My story

by Who am I?

I involuntarily retired in 2013 at 57 and am miserable.

I worked in banking for 30 years and spent the last 81/2 working nights. I never really liked the night shift but it was all that was available thru a conversion. Towards the end knowing I was going to lose my job I was so excited because I thought I would really get into my art (I paint and sketch).

Well... after retiring I have had very little interest.

Everything is at a stand still and my anxiety and depression are sometimes more than I can take. My husband and I are on the outs a lot I try to talk to him but he is not and never has been a communicator especially when it comes to feelings.

It just seems like everything bothers me and I am in a funk. I am pretty sure that God and all the saints are tired of hearing from me. I don't know what it is that I want to do or who I am and I find that I am not motivated.

Seems like everything I used to enjoy I don't anymore.

Comments for My story

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Art for Seniors (and anyone else!)
by: Wendy

Something I just read in Dee's post made me think of this...

Do you know that Adult Coloring Books is the newest fad?

Lots of my entrepreneur friends with online businesses are coloring as a method of relaxation and stress reduction.

YES, I am serious.... just never thought of posting this on my site before.

I doodle... colored pencils (not like the ones from 30 yrs ago) are so nice to blend and play with and I just like to doogle art images sometimes.

Well this new Adult coloring is almost the same...

Here is one Stress Relieving Adult Coloring Book from Amazon:

So many to choose from, and all for ADULTS...
They are so cool!

Try it, You might LIKE it!

by: dee hebrew home

As a former independent, active working woman living in an historic area in the country, I enjoyed the creative stimulation of antiques shops, thrift shops, craft and art stores as well as ethnic restaurants.

Unfortunately, I fell and was put in a nursing home where I can't pursue any of my interests. It's a cold, modern institution crowded with people. I'm not comfortable with that.

I, too, fell into a depression and have to force myself to compensate for all the things I enjoyed by shopping through catalogs (without the joy and immediediancy of a store).

I understand how you feel without the support of your husband, who's probably the closest to you. Do you have any other relatives? Sisters or brothers or cousins? Have you considered (if I can ask) a professional outside of your family?

I have a psychiatrist but the rules are very strict here and I'm "just a resident" so do not have the authority to request seeing her.

If I can try to help you, enjoy living in your own environment. I can relate to your affinity for art, because even though I don't have talent, my art teacher gave me a large, spiral bound journal in which I can express my love of art and images. It opened a new world for me.

Depression aND LONELINESS CAN dampen your view of the world but try to enjoy "the little things". If I hasd scenery to look at, like birds or trees, I'd use that as inspiration for sketching or drawing. I love color and find that it helps me somewhat.

Were you a social person in the past? I was, but my sadness has made it easier for me to write than talk. Also, the activities here are not to my liking, so there's not much to talk about.

My 91-year-old mom whose mind is still active and curious gets joy out of the intellectual and cultural classes at her local Jewish Community Center in Florida. It's almost like college, but without the stress. She's my main support, as well as my cousin.

Please let me know if I've been encouraging and how you're doing.

One last sort of intrusive question: how old are you? Also, do you have children? Are you an animal person? Cats and dogs are comforting, cheerful companions and I've always had cats.;\

I'll be looking for your response. Thank you for reading, Dee Alter

by: Anonymous

Thank you everyone for all your kind words of encouragement I means a lot to me.

I did get a part time job and today is my second day. I feel it is helping. I am a active person and an over thinker so sitting around with no purpose was the worst. it created all kinds of anxiety with lots and lots of very negative thinking.
I do take Zoloft and have for years but I think it stopped working. I of course have over thought switching meds and it makes me nervous because I was so use to Zoloft and knew all the side effects (minimal).

I hope I am on my way up now. I did need the social interaction and a change of scenery and I even have been playing around on my IPad with art apps. I wish I could upload a few to show you.f

Again, thank you all for listing and your suggestions!!

by: Helen

Hi ,

I really empathise with you. When I was young I used to think retirement would be a golden age . Then when it happened , after the initial euphoria , I felt just the same as you .

Books I thought I would read when I was young no longer interest me . I got really low and then I decided that what I missed was a structure to the day . I made a list of things I liked to do and each day I try to do at least one of them so I can cross it off a list .

This helped me to turn around my ideas .

One thing which has kept me going is my art journal . It is my best friend . I tell it stuff I wouldn't dare tell anyone else. And so it remains secret I write on top of my original writing so it becomes unreadable . But it gets it out of my head .

If you want to know more about art journals there is a lot of info on the web . The art bit happens when you add a drawing or a favourite saying or a ticket . It has saved me from becoming too much of a ruminator .

My experience
by: Adele in the USVI

That happened to me to. I'm not doing the things I thought I would. But after a health scare I started focusing on the physical and have now joined a gym. It gets me out. I feel I've accomplished something and I know better physical condition will give me more energy for whatever I chose to do. My dog is also a lifesaver. He needs walks and so do I. Surprisingly now I actually jog with him some days.

After sitting and watching non-stop Korean dramas for weeks I'm now going back to work part time, as much for the social interaction as the money. It's been a year since my total retirement and things are looking up again.

Don't despair. You may be surprised by who you become, but let it reveal itself slowly. You will find your passion if you are open to new possibilities.

Dear new retiree
by: Rose Raintree Arlington Wa.

I can certainly understand as I think perhaps at 57 you are too young to have retired. I didn't retire until I was 69 and because I am active and healthy I went through a funk for about a year, trying to figure out what next.

Today I am happier than I have ever been three years into this, but it does take forcing yourself to do things you may not feel like doing until once again you notice you do.

Don't give up but re invent yourself and push yourself until the mood lifts and you find purpose again. We all need purpose whether working or retired so find that purpose and you will find the depression lifting and be happy again.

Act now
by: Bruce

You story is not unique. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Wendy has given you some helpful hints, now it is time for you to act. I believe Wendy was a retirement coach and knows the ropes when it comes to the problems and challenges with retirement.

Do what is right for you
by: Nancy

I had major grief issues when I first retired in 2012. I had plans for retirement, but they morphed into other interests. A lot of people thought they had the "answer" for me. Get another job, get a volunteer job. I tried to recreate my old life. Then I realized the problem was I DID want my old life back, my old job, not another job or a volunteer job.

There is nothing wrong with being on medication for anxiety or depression. It's like saying, I'm not going to take medication for my diabetes because I don't like medication. I see my family doctor for medication for my anxiety and it helps.

I wouldn't stop taking my antidepressants which help with my anxiety any more than I would stop taking my arthritis medication which has stabilized that condition also. Depression is a medical condition. Just my soapbox for the day.

You will find your way.

Take care and keep coming back to this group. It has been a lifesaver for me.

by: Sheila White

I think you're missing the companionship you found at work. Folks you could commiserate with, since you and your husband don't communicate well.

So, look for new friends at art classes or places of interest. Join a Seniors' Centre. You will find lots of activities there and some might spark your interest.

The thing is LOOK OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF, YOUR ENVIRONMENT. There's lots going on out there. Join in.

Re: Who Am I?
by: Elaine-Pennsylvania/Florida

We all get into a funk from time to time. Retirement is a big lifestyle change. It is sad that you can't discuss your feeling with your husband. That would surely help as he is right there in your home with you.

I know it is easy for someone else to say but we need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and move forward. It may help you to get involved in "something", anything.

Even if it is something you think you are not particularly interested in. That will put you in contact with other people and you will build new relationships and move on from there. Every organization and charity is in need of volunteers. Or maybe a part time job would better suit your situation.

Many people are on this site willing to listen and give you their thoughts. Many shoulders to lean on.

Dear "who am I"
by: Wendy

Yep... like many others, we all wonder what the answer to that question is post-retirement...

BUT we do find an answer. It's different for every single person too!

I ask you:

Who do you WANT to be?
What do you WANT to do for the rest of your life?

If you are stuck, get unstuck.. and quickly. Times awasting! You only have so much time, get moving.

-- Visit an art gallery, museum, take an artsy class -- just do something to get yourself into the groove.

-- Visit your doctor. Tell him whats going on. I don't like prescriptions, but sometimes it might get you over the transition hump. Hey - it happens. Right?

-- Call a friend. Do lunch. Chat. Not even necessarily about depressing topics, but about new movies, art. Do a cool movie with a friend.

If your husband doesn't get it... maybe you can at least both get out of the house? Do a day trip? Dinner?

Give yourself a nice little kick in the fanny...
and get moving. Whether to the doctor or a friend or simply O-U-T of that house...

Just do it, Girl!

Cheering you on!


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