My Early Retirement Journey

Retiring from Emotional Distress: My Early Retirement Journey

Hello, my name is Stephanie, and I am retiring early. Yes, you read that right; I’m retiring at 27. This is not clickbait nor a hoax. Well…while most people retire from work for financial reasons, my retirement is from emotional distress and negative experiences that have affected my well-being and happiness. An early retirement from all the shadows in my life that light off my life candle.

Retirement? That Doesn’t Make Sense

Early retirement typically refers to leaving the workforce before the age of 65. However, for me, it means retiring from toxic relationships, negative patterns of behavior, and everything that has shadowed my light. The decision to retire early has been a rollercoaster. I’m 27 years old; I still have no idea what I’m doing with my life and I certainly don’t have everything figured out, but one thing is for sure, I don’t want to be near the empty and emotionless souls that I’ve collected along my life’s path. It took me years to recognize the emotional toll that my past experiences had taken on me and to acknowledge the importance of prioritizing my mental health and well-being, and for that reason, I’m not giving up on my desire to live a fulfilling life without the negative aspect of what surrounds me.

early retirement

Growing up, I experienced a lot of trauma that I carried with me well into adulthood. These experiences affected every aspect of my life, from relationships to work to my overall happiness. It wasn’t until I came to terms with myself that what happened to me as a child and teen, those things were not my fault. Later on, I realized something needed to change. I knew that I couldn’t continue living my life in a constant state of emotional distress. So, I decided to start my early retirement journey. This journey is mine, but of course, I want to share some insights in case you think this might help you along way.

Throw Out What Brings You Down

Retiring from emotional distress has many benefits. Although, it can be a bittersweet process. It can positively impact your life by reducing stress, improving mental health, and finding peace within. However, it is not without its challenges. Fear of the unknown – or the things we already know, or feeling lost without a familiar routine can generate roadblocks to retiring from negative experiences. But with a little guidance and self-reflection, you can overcome these challenges and embrace your new chapter – our new chapter.

For me, embracing my new chapter means prioritizing my mental and emotional well-being. That’s the most important thing in my manual. I am done blaming myself for what others did to me. This means surrounding myself with positive influences and dedicating time to activities that bring me joy – for me, that would be writing, watching TV shows, spending time with my pets, and listening to music. It also means pursuing new interests and challenging myself to try new things – I’m still trying very hard to balance all of this.

The Challenges We Face

One of the biggest challenges I’m facing in retiring from emotional distress is overcoming the fear of the unknown. I had spent so much of my life in a constant state of emotional distress that I didn’t know what life would look like without it. As brutal as this may sound, I have made peace with it. Living under the roof of people who only abused me just to gain something from my tragedy it’s not something I can just put in a plastic back and throw away; no, I’m recycling all of this trauma and fighting with what I know now because I deserve better than what I was given. This is important to mention, with the help of a therapist and a supportive community, I was able to navigate these challenges and start living a life free from emotional distress. Although, this is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight, and of course, trauma is not something you get over just because someone tells you to do so. It’s so much deeper than that.

my early retirement journey

Retiring from emotional distress is not the end of the journey, but the beginning of a new one. It’s a chance to start fresh and find peace and happiness. If you’re struggling with similar challenges, I encourage you to prioritize your mental health and consider retiring from negative experiences. It may not be an easy decision, but it can be the start of a beautiful new journey.

For some people, my retirement journey may be unconventional, but it’s one that has brought me immense freedom and fulfillment. I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire others to prioritize their mental health and find the courage to retire from negative experiences. Remember, it’s never too late to start your early retirement journey and find the peace and happiness that you deserve.

More Insight On My Story

Retiring from emotional distress has allowed me to focus on my personal growth and development. I have learned to identify and address my triggers, set boundaries, and practice self-care. It has also allowed me to pursue new interests and passions.

When I talk about my triggers I usually refer to them as “time bombs”, because I never knew when one of them will come knocking on my door. Triggers for me come in the shape of smells, places, voice tones, and certain words. It’s not always the same, but now I can recognize when a trigger has been on patrol.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my early retirement journey has been the improvement in my relationships. I am now able to cultivate healthy, positive relationships with people who bring out the best in me. I have also been able to let go of toxic relationships that were holding me back. For example, my relationship with some of my relatives was extremely toxic. It was affecting me in more ways than it should’ve. I cut those people off. No friends on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Sure, sometimes I like to lurk and see what they’re up to, but I always end up laughing at the mindset they’ve gathered throughout the years. I feel sorry for 16-year-old me and all the shit I had to endure. I’m glad I got out of that situation, and all its horrific beliefs and values.

early retirement

I still struggle with my generalized anxiety, so making plans with friends can sometimes be overwhelming. Often times I take time off for my sanity and well-being, and I feel bad for ghosting those friends for a few days, weeks, or months, but it’s necessary for me to continue with my early retirement journey. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to navigate in a safe space for myself. It’s okay to take away time to focus on yourself.

Read More: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Retiring from emotional distress has also impacted my professional life. I am now able to approach work with a clear mind and a positive attitude. I have found that my productivity and creativity have improved, and I am better able to collaborate with others. Yes, there are “but’s” in this scenario. I love what I do. I love to write and create, but sometimes it can be discouraging, overwhelming, and atrocious. I try to always be mindfully ready when I’m working in order to put all my best in what I do, and also, so I don’t end up tearing myself piece my piece wondering what’s wrong with me, and then continue my professional work.

If you’re considering retiring from emotional distress, I encourage you to take the first step. It may be scary and uncomfortable at first, but it’s worth it. You deserve to live a life free from emotional distress and to pursue your passions and dreams. Remember, it’s never too late to start your retirement journey and find the peace and happiness that you deserve.

In conclusion, my early retirement journey has been the most significant and rewarding decision I have ever made. It has allowed me to live a life full of joy, purpose, and meaning. If you’re struggling with emotional distress, know that you’re not alone, and there is hope. Take the first step towards retiring from negative experiences and start living the life you deserve.


National Institute For Mental Health

American Psychological Association

6 thoughts on “My Early Retirement Journey”

  1. Hello  Stephanie! Thanks for sharing your personal experience. I believe that this is very important and necessary in our time. Many people face this in their families. And therefore, getting support from ordinary people, and not just from medical professionals, is simply priceless. I wish you success in your business and all the best in your life!

    1. Hi Hanna!

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It’s easy getting lost in the “what if’s” of life that we sometimes forget that we are our own priority. Nobody knows you better than you. 

  2. Stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your incredible journey of early retirement from emotional distress. 

    It takes tremendous courage to recognize the negative impacts on our well-being and take action to prioritize our mental health. I admire you for that. Your story resonates with so many people who may be going through similar struggles. Can you share some of your plans for the future, now that you have retired from emotional distress and are focusing on personal growth and development?

    1. First of all, thank you so much for acknowledging those small details. And second, thank you for your interest in my journey. I will continue to focus on what makes me be the person that I want to be. I will continue to go to therapy (on a weekly basis), and I’m centering my focus on what makes me want to stay alive. 

  3. As I embarked on my own journey towards early retirement, reading this heartfelt post on Mental Health Path resonated deeply, reminding me of the profound influence my grandfather had on my path to financial independence and mental well-being. 

    Your personal account beautifully captures the transformative power of intentional retirement planning and prioritizing mental health along the way. My own grandfather served as an inspirational figure, imparting invaluable wisdom on the importance of financial literacy, self-care, and pursuing a fulfilling life beyond the traditional confines of work. 

    Your post not only sheds light on the practical strategies for early retirement but also delves into the emotional and psychological aspects that are often overlooked. It serves as a powerful reminder that true retirement success lies not only in financial security but also in nurturing our mental health, fostering meaningful connections, and embracing a purpose-driven life. Thanks for sharing such useful information with the world.

    1. I’m so happy that you found this article post helpful. This is my main point; to educate, provide resources, share experiences, and connect with people that may find themselves engraved in my words. 

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