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Slipping into Depression
Old 08-20-2009, 10:53 AM   #1
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Slipping into Depression

I was in a high stress industry and position with national sales responsibilities. I hit the wall several months before my 55th birthday and retired. We are financially well off and no money issues....we are very fortunate. My problem is after 2.5 years of retirement, I'm now rested and ready for a new mission.....I'm a closet Type A personality. I work part-time in the neighborhood and this has helped. Golf is OK but not a passion. I've volunteered a little but it does not feel right. I like working, but no longer want to play the game. Lately I've started to get depressed about long days and too much time....before I wouldn't take time to go to the restroom. Just venting I guess, typing this helps. Any thoughts? Thanks for listening.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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Sometime a person becomes a work-a-holic to avoid facing or thinking about depressing issues.

Maybe you can see a counselor who could help you to face whatever it is that is really depressing you, in a way you can tolerate.

Others may have less drastic solutions but my opinion is that depression can be so serious, and can lead to such tragedies, that if you feel truly, seriously depressed it is better to seek help now than to wait.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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I see you are in Arizona. Any possibility the heat is getting to you? I know it sure depresses me...
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:17 AM   #4
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You probably need to set some new goals for yourself. What do you enjoy doing? Have you thought about taking an extended vacation somewhere? What about doing a 3 month RV trip around the US? Try something totally out of the box for yourself.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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Exercise and intimacy works for me.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drb520 View Post
I was in a high stress industry and position with national sales responsibilities. I hit the wall several months before my 55th birthday and retired. We are financially well off and no money issues....we are very fortunate. My problem is after 2.5 years of retirement, I'm now rested and ready for a new mission.....I'm a closet Type A personality. I work part-time in the neighborhood and this has helped. Golf is OK but not a passion. I've volunteered a little but it does not feel right. I like working, but no longer want to play the game. Lately I've started to get depressed about long days and too much time....before I wouldn't take time to go to the restroom. Just venting I guess, typing this helps. Any thoughts? Thanks for listening.
Welcome to the forum

First off, I give you a lot of credit for writing this post.

I could have written your post...I was also in a high expectation field, a Type A overachiever, and exited at age 48 to preserve my health and sanity.
I've been "out" for 2 yrs 5 mos now. I did the high charged volunteer thing for the first 1.5 years and have backed off that now because some of the environments started to remind me of w*rk. I volunteer once a month at a food bank with no politics and good people. It is a very good fit.

Maybe you could keep looking for something else to do as a volunteer, but on a more casual basis. It is hard to sit still.

Some of what you are describing hit me this past winter. I went into hermit mode intentionally (the deep snow helped out a little )
just to simplify life and catch my breath. Thankfully this stage did not last long.
These days, I'll give myself a A- or B+ type rating. Some folks here maybe beg to differ.

If you still feel depressed, then definitely make an appointment to see your doc and then a counselor, even if just once.
A counselor won't tell you what to do, but will help you assess your current situation and help you go forward.

Smile, relax, and enjoy.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:44 AM   #7
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Any possibility the heat is getting to you? I know it sure depresses me...
Quoted for truth.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:57 AM   #8
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Exercise and intimacy works for me.
Exercise also works for me, but intimacy is no longer an option.

To OP....As Dangermouse suggests....try something out of the box. Golf may not be a passion, but something out there is. Search for it. Should you discover what your passion is, it may turn out to be the work you like/need without the games. If you never discover it you've still experienced the search.....which may help the depression.

Some cognitive therapy might put you past this rough spot and onto the path you're searching for. This is not what would be considered a drastic solution and will most likely be a great help.

From someone who's experienced this sort of thing I wish you the best.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:16 PM   #9
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I think this is where Nords refers you to Ernie Zelinski's "get a life tree" after seeing Nords recommendation on several occasions I just read Ernie's "The joy of not working" good book.

Set some new goals you can get excited about.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:26 PM   #10
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Congratulations on being able to retire early, that's quite an accomplishment these days. About the long days, it's tough to go from full throttle to nothing, so I think what you are feeling is pretty normal.

I eased into retirement over several years through reduced hours, and at first I had episodes similar to what you describe. As freebird said, your writing and acknowledging the problem is important, because depression comes from repressed emotions.

Assuming you're not clinically depressed, for which a professional can help, I think developing a social network around newfound interests would be a good thing. Parks and rec classes? Reading clubs? Almost doesn't matter what it is, important thing is to stay connected, especially since you come from a sales background.

Retirement, like anything else, does feel better the more I'm into it. If anything, the days now feel almost too short. I'm getting to be a professional time waster.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:49 PM   #11
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I hit that point pretty early in my retirement and I am not a type A . The thought of endless social activities and luncheons bored me . I took some classes but I still needed something so I started selling on ebay . I started with just things around my house but now I've branched out to other merchandise . I do not do it for the money though the money is nice . I do it for a sense of purpose . I was totally burned out of nursing and needed something else . The thought of volunteering did not do it so here I am almost two years into retirement and an ebay powerseller . Who would have thought it ? I think the clue is to find something you like even if it is not what other people think a retiree should be doing . Some find their niche in hiking or travel or samba dancing for me it's shopping and selling .
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:25 PM   #12
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The obvious might be to go back to work full time or part time. Maybe you are ready to go back for a time.

Have you considered consulting, or starting a business? There are sites online where businesses post for projects, usually plenty for marketing.

Lastly, maybe mentoring somewhere, perhaps at a high school, vocational or even college is an option.

Just some thoughts..
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:32 PM   #13
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Buy/start/invest in a small business and have your profits go to charity--you sound like you were energetic in your previous life and maybe you are missing the interactions and the quantifiable results of business performance.

But first talk with your doctor--something else might be bothering you, or your brain chemistry is off and medication might be needed to adjust it.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:52 PM   #14
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Buy/start/invest in a small business and have your profits go to charity--.
Here is where my profits go ! Charity begins at home .
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:59 PM   #15
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What a cutie pie!!! He looks like he could cure anyone's depression! Is he available on your eBay page?
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:12 PM   #16
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What a cutie pie!!! He looks like he could cure anyone's depression! Is he available on your eBay page?


No, He is priceless !
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:54 PM   #17
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One of the insidious things about depression is that it demotivates you from doing the very things that would lift it - engaging with people and activities. If your case appears to be more than temporary blues you should talk to your doctor. Depression is treatable.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:36 PM   #18
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I retired from the automotive field at the end of 2006. Very stressfull 12 hour days for 35 years. Spent a lot of time moving to Fla. and fixing up the new house the way DW wanted it. With a loss of a ton of money in the last year do to the recession I started to get worried financially.

After looking around for some sort of PT work I landed a PT job selling Boats. It's been helping financially but the stress level is building again. 20 more months to SS and that will end all employment and I can get back to doing nothing.

If Mr. Market comes back to around 12K I'll be out quicker.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:52 AM   #19
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I was in a high stress industry and position... We are financially well off and no money issues....we are very fortunate. My problem is after 2.5 years of retirement, I'm now rested and ready for a new mission.....I'm a closet Type A personality.
Wow, does that sound like me! Been there and done that. Went from full throttle to idle, in hindsight that was a bad idea.

The first year was like a long vacation what with moving to a new area and outfitting a new home. I tried some consulting but the drive was too long and to remain competent in that field (computer forensics) one really needs to be immersed in it full time. For a month I was a car salesman and learned that while I have many talents, sales is not one of them.

For the past year I've been working working doing armed security (I'm a retired police officer) at one of those secretive government installations with zillions of cameras all over the place and surrounded by barbed wire fencing. The short commute is important to me as I have little patience with sitting in traffic and the hours of 1400 - 2200 mean I can sleep late and still get home at a reasonable hour. While it's not as exciting as big-city police work it's all right.

So for now, this works for me. If/when I leave this job I'll probably take some classes at the nearby university.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:27 PM   #20
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I was in a high stress industry and position with national sales responsibilities...My problem is after 2.5 years of retirement, I'm now rested and ready for a new mission.....I'm a closet Type A personality.
Sounds familiar, except I was never in the closet and my Type A reputation was well known in the organization.
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Wow, does that sound like me! Been there and done that. Went from full throttle to idle, in hindsight that was a bad idea.
Same story here. Made the decision to leave in less than 24 hours, and I was still strapping on my parachute as I ducked out of the hatch.

Like Walt said, at first it seems like a long vacation, and what's not to like about that? But after that comes the realization that you are solely responsible for your life, and if you're lucky that is a loooong time. Work demands no longer dictate what you do every day, and the part of your ego that was derived from your career is history.

Retiring young is not for weenies, and I think it's normal to find yourself a little lost for a while. It's a difficult transition for some of us, especially the type A folks, letting go of the w*rking you and embracing the retired you.

Being a type A mentality in retirement is not going to work. Carrying that "must be #1" mentality over into retirement is just going to put you on another treadmill that just goes in circles. There will be no promotion, no bonus, no certificates, medals or accolades given because you got all of the stuff done that everyone (including you) thought you were supposed to "accomplish" in retirement. ("So, what do you do all day?")

Ultimately, I think that the identity we create during our careers is just an artificial construct that is only valid while w*rking. As much as I loved what I did, and as good as I was at doing it, that is no longer who I am. My days are filled now with taking care of the things that have to be done to sustain life for me and the family, and then filling the rest of it with the things that bring happiness and personal satisfaction. That's my mission.
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While it's not as exciting as big-city police work it's all right.
Do you miss the excitement any? I went through a period where I was super risk averse (success is collecting the pension for 60 years!) and I found I missed doing "exciting" things. I'm working my way back into it - so far the wife is cool with me and the oldest going sky-diving (as cool as she can be about such things).

It's a recent development, and I don't want to do anything stupid that screws up the retirement, but I feel the need for some excitement. People deliberately trying to hurt me is off my list, but other than that I'm open to ideas.
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