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I've been thinking of writing my thoughts down as a form of therapy as I've never done it before. I've been browsing a bit and this forum seems like a great place to share ideas and thoughts.
Sorry If this ends up being long and rambling....I don't expect anyone to read it all.
Just a few facts about myself: I'm a 38 yo male, married to an amazing girl and we have a 2yo son. I have a great job making over 6 figures and have been with my job for over 4 years.
I've dealt with some form of anxiety since I was a kid. My earliest memory is when I was watching the exorcist at like 12 yo at home by myself and vomiting because this overwhelming fear came over me. I have no idea why I was home by myself watching one of the scariest movies ever.... lol. Thats when it started and for years after my main symptom was nausea. I could not eat especially in front of people. Even in my 20's I would freak out If I was invited to my girlfriends family dinner or something like that. Then one day in my mid 20's, I took a job as a part time cab driver while in college and had my first real panic attack while driving a cancer patient home from the hospital. I had to pull over on the highway and she actually took the car home from there. Needless to say, one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. That was the beginning of the other range of symptoms. I had a girlfriend at the time who I was riding in a car with shortly after that incident and had another major panic attack. Of course, at the time, these symptoms were so new to me that I felt like I was dying. She never understood and eventually broke up with me because of it. During those years, I was also going to school in the medical field and could barely sit through class as I felt everyones eyes on me. Many years after that and sometimes even to this day, I get very anxious thinking about driving with someone in the car. I know most people with anxiety would feel better with someone but I was the opposite. I think its because I'm embarrassed to show any symptoms in front of anyone. It was so much worse back then but has gotten increasingly bettter over the years. After my first car panic attack, I would freak out If someone even mentioned driving together somewhere.
I've also tried marijuana before my major attacks and at first I was in love with the feeling. Until one day, I had a major attack after a bong hit and once again my mind was opened to new symptoms. Since then I rarely smoke but I do love to drink. For years I've had a love hate relationship with alcohol. To this day, I'm masking my anxiety with alcohol when it is extreme and I need to get through the day. I'm embarrassed to say that I keep alcohol with me sometimes just in case. I've noticed as I've gotten older, the hangovers are the worst and make my anxiety 10x worse. So I try to limit my drinking and use it only to the point where I feel better but won't have a bad hangover. I should note that I also take a low dosage of paroxetine daily and have for years. (thats the only med I take).
I'm sure many of you can relate but I feel as though my anxiety is cyclic - where I can go a month with little to no anxiety or weeks and then bam, it starts again. Mornings weekdays are the worst and I tend to feel better as it gets closer to the weekend. I'm in good physical shape but I joined a gym to start exercising more as that always helps. But when I start to feel better, I stop doing anything proactive. My problem is that I need to keep these healthy routines up even when I'm not anxious rather than trying to put out the fire. I'm always worried about what the long term health effects will be since I've had symptoms for most of my life. I'm afraid to go to the doctor, afraid my bp will be high. If I hear someone died, I'm always curious how so I can freak myself out If it was health related. The funny thing is, is that I feel like I'm an expert on the topic of anxiety and ways to overcome it but I don't follow my own advice.
I'm not really sure how to classify myself since I do have a somewhat normal life with great friends and family. I'm successful and have everything I want so you would think I would just be happy and appreciate life and stop bringing myself back to this dreadful mental state.
Anyway, thank for reading and I look forward to hearing everyones thoughts.
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