My story thus far...
I just came across this site and I can definitely relate with how many of you feel. I have had anxiety and panic attacks since I was 12 years old. I can't say my childhood was that bad, but the anxiety seemed to onset right after my parents split. For many years I felt alone in this spiral of feeling horrible that no one understood. I did finally meet some very understanding friends who helped bring me out of my shell and excepted me for who I was. Flash forward to present day, I'm 32 and have a great job that on most days I enjoy. I'm married to my best friend and she is so patient with my flaws. Financially things could be better, but really when can't they. The only real problem is how I feel. My anxiety/panic seems to wax and wane every few years in severity. It never goes away and is a daily struggle, but for periods of time I just want to hide from the world. It feels like such an irrational response, especially when there usually isn't an obvious external trigger (except job stress). I take medicine to cope and I have seen many therapists who have given me tools to help control the anxiety. I still hold firm that someday I will feel much better and this war with my own emotions will cease.
Reply from Sound-Mind.org
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I think for many people, anxiety seems to arise out of situations where we have no real control...such as the divorce of your parents. Most people who struggle with anxiety have periods as you have. Anxiety is known to wax and wane. Some people go years doing well and then find their anxiety knocking at their door at a later time in life. Anxiety is one of those things that will rise it's ugly head when given the chance. Much of it has to do with our bad habits and the way we are taking care of ourselves. Believe it or not, anxiety can be so ingrained that anxiety can be one of those bad habits. Giving anxiety too much attention will definately keep anxiety around. All you have to do is wish your anxiety away and it will be sure to stick around. Part of recovery is lessening the importance anxiety has in your life. I know this is very hard to do since its symptoms are so convincing but when it comes to anxiety, it helps to recognize that it always follows the same routine. It helps to see your anxiety as it is, only anxiety and nothing more. Anxiety & panic both trick you into thinking that something worse will happen but it never does. Something magical happens when you welcome your anxiety and panic -it leaves. There is something to be said about 100% acceptance being a key to recovery. If you haven't read Peace from Nervous Suffering by Dr. Claire Weekes then I highly recommend that you do. This book (although very old) has changed so many lives and brings the understanding necessary to fully recover. This book is now out of print, but used copies can be found and it can also be found at your local library. Hang in there and keep working at keeping your mind in the right place while doing what's best for your body. As long as you don't give up, you cannot lose!