never married, over forty, a little bitter

the bottom of the curve

“Middle-Aged? Join the Misery Club”

“Depression: 44 Age Most at Risk”

“Happiness Curve Bottoms Out at 44”

“Middle-Aged Misery Spans Globe, Study Says”

“It’s Official: Happiness Resumes at 50”

“Aging Really Is Depressing (Until 50)”

“Middle Age a Low Point for Most: Study Found Age 44 Marked the Peak of Depression for People Around the Globe”

“Midlife Misery: Is There Happiness After the 40s”

“The Midlife Crisis Goes Global”

“More People Fight Depression in Mid-Life”

“Mid-Life Crisis: Unhappily There’s No Escape”


Barbara Miller of ABC News in Australia summarized the results of the study in an article she authored, noting:

“Those approaching middle age like to think that life begins at 40, but research suggests that just a few years later we are at our most depressed. Scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom who studied happiness and depression levels in 80 countries, have pinpointed 44 as the most unhappy year of life. But they say we shouldn’t get down about it, as many 70-year-olds are as happy and healthy as young adults.”

Miller continues, “Happiness is a U-shaped curve according to the research. As middle-age approaches, the average person will slide down the U to hit rock bottom at the age of 44. They’ll be stuck in that trough for quite a few years but by the time they are in their 50s, assuming their physical health is intact, their happiness levels will go up and risk of depression goes down.”

dream life

When I first got to town, I was taking classes at a yoga studio in which there were several pregnant women in the classes and lots of pregnancy talk. I wasn’t bothered by it like I used to be. Progress!

In my small sewing class, there’s a young twentysomething woman who is engaged and several times she has talked to her fiancee on the phone. Lots of “love you” in those conversations. Again, I seem to have a wall up against letting that stuff affect me now.

I can see, though, why I had to get out of here in my thirties.

I’m still having bouts of terrible insomnia, much like I did when I moved to L.A. I try to just accept them these days, but when I’m going through it, I tend to feel self-destructive. I’ve been experimenting with different thought patterns recently, and when I’m tossing and turning I try to visualize myself as surrounded by the love and adoration of friends and family and their soothing embraces.

The sad thing is, I can’t connect to those images. I’ve had to wall myself up against so much disappointment that I’ve lost touch with those expectations and desires.

I don’t think this is all that unusual. Who among us hasn’t been disappointed with our parents, our boyfriends, our friends? I just think that at this moment in time I’m feeling particularly cut off in every area. My mom is getting more difficult as she ages, I’ve lost the bulk of my former friends to marriage and kids, and the dating landscape is a bit of a desert.

Time to rebuild.