I chose to retire at the formal end of my career in education. I was barely 55. Like many others, I dreamed of the halcyon days of retirement. Thing is, I believe I dreamt too much about what retirement wasn't and not enough about what retirement was.
Yes, there were no more meetings, no more goals, no more memos, no more phone messages, and so on. But what was there going to be? I only thought of reading the paper over a cup of coffee on the back patio.
And that lasts about fifteen minutes.
After 18 months of retirement, I continue to be miserable. I have evolved in my view of retirement from "embarrassed", to "ashamed", to "disgusted". Every one says that it will get better, but in my case, it has been getting worse.
So, very recently I went to the family doctor, was diagnosed with depression, and put on medication.
I admit that I am feeling better. I still don't enjoy this stage of life. I hate having no purpose to waking up, making no contribution to the world during the day, and having no sense of accomplishment when I go to bed.
But at least now, the breakdowns have stopped, and the suicidal thoughts are distant. I also find I am self-medicating far less (alcohol).
I don't know where this will all lead. I share that despite anticipating and planning for retirement, it has not been pleasant. And I struggle each and every day. I hope that with the support of this medication, I can at least tolerate the future. Wouldn't it be nice to enjoy it?