You're so right about "if anyone knew"........I feel anxiety can be described as living with a constant fear that "something bad is going to happen" all the time........even when good things are happening. And I also believe we have situational anxiety.....certain events, people, experiences turn the anxiety on and it either stays on simmer or drives you to the crazy boil level.
You can't avoid life unless you just stop living it...but you can avoid the people and events and situations that throw you into an anxiety or panic attack......well maybe not always....unless you do something drastic, for example, leave your husband as I did almost 6 months ago. Between the medications and the positive changes I made its gotten so much better.
I get scared often at night living alone, but I never thought I'd feel happiness again and I do.....just me and my little 8 month old Yorkie......who loves me deeply! So nice.
How unusual that our situations seem so similar......my husband is 15 years my senior and I also went through the feelings that I was a burden to him..he also hovered over me..in fact he seemed empowered by my poor health.....it did something for him in some strange way.
But the real truth is that he was my burden....always seeming so kind and soliticous.....but always cloaking his anger and agression in being such a good guy.....yet not so good.
My real first clue of that was about 2 years ago when we were considering selling the house and moving.......he didn't like anywhere that I liked....but he strongarmed me when he found a place he liked but I didn't....."Okay I'll just look for a smaller place" he said. Secret meaning: "Ok, if you don't do it my way I'll do it without you. You'll be alone. See how you like that!"
That threw me, as he knew it would, into a panic. What would I do without him? How would I cope? How would I survive? From that day on I saw his actions in a new light......and six months ago the questions became "How long will I live if I stay with him?" and "How will I cope and survive if my life continues along this path?"
Wow....so after we did sell our home, I took the CD we bought with the extra funds, cashed it in, paid off all our debt, opened my own account, split the balance evenly and filed for separation.........and God knows where I ever got the strength.
I live on $1350 a month (we'd had a house in AZ on a golf course) in a brand new lower income development. I got involved in a little volunteer work.I have about 3-5 functional days a month....went back to church......even made a new galfriend from my new dentist's office to see movies with.
This sure beats being in bed believing I was a complete invalid for 7 years! There still are days when the pain is so bad I wonder how I'll ever grocery shop again.......but then my last two days have been fairly good. That's just how fibro/chronic fatigue and all the attending complications goes.
But here is the shocking wrap up to my story: three weeks after I moved 5 hours away from him my husband went into the hospital and was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer...and over the past 5 months I've traveled back to help him out for a few days at a time.......I feel so badly for him because I still care so much but I have no control over the situation and do what I am physically able to do to help.......after my last trip to help out I was in bed for 2 straight weeks. Finally his three kids have made arrangements to help him move back to CA, he has responded well to chemo and I hope he has some good months with his kids and grandkids...he's not a bad guy.......but finally I see for the first time in my life that if I don't put my well being first no one will.
It's so nice to be able to vent here and tell a little of my story and get feedback......so kind of you to answer my message! I think I will hang around for awhile............
Post Edited (sloan) : 3/25/2007 12:18:48 AM (GMT-6)
It is hard to impossible to come off as happy when you are not....but in the past when I was unhappy I tried to change my habit of reviewing everything I've done wrong in my life to concentrating on what I've done right. Who do you have to pretend to be happy for? You feel what you feel, it's your right to have these feelings and you don't have to live by the measuring stick of happiness of everyone around you.
After 14 years of deep unhappiness and depression, my husband did one thing too many to provoke me on purpose and I realized I was truly "sick" of him; he was (still is) annoying, petty and when he finds something bothers you he does it repeatedly to annoy you. I should have known when he told me how much he enjoyed "sticking it" to his ex-wife when he found out what annoyed her.
Long after I stopped loving him he would keep saying things like "our deep love will get us across this bridge"....in the middle of an argument in which he purposely drove me to hysteria. He felt powerful when he could do that to me. And as sick as he is with cancer, he keeps the pressure to control me turned on high. Living 5 hours away helps.
Once I stopped pretending I was happy with him there was so much weight off my back and I could plan and look forward to the days I could wake up alone with peace in my life and a sweet little Yorkie cuddled next to me.
I did find that trying to spend time around people I enjoyed gave me the "happy shots" I needed....because I didn't need to pretend around those people.
I will say that after trying many anti-depressants, when my doctor put me on Wellbutrin, 5 weeks after beginning it I woke up one morning clearheaded and anticipating the day.......it was more the total absence of depression that struck me rather than waking up "happy"..........but the happiness gradually came around. If I have to stay on Wellbutrin for life iy is worth it......I don't know how I made it through 5 years of non-stop chronic, painful depression. Thank God.