Finding Your Simple – The Joy and Pain of Work, Managing Mental Health Issues and Having Fun on the Road to Early Retirement

“Be authentic. Tell your story. Put yourself out there. Take some risks. Readers will relate to that.”

Maybe not the exact words of a Keynote speaker from the fantastic FinCon ’17 meeting held last week in Dallas, but close enough.

Let me start with a little digression first.

A number of you from the other side of the pond (and perhaps even this side of the pond) may be familiar with the music of Jake Bugg.

“Jake who….?”, you may ask with a puzzled look.

He is a very well-presented young chap who hails from Mrs. PIE’s home city and his music is the type of folk rock you might expect to hear cranking out of a Seattle or Boulder coffee shop or a quiet bar, mid-week,  in a ski-town as the season winds down.

(**Editorial note from Mrs. PIE– about the only bloody time you might find things quiet in a ski-town bar!)

Anyway, this post is not an attempt to wax lyrically about the life and times of a very talented musician. Rolling Stone does that much better than I can ever conjure up.

Music speaks to us in so many different ways. Each of you will no doubt have a favorite song / artist that will be the most played on your mobile device. A song you may listen to while running, cycling, commuting to work, skiing or passing the time of day on yet another long business-related flight to who knows where.

On Mr. PIE’s mobile phone you will find this song as the most played.

Song: Something as Simple as This

Artist: Jake Bugg

Album: Jake Bugg (Ha! Not the most creative of album names…)

Released: 2012


From the lad himself (photo above from a gig last year in Boston that Mrs. PIE attended with a friend), a great quote about his song that spoke to me:

That was a strange song because life in general you come across a lot of barriers and sometimes you just want to push through things and just try to find an answer for everything, try in every way, but in the end it’s not that simple.

So, why is this song the most played on your mobile devices, Mr. PIE?

Let’s dig into the lyrics and find out why.

One section in particular below is the hardest fucking thing I have ever written. But it is time I shared it and it has been incredibly liberating putting it into some words. So let’s go.

The opening line in the song:

I’ve been in search of stones

making up the pavement of less traveled roads

Mining for treasure deep in my bones

that I never found

For me, the first line speaks to one dream I have always had to get out and travel to far-off places. From the early age of 10 years old when my mum and dad saved up enough money to send me on a 10-day educational cruise with school that would depart a port in Northern Scotland and make stops in the fjords of Trondheim, Norway, the magical wonder that is Copenhagen, Denmark and the port city of Lubeck, Germany.

That trip at an early age put the wheels in motion for “taking the road less traveled”. Roads that would eventually take me from the UK to the USA and a career that involved leading projects in Europe and Asia,  continents I was fortunate to travel frequently to and expand my knowledge beyond science and into navigating the cultural aspects of leading global teams.

The Joy of Work

Being brought up in a very tough working class small-town in rural south-west Scotland, I took the road less traveled and went to university to study chemistry which became a lifetime passion and career in the world of drug discovery.

Mining for treasure

This is one way of describing what we do in the pharmaceutical world of drug discovery. Mining our corporate databases of millions of compounds (small molecules, antibodies), inventing and searching for that perfect molecule that would balance the properties of potency, efficacy, dosing attributes and safety to be able to advance into clinical studies in humans, receive approval from the FDA and get into patients who are desperately needing something to alleviate symptoms of often horrible diseases.

Mining for treasure deep in my bones that I never found

It is rare for any scientist to be an inventor on a project that ultimately leads to an approved drug. I have worked 25 years in big pharma, an inventor on over 50 patent applications, >20 of which have been granted by patent offices world-wide. In terms of project teams that I have been part of, I have not yet found that molecule to make it through FDA approval and into the hands of physicians. But it is getting close, real close!  A project that members of my team worked on in 2008-11 (and a number of us, including Mr. PIE are inventors on the patent), is in a series of six large Phase 3 clinical registrational studies, with the goal of approval in late 2018/early 2019.  Those Phase 3 studies are a really tough hurdle as the molecule is being studied in a large diverse patient population where we already know it is efficacious with an acceptable safety profile so far. The studies of longer duration will also tell us if it safe – surprising toxicities can crop up in late-stage clinical studies and halt the development of a compound.

A colleague of mine once said to her large team of scientists, “We have the best job in the world. We come into work every day and bring our innovative spirit and conjure up ideas of making that perfect compound to treat horrible diseases”.

Indeed we do. She said it beautifully.

I will miss that tremendously when I leave work. The work is hard and far from something simple, as many outside the pharmaceutical industry would believe. But it remains a really important dream for every single scientist working long hours for months/years on end in their efforts to find cures for hideous diseases.

Let’s be honest, calling time on a bad job/nasty boss through retirement is a reality for many. Not so for me. I will find it not so simple to leave behind many aspects of a fulfilling career.

With all that, I will be retired by the middle of 2018 and will be cheering on loudly from the side-lines, rooting for a successful FDA approval of the drug and seeing it reach millions of patients with auto-immune disease who need it the most.

The Pain of Work

I don’t mean to paint a completely rosy picture of life in the pharmaceutical industry. Far from it. Just head on over to any of the forums on pharma life and you will see some of the challenges pretty quickly. The pressures of work can manifest in many different ways – work-life imbalance, burn-out and illnesses such as clinical depression leading to desperate measures that all too often sadly cannot be recovered from. No different to many other jobs where the statistics speak a horrible truth about working life in corporate America.

The Center for Workplace Mental Health, supported by the American Psychiatric Association tells a depressing (absolutely NO pun intended) tale on various issues that are job-related:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Violence in the Workplace

Without going into too much detail, the winter of 2011/2012 was an extremely challenging one for me.

On the outside – a confident, successful scientist who appeared to be living the dream. Working on exciting projects, traveling to exotic parts of the world as part of that endeavor.

On the inside – a very different picture was being painted.

Miserable with brutally long work days over many months, pressure of unrealistic deadlines, attempting to gather data-sets that were simply not achievable and dealing with two team members that brought a level of dysfunction that belied their college credentials (both were Ph.D, MD’s) who seemed to bring an entitled approach to an otherwise great project team they did not want to invest in. This was all capped off with worries about the road ahead in life, being able to provide sufficiently for the family and managing a level of work-life balance that was quickly spiraling out of control. I was not getting enough sleep due to terrible bouts of anxiety, often waking up at 2am or so and never getting back to sleep. Throw on top of that the behavioral characteristics of an INTJ (Myers Briggs type – the “I” is an introvert – a person who internalizes a lot) and you have a recipe for a complete and utter disaster.

Mental Health Issues

In bed, I turned to Mrs. PIE early one cold New England morning in December 2011 and said words under very emotional circumstances that I will never ever forget.

“I am desperately, desperately miserable. I even have had dark thoughts of ending it all”

I needed help. Quickly.

To this day, I still cannot remember exactly what was said or happened. But it involved lots of hugs and words to the effect of getting help. And getting help IMMEDIATELY.  That is exactly what Mrs. PIE did for me. I was subsequently signed out of work for six weeks with intensive counseling and support during that period. This counseling and help continued, on and off, for quite some time after that.

From another line in the song:

Tried institutions of the mind and soul

It only taught me what I should not know.

Reaching out for help is not easy. Going through counseling is hard. It brings out feelings that are difficult to handle. It brings up aspects of life experiences, perhaps from childhood, that you should not know. With all that, I am a better, stronger person for it. Mrs. PIE will vouch for me. With unwavering support of her and counsel from healthcare professionals, advice from great friends and work colleagues, I came through to the other side of what felt like a painfully slow process. In that process, I met others going through hell and in counseling groups, I listened to them, provided a reassuring voice for them when they needed it. Having somebody listen to you is a big part of the recovery process. Talking and listening, just like we do on our blogs.

Have there been difficult times since then? YES

Do I now know when to reach out for help? YES.

If any of the above resonates with you, and you are feeling miserable, at the end of your rope, do this one thing. Talk to somebody immediately.

That’s the hardest part. The first conversation.

Let the words flow. Let the feelings flow.

It gets better by doing that. You take more in by letting go.

Fun on the Road to FIRE

As I write this on a flight back to Boston from FinCon, the four days of community with a remarkable group of people is a reminder of the value of networks, friendships and support systems. That is part of the inherent DNA of FinCon and it was a huge piece for me.

Don’t get me wrong, the many great breakout sessions, keynote talks are part of what makes FinCon so great.

There were other things that made it VERY special.

It can be summed up by getting time to talk to a community of like-minded people about plans/dreams as we each weave our way towards our unique goals in life.

  • Before I even got to FinCon, I did some practicing two days prior with the Physician on Fire and a few of his readers at Harpoon Brewery in Boston. Nothing like a few preparation drills!
  • The sharing of plans, quietly over coffee (and numerous other adult beverages) with Fritz at the Retirement Manifesto. I tell ya, it was a real pleasure, Fritz!
  • The many awesome conversations, meals, drinks and laughs with Mr. SSC and Mrs. BITA. It was a real pleasure spending a ton of time with you both and getting to know you.  Your humor had me in stitches all week. Thank you. Thank you. I can’t say enough….
  • That bat-shit crazy (verging on transcendental) bar experience with Mr. and Mrs. WOW, Mrs. BITA and Mr. SSC, watching a shady dude pump nearly $7,000 into a BitCoin kiosk ATM at 1.00am in the morning…..guys, that will live long in the memory as one way NOT to invest.
  • The early morning party (very kindly hosted by Gwen from Fiery Millenials) conversation with Mrs. BITA and Mr. 1500 Days on the wastefulness of humans who feel the constant urge to buy friggin’ Wooden Giraffes from Pier One as an alternative to saving a few $$’s.
  • The laughs and giggles on a brief conversation with Mrs. Groovy from Fritz’s phone at BrainDead Brewing company. Mr. PIE turned out to be BrainDead the next morning and it certainly was not Mrs. Groovy’s fault…..
  • The brilliant costume party garb of the Make Smarter Decisions folks who demonstrated their creative genius to dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Groovy in honor of the Groovy folks “trash-talk” videos. Did you guys take that “trash-picker” home…??
  • Chatting geo-arbitrage and healthcare in Panama with Jim @ Route to Retire. And then his costume for the party. OMG, his J Money costume…..
  • An only-too-brief chat with Maggie and husband from Northern Expenditure about living / vacationing (or I should say “holidaying”) in the UK
  • Getting a warm friendly hug from Mrs. ONL and Penny, two bloggers who are each weaving remarkable stories in their respective lives. I love their writing and their Tweets
  • And talking to Jill, the Mad Fientist’s wife, at the informal meet-up on Day 1 about living in Scotland, northern New England and much more
  • The wonderful conversations with Chris (that kiddo climbing video was wicked awesome as we say here in Boston) from Eat the Financial Elephant, Chris from Apathy Ends, Chris from Keep Thrifty, (I met a lot of Chris’s!!), Miss Mazuma (we might just make that trip to walk the Camino de Santiago) Matt from Optimize your Life, (Matt, a Patriots Fan and a kindred soul as another awesome INTJ!), Andy Hill from Marriage Kids and Money, Guy on Fire, I Dream of Fire, Jillian (yes, you are VERY tall and have an even bigger warm personality) from Montana Money Adventures and Steve and Courtney from ThinkSaveRetire and A Streamin Life. I found yet another Patriots fan in Courtney, whose family are all fans. Go Pats! 

I could go on and on but you get the picture. To all those I met at FinCon, and those I didn’t have the opportunity to meet, thank you all for making it an amazing experience for me.

What’s Next

At FinCon, I was asked repeatedly what plans I had after retiring next year.  My response invariably came back to the same thing. Is there really a simple answer?

From the last line of the song:

Oh and the answer, well, who would have guessed?
Could be something as simple as this
God knows how I could have missed
Something as simple as this…

Work too often is far from simple. At various points in our lives, simplicity is all we need. Yet it is never simple to find. Whatever your “simple” is, hold onto it very tightly. Treasure it.

Love and hugs to all of you.

Mr. PIE.


  1. Awesome post! I too have been in that same dark place and it took about 4 years of therapy and talking with someone to get out of it. Yes, there have been hard times since and it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses but I was able to resolve a lot of the underlying issues that got me there in the first place. It’s not easy, and I don’t know why but telling someone you’re in that place seems SO hard at the time. I’m glad you were able to do the same and find your way out. 🙂

    I also had a great time getting to spend so much time with you and Mrs. BITA and I’m looking forward to getting up to NE this summer to meet the rest of the clan.

    Like you, I don’t know what the future holds but it will be finding and holding onto my version of simple.

    Hopefully, without any wooden giraffes showing up at my house – don’t think I didn’t catch that… 🙂

    1. Thank you. Being an INTJ, the introvert lizard brain in me is not so helpful to when it comes to talking. But once I started, it felt natural. I am glad you found a way to get through things also. Today, it is easier for me to recognize when I am falling back into negative thinking.

      You know you and family are most welcome in NH – the White Mountains are an awesome place in the summer – glorious long hikes, river swim holes, kayaking….oh….and plenty craft beers!! Happy to host you and family. The Wooden Giraffe will be there to greet you! Actually, we have a wooden moose!

  2. Mr PIE, Thank You (!!) for sharing your bout with depression. Too many folks don’t know when/how to ask for help, let’s hope your story reaches those that need to hear. I really enjoyed the time we had together, and look forward to walking our journey to, and through, retirement together. Proud to have you as a friend.

    1. Thanks so much Fritz for the kind words. I do wonder how many in our community have suffered also. I have a feeling more than we think. But it is hard to speak about it. Guilt, shame, sign of weakness – when in fact it is quite the opposite.

      I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed our conversations over beer, coffee. I left with such a positive feeling about our discussions and learning from each other on pensions, bond ladders, travel hacking and home exchanges to name but a few. Let’s hope we can meet again sometime soon. Until, then – Cheers!

  3. Great to have you back Mr. Pie and it was awesome meeting you at FinCon

    Thanks for putting your experience and struggles out there, has to be difficult to write about but will undoubtedly do some good.

    1. Thanks Chris. It feels good to have put at least some of it in writing.
      And it was fantastic to meet you. You have a very wise head – jeez, now I feel like a really old man…. :>)

  4. Great meeting you as well, Mr. Pie. Especially enjoyed talking about skiing and Jackson Hole. Unfortuately, we did not have a chance to go down the Myers Briggs rabbit hole. I am an INTJ too; there are tons in the FI community.

    1. Fellow INTJ. Yay!!

      Welcome to a fine club. I just saw someone did a Myers Briggs poll on the ChooseFI Facebook group…and surprise, surprise….INTJ is most popular.

      Gotta love talking about skiing with other FI enthusiasts. Skiing talk + FIRE talk + beer = good, good times!

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience with depression. It’s not something everyone who goes through it wants to talk about publicly.

    It was awesome getting to speak to on the phone from FinCon! And when I was asked to guess who you were, you may not remember but I said “Please don’t tell me you’re a relative of mine!”. I was so-o-o glad to find out it was you.

    1. Thanks for your understanding of the difficulty of public disclosure of such stuff.

      On the relative front, oh, Mrs. G that is so bloody funny. I did not hear that but if I did, I would have died laughing.

      I think I mentioned how your blog brings out the best (?) in me. There are so many sides to all of us, aren’t there? You see a bit of me in this post. You see it in my craziness over at your fine blog. It’s all good, right?

      Please pass on my very best regards to Mr. G. I hope our drunken ramblings from the pub did not wake him up.

  6. Thanks for sharing. Mental health is so important. Stress is deadly. A few years ago my neighbor who was also my wife’s relative committed suicide. He was an engineer and had two children and a wife. I often think of him and wish that he asked for help.

    Fincon sounds amazing. I am going to try to attend next year. Next week, I am attending a Rockstar meet-up in NYC. I am excited for to meet some of the people you were with in Dallas.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Dave. I am so, so sorry for the loss of a neighbor / family member. Most of the time, it is fiendishly difficult to spot the signs, so don’t beat yourself up for things that are very hard to see or fix. The hardest part when utterly miserable is knowing to ask for help when facing what feels like an overwhelming situation. I was able to do so and I learned a lot about myself going through a lot of self-talk and counseling.

      You will love FinCon ’18. The meet-up in NYC sounds really great also. This community is truly unbelievable.

  7. It was so wonderful to meet you at FinCon! 🙂 I’m only just now starting to wake up a little after being so sleep-deprived last week.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with anxiety. Every single person will have a moment in their lives when they need help with their mental health, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m so glad that you sought help and were open with how you were feeling.

    1. Hi there, Mrs Picky Pincher, it was fun bumping into you at FinCon, for sure!

      And thanks for the kind words.

      For some it is a moment in their lives. For others, they battle if day in – day out. And you are so right. It should not be an ashamed feeling. Too often, the stigma associated with mental illness prevents people from talking. That vicious cycle is very hard to break down.

      Get some sleep. I know how you feel based on the size of the bags under my eyes….

  8. Great post, Mr Pie! A lot of people are happy to share about their successes, but don’t always share the stress and depression that can come with it like you have.

    On the outside, my job was super cool. Inventing new algorithms and taking them to the skies. On the inside, I was racked with stress and anxiety. A lot of that is what drove me toward FIRE.

    Anytime I was super down, I was comforted by the fact that life can really be anything we want. On any given day I could have just quit and become a landscaper, or bartender, or even moved to a different country. We can make changes in our lives, and we can seek help when we need it.

    Thanks for sharing, I think a lot of people could use your advice 🙂

    1. Thanks you Mrs. Crazy Kicks for your very kind thoughts.

      I hope there is a bit more discussion on this topic because the FIRE folks are certainly not immune to worry, plans going awry, family issues and more.

      “We can make changes in our lives, and we can seek help when we need it” . I LOVE how you put this. Perfect summation of what I did and will do again, if necessary.

  9. It was great to hang out with you throughout FinCon, Mr. PIE. Thank you for putting your story out there with such class and openness. It’s important for people to realize anyone can struggle, even temporarily, and talking through it may be just the cure.

    Hope to see you next year in Orlando!

    1. Hey there, glad to have spent time together at FinCon. Thanks for swinging by our little corner of the blogosphere. Your words are too kind.

      I may make it to Orlando next year. Since kids will be in school, not with them though. Need to get creative on how I might make the trip. Having seen the wonder of FinCon 17, next year will be hard to pass by!

  10. Amazing post!!!! Very open and inspiring. You always have us. Like the Mrs said repeated times on our trip, “You are closer now then far.”

    Besides Bitcoin might not be the best investment drunk at 1am. But, running heroine and cocaine might just be the winner!

    Until next time!!!

    1. Thanks Mr. Wow.

      I am so glad I could spend time with you and Mrs. Wow at FinCon. You left a strong impression on me as a very warm, friendly and fun-loving couple!

      I am glad you got a little inspiration from my words. That makes me happy.

      Now don’t get too inspired with your stash that you want to start running something…..
      Run up a big bar-tab
      Run to the burger joint.
      Run to the bathroom (yes, I do vividly remember that bowel movement story you told in the bar in Deep Ellum….)
      Just don’t run drugs!!

  11. Well that keynote speaker was certainly spot on about being authentic and telling your story. This post made me want to reach out and give you a great big hug (or a few manly pats on the back, if that is more your thing). It could not have been easy to write.

    I had so much anxiety about meeting an ass tonne of new people at Fincon. If it hadn’t been for the instant, magical level of comfort and camaraderie I felt around you and Mr. SSC (and Miss Mazuma, the best roommate I could have asked for), I might have spent two out of those four days curled up in a small ball in my room sucking my thumb and weeping into my binky. Having said that, if ever an unmarked wooden giraffe shows up at my doorstep, I _will_ treat it as an immediate declaration of war.

    1. Hey there Mrs. BITA – happy to hear from you!!

      I will take a big hug AND manly pats on back. I am not too picky!

      The feeling is mutual regarding comfort level with our small tribe. You guys were fantastic and easy-going and funny and simply everything a cautious INTJ could have wanted in conference buddies!

      Since I don’t know your address, I will be sure to send both you and J periodic Tweets of long necked safari animals of the wooden variety……that will make you love Twitter even more, right?!?

  12. Thanks for this post and the courage to share this very personal story! I’m glad you had and have the support and love of your family to get through that. And thanks for sharing the great pictures. Now I can even put a face to the PIE family!
    Too bad I didn’t make it to FinCon this year. Next year, I’ll definitely plan my summer/fall travel to make sure I can attend. All the best!

    1. Hey ERN, now if you are going to FinCon, I need to find a way to get there also!! Kids will be in school so I need to get super creative on how I can get there. Would be fun taking the family on a tour of southern states, winding up at FinCon.

      Thanks for the kind words. Once I started writing, it just flowed. The hardest part were those first few words in WordPress. Just like opening up about depression.

      Glad you like the photos of the PIE crew. They are all much better looking than me!!

  13. Sometimes mental health is the first thing overlooked, but quite honestly the first thing that needs to be addressed within the complexity of lives we live today. So many people have battled with depression before, are battling with it currently or will battle with it at some point in the future. Unfortunately, many people stigmatize getting help and therefore never do. I am so thankful that you reached out and got the help you needed, there is no shame in that at all.

    I am completely honored to have had the chance to meet you this past weekend and spend some great times with you. Our bitcoin experience will forever hold a special place in my heart!

    Oh and your last lines in this post had me in tears, simply beautiful!!

    1. Hey there, Mrs. Wow.

      WOW, two WoW’s on our blog in one day. I am simply wowed.

      “Many people stigmatize getting help and therefore never do…” You nailed the BIG issue, perfectly. Couple that with an INTJ type personality, it is a big ass problem. Jeez, I should have asked for help a lot sooner than I did. It was hard and also very hard on my family, especially Mrs. PIE, who was a ROCK throughout.

      The last line – I am glad you enjoyed it. I hope it makes you smile also!!

      High fives, hugs coming your way,

      Mr. PIE

  14. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s always difficult talking about mental health, but any steps we can take to help remove the stigma and encourage others to seek help and open up can save lives.

    It was great getting to meet you in person. Your presence has definitely been missed around the blogosphere, but catching up over a beer is better. 🙂

    1. Thanks Matt. And great to meet you at FinCon. Pity we didn’t have more time to chat Patriots stuff.

      The stigma theme is common thread among commenters here. Agree completely.

      And big thanks for the kind words regrading my presence in the blogosphere. I wish I could write and comment more. Soon, very soon….

  15. I so appreciate you coming back to blogging and having this as your opening. It is so eloquently written and shares a story that I think many of us have somewhere in our lives. Simplicity, family first, sharing and spending time with others. It’s not easy to get there, but certainly worth the effort.

    So glad we were able to connect last week! And I hope to connect with you and Mrs. PIE more in the future.

    1. Hi Vicki,

      You are making me blush with words like eloquent. ?
      I am glad the post resonated with you. The older we get, the more we appreciate simplicity I think. But not easy to find it at times, as you say.

      I hope Mrs. PIE can get a chance to meet you and your husband also. We’ll have to get a North East meet up organized somewhere!!

      It was great hanging out over a beer or two. That costume garb is engrained in my memory as are the warm personalities of you both.


      Mr. PIE

  16. Awww – it was SO awesome to meet you. Your story is extremely important to tell as it is one that so few have the courage to share. My industry has a high rate of depression due to the unstable home life that comes with days/weeks on the road each month. My mom recently told me that she wished she had done things my way instead of sitting at a desk for 26 years. I explained that while it is lovely to see me beachside on an overnight, people don’t see the sacrifice that goes along with a job like this. “If it makes it easier, you have grandkids and I never will. So that’s something!” I built my life around my schedule while others have to build their schedules around their lives. There is no right or wrong way. Recognizing the sacrifices and pitfalls of our jobs and when we aren’t getting what we need out of life is a balance that is hard to accomplish. I applaud you for speaking up and getting the help that you needed. Unfortunately, some people see depression as a sign of failure and they don’t seek the help they need as a result. The honest truth is that seeking help is a sign of strength. There is no greater strength in my mind than allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with others.

    1. Hi Miss Mazuma, this has to be one of the best comments ever on our blog. Like EVER!!

      It was great to meet you too and, like so many interactions at FinCon, not enough time to spend with everybody.

      There is a Ted Talk by Brene Brown that is simply magnificent and speaks to everything you describe here about vulnerability. See link pasted here at bottom of my reply. For whatever reason, guys are supposed to be less vulnerable. J Money recently tweeted out this week that net worth is not equal to self worth. He is so Right. Paying attention to self worth, self esteem and happiness is much more important than an investment spreadsheet or a quarterly index fund gain

      I am just heading off on a week long business trip to the West Coast and I am not entirely enthusiastic about it. But San Diego in November, could be worse places to visit!!?

  17. I am so glad you told Mrs. Pie what was happening to you and that she was able to help you get the help you need. My love has depression and right now has requested that I not communicate with her so she can have the space to seek treatment. She may not want to date me once she has figured out her mental health, but giving her that room is vital. She has no harm risk, and, even so, I want her to pursue her own health far more than I want anything for us.


    1. Hi ZJ,

      A tough part of mental health issues is the effect on others. And unfortunately, you are having to go through some pain and frustration to be able to get to the other side with your partner. Sometimes people need space and if they pose no harm to self or others, that is OK. I think you are doing the right thing without knowing the details. Thanks for sharing your situation with us.

      We hope you are doing OK and working through a lot of sudden change in your personal family life.

      Best wishes, Mr. and Mrs. PIE

  18. Thanks for sharing your experience with depression. It is so great you were able to let your wife know you needed help. I wish my husband recognized what was happening to him (or that I did instead of thinking it was a mid-life crisis) when he started his depression, my life would be so different today. Depression is real and it can happen to any of us. Great post.

    1. Thank you Caroline for the kind words. And sorry things did not work out in terms of a solution for you and your husband. I agree that depression knows no boundaries in terms of who you are, how much money you have in the bank or what you earn. The reality is that it sometimes eats away so slowly it is hard to pinpoint what it is. That is the brutal aspect of it. For both the person suffering and those close to them.

  19. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you asked for and got help.
    I moved to a new state for my previous job, and after a while, sought a therapist to deal with the emotions involved with being far from my support (friends and family) . At some point the sessions became about work, which not to be dramatic, was stealing my soul. I wasn’t fun any more, and I was tying my worth to tests passing or failing, because managers were. I was thankful to have had that relationship (with the therapist) in place, because it was a gradual decline of discontent. Near the end of working there I was questioning my entire 10+ year career (I wasn’t cut out for this if I couldn’t handle things), and overwhelmed by the idea of finding a new career and starting again because my self esteem was so low, the idea of being good at anything was unfathomable.
    Then I was let go. I slept well again! Friends commented that I seemed more myself. While I still questioned job searching in the same industry it was the experience I had, so I did. I have been at this job for 2 years, and because of excellent managers and company values that are followed, not just posted on a wall, I like the industry again. I have managers who shield us from stupid rush deadlines that aren’t rushes, and back up my decisions, and work with me to grow. I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach when my boss asks me to come to her office, but here, it’s never been a bad thing. I’m starting to lose some of that baggage.
    While at that company I discovered FI blogs, and the dread of having to be stuck forever, had a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for being one of those lights. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words. You are very kind.

      I know exactly what you are saying about the uncertainty of a new work location or even just a new job in the same work location. We work ourselves up over sometimes trivial things and the anxiety builds and builds…we need a release valve to vent, share feelings.

      And my own experience of having managers who genuinely care makes the work environment through a transition much easier. When those managers stop by your office for a friendly chat, you know things are going fine.

      If you can find some comfort in blogs or people who blog, that can be powerful also. In that regard, Did you ever consider attending FinCon?

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