Let me remind you about what I wrote about Anxiety in the first post:
GAD stands for “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” – it’s something that causes someone to worry or become anxious uncontrollably, usually it’s taken out of proportion and the situations are made worse than they seem. It gets so bad that the anxiety begins to dominate a person’s thoughts. Some symptoms may include: ongoing worry, tension, trouble with sleep, trembling, irritability, nausea, sweating, and so on. I’ve been doing a little research on it and it says that it affects 4 million people and tends to affect women more than men.
Job Stress going on at the time padded my stress level, keeping it high. I remember how drained I was becoming from it all – to the point that I would go over to my boyfriend’s house and want to do nothing but lay down and take a nap. I worked as a work study in an office under a supervisor that was often accused of being disrespectful, racist, and prejudiced against women. My fellow work study began to become uncomfortable around him, and it turned out that she was feeling harassed. I even overheard him make a comment to her about what she was wearing one day. She also felt like he would stare at her closely as she would walk away. Things got worse when she wrote a formal letter of complaint to the head of our office. Things were not taken care of properly and he ended up harassing her worse and taking it out on me as well. I actually had him come and raise his voice at me and ridicule me because he felt that I wasn’t working fast enough on a project. I became stressed and very demotivated, at the end of the semester I was graduating and I would be unable to keep my job after that (to work as a work study you have to be taking classes on the campus you are working on). My plan was to take a break for the summer and recuperate- but that didn’t happen, that’s when I hit my breaking point.
My boyfriend and I still lived with our parents at the time, and his Dad met a new woman and decided to propose (after 3 months!). So he had to move in with his dad, the fiancée, and the fiancée’s mother. They were all moving to a different city, which wasn’t far away but still a longer drive. I would usually stay back and forth between my house and his house and he would do the same. I always got along very well with his family and I felt like I was being accepted into the family as well. By the summer, we had been together for at least a year – which to me because I truly feel that my partner (boyfriend) is my soul mate. I always got along with his father’s fiancée as well. I feared that my partner would get pulled into the middle of another failing relationship when his father and the fiancée’ began to have relationship trouble. Little did I know, that I would fall victim to it as well in the process. The fiancée’ began to have issues with me after they had only been moved in for 3 weeks. She made inaccurate assumptions of me, and nitpicked at me, and made false excuses why she had issues with me. She tried to say that I would make my boyfriend wait on me hand a foot – but that’s untrue we would do things for each other. She even witnessed him and me cooking together one night. I had trouble understanding why she ended up being so harsh to me. Everyone had their own excuses; maybe she was bipolar, “she nitpicks at everyone”, and so on. After all this, I have not been allowed over at the family home. (It will be a year at the end of this month since I have been unable to visit with my partner’s father or half brothers.) This is when I hit my breaking point, I fell into depression, and I began to contemplate severing my relationship with them.
My thoughts spiraled out of control again; I felt that I was no longer special to my partner. I asked him if he out of the relationship because I felt so guilty for causing him and his father extra trouble that they didn’t need. Even though nothing was truly my fault – I had dream after dream about the things going on with the fiancée. I even had one where we were all having dinner and she ended up shoving my partner against a wall because he wouldn’t side with her and leave me. I felt that I was being pushed out of that side of his family, and I was heartbroken over it all. I felt as if I lost a part of my family that I care so much about. Around Christmas time I had my first panic attack, I had a dream of being in the hospital and I ended up bleeding out all over the place. I woke up and panicked to the point that I passed out. At the time I was having to deal with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to spend a holiday with my partner because I couldn’t visit with his family like I did the year before. So it was rough – I felt as if I was going through the stages of coping over not being able to see his family anymore. You know those stages: anger, denial, resentment, bargaining, etc.
I decided to start going to counseling – it was a New Year’s Resolution of mine. Unfortunately since then my stress has gone in and out of control. Like I mentioned in the last post – I had another panic attack about a month or so ago. Counseling has begun my way of coping with the issues. As you can see part of anxiety is that a person will exaggerate the situation and make it worse. I’m sure you can see that I have done that from what I have written. One main thing my counselor presses upon me is that I need to pinpoint my thoughts; anxiety is fueled by fear, so I need to find out what my fears are. I have talked to him about everything that as went on as well as things from my past. I’ve had to speak about issues from my childhood that I have never told anyone. This has been very hard for me, but I have realized that one of my main fears is losing everyone that I care about. So I have a fear about losing people I care about, okay… and on top of that it seems that I have a fear of abandonment. That’s what I learned in my last counseling session and to me it makes sense. My counselor feels that it may have stemmed from my parent’s failing relationship – sure they never spoke of divorce but off and on my Mom would walk into my bedroom and say “Pack your bags, we may be leaving your father soon”. So he feels that may have caused my fear of loss and even abandonment because I felt that I was being abandoned by my father in the process.
All of my out of control thoughts stemmed from a fear that I was losing or have lost someone. With my Mom – I feared that we were alienating each other, in the beginning with my boyfriend – I feared that I was losing him. Then at my job – I had no moral support so I may have felt abandoned. Then onto the situation with the father and the fiancée; I felt that I had lost family and that maybe my boyfriend’s father was turning his back on me. So that’s both there a fear of losing someone and I’m sure that fueled the fear of abandonment. This has really helped me in the long run because now I have had to think more along the lines of “They won’t leave me over this” if something comes along that may cause me to think otherwise. My counselor has also given me cd that covers Progressive Relaxation and Autogenic Training – I recommend them. He has also been having me do positive reaffirmation to help deal with my body image issues and to keep me from feeling weak like I had been.
It’s been rough dealing with Anxiety, and it’s severely messed up my sleep – but I am determined to get through it and put anxiety behind me for good. After all, I refuse to end up having to be put on medication for the rest of my life. Getting all of this off my chest has helped as well – thanks for reading. I’ll try to write again about it once I get a handle on it all – that way maybe I can give better advice to those who need to cope with it as well.