Nothing helped. Not even gardening and walking and movie watching. My disquiet after we settled in our new place did not have a clear cause. Retirement was supposed to be a happy time in people's life, but it became a serious depression state in my life.
I took long, solitary walks, noticed birds I had never seen before; talked to other retired people. Everyone was happy and well adjusted. I was the only unhappy one.
I did mention my condition to my doctor at my annual visit. He prescribed some blood tests and later called to tell me to pick up Vitamin D at the pharmacy.
I was relieved! A Vitamin D deficiency is curable.
Weeks later, my mood had not changed. (Did I mention that our rainy season lasts eight months?) My husband suggested we take a trip to a sunny location.
Florida, a place we had known during our graduate days was the place to go to. We had spent many winter holidays at the Keys, sometimes driving all night from our apartment in Tallahassee for a chance to bathe in the warm waters of the Gulf as our small children frolicked for hours at the waters' edge. Sitting on the white sands with tropical drinks made us forget our day-to-day challenges.
We booked our flight knowing the temperatures would be in the mild 80's and sunny the entire time. One afternoon in the same bar that Hemingway had frequented in Key West, I began to think about our Tallahassee days, the six years we had spent as graduate students, living in Alumni Village with other couples with small children, eager to get on with our lives, worried about our future. That evening, using the hotel's stationery, I penned my first story, the hurried days of graduate school. It was a piece of fiction drawn from my experience.
When we returned from Florida, I joined a writing group, learned from a blogger how to start a blog, and soon I was writing almost as much as I was reading, and gardening and walking. The doctor saw me a year later and was happy with my new attitude. He credited Vitamin D. I knew that if I had not discovered writing, I couldn't have made that big leap.