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I am 60, married 35 years but want to leave everything behind. I want to be alone.

Community Member
I had a very difficult young life, spent 30 years in the Army serving my country, and I loved that service. Married a lovely lady and have two adult children. Have had severe depression over the years, result of service and childhood, counselling and medication have dulled me, have kicked the medication and have lost weight. But still troubled greatly. Intimacy problems in marriage, counselling again, no help, problems are mostly mine. I just want to leave everything and move overseas to be alone. I'm misunderstood, and feel I have 10 years of life left where I can try to be myself.
3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Ant, you're served us all well for spending 30 years in the Army and should be congratulated for, but now you're finding it so hard to be able to cope with life, and for that I'm so very sorry.
Unfortunately there are intimacy problems in your marriage, and medication doesn't seem to have not done any good for you, but can I say that it might not have been be the correct medication, but let's put that to one side at the moment if that's possible.
Leaving the force after such a long time serving our country has always been a huge problem, one that is never addressed to by the government, because the adjustment is enormous coming from working in the there and then to live in a civilian life once again, is something that I have not had to experience.
You can't blame yourself for these problems, it also means that your wife has to adjust to how you are feeling, and this is very important, but if for some reason this doesn't happen then problems in the marriage start.
You know that before you joined the force you were much younger and didn't have the experience as to how you are now, so a great deal has changed and whether you want to call this good or bad, depends greatly on certain circumstances, and to each person this is different meaning by being misunderstood.
If you move o/s will this make you feel better or are you just going to carry your feelings o/s with you, I can't answer that for you, but the temptation is that if we move away then our problems will disappear, but unfortunately this won't happen.
Can I come back to the medication, as there are so many different types of antidepressants (AD) and just because one doesn't help you doesn't mean that any other AD won't make you feel better, and perhaps you could talk to your doctor about this.
Instead of going o/s would you feel comfortable moving away from your family, until you begin to feel better.
There are many other questions that I would like to ask you, but before I do this I hope that you can get back to us. Geoff

Community Member

Hi ant65. I can really understand where you're coming from having served 30 years in the army. I assume you were sent o'seas for active duty. It's extremely possible you have a form of PTSD, if you saw a lot of action. The experiences you've had would've greatly affected you, making you doubt your abilities as a father/husband etc. Trying to return to civilian life would be difficult too, after the strict discipline you had to live with. Trying to enforce the discipline you had to live under, is impossible because home is home, army is army. When soldiers return home, unfortunately, there is no counselling available for the transition, consequently they have to endure nightmares. Were you able to have time at home during your career? Intimacy problems arising from separation from home due to army dedication causes untold problems as well. There is no easy answer. Relocating o/seas might address the immediate problem, trying to 'find yourself'. However o/seas could cause more problems if you're going as a visitor, rather than having a job i.e army. Would it be possible for you to contact some of your army mates and arrange a time for you to get together and just talk to get rid of some of the tension you're carrying. Who better would understand you than the guys you were closely associated with.


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi ant

I'm ex RAAF, prison officer, security and investigations.

Can I say, that even though I was discharged from the RAAF in 1976 I feel I have never really adapted back into civilian life.....and I was only in the RAAF for 3 years. Astonishing isn't it.

The RAAF was my life, I was committed to it 100%, it was my everything, my mates, my future. The fact that I didn't fit in (unknown mental illnesses at that period) meant my dreams were dashed. Yes I'm proud to have served and proud of my reference from my efforts post cyclone Tracey but I was empty. To think you spent 30 years in the Army.....no wonder you feel lost.

The other posters mentioned medication and possible illnesses. To pursue this is really important. Your marriage is a two way street as you know, it will be important for your wife to learn some new ideas to allow you more breathing space from her usual self. A teamwork as such to focus on your recovery rather than leaving her after so many years of dedication.

I hope you are ok. Reply anytime.

Tony WK