As long as I can remember, I've had terrible obsessions. When I was a young child I always had this feeling like I was doing something wrong and I needed to "confess" to my parents. Of course, I never did anything wrong...it was merely some sort of either innate anxiety...or learned anxiety...I'm not sure....Either way, there was always worry. It would build until I felt that rush inn my upper stomach and have these overwhelming thoughts and feelings. Later on, in adolescence I began to have anxiety about getting sick (throwing up). I also constantly worried about whether or not I would need to use the restroom at school. Teachers would often not allow students to leave the class to go to the restroom, and even if they did...there were rarely even stall doors. I would starve myself for most of the week. Looking back on this, I think "poor kid." Later, in high school I began to have significant, crippling social anxiety. A main worry was if I was gay (I realize now, that was awfully prejudiced of me to be concerned with - why would being gay be a bad thing) - I would become panicked if the topic of homosexuality would arise, like "oh no, they're going to figure me out." I think this stemmed from a time back in junior high when a kid was teasing me and calling me gay out loud in class, to the point that everyone looked around at me and got quiet. My face turned so red. Then, later, after high school I had other worries - I became obsessive about my routine - particularly what I ate. I ended up losing a great deal of weight. My social life was terrible.
When I was twenty, I began to drink. I thought "this is it! I've found my cure." I was playing guitar in a band (somehow I was able to do this). The drinking got way out of hand. This lasted for several years (unfortunately). What began to happen was anxiety after "benders." It wouldn't just be a hangover, it would be this day-long, sometimes 2-day-long anxiety spell...still, however, it wasn't that bad. But, eventually, the drinking and mild drug use led to full-blown panic attacks.
For some reason, now my fears revolve around having a heart attack. Every little feeling (physical or cognitive-driven) leads me to a terrible panic attack - derealization/out-of-body-feelings, being over-attuned to biological processes (heartbeat, breathing etc.), cold and clammy hands. The whole shebang.
I know that my fears are not really merited - I went to a doctor. They did an ekg and blood test. I'm only 29. I quit smoking and drinking (completely on both of those). I'm only about 15 pounds heavier than I should be.
All my previous fears have disappeared. I realize this evolution, that is to say, I know that I will "get over" a fear and it then it will be replaced by another one.
I am happily married now and have an 18-month-old son, and have recently gone back to college to finally get a Bachelor's degree (I know, I know, how did I get this far with such drastic anxiety!?)
I am actually sitting in class right now.
It helps calm me down to write things out.
I was such desperately hoping that someone can reassure me the things I already now: that I'm NOT going to have a heart attack, and even if I did, I could get help and be ok.
I need some calm, soothing thoughts. Thank you.