I just turned 50 this year summer. I have had GAD, SAD, and palmer hyperhidrosis since I was a young child, but I never really realized those were diagnosable conditions. My grandmother, mother, and sister are sufferers as well. Up until recently, I did not understand the extent to which anxiety has ruled my life.
I have only had 2 panic attacks, so that is not an issue for me. My anxiety is more anticipatory/situationally-based, depending on what's going on in my life. If I keep a very simple, non-stressful existence, I can keep things somewhat in-check. That has become increasingly difficult to do since I have busy children at home. It is necessary for me to participate in their activities, volunteer, and attend school functions.
Overall, I try to take care of myself-exercise, get plenty of rest, eat a vegetarian diet, etc...The thing that has helped me most is dedicating my life to my family. I will do the best I can, each day, to make them feel taken care of and loved. The focus is taken off me and my problems, and that energy is placed into doing good for others.
Something else that has also helped me is to finally begin accepting who I am; I am an anxiety-sufferer. I struggle every day, but I can only do my best with what I have been dealt. I will cry if I need to, or ask for forgiveness if I have behaved poorly. I will take the time to treat myself to things I enjoy and that help me relax.
Lastly, I make a conscious effort to be thankful for what I have. It is an ongoing dialogue I have with myself, but in the end, I have a great husband, a nice house, and three healthy children. I have a few good friends and one person who I can talk to about my anxiety. And don't forget, we have AZ. We have a built-in network of people willing to listen, offer advice, and relay their experiences. I take comfort in knowing I am not alone.