My Horrible Retirement Journey

by Laura

Did you fall into a depression when you retired? Yes, I was clinically depressed when I retired.

How long did it last? About a year

In your opinion, what helped you to break away from the depression? Psychiatrist treatment, anti-depressant, Psychologist counselling, Taking art classes, exercise

How did you walk out that retirement door? Did you voluntarily retire, or did you leave because of a disability, employer forced you out, etc? No, I wasn't forced out, I was on sick leave due to cancer. I was recovering and starting to come back but couldn't seem to get my energy and mental state to get back to work. I was given a graduated return but had started toying with the idea of retiring a year sooner while on leave. It became too much of a temptation. I think part of it was my husband had retired, had a heart attack and I felt life was too short to continue working. Now my health has returned and I regret being so hasty about retiring.

Were you thrilled to leave your employer or was it a difficult decision? I had mixed feelings. I was afraid to leave my employer which led to my anxiety/depression. Part of me wanted to go back and part of me wanted to retire. I was so confused. It was a difficult decision.

My advice to anyone thinking about retiring, make sure you are ready and that you have some activities lined up beforehand. I didn't. My problem is I have no children nor grandkids to help fill up the lonely days and keep me busy. I keep having to find things to do.

Covid shutdown has put a damper on some of my activities so here I am with too much time to ruminate and think about what I went through.

I know it's useless to dwell on the past and I really try to stop but there are times I wish I could go back and redo.

I hope my story helps someone here.

Comments for My Horrible Retirement Journey

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horrible retirement journey
by: Anonymous

I don't have children or grandchildren to take care of now either. I used to do it once a year for a couple of wks. That's over because with Covid the grandchild's parents do not have work and therefore watch the grandchild.

But right now I have a foster dog, who while in my care had 10 puppies, so I have 11 fosters in all. It is almost 9PM my time, and I have to wean and clean up etc a whole lot of things at midnight. That take about 1.5 hours. Then it starts again about 7 am.

I will have had them 7 weeks by the time I give them back to the humane society.

I have no car, so everything I do is done by foot. So today I needed more food for the puppies and walked 2.5 miles each way to get it. It weighed 30 pounds, so I carried a rolling cart there, and rolled the whole mess back home, up a slight elevation. I had my little 8 pound dog with me. My dog and I stopped and had a milkshake on the way back.

So I have a couple more weeks of this sort of thing. Then it will be fall and I will start repotting some plants. I do lots of yard creative stuff. car so everything takes forever but it gets done, and I get exercise and I am not bored.

This tuesday and wednesday, on top of that I am helping a friend with pancreatic stage 4 cancer from 5-11pm. then the pups when I get home. Then again at 7 am

I say a prayer to st. joseph everyday and am reading "A day of living biblically", a tongue in cheek book about religion from the bible. I learn and laugh from the book.

I take Duolingo French lessons. First I took a class at a community college, now I do daily Duolingo lessons.

I quit my job 5 years ago, and never have a spare moment. I am a creative sort of introvert. I avoid gatherings, clubs, etc.

I do have a friend that sometimes joins me as I walk 1.5 miles to Jack in the box for a fifty cent senior coffee, which I drink on their patio floor to take to a park. My 8 pound dog goes with me.

I do my own financial planning with a laddered cd, so I look for good rates, though there are none now.

Good luck to you. I am almost 70.

Feel your pain!
by: Jennifer, Michigan

Your experience sounds so familiar. And I'm so glad to hear that you've overcome the worst of it. I haven't.

I loved my job, defined myself by my work all my life, retired 2 years ago and have fallen into a deep, dark depression plus anxiety. Which I had never experienced before.

Can't take anti-depressants - I tried 2 different ones, and they increased my anxiety enormously.

I'm doing talk therapy by phone (no one will see me in person during the pandemic), but it's not helping much. I don't know who I am any more.

Just know this isn't how I wanted retirement to be! Hang in there. You give me hope.

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