I'm pretty young I guess, 24, and had a drinking problem for a good two years. From the age of 20 to 22 I was binge drinking almost every night. Going on week long benders of drugs and booze. Almost failed out of university, almost killed my self drunk driving. It was a bad scene. What saved my life (looking back on it) was a panic attack.
I had been coming down from another 2 week bender and had only had a few beers that night. I woke up around 3 am in a cold sweat, drenched in sweat, chalking in fear, convinced I was going insane. For some reason, almost sub consciously, I knew it was because of the drinking. Because of what I had been doing and the addiction I was stuck in. Before I could stop myself I confessed everything to my girlfriend and called an addiction hotline to get info for making an appointment to see counsellor and be recommended for a type of treatment.
I was still stuck in full blown panic while I did this but the act of doing it helped me calm down. For 2 weeks I cycled between sheer and complete panic to general anxiety down to depression. Once I was in therapy I got better, I was getting help and things were looking good.
Since then though I have had to face the depression and anxiety that I was self medicating for. For the past 2 years I have been living a better life and keeping things under control. I relapsed once but that actually helped me a lot because I haven't craved a drink since (going on one year). I still get panic attacks though, I still have the anxiety, and I deal with that. Because of my history of drug use I am not on any psychiatric medication because the idea of mood altering substances makes me nervous and feel paniced. I deal with my issues through diet, exercise and meditation.
Despite all these positives I still find myself stuck in a panic, waking up at night full of fear and stuck in a panic cycle. I am working through all that and that's why I'm here. To help work through the panic. I fear I am going insane, that I am loosing my mind and in that moment of panic all the knowledge of my condition doesn't help, it often makes it worse. I get into a cycle that's hard to break. I'm here because writing and reading about panic, helping others with their issues, seems to be one of the few things that helps when I'm deep in the cycle. It will also be nice to have a support community where I can come and feel safe when I feel alone and lost in panic.
Long intro but as I said, writing about my condition is one of the things that helps.