Depressed one week into retirement

by Anonymous

I was looking forward to retirement for the last couple of years. I had a great fun retirement party and was on cloud 9 until 2 days later.

That was a week ago and I have been depressed and constantly crying for the past week.

All the lists of things I had I wanted to do my first couple of months in retirement are sitting there untouched. I don't have the desire to do the smallest chore. I don't sleep at night and I barely eat.

I am single and just had a relationship end two months prior and my daughter lives across the country, so I feel very much alone.

When I try to talk with friends about the way I feel, they just don't understand. I feel like no one understands. When I go out with friends, I can't wait until the event ends so I can go home, but when I am home, I don't want to be there alone.

I am confused and totally taken by surprise at this reaction to what should be one of the best times of my life.

Wendy: Unfortunately, what you are experiencing is very normal, and yet not spoken about much (except here). I moved your "comment" here, so it's on one page, and others can comment back to you specifically.

One thing that stands out about you - it seems kinda early to fall into depression. Normally, I see retirees who are in vacation-mode first, then they finally realize this is it... permanent vacation (if you choose that). Later, 2-3 months, or 2 years later, they realize they have lost their work identity and struggle with who the new "me" is. They also don't know what to fill the previous 8 hours a work day with... what do I do now?

Another thing, you mentioned a great retirement party. I also had a fantastic party... so many came to send me off into retirement. Department heads, elected officials, employees and retirees all came to say "Job Well Done, Wendy!" It was quite an honor. It also brought feelings of "Are you doing the right thing? Why retire at 55 since you love your job?" and more... One more catch 22 of retirement... grin!

I will stop here and let other retirees add their thoughts... I hope someone has the magic words that suddenly make your situation perfectly clear. Clear enough that you move on to your To Do List... and a happy retired life!

Best Wishes!

Comments for Depressed one week into retirement

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get busy livin
by: Ricardo

I have found in life that we sometimes can be our own worst enemies.....over eating, smoking, drinking to excess, you name it!

I have posted on my refrigerator the saying, "people die every day because of the way they choose to live!" Now whether we choose to believe this or not is another story.

"WE", all know ourselves best! Sometimes in life "WE" cannot wait for others to pick us up if "WE" have fallen..... there may be no one their to help us.

"WE" must develop the inner strength to pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and continue down our path of life where ever it might guide us. Oftentimes "WE" become stronger in spite of our falls!

So, as the song goes, "pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and start all over again!" Look all around you at the wonders of NATURE, they can be inspiring! Be appreciative of the "little things" in life that make you smile and laugh.....they cost us nothing!

difficult retirement
by: susanh

I have been having a lot of trouble also, adjusting to retirement, several mos. now. I used to complain about not having a minute to call my own. Now, I feel useless because the phone rarely rings, I pace in the house. I volunteer for the free clinic but that doesn't keep me busy at the rate to which I'm accustomed.

I can't really volunteer more places as I can no longer afford a car/insurance. Are there support groups out there for this? I would pay a taxi for that.

Help! The sudden lonliness is really a problem.

Early Retirement Depression
by: Joe W.

Personally, I had my corporate life retirement party at the age of 45. Lonliness is one of the biggest challenges that Seniors have to face. Whether you are in a marriage or a single life depression can sneak up on you as we age.

What should you do? First of all, I would see your family doctor to determine how serious your health problem is or might be.

When we retire most of us have an abundance of time that we didn't have when we were in a corporate job. Depending on what the doctor says, I would suggest starting some light activities that get you away from focusing just on yourself.

Simple things like volunteering for a couple of hours, taking a 3-4 hour walk in a park setting, and then possibly setting a few goals that could lead to some more meaningful activities, are good possible ways to combat depression. Also, try to express yourself more instead of bottling everything inside yourself.

Do some self-discovery and come out swinging.

by: Goldnsunny

Wendy is right!

Cheer Up
by: Anonymous

Dear One, depression is in your mind and it is often associated with poor dietary habits, too. Focus on everything you have to be grateful for and then give thanks for it. Join a positive church and make new friends.

There are a ton of good reads on the Internet, too. Type in "inspirational quotes" and receive one in your box everyday. Go out and find an organization that helps others who feel down and out. Get into a therapy group.

The best thing, I think, is to count your blessings everyday and be thankful. Have an attitude of gratitude!

by: Judy Marriott

I am very sorry that you are having trouble adjusting to retirement. I have been retired since I was 55 years old, and I am now 73. I have loved every single minute of it.

Most of my children live close enough that I can see them often. My oldest daughter lives in Wisconsin, so a yearly visit is all that we can manage. It bothers me and I have to be careful not to dwell on it. And my wonderful husband, having him to walk beside me daily is a wonderful thing.

Sometimes I get a little down,(both of us do) and when that happens I go for a walk, or get on my computer and write a new poem, e mail my friends or visit a friend here in our mobile home park.

We are fortunate to live 5 minutes from the Henry Hudson Waterefront Park, and it is such a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. We find that sitting by the river gives us a better outlook on life so we go there often.

You will overcome and get past this. If I lived near you I would help you in any way that I could. Retirement is a big adjustment, that is for sure. We spend so many years working and raising our families and then suddenly everything changes.

You stay strong, and I will pray for you. You will be o.k.

Lots of us understand.
by: Brenda

You should not be embarrassed or ashamed of how you feel, as Wendy says, its normal to feel like that. We all sympatise with you, and we cant or should not tell you that you should be otherwise, Be the way you ar, and its like therapy, it helps yu along the way.

It won't be nice, I can assure you, but you will have more friends and will be more comforting to know we are all here for you and wish you all the best, You sound so lovely, and take a deep breath when you gt lonely, look in the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you look.

Get you glad rags on and go out and face the world, knowing you are going to make lots of friends, and no different to you.

Write to me. Brenda.xxxxx


I had prety much the same experience when I retired. All those years at work, my co-workers were my friends, and now am alone. Well I found out I was allowed to visit my friends at work where I retired. Meet them in the compamy cafeteria and join in for lunch. or sometimes I would call and make lunch arrangement at an outside restaurant as we used to do when we did not wasnt cafeteria food. So I had the best of both worlds.

I could still have my old friends to visit with and also my own personal time at home when I wanted to do it. How good can it be?

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