Hi everyone. Just found this site and hoping to share and support with the rest of you. I am a father of 2 and on my second marriage (to a much better person) and getting ready to turn 40 at the end of the year.
I never thought I might have any anxiety issues until a few events transpired that changed my life forever. I grew up in a wonderful family with 4 older brothers. So it was a household of 5 boys, one dad, one mom. My mom was such a great homemaker while my Dad worked all day. Her whole life she has been a worrier and I saw some of that in me. But that's all I ever thought of it.
At age 23 while I was finishing up at college, I started getting stomach cramps and was running to the bathroom after every meal. It was a very busy time in my life because I was taking extra classes to graduate, interning for school, and working part time. About six months later after trips to the emergency room and lots of tests, I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. At the time, I equated that with Cancer. Now, I have been living with it for about 16 years and doing okay. I just watch what I eat, exercise, and try to reduce my stress.
About 3 years later (when I was married the first time), and when my first son was about 4 months old we had to stop at the emergency room while on a brief vacation (my wife was very ill). This place was in the middle of nowhere and I experienced my first real panic attack at trying to take care of everyone. We all ended up getting sick, but surviving.
Then, about 4 years later later, my wife had an affair and asked for a divorce. I was a stay-at-home dad at this point because we had another son and didn't want two young boys in Daycare. I experienced several more panic attacks and my anxiety increased ten-fold. Now, I had to find work, sell our home, accept my wife was leaving me, and only see my boys half the time.
Other events occurred, but I soldiered on as we all do. Trying to show a brave face. I eventually met a wonderful woman who had also been divorced (without children) and got re-married about 2.5 years ago. My two sons are growing up and i enjoy our time together.
In the past 9 years since my divorce, my anxiety has increased. I have good days and bad days. But I have been trying to find someone or some people that can relate to what I feel. I know now that it's not just worrying.
So, I look forward to connecting with you all. I try to be positive and focus on doing good for others. But some days I just can't see the silver lining.
P.S. I also have been playing guitar for 31 years so my music does help me cope as well.