Jan 10, 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…

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