Hello everyone, my name is Lexi. I've been on other forums in the past and sort of stopped visiting them so I am excited to get back into a good, supportive community. I have GAD which I've been suffering with since I was a kid, I'm now 23 and still struggling. I'll post my history below, sorry if it's kind of long, I'm wordy and like to get everything out.
My anxiety started when I was 12 when I suddenly started getting sick every time I had to go somewhere. We didn't pay any attention to it until I graduated 8th grade, the summer before starting high school. I gradually stopped leaving the house that summer and started to get nervous about school in the fall. Again, we figured it was just a normal event, high school is a big change and I would have to start taking a bus to a different town because my town was too small for a high school. It was pretty tame until the night before school when I was suddenly overcome by terror. I was in tears, I felt hot all over and I was banging on my mother's door at midnight freaking out and not being able to express why except to say that I couldn't go to school. She promptly told me to shut the Hell up and go to bed, I had to go to school, end of discussion. I spent the whole night watching tv in my room and shaking violently. I did go to school that day and things surprisingly went fine. I made it through the first day just like my mom said I would. Then during my first period on the second day of school, the panic started to come back. I rushed out of class straight to the office and demanded that my mother come pick me up. She did, at the request of the secretary who said I seemed pretty distraught. My mother was furious because she had no idea what was wrong with me, and didn't know what to do. I stayed home for three days while we argued back and forth, accomplishing nothing. It wasn't until she tried to force me out of my room and into the car that she realized something was seriously wrong with me. She was dragging me by the arm when I started hyperventilating and fainted at the top of the stairs. She called my doctor.
Finally, at 14 I got diagnosed with GAD after my doctor recommended us to my first of many therapists. Since then I have been on lots of different medications, most of which I don't even remember. I know I've been on Prozac and Zoloft but there were a couple others in between those. I currently take Effexor and I have an Ativan prescription for spontaneous panic attacks. I've had somewhere around 7 different therapists/psychiatrists/etc since age 14 and don't currently see anybody but I am looking into getting back into therapy as well.
High school was pretty awful throughout, my parents moved me halfway through my schooling so I had to start completely over at a new school in the middle of the experience. I ended up dropping out in 12th grade because of a lot of issues, mostly anxiety related. I was also bullied a lot and have an eating disorder so those were also factors. I got my GED by doing a combination of online and correspondence courses. I do not have any college diplomas or any plans to attend college because I just can't handle the pressure. I was pretty introverted in high school, I had friends but I never dated or went out very much unless it was just to a friend's house.
My life now is better than I imagined it. For most of my teenage years everyone (including myself) was fairly certain I would never leave home. My mother runs a dog boarding business out of her house so it was assumed that I would stay on and help her. We even looked into buying a property with 2 separate houses so that I could have some independence. With the help of my therapist at the time, I managed to move out of my mom's and went to live in Toronto with my dad who had a condo there. He was only home 3-4 nights a week so I got to have a taste of living on my own in a big city while still not having the responsibility of bills and getting by on my own. I loved Toronto and lived there for nearly a year. Problems with my dad as well as meeting a guy (for the first time in my life) caused me to move back to my parents. I was 20 and finally had my first boyfriend. I told him upfront why we could not date or be together and he shrugged it off and said we could make it work.
Now almost 3 years later, I would say we've made it work pretty well. We live together in our own apartment and have a very loving relationship. He is somehow able to deal with all of the stress I put on the relationship, even when my panic attacks make me think I can't do it and I feel like I need to break up with him. He works and goes to school and even supports me not working. Basically right now I am a stay at home wife. I take care of the apartment and our cats (we have 4) and he makes the money and pays the bills.
The reason I decided to join and get back into therapy is because lately I am having a lot anxiety about the future. My boyfriend is supportive of all the setbacks my anxiety causes for us. I can't travel, at most I can go 4-5 hours by car before I get a terrible panic attack. And so we can never take nice vacations together or see the world. I am starting to really worry that this will affect our future because he will want to do things that I will hold him back from. I don't want my life to be like this forever, I want more than anything to be able to travel and wake up in the morning without just getting out of bed being a huge struggle. I rarely leave the house alone, except for exercise and I've started having separation anxiety when I need to be away from my boyfriend for any significant lengths of time. He wants a career in business so naturally sometimes he will need to travel for trips and meetings and right now I can't handle that. I guess I am just starting to really worry that my stupid disorder is going to cost me everything that I feel I have worked so hard to get and I'm reaching a bit of a breaking point because I can't let my anxiety ruin my life but I don't know how to stop it.
Again, sorry for the length...and thanks to anyone who actually read the whole thing. <3
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