Posted 2/29/2012 7:43 AM (GMT -6)
I came across this site this morning and have read through many posts with great interest. It is so nice to find such a friendly, supportive group of people, who genuinely care about others.
I am 23 now, but have suffered from an inability to eat breakfast since I was about 7 (parents divorced, moved house, etc.), at which time I also started to dread the prospect of going to school. I would wake up early with a start and panic about the impending day. This intensified when I moved house to a different part of the country a few years later. I was not bullied at school, but this morningly panic ritual became ingrained in me all the way through my school, college, University, and now working, career.
Every morning, without fail, I will wake up with a start and panic, with a horrible feeling of dread and despair. I think my mind tries to find something to assimilate the feeling with, because I will either panic:
a) about wasting my life and that I haven't achieved anything,
b) about a country I have to visit for work or a meeting I have during the day
d) Something else that is playing on my mind.
This extends to weekends and holiday. It doesn't seem to matter what time I go to bed but I will wake up with a start quite early, and the slightest noise around me will wake me up. I will not be able to go back to sleep. When working, or at school, the feeling would stay with me until I was/am distracted by something that takes my full attention. At weekends and during holidays, the feeling normally diminishes 3-4 hours after waking up, so by about 9 or 10am.
I do have a tendency to over-think things and have a phobia of being bored, so I always keep myself occupied. For instance, I cannot fall asleep without reading something, and will fall asleep whilst reading. However, I normally feel relatively relaxed when I go to bed (assuming I have a book).
Worrying has been a bane throughout my life; friends would happily sign up to school trips and holidays with friends, but the thought of doing so panicked me. I have forced myself to keep moving and going to different countries (even though I don't enjoy the experience) because I do not want to take the comfortable options and stay at home, because I know I will never leave if I do!
When I started University in Wales, my stomach developed a habit of growling really loudly at inappropriate times (i.e. in quiet lecture theatres!). This was originally probably linked to the fact that I cannot eat when I am stressed (which is whenever I leave the house), so I would easily go for days without eating. The result is that I missed most of my lectures. However, I would force myself to eat a banana before lectures, but the rumbling would still happen. I think this may be caused by:
a) Breathing patterns
b) Expectation that it will happen
c) Lack of food
I also suffer from IBS symptoms, such as frequent trips to the loo when I am nervous or stressed, and constantly worry that I am going to be caught short. If there is something major in my life, such as moving house or starting a new job, I can easily need the loo 10 - 15 times in one day. I also become very gassy. These symptoms can even present themselves when I am working from home, if I am working on a project that is making me uneasy. Ridiculous, I know!
The final problem is that whenever I am in a meeting or travelling, I will sweat under my arms a lot. I have to wear super antiperspirant and a t-shirt under my shirt to stop it showing. It's really uncomfortable though.
So in summary, my problems are:
a) Sleeping badly and waking up panicking.
b) Stomach growling (even after eating)
c) IBS symptoms when stressed or worried
d) when in meetings or travelling, I sweat a lot.
My ideal would be to simply wake up and feel happy and confident about the day ahead, feel comfortable about going into quiet meetings / lectures (I currently work in a profession I don't enjoy because it avoids quiet situations!), and to be able to book a holiday or visit to a friend's house without worrying myself into a frenzy.
The only remedy I have tried so far was going to a hypnotist for about 4 months in 2008, but that ended up costing me a lot of money I didn't have, and really didn't help much.
I am generally in good health, exercise regularly, don't take any meds, and have not had (touch wood) anything more than a cold for as long as I can remember. Although I did worry myself physically ill (including nosebleeds when I was doing my dissertation). I have a good appetite when I am not worried (for lunch and supper - never breakfast!) and probably internalise far too much; people who meet me think I am calm and confident.
Any help or advice. would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.