Anonymous, Age 71
I’ve read some of the stories and can’t offer much positive or cheering. I hate growing old, I fear the loss of things I once took for granted. I’ve had a life like a roller coaster, two marriages, many lovers, and confidence born of good looks, and had only experience of hospital five years ago when I had a total thyroidectomy (non cancerous), and since then I sometimes don’t recognise my emotional self or my body which has gained two stone and often feel i’m clinging to a fast melting piece of ice in the middle of a very dark sea.
I’m an artist, and recently turned to writing, so I have the advantage of always having something to do, but because I’ve moved around so much in England and abroad I haven’t maintained friendships, and being back in England again and starting over once more I feel lonely and as if I have nothing in common with the people I occasionally meet, and I’m afraid I can’t see anything to look forward to if I can’t first overcome my fear of looking old. If I’m honest I started to envy younger women and feel myself growing sour and cynical. I suppose I qualify as an elder orphan having had no family for years and being adopted in the first place, so identity is pretty shaky all round. Anyone else who doesn’t seem to fit the boxes out there?