So my experience on this in which it led me to seek medical attention, get counselling and the max dosage (20mg) of an anti-anxiety drug for the past couple of weeks to try and get me over this whole period. Beware, it’s a long read!
At 32, I've never had anxiety attacks before or even suffered anxiety. Depression, well that's a different case as my life has been slightly traumatic especially in relationships. Usual thing as a teenager, getting bullied, and then relationships started which lead to:
the first being cheated on after 2 years;
the second ended up with my fiancée of 3 years dying in my arms after an overdose (as she was depressed herself and so took her own life) which damn near killed me;
the third, after 2 years, gifted me with emotional torture and domestic violence;
and now the last, which after a year, has dumped me cause she herself had anxiety attacks due to her illness (read below).
As I said, not exactly the prettiest of lives so far. Apart from that I am, sorry I was, a normal happy 32 old guy with a fantastic job, my own house, great parents and friends and what I thought was a fantastic girlfriend who was 38.
We'd gotten together after attempting to date several years earlier, just after my second girlfriend, which didn't work out well and I walked away after 6 months as I wasn't ready for it. Fast forward to a year ago and we got together again, in a friends with benefits situation, because that suited us both. Between the time we’d split up and when we got back together (about 5 years) she'd also herself gone through a distressing relationship with a guy that tried to take over life, suffered anaemia and also had a both types of contraceptive coil (Minera and Paragard) fitted to try and control her anaemia which they now know was through fibroids but they didn't know that at the time
Everything was going fantastically well between us, as we'd become best friends and then started a relationship together which then brought all of our feelings to the surface (you know the ones: love, missing each other etc.) and things started to get intense. Then she was signed off of work due to her bleeding and so was off for a month until the damn coil came out. I wasn't there for the initial insertion of the Mirena, which she told me made her leap off the table in absolute pain and hysteria (didn't go down well with me as I don't like people in pain in general but somebody I love, totally different ballgame!) but was also causing medical problems (all the common side effects of the damn thing). She didn’t know the side effects until I done my research on the web and found out it was all linked .. she’d never gotten the pamphlet from her doctor when it was fitted explaining all the issues. We’d talked the whole thing through, her experience of getting it fitted and removed (she’d already gone through this one with Paraguard before Mirena) and that I said “Look, I’m not uncomfortable with it but I know you have to do it cause it will help you in the long run and I will be with you every step of the way to support you”. I even offered to go in there with her during the removal, at her request, which was then rejected as she decided to do her own thing and just get it removed anyway whilst I waited outside wondering what was going on. In her eyes, apparently guys aren't supposed to worry about this kind thing and I should have just left her to get on with it along with the attitude of "you had it, you deal with it" which is not the kind of person that I am.
She had it removed 5 weeks ago and that's when the whole thing fell apart, both her and me. She asked for space which I duly gave but during that time we hardly communicated at all even though I tried to keep communicating even if it was a text in the morning, to wish her a good day and that she slept well, and one in the evenings, to say sweet dreams. During the next two weeks we hardly communicated, unless it was on her terms (fair enough), and even though I said I loved/missed her, I never really got anything back .. All I got was "you can't force me to say it" even though I'd already explained that I didn't want anything back unless she wanted to say it .. I didn't want to put any pressure on her cause of her anxiety and stressing her out. Trying to do the right thing :\
Fast forward two weeks of this and I start to get things going in my head that weren’t pretty .. Thinking that the relationship was over, I’d been pushed away again, I was going to end up in the same position as before with girlfriend number 2 etc. I tried to talk about it calmly but I guess that didn’t help as she was more interested in going out with her friends than talking to me even about general stuff that used to make her laugh. Eventually she told me in no uncertain terms “go and talk to somebody else about this cause I can’t handle your s**t anymore. Talk to your friends about me, not me.” Pretty tough to do that .. anyway the relationship was never “officially” called off but more left in limbo, with her asking for her friend back, but continued to ask information from a mutual friend about how I was etc. Then the messages to me about one minute she wanted a relationship, the next her best friend back and nothing more but constantly changing her mind. That night, a Saturday, my mum and another best friend ended up dragging me into A&E after cycling through different emotions every 30 minutes .. First anger, then hysteria, then numbness and repeat/rinse/. All caused by her calling me at 2am, drunk; saying that she’d never wanted the relationship, the friendship or me. As typical in the UK, I underwent a mental evaluation to try and understand where the problems came about. They identified that I had a case of “acute clinical depression coupled with anxiety” and immediately put me on a drug called Cipralex to control the anxiety/depression but also Zopiclone to help me sleep, as I hadn’t had more than 20 minutes for nearly two weeks.
Now, two weeks on, I sit here a very different person and wanted people’s experiences of dealing with anxiety and all the things that comes with it. I’ve experienced and still experience nightmares (of her having her coil removed and her painful reactions), restlessness, the lack of motivation to do anything either alone or by myself, mood swings (from hysteria to huge outbursts of rage and anger), the inability to work, insomnia etc. and to be fair it’s completely taken over my life. Thankfully I have an understand manager who has said just do what you need to get through this as we want you back in one piece.
I haven’t yet started my counselling, which is due to start next week, but that fun and happy person that I mentioned before? Forget it, out of the window! It’s now been replaced by somebody that can’t laugh, or doesn’t want to, continually racked with guilt and just wants to be alone as much as possible. I sold my flat to buy a bigger place but ended up back at my parents and since then I’ve hardly spoken to them apart from them trying to calm me down in my moments of absolute despair. They keep trying to talk to me but I don’t or can’t respond.
The whole situation is a nightmare. All I keep doing is wondering when I wake up in the mornings is “was that all a dream?” and then looking at the tablets reminds me that it’s not That and no text messages/calls from my now ex-girlfriend after I told her that I couldn't do either the friendship or the relationship as the two were so intertwined. I don't even have self-belief left any more on both a professional, personal or relationship level cause why the hell would somebody want this heap of junk after all of that and now this!?
Sorry for the essay to read but it’s better to explain it in full that way the whole thing is in perspective, so apologies for making your eyes hurt.