Ok, so I don't recognise the andropause but then I'm not a doctor. (If you're still in the dark, think menopause for men.) On the other hand I do recognise from a non-empirical, personal experience sense of self point-of-view that something is and has changed in me. I'm sure that it is hormones - after all everything is chemistry in the human body isn't it - and I assume that it has something to do with testosterone and oestrogen levels. Beyond that I can only explain the evidence. I refrain from using the word, symptoms, deliberately because I don't want to imply any form of medical condition.
Whilst staying with my daughter and her family recently, I happened to notice a particular book in a bookcase. It was entitled, The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine, which is apparently the sequel to another book obviously named The Female Brain. I spent a rainy afternoon looking through it with obvious intent. I found the chapters on the aging male brain particularly interesting and, it is sad but true, pertinent to me.
I knew for example that I no longer had either the desire or the inclination to rush around in order to further my career - at least in the mad self deluding manner that I had done over the past thirty years or so. I have never been one for stepping on other people or for politicking excessively as a means of career progression so at least I didn't need to lose that. I knew also that I didn't move around as fast but was - at least in my view - more sedate and perhaps even methodical in my approach to the world and perhaps, at least in some respects, delivered more consistent results.
It was a bit of a surprise to read the stuff about relationships but I have no intention of documenting my thoughts or observations on the vexed subject of sex for all the world to read. If you want to read that stuff, read my books where I have expressed it quite clearly for those that want to take the time.
On the matter of what I would call sensitivity, I can see that I am more aware of the feelings that other people give off and these days I find the expressions in peoples faces a veritable book of knowledge about them. How is it I missed that for so long? I think the answer is obvious with regard to women - you have to be focused above the shoulders rather than below it. Of course, that must be why we are taught about body language - we don't actually spend enough time looking at people's faces when we are younger.
Did the book help me in any way? Well I guess it did, even though it did go on about the andropause a bit. For one it reaffirmed what I thought was happening to me and made me feel less isolated. On the other hand it made me face a few facts that perhaps I had left hovering around in my peripheral vision.
I could also see from what was written why I tended to feel more vulnerable on occasions, a vulnerability that I had also seen develop in my father. On a more sinister note, it also kind of showed me that I seemed to be trying to recreate parts of my adolescence (leave it off about the sex part). Perhaps that was why I had started listening to Jethro Tull! Is this a prelude for a further regression perhaps later on in my age, I wonder?
This all made me wonder about the target audience for my series on The Collector of Tales. It helped me understand , at least in part, why I had chosen to start writing fiction after so many years of abstinence. The Collector of Tales is really a story for those of us over fifty who are facing changes that we only guess at really and don't necessarily take the time to see the significance even though we see or have seen it happen with parents.