My life is great…but it doesn’t feel great
I retired from the Air Force almost a year ago, after 20 years of service. I was on the fast track to make E-9 until we arrived at my final duty station.
My wife got a job she loves, that paid great and she decided that she no longer wanted to move anymore.
Making Chief would have meant at least one more move, which would mean either she leave her high paying job she loves or I would have to go alone. It seemed like a no-brainer that I retire at 20 then…but it sent me into a depression prior to retiring.
As I approached retirement, I started getting my ducks in a row, finished my degree, and landed what most people (civilians) would call an amazing job. I was feeling much better as I left the service.
I have a great salary, retirement, and VA disability; I never imagined making this much money. My job affords me the freedom to manage my schedule and it’s a well-respected field. We bought a big new house, we travel, and I got my dream truck. Yet, I have never been more depressed.
My life lacks the purpose and meaning it once did. While day to day, my time in the service was stressful, I always knew “the why”. I love my country and feel there is no better purpose than to serve it. Now, I am left feeling like all I do is make money for no reason.
My family is very comfortable, but I’m unhappy. It feels selfish that I can’t be happy when everything should be great. Many would love to have what I have, so I feel guilty for being so unhappy.
I’m growing distant from my wife and am snapping at my kids. This is awful because my wife and kids are amazing. I don’t find joy in the things that should make me happy. My wife is very happy with her life and I have animosity towards her for that, and blame her (irrationally) for me giving up my career, but I try to keep it to myself.
I know I should find a different job that fulfills me and gives me purpose, but I don’t know what that is, and I’m certain it won’t provide for my family as well financially as my current job.
I’m at a loss and feeling stuck. I don’t have any real passions or hobbies, as the service really was all that to me before. I’ve been to counseling and read all the books, and it’s all “find your passion, meditate, work out, etc.”, nothing has worked to give me the same meaning.