Since retiring from the British Armed Forces in the summer of 2011, I became, (almost uncontrollably) drawn to an ubiquitous and ever-growing surfeit of specific web-pages, those that primarily accommodate a litany of concerned comments – and despairing detail from fellow retirees across the globe – an almost incalculable number of aging souls, of whom, by their own admission, struggle intolerably to adjust to their ‘extraordinary’ continuation following absolute departure from the workplace.
The raison d’être behind this troubling trend is vast and far too complex – and too intricately varied for me to cite on these pages, however, I can confer a mini-catalog of recently-discovered ‘triggers’, those post-employment Gremlins that tellingly ignite individual disquiet during latter life.
From my findings, I determined that the primary causes for this all-consuming despair, that which so blights the modern-day superannuated members of the current social
order, lay [quintessentially] with; Family, (seldom seen) finance, (seldom sufficient) and fortitude, (seldom experienced).
This cheerless trinity of ‘F-word’ descriptivism, that which has been voiced by large swathes of post-sixty inhabitants belonging to the global retirement village, in recent years particularly – is scant remuneration for a life dedicated to the cause of keeping a job, raising a family and running a home, to name but a mere few of the travails woven into life’s rich tapestry.
I therefore found myself wholeheartedly agreeing with most commentaries I came across – even to the point of writing to some of the originators – extending empathy and forwarding – “Were-all-in-this-together” communiques to those whose narratives that had touched me the most.
Some fourteen months following my own withdrawal from the Army Bureau of Boredom, that which engaged my services during the sunset of my working life – I began to sense that I had succumbed to a melancholic disorder; something was gripping at the psychosomatic area of my anatomy, producing what can be best described as a distressing potpourri of inexplicable, maudlin moments, coupled with uncharacteristic, incensed outbursts – each becoming all too- frequent and taking their toll on both me – and all those that really matter to me.
Seemingly, my state of retirement had mysteriously evolved into the Archenemy – a horrible monster, and one that suggested that my existence had become more Nemesis than Nirvana – whatever I had envisaged for myself during the latter years of my survival – it didn’t include a dalliance with cerebral chaos – it did now!
I started to recognize the symptoms of emptiness and numbness, that of which I had been reading of – for over twelve months, yet, I was no longer simply scanning the anxious interpretations of others – I began living them for myself – with attitude!
The prolonged and draining omnipresence of this melancholic detachment from the chap that I once was, led me to the periphery of permanent mental wretchedness – with no expectation of ever securing psychotic liberty, unless of course, I began indulging in anesthetizing my troubled transience with frequent intakes of pharmaceutical linctuses.
I refer to these powerful, prescribed universal ‘remedies’, those that are predominantly oval in design, with the odd exceptions being rectangular or diamond-shape, small multi- colored pebbles, confection-like in appearance, yet these ‘babies’ come with their own built-in ‘escape-hatch’ – ‘Seventh-heaven’ being just one gulp away.