’s where counselling can help.

Personally, I am accepting it, I don’t feel the need to have implants or have Botox, my grey hair but other around me don’t at 54yrs, so I dye my hair, is this fighting the ages process for others around me and then me not being my authentic self in that I let my hair go grey naturally. May be but then I don’t dye it every six weeks or so to stop the grey totally I may leave it three or four months where there is then three inches or so of grey hair at the roots of which I am accepting. Maybe I am battling the grey by listening to those around me, but at the same time I know in a few years I will just let the grey grow.

How do I feel about getting older? ok actually I do not fear what will come or even death, I think feeling old can come from how family or people around you treat you.

I think of my mum with her white hair and walking stick and she laughs when someone in a shop tries to help her or offers her the arm. Mum says it reminds her that she is old, sometimes she will look in a mirror and say to herself who is that old lady staring back at me, then there are the times people watch her getting in the car as if she is not capable anymore and just waiting for her to fall so, they can catch her.

As for death I think this goes to individual beliefs. For me there is no fear I like to think of my loved ones up there (wherever there is) around a big card table playing Queenie or Chase the Ace card games and as we pass over we join in the card games. I have seen many people die over the years, some family, some due to my previous jobs, but they all looked peaceful and many even smiling so for me I cannot see fear when there is peace.

I know my mum feels more confident to say what she thinks, and I feel she gets away with some of it because of her age. But then when I look at myself, I feel the same, I say what I think more now, and I have more confidence in myself. Do I worry about getting to mums age, 83 yrs. and being like my mum NO. If I have her determination and attitude to keep going keep moving forward, to keep trying her best in all areas of her life. I know I will have lived my best life and I feel that is all we can do.

To get to old age is a blessing, to get to old age and be able to think to yourself I have lived my best life, is an honour to yourself,

It may not have been an easy life in many ways but then I don’t think life is meant to be easy, life is full of obstacles for us to manoeuvre around, and to learn from but unfortunately, we don’t always see this until old age is creeping up on us.

I do sometimes wish I had some of the wisdom I have now when I was younger, but then would I have lived my life the way I have to get to be where I am now and think the way I do now.

I think that there is no right or wrong way to grow old I think we embrace it in the way we want too as an individual,

What I really hope for is that fear is not part of it for you, I know that some people do fear growing old, if this is affecting you then we can help at Lincoln Counselling Centre.

Live life to the full, your way, and go with the flow.

Anne Walker is a counsellor at Lincoln Counselling Centre, to find out more about her or to book an appointment click on the link below.


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