It's been four years since I took a voluntary buyout at from my full-time job and I've hit rock bottom
Looking back on it now, I didn't realize how much I depended on my position to give me a sense of who I was. I also failed to appreciate the social connections both with my co-workers and those I interacted with.
When I told my boss I was leaving, he wished me well but said "What are you going to do all day? Just go fishing and ride your bike?"
The short answer there was "yes" and for a time I did enjoy my leisure time pursuits both alone and with my retired buddies. Life seemed pretty good -- even though I still had a nagging feeling I'd made a bad decision to retire so young.
I also was continuing to smoke a fair amount of weed, something I've done pretty regularly since college. Getting stoned and then going for a bike ride, a paddle or a hike became my standard way to spend my days while my wife worked and our teenage son was at school.
But now at age 60, I'm reallly struggling to fight the depression, anxiety and self-doubt. I've been doing some freelance work but that can be isolating since there is no office to hang around in. The worst question I often hear is "what are you doing with yourself these days?"
Even the pot no longer brings me relief, in fact it makes me feel even worse about myself -- both for screwing up my life and also for being a drug addict. Alcohol does help reduce my stress to a bit but I have reduced the drinking for both physical and mental health reasons.
The worst thing going right now is the insomnia. It's rare when I feel I got a good night sleep and recently I've been laying in bed for hours just ruminating on all the stressors in my life.
They have me on the anti-depressant mitrazapine to help with the sleep and that was working initially but not so much lately. I've tried mindfullness, relaxation and other techniques with some limited benefit.
Also been doing some individual therapy along with a men's group for recovering addicts. So it's not like I'm not trying to get my self confidence back.
Unfortunately, the longer this goes on the suicidal thoughts have crept in. I doubt I would actually go through with something like that but it's scary to think you could get that deep into the darkness.
Not sure where I am going with this other than to "empty my bucket".
Trying to keep my chin up.
Wendy's other site... because Aging Matters!