I spent years dealing with GAD. Practiced breathing exercises, reading Hope and Help for your nerves by Claire Weeks until the soft covered books pages were worn and tattered. Day after day, week after week, month after month, having anxiety speak into my life with words of fear, panic attacks, hot flashes and loneliness. In the end I would just end up running out of the restaurant, or choking down food at business lunches, sitting in subway cars, my car, feeling trapped, dizzy, spacey and panicing, afraid, lonely and desperate. No one to turn to. Family and friends couldn't fathom the complexity of my illness. My doctor at that time told me to go outside and get some fresh air. How ignorant of this my most personal nightmare. I later looked back and pitied him.
Years went by, and the silent, shameful and hidden world of therapy and meds, that no one dared to talk about, filtered its hope through one person to another. After countless visits to the hospital with questioning smiles from countless doctors, and their pitied smiles, who only saw what they could touch and not what they could hear me say, sent me packing to a Psychiatrist. I gave up hope then, sitting opposite a man who listened to my well worn story like grooves from a needle in an old vinyl record. I stared blankly waiting for his sifting eyes to read the familiar story of panic and fear and push me off into the lake of misunderstanding, aimlessly set adrift to be blown by the wind of despair.
Then, as all was lost, something wonderful happened. He smiled as he shifted in his chair and offered me hope, like a desert thirsting for rain. He said he understood. He said its a common mental ailment. He talked about therapy and medication, who i now call Med my friend. It brought me freedom to walk ,think, smile, breath, and live again.
The inside could finally go outside into public places.
Your friend in the war against Anxiety.