Falling apart

55 year old female in first year of "retirement." Worked same job, which I enjoyed over 24 years, raised two beautiful children, am happily a grandmother of 5, married to a loving man 34 years.

During this year of "retirement" life shifted greatly and I am falling apart. Leaving the job was the final straw to a year with huge stress, lots of addressing work issues with no positive results & strong opposition with supervisor.

Adjusting to the last year was tough and man did I feel the stress but I made it through it realizing a change had to be made, and I made it. I didn't realize how emotional it would be to give up the working part of my personality and all of the special people that were attached. It was hard to hear the comparisons between myself and my replacement, and in this small town, you couldn't help but hear. All the people that had been in my life so long suddenly disappeared with leaving the job...like I had the plague! For the most part, I was suddenly just alone and lonely.

Then husband diagnosed with sleep apnea and the last year with that has had huge changes and stresses. We are currently sleeping seperatly so he can acclimate to the cpap. His personality changes due to the apnea were difficult to deal with, the process of sleep is a nightly challenge, his health issues related to apnea flaired but only in my expanded concern that they may become a reality. My sleep diminished as I worried if he was sleeping, using the machine, was awake or asleep with situations that cropped up and on and on and on. He has made progress getting sleep time and I am somewhat relaxing with it all. Pretty emotional as I feel I am the awake person and so I have the responsibility to oversee success and comfort and find the answers.

There were pregnancy issues with the most recent two grandchildren and a lot of time away from home was the path that took. (With a lot of stress wondering how hubby was doing with new sleep machine and health.) Although there wasn't huge medical issues medical facilities saw my daughter and I daily. Both babies and their families are doing great now.

Falling apart. I have always been able to get through tough times in my life, probably now always by the best methods. I don't drink or do drugs but I do smoke, and that has greatly increased. I find myself with an entrapped neck nerve which of course I have worried to death may be something else. I am tense, sad some days, worried, appetite decreased, interests escape me for the most part, less interested in sex, have a different physical symptom almost everyday, worry more about that, get more tense, get more symptoms and continue the cycle.

I listen to a relaxation tape, take am hot baths, took naps, smoke, read online, do very little excercise for worry that it may irritate the nerve thing, constantly complain (although I call it discussing it) all with my friends, stress, read positive materials and try to practice what I've read. Concentration quickly is over-taken by worry and fears of failure.

I started taking a good multi-vitamin daily and L-theanine (amino acid supplement) to calm myself.

Any discussions, suggestions, guidance anyone can offer me to deal with this naturally and successfully? I am not interested in medications. It has been really hard on all levels to be falling apart. It is hard to have good days where I feel stronger and then crash again so unexpectedly.

Comments for Falling apart

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Jun 28, 2010
by: Anonymous

Hi-Maybe you are not busy enough in your "retirement". Sometimes when I feel like I am falling apart it helped to have activities to go to where you have to function. Maybe you could either get a part-time job, volunteer or take a class.

Jun 29, 2010
by: Candi

It can be surprisingly difficult to adjust to changes, even positive ones. You have some significant stresses that you have been dealing with; several changes and stresses all at the same time. It's no wonder you have been struggling under all that pressure.

When you make a big change, like retiring, it causes you to re-shape your whole identity. That's difficult! You're creating a whole new idea of who you are as a retired person.

The symptoms you describe sound like signs of anxiety and burnout. Have you seen a doctor regarding these symptoms, especially the entrapped nerve? Exercise would probably make a world of difference, and if there is some sort of exercise that would not irritate the nerve, it would probably be very helpful.

Given some time to adjust to your new circumstances, you will probably find that you are better able to cope with stress. Once you find some new, positive routines that are fulfilling and rewarding, you will start to feel like yourself again.

Good luck!

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