Retirement Blues... Anxiety and Depression

by John

So I retired from a an agency where I was a PM and a research SME for specialized set of systems (my second retirement, I retired from the military in the early 2000s).

I could have stayed four more years to 65 but I was burned out, I was falling behind my team and doing the same thing over and over. Our sponsors were happy with mine and my team's performance but I didn't feel like I was able to give 100% any more - I was just too easily distracted...

Further, my spouse was tired of living where we were and my 50-60 hour weeks and 3-4 months on the road - and finally we bought an older house on the water down south and wanted to live the good life...

Well it wasn't the best year. The move was harried and poorly organized, the house required extensive renovation - more than I had planned or budgeted for and my idea of consulting basically hit a brick wall. Nobody in my field is interested.

So the first thing I did was start looking for work... Which is insane because I'm 61 and the last thing I really want to do is go back to working 60 hour weeks, even if someone would hire me. But I still persevered.

Meanwhile the house is still not unpacked, I have high blood pressure and am sleeping about 3 hours a night. And so far, none of the dreams we had for our retirement have been realized.

The anxiety is through the roof and its driving me and my family crazy. I know I should be enjoying my time, life is short and while we may not be able to take cruises each year or trips to Europe or Asia, we are still financially stable. Money isn't a major issue (yet) but I find myself avoiding spending anything if at all possible. Which drives my wife crazy and is not possible because this house still needs significant work to be done. Its livable no problem, its just not as pretty as it should be.

So I'm consumed by anxiety, I look and feel miserable all the time and I feel like I'm completely lost. I know this is in my head but I just keep circling back to "I wish I had not retired." Another bit of insanity because if I was still at work I'd be wishing I was retired.

I'm 61 and I cannot imagine living like this for 20-30 more years. I really need to snap out of it...

Comments for Retirement Blues... Anxiety and Depression

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Doing martial arts helps...
by: Anonymous

I'm at that same situation and needing something to keep busy and doing martial arts does help.

It also depends on what style you are learning. I like to do Chinese Martial Arts since it varies from simple to complex. Which in essence keeps your mind and body more involved.

The moves are stylish and fancy so you can spend most of your time just doing the forms and working out ways to make it effective.

Other martial arts like karate or kick-boxing is more direct and more effective but boring.

It is like playing checkers to chess.

If you like simple than do the above but if you like something that will involve your body , mind and soul than do Chinese Martial arts.

It has much more dimensions and beyond physical intrigue that will keep your mind involved which is what all retirees what to seek for.

Retirement Blues... Anxiety and Depression
by: GJ, NY

I am also 61 but have been out of work 3 years now. Wendy is right about doing some of the home improvements yourself if your handy. If you’re not you can learn from either trade classes or YouTube. Its amazing what you gain, self confidence, knowledge and money savings. It also keeps the mind so busy you wont have time to be depressed.

Retirement Blues
by: Sherry/ NC

One day at time, Sir.

Make a promise to yourself and wife that you will work on the house 2 hours everyday, maybe your wife will work along side you. When you accomplish one thing it will make you feel productive and you will feel better!

Go outside and enjoy that lake, nature, and fresh air! It will make you feel so good!

Good luck!

by: New Jersey

I can relate to part of your story. I was in public accounting for 30 years, the last 20 at a stressful large regional CPA firm. Started to get really burnt out the past two years not realizing how detremental that was. Burnout turned to extreme anxiety and depression. Long story short I retired for health reasons 6 months ago at 62 1/2.

Trying out a martial arts class and do volunteering twice a week about 4-5 hours.each day and try to go to the gym a couple of days a week. Sometimes I need to push.

I still get plenty of anxiety because work was all I knew. I worked hours similar to yours about 6 months of the year.
Have no interest in even looking PT or per diem in public accounting. I am done with the field.

Now a matter of what next. Feel itch to do something but not sure what. Over qualified for most PT positions.

I feel your pain.

So Typical...
by: Wendy,

Your story reads like many more... and you will overcome this transition phase, it just takes time.

Instead of seeking work, might you calendar out tasks to be completed on the house. Make it Yours! Could THAT be your job, for now, as you ease your way into a contented lifestyle?

Home on the water is what many dream of, enjoy every moment. Breathe Deeply and Slowly 3 times and feel calmer, then try to rationalize your next move on the home of your dreams.

If you'd like to chat, use the Contact Wendy form... get it off your back and find life again!

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