Would therapy benefit me at 56 years old?

I'm carrying the guilt of affecting so many lives (wife, children, family etc.) when coming out as a gay man at a later age in life and how to manage my emotions when it comes up. I’m able to compartmentalize my life but sometimes it feels unmanageable and that the heavy burden is too much to hold onto. I don’t ever feel despair and honestly I do have a wonderful life and have much to be grateful and thankful for but this burden is always there. Hope you can come up with a revealing answer.
Asked by Sago

Hi Sago! 

Therapy is great for any age, from infants (yes, there are techniques to help babies!) to the elderly! I am happy to help point you in the right direction and work on managing those feelings in a more productive way. There is research called neuroplasticity that tells us that the way our brains are wired can be changed, no matter how old we are. This means that you can change the way you think about things and how you see the world. 

Part of therapy is looking for strengths and using them to help you work through your problems. I can already see a lot of strengths that you have. Compartmentalizing is a great tool, as long as you are not putting things into compartments and then locking the doors and never letting them out. It sounds like you definitely have "an attitude of gratitude" which is great and helpful to have healthy mental health. 

If this burden is too much to hold onto then why are you holding onto it? It sounds like you are doing what you needed to do to make yourself happy. I understand the feeling of letting others down but you can't make other people happy, just like they can't make you happy. 

Was the fact that your children, wife and family exist all you needed to make you happy before coming out? It sounds like you needed to come out for yourself. That is a normal thing for everyone. Happiness truly does come from within. Do you feel any differently about those people now that you are out? Do you love them less? Change is difficult to adjust to, but it is possible. 

You can't control how others feel. They need to find their own happiness even if they are impacted by you coming out. You can help them through it by answering questions, being open, being an active listener, and supporting their feelings but you cannot change how they feel and you are not responsible to try. 

You can love people, be there for them, support them and want what is best for them, no matter what your orientation is. When that guilt comes up, it's important to talk about it with someone, write it down, or express it.

Good luck and I wish you the best!