Retirement and anxiety

by Helen
(Ottawa valley, Canada)


I retired in December 2018. I am married (my husband retired from the Canadian military one year ago) and we have one son living on his own. Oh, yes we have a 9-month-old Golden Retriever (God help us...lol).


I suffer from chronic anxiety stemming from childhood. Throughout my 39 1/2 years of working in a variety of jobs, I always pushed outside the box that is anxiety.

Now that I am retired, there is no pushing, just fear. Anxiety is fear based and although I want to volunteer, join a gym or even work part-time, anxiety holds me back.

Money is good, but I am bored out of my mind.
My husband and I are both introvertish, so it’s not like I have him pushing me. I have to push him.

We do have friends, but they either live far from us, or they still work. Our neighbours are much older than us and it is difficult finding common ground.

I am a do’er. I have hobbies, but I miss people. Like minded people.

We camp in the summer in our fifth wheel and in the winter, we will head south, but not until our dog is more mature.
So much of my conversations surrounded work, dressing for work, etc. i am feeling a little lost and disconnected.

I am aware this is transition and normal.

I just wanted to share my story and perhaps reach out of others. Especially in the Ottawa valley area.

Thanks for reading.

Comments for Retirement and anxiety

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Push...even if just a little
by: CR

I felt as though I could have written your post. I empathize with every emotion you expressed.

Like you, I have always experienced anxiety, but working kept a lid on it. I retired a year ago, and went from 40 hours of work to total loss of structure and purpose.

I went into one of the deepest depressions of my life. I am still working through it. The only thing I could suggest is that as anxious as you feel, and as fearful as you are you won't be able to move past it to begin something new, please push in spite of the fear.

I HAD to return to work, only 16 hours weekly, in order bring some sense of order back to my life because I was drowning in the "nothingness" of life. On the days I am off, I try so hard to do something, anything, just to get out a little - things as simple as going to church, food shopping, walking the dog, etc.

I am still shaken from this abrupt shift in my life, but knew I had to do SOMETHING to rescue myself.

I genuinely pray you will weave something into your life to make some of your anxiety lessen.

Congratulations Helen
by: Larry Steward/ South Carolina

I say congratulations because you are stretching to reach out and connect with others - and this is such a good place to do that.

Pulling away from an established network of friends from work and making new connections is one of the most common struggles for all of us.

I've never seen anyone make more friends faster than my wife. I'm at the other end of that spectrum. We relocated from New York to South Carolina to lower our overhead costs and enjoy such beautiful weather. Susannah has a horse and with her riding activity, she has quickly connected with new people and made more friends than I ever thought possible.

Of course, connecting online doesn't compare to sitting down with someone but it can help. I'm sure others here will suggest ways to connect that may not have occurred to you. I feel you are on the right path and predict some interesting connections will happen sooner than you think.

It Goes too fast
by: Nancy

I can relate to a lot of your story especially the anxiety because of childhood experiences. I've been retired 7 years and had a lot of anxiety at first.

Now, my main problem is that time passes too quickly in retirement.

7 years was the longest I worked at one job. 4 years was how long I worked in my last job. 4 years was how long I worked in the job before the 7 year job. I am starting to worry about the end of the line encroaching too quickly for both my husband and me.

I related to the part about friends from the workplace. It was easy to make friends at work. Now not so much, but my biggest issue with this is I don't want to be around people so much! I've made some potential friends in Bible study, but never had the willingness to follow up.

Thank you for sharing your story.

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