Hello there. I am happy to find this forum to speak with others about anxiety. Here is a shot at my story. I have had anxiety as long as I can remember. First memories are of insomnia as a child of 5 or 6. I believe my first panic attack happened the night before I went to middle school. I stayed up all night crying and inconsolable. Middle and high school were understandably difficult, but I made it work with moderate success.
When I finished high school the anxiety reached its first plateau and blossomed into a depression. I was living with the folks, skipping classes, staying in bed until 2 in the afternoon. I started to see psychologists at the age of about 20. I didn't believe I could be helped. It was the early nineties and anxiety wasn't as readily diagnosed in the town I was living in. I was treated for the depression but not the anxiety.
In the meantime I latched onto my first real girlfriend and tumbled headlong into a bad marriage. We moved together to Oregon, my first experiment in running away from my fears. The anxiety of course followed me out West and peppered everything I tried to do with irrational fear and doubt. My marriage suffered, she was unfaithful. I left the states and wandered around Europe for a while. Meeting strangers seemed easier because I didn't have to invest in the relationships, they didn't have to know me in any depth. I didn't have to admit my fears.
I came back to the states and to the same bad relationship. I found relief in the rut that I all ready knew. I was ready to accept this was all I would ever have. She kept cheating and providing emotional abuse. I worked in a dead-end job and floated along mired in doubt and self-loathing. One night her and her lover butt-dialed me in the throes of passion. That was the moment I decided I needed to protect myself and take back whatever was left of my life. I found a therapist and together we discovered I was suffering from GAD and had been probably my whole life.
Armed with a name for my condition I fiercely dove into a program of CBT and Paxil for my daily panic attacks. I dealt with dizzyness, nausea, suicidal idolatry, self-hatred, shakes, insomnia, voices, confusion, anger, muscle tension and headaches. I kept moving forward and fought it. I got myself to a good and manageable place. I divorced my wife and moved to my childhood home. For a year, I rebuilt and worked on my CBT program. Lost and alone, still feeling the GAD every day, I moved West again to begin graduate school. I met my future wife, got a teaching degree and have been living in KY ever since.
Now I feel the GAD creeping back into my life again. I hear and see it effecting my social interactions. I see the thought-loops and obsessively game every situation to its hypothetical end. I see avoidance strategies moving back in and making themselves at home. I don't like it.
To me, the loneliness is at the core of my greatest fear. Though I deeply love my wife and family, they cannot give me the connection to others who suffer the same thing. I don't want to fight it again, but I will. I hope if I have the support of others, who are chased daily by troubling thoughts it will be that much easier.
Thank you for reading, if you made it this far.