New guy here

Hi everyone

My names Jon and I've been living with RA now for 19 years.

I've always tended to skirt around the conversation of my condition and sweep it under the carpet at every opportunity .

Just coming to terms with early retirement from my very physical job/small business and looking through this excellent site for advice and support/help.

Keep up the excellent work I'm enjoying the read so far..


31 Replies

  • Hello Jon21, welcome to the forum. I was forced to close both businesses. It is difficult to adjust to a forced retirement.

  • Thanks Damaged how have you adjusted to life without work.

    I'm 48 and finding it a challenge so far.



  • I find it very isolating. I was running three businesses so had no social life. The other challenge is an identity crisis. We often define ourselves by what we do. I am 56 so at least from a financial perspective it is manageable. I have been a Financial Planner for twenty years. Thank goodness I was able to restructure our debt . It is always a battle. Just think how difficult life would be without internet lol

  • Thanks again Damaged..

    Appreciated your humour that has got me through all this time. Essential with RA.

    I've now got to settle into my own skin.. getting there slowly.



  • Happy retirement jon .

    Don.t get too laid back . Keep smiling x kathy x

    I.ll be following shortly .

    I think x

  • Hi Kathy..

    I was you 6months ago.. it may come around quicker than you think.. in a good way


  • Thanks jon on a good day i say .i.m ok on a bad day i think you are right .i.ll let you know x

  • Hello and welcome

    I haven't worked since being made redundant 5 years ago. I git sick quite soon after. It's not been easy...I've always worked! I got quite depressed for a while.

    There is no way I could work at the moment...I get tired getting out of bed!

    Take care of yourself.

  • I got made redundant nearly 8yrs ago and haven't worked since. My advisor at the time said to me your not fit for work and i saw him last week and he said i look fantastic even if i am in a scooter. At least outward i look good if nothing else.xxxxx

  • Thank you Nettac for the

    Kind words I'm feeling the love and humour already.

  • Hi Jon and welcome. If time on your hands, this is a great place to hang out!

    Take care


  • Thanks guy's that's very kind and helpful.

    Being a hard landscaper with RA for 19 years has had its challenges I tell you.

    But when you've built a reputation after so many happy customers recommendactions it's hard to let go of the craft.

    This looks a great place to hang out



  • Hi Jon! I had to take early retirement at the age of 46 (15 years ago). I found that I have to keep my brain and hands busy! Love DIY, although now not able to use all the power tools that I have, have a very large garden which is starting to feel too big but love being outside (if I can't mow the lawns I can usually find a young lad to do it for me), lost count of the number of books I've read, taught myself to knit (could have made a fortune if I'd sold things instead of giving them away), loved cooking (but as I live alone have let that slide), got a dog (very important for me). The worst part is other people can't 'see' RA so they don't understand just how ill you can feel - just try to ignore any negative comments. Basically try to stay as 'Zen' as possible and never sweat the small stuff! Hope you manage to enjoy your retirement. xo

  • If you need help in your garden KayEP, contact your local AgeUK branch...( I know but you only have to be 60+,)

    I have a selection of nice young men (!) come around every Spring..they tidy up my lawn now - just fab AstroTurf....& leave me to just pop in a few plants in the pots, as soon as the frosts are past!

    It costs £15 an hour ...but it's well worth it not to have aches & pains from trying to do it myself.

  • Unfortunately, they don't cover France! lol So, if I'm still here next Spring, and the young 'lads' have all left school and got proper jobs, I will be looking at local help (but doubt there will be any 'nice young men'). If I come back to the UK I'll have to pop round to see you and your young men....🤣

  • By "Young men" I meant younger than it was probably a bit of a misnomer!

    Maybe you could get " nice young ladies"......but if I were you I'd stay in France.....I have a friend who lives near Evian & the facilities she enjoys are far superior to UK!

  • I'm beginning to realise that I may be better off in France in many ways, but do miss speaking my native tongue! Still looking for my 'toy-boy'! lol

  • I have friends who have recently returned to UK after 30 years of working abroad, They have been house hunting & are in despair! They have looked everywhere south of Birmingham & their main impression is " too many people not enough space". They had to try lots of GP practices before they could get registered, don't even ask about dentists! They are now thinking 'the heck with Brexit' & heading to house hunt in France & Spain!

    So do have a trial run before you give up on La Belle France!

    PS: Toyboys are very over rated!

  • Hi Jon21

    Welcome, good to have you join the site but sorry for your circumstances..

    I guess yours was a job of two halves....the physical and the creative and the reputation you have built reflects your skill at both aspects. Any way of retaining the creative bit......advice, planning etc?

    Wish you all the best.

  • Welcome to the gang Jon, if you get bored and fancy a holiday in the Highlands I've got a pond that needs building! Joking apart try to stay active as possible I've just got a dog he makes sure I have a regular walk and of course plenty of bending to pick up the jobbies.I also have a gentle swim most days.Now you've retired you'll have time for you self,I had to retire on health grounds many years ago and found it very difficult to adjust .Hope you have a happy retirement .regards Mike

  • Hahaha - the "jobbies!"

    I haven't heard that since I was a child!!

  • Welcome Jon to our wonderful site i hope you find us not only helpful but funny as well. Being so ill we have a weird sense of humour as well which keeps us going through hard times.xxxx

  • Hi Jon and welcome. Adjusting to retirement will be your new project for a while I reckon, especially given your youth. I was made redundant nearly 8 years ago following a lengthy spell of Ill health. What a relief that was even though it happened three months before our wedding. Timing never was my forte. I would suggest you join some group/organisation - preferably one that meets at lunchtime or afternoon so that you can get the creakiness out of the way and before you're feeling too tired. Wishing you well. Hugs


  • Hi Jon I would suggest you don't skirt round your condition have the conversations. You need to accept that you have the condition and that there will be things you cannot do. But there are things you can do to help yourself as well. It's an awful condition. Made worse by people knowing nothing about it and saying oh you have arthritis. I have that. But when you accept it you learn to live with it and it helps. I struggled to accept it thought I'd I didn't talk a put it I could get through better but it do sent work like that and it makes it harder for you. Find out all you can do when you do discuss it you can tell people exactly what the condition is and how it can affect those suffering with it. Learn about it and help raise the awareness of it.

  • Hey Jon, a new chapter it seems and who knows what it might hold! Ive found it helpful to believe that my health issues are part of what my life is about and open up to what that might mean and where it might take me. When I haven't slept because of pain or feel rubbish in reaction to medication it can be more than a challenge to maintain this (!) but by and large it's helped me deal with losses with much better grace and trust that all will be well. And it is. Welcome 😊

  • Hi Jon,

    Welcome! I'm very early retired- 41yrs ( though I still hold out hope of a miraculous recovery:-)). It gets easier- it even gets fun!

  • Hope this not too personal but how do you manage financially?? I m 42 and worry about how long I ll be able to work!! I m a single mum to 14 and 10 yr olds and have 19 years left on my mortgage- anxious just doesn't even cover it!!

  • Hi Sal.

    In my case I was fortunate in meeting my wife at 17 years old and after 31 years we are still as close as day 1.

    Didn't get a mortgage until I was 26 and swore it would be paid off by 50 at least.

    My mother in law came to live with us after a stroke and my wife cared for her.

    Had a massive mortgage to cover everything while fitting RA and the problems of my own business and young daughter now 19 years.

    Being in the building trade I acquired 2 buy to let's and rented out for 8 years then sold both last year to clear my mortgage.

    Income is my next challenge.

  • Ah you re lucky to have such a strong relationship!!

    Think I m just going to have to live in hope that I can keep working long enough!!

    Forgot to say.... welcome.... and it is a really annoying situation to be in isn't it!!

    I have never felt the need to not inform people of my condition however I do always feel the need to explain more about it as it is very mis understood - I always feel like people are thinking I m making a big deal of something that isn't!! NRAS have a few good booklets for people to help with understanding the condition.

    Take care of yourself

  • Thanks Sal

    And I feel for you in your roll as a single Mum.

    That must feel impossible sometimes with RA like it was running my home & difficult business.

    Lucky and positive has always been my goal.

    I was one of 3 brothers who lost there father as baby's and my single mam brought us up on her own with a widows pension and 3 jobs so I know how hard that is .

    You single Mum's are amazing and I know it's very rewarding.

    Take care of yourself.


  • Hi Salsagirl13,

    I feel your worry! I was the main earner- but after years of fighting, and making myself worse, I couldn't carry on. I'm v lucky in that my wife's wage covers mortgage / bills etc. I get benefits- PIP and ESA- , but am just looking at claiming early pension from my work pensions on grounds of ill health. I don't know if it'll be accepted but I don't have much choice. I worked for as long and as hard as I could! If you don't mind me asking, what do you do as a job? Any chance of applying for a deferred pension? I was a single mum for a long time and can appreciate the worry and anxiety you feel. Xx

You may also like...