I'm rooting for you! I'm not the biggest fan of the dentist either so I hear ya about panic beforehand. In spirit we'll all be cheering you on! Please let us know how it goes.
I don't now if this is helpful or not, but I used to be "normal" too. I thought that my anxiety and panic attacks started three years ago when my dad passed away. (Seems like it's all gone downhill since then.) My therapist made me realize that I've always been a nervous wreck, even as a kid. I thought, "Oh here we go, it's the old blame the childhood theory." You know what, she was right. Looking back, who I was as a kid shaped me into who I am today. All the good and not so good things I am today are because of what it was like for me as a child. I used to worry when my parents would fight. I'd worry about upsetting them. I'd worry about my little sister. As I got older, I had more things to worry about so my A/P shows itself more often.
I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that even though we've all come to this "disorder" in a different way, we can all relate to what you're going through. It's not easy. I've made some amazing friends along the way in HW. Everyone brings a little something different to the table. Come into chat if you're ever in the neighborhood. Sometimes it's very serious in there and other times we kid around and joke just to get our minds off of things for a while. My virtual friends have talked me throught some tough times. Many of whom didn't even realize that they played an important role in helping me get through a tough day. (Shout out to all the forum mods, chat regulars and newbies: HOLLA!)
Finally, seeing as I normally don't go rambling on like this (those of you who've seen me in chat feel free to disagree with me ), I have taken one very important lesson out of my therapy sessions and I'd like to share it with you. You cannot change other people. You cannot make them act different and you can't force them to open their minds or change their views. You can only change how you react to them. The way you react to people and circumstances is completely up to you. Everything else just is what it is.
OK, so I'm not exactly Plato or Socrates, but it works for me. Just keep in mind that you have to take it one day at a time because that's the way they're handed out. Keep posting. We're all here to listen to one another an to learn a thing or two along the way.