i wish i could describe to people with anxiety disorder feels like. i don't know how to explain to someone that doesn't have panic attacks. it is so hard to live with at times. you want people to understand but they can't. the only ones that can understand are the ones that go through it like you do. that know if you step out of your comfort zone life takes on a whole new meaning.
i've been dealing with this for over half my life. they only ones that know it is serious are the ones that has seen me panic. eric hasn't seen that yet. when we started dating my life starting changing. at that time i wasn't able to do a lot of things. i won't go into detail because then people would think i was totally insane. but something changed with him. it was trust. i started growing a trust i lost a long time ago. he was, and still is, patient with me in getting to know what all i go through. i can honestly say i haven't had a full blown panic attack since we got together. smaller ones, more like major anxiety, but nothing like they used to be. the can't breath. the can't focus. the can't see what is around me but i know it is there. the "i think i am going to die" feeling. the "what if i can't get back and i die right here?" feeling.
it is the scariest feeling in my life. i have been through a lot but nothing scares me more than a panic attack. i went through a very unhappy marriage for so many years because i was afraid of the panic attacks. i was afraid of the unknown. but the last few years my darkness has turned around. i see light once again. i see that there is happiness. i see that i can be strong and handle what i need to. however, in the back of my mind is still that voice that says "what if...."
i guess i rely too much on eric and my family. i sometimes think "what would i do if i was all alone?" a very scary thought and feeling. i don't know what i would do without the support that i have right now. it is hard for me to meet people. it's like i think they already know and they won't like me. that they will think i am weird. so i am quiet. i don't say much till i feel it is ok to let go. if i can make you laugh, tell you jokes, talk to you, etc...then you know i feel it is safe to let you in.
people used to think i was faking it. trust me, i would rather do things that i don't do because i fear panic than i would lie about something like this. i would rathaer go do so many things that didn't make me happy than to be stuck in this town. but it isn't easy. i don't know if it every will be easy. tolerable maybe. easy...not so much. well i am sure it will be once i learn that fear is something i put in my head. the unhealthy fear. not the fear of "oh there is someone in my house" kind of fear. the fear i am talking about steals your ability to live a life that you were meant to have.
people have come and gone in my life. some i think left or don't stay in contact because i am that the normal friend that can just drop what i am doing and go to lunch. or come over to chat. or anything that people take forgranted. i am sure they thought "well we can't have much of a relationship if rhonda can't....." and i don't blame them. but i need that friendship even if i can't just drop it all and do something as easy as go shopping.
i don't know why i need to share this but i do. a lot of people know about my disorder and a lot don't. i don't talk about it unless i really know you. trust with me has to be earned before i can tell you something like this. though i have said a lot right here, there is still more. in fact, i am wanting to write a book to tell about the things i went through and such. i started it years ago and wish i could work on it. some day i suppose. but as for now i will continue the fight and win. life is too short to let fear control it.