My answer came slowly, but it did come. My depression drove me to look a little harder for someone or something to tell me I was normal. That search led me to the Internet, and the Internet led me to the Web site of Jim and Sally Conway. Jim and Sally Conway don’t know it yet, but I owe them an awful lot. A counseling pair, the Conways have co-written the definitive work on women at midlife called Women in Midlife Crisis. By page 19, I had read enough to realize that I hadn’t lost my mind (although I was sure someone had read my mail). I breathed a huge sigh of relief, dug in my heels, and resolved to make it through this crisis. A midlife crisis, I learned, is in developmental terms as predictable as the terrible twos or adolescence. It’s a necessary time of introspection, re-evaluation, and loss.

I knew it would be a process, but now at least I had a partner. In fact, I had many partners. Realizing that a majority of women go through this same stage took the sting of loneliness from it. I know it is popular to give a step-by-step formula for getting through what ails you, but since I am still taking baby steps, the best I can do is this:

  1. Buy the book.

  2. Read the book.

  3. Ask your husband to read the book.

  4. Ask your husband to read the book again.

Going from young adulthood to midlife is quite a journey. If you have to travel to a place you’ve never been before, it’s always nice to have a road map. Even if you have to drive the station wagon.

Amy Hollingsworth received her B.A. degree in psychology and English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and
her M.A. degree in Education/Counseling and Human Services from Regent University. Amy  teaches psychology at Mary Washington College while continuing to home school her two children, Jonathan (9) and Emily (7).  She and her husband Jeff, a pastor, live in Fredericksburg, Va. She has written extensively on home schooling and parenting issues for The American Partisan,, Home Education Magazine, Reconciliation Press Online and numerous educational Web sites. Her article, "Behind the Mask:  What the Phantom of the Opera Taught Us," was recently featured in the book Christian Unschooling.