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I feel like my anxiety is ruining my life

T

Tombo46

New member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Bulgaria
Firstly, apologies if this looks like a rambling mess. I think part of writing this is to help myself make sense of the problems I'm having as at the moment, I don't have a lot of clarity of thought that I used to.

So, prior to this last year or so, I wouldn't have considered myself as someone with an anxiety disorder. In fact, I went to the doctors with a recurring breathing problem (air hunger) that had become debilitating at times. The first thing he said was that he thought it was anxiety related and I dismissed it because I wasn't an anxious person. After that I had several tests. Firstly a spirometry which showed me to have a well above average set of lungs (great news!). Ruling that out, we went to the hospital for a chest X ray. Also completely clear! Over time my air hunger crossed over to a point that it wasn't so debilitating and I could go about day to day life without much hassle. To this day it isn't too bad although I am now fully accepting that it is a symptom of anxiety as it gets worse as I feel more anxious. I have been to the doctors to talk about my anxiety but their solution has been to just throw SSRI's at me. I have a lot of fear of these for several reasons I'm not comfortable going in to into much detail. Essentially, they affected my father in a very bad way and I also experience with ex partners and friends etc. To this day I only know of one person who has said SSRI's benefited them and that is my sister. Everyone else is now just fighting their addiction to them.

The past year or so, I haven't had much stability. I had gone bankrupt due mostly to things out of my control and a couple of bad decisions following that. I lost my home/business/partner and ended up living in a touring caravan on a farm with my two dogs. This might sound like a bad thing but in hindsight it was a huge blessing in disguise. After that, I met a woman (my current partner) and I went on a (very short, 8 week) tour with the circus before that too went bankrupt. After that, I lived in a house share which was nice at first and I had a bit of stability. Even though that wasn't how I wanted to be living, I recognised how lucky I had been and went with it. Eventually an opportunity came up to move to Bulgaria with my partner. Everything seemed amazing and exactly what we wanted. Long story short, much of our plans fell through due to Coronavirus. We made it to the country by some miracle as they were closing borders around us. Upon our arrival, we came to a place which we now call home. We are actually house/dog sitting for a lovely guy who is stuck in England.

For the past 4 months I have been living in this house in Bulgaria which has amazing countryside right on my doorstep (literally). It is an incredible place and I can't see me wanting to ever leave it. In terms of mental health. I believe A LOT of people would benefit from living how I currently do. Unfortunately though, my anxiety has different plans for me and despite me being in an incredible position to progress in every aspect of my life, I'm finding myself incapacitated and unable to fulfill my potential.

I have very few "real" worries. I barely need any money to survive and I have plenty of time to do the things I want. I'm in an ideal situation to be able to achieve and do the things I want. I am currently building a business that (despite my overbearing pessimism) I believe will be successful. It will allow me to do something I love and "work" relatively few hours. Essentially I am in a position that most people would dream of but here I am. Unable to take full advantage of it and I feel like I'm in a slow descent in to destruction.

So, about my anxiety. I'm sure it's not as bad as many but it is what it is and it's debilitating. I feel an almost constant "fear". I liken it to when you were a child and you were in trouble with the teacher and had to go see the headmaster. That feeling of dread that's in the pit of your stomach. I also feel like I'm emotionally very tightly wound. Lately, the slightest thing can make me curl up in to a ball and cry. Just this morning alone I have cried twice without anything even happening. Sometimes it can be a remark from my partner that I perceived as being a little too harsh or simply a mug falling on the floor and smashing. Small things just push me over the edge.

I feel like I am becoming a massive burden to my partner. Anybody would struggle to deal with me and I was not anticipating being like this upon moving to Bulgaria. I feel guilty because she has some sort of moral obligation to put up with my problems. I also have an eating disorder which makes me feel anxious anyway and most of her solutions to anxiety involve eating/drinking something which kind of feels like fighting anxiety with anxiety. She can't relate to this problem so I think she feels frustrated when trying things like this are too difficult for me. Instead I think she see's it as me being unwilling to try things to help my anxiety which isn't the case at all. I find it difficult just to answer the phone, let alone do something I found incredibly difficult even before I had any anxiety issues.

I know what I need to do to achieve the things I want to achieve and by normal peoples standards, it's not really a lot. But the anxiety just leaves me incapable of doing anything. Like I'm mentally and physically disabled. If I have a meltdown and start crying then I can't do anything afterwards as it takes all my mental and physical energy away. All I can do is go to bed and sleep to try and "reset".

I'm finding I have a lack of energy anyway. I don't know if this is a symptom of anxiety or not though. Mentally I really struggle to focus on anything. It's not even like I'm thinking of anything else, it's simple that my thoughts are fuzzy. Like someone trying to put a square peg in a round hole repeatedly and failing.

I just want to feel normal. I feel like I have a lot of potential and I'm in an amazing position that I have so far not been taking advantage of in the slightest. I also feel like the strains this is putting on my relationship is likely to come to a head one day soon. It all feels like some sort of cruel joke and a catch 22 situation whereby I have a problem that I need to solve (my anxiety) but I have been robbed of all my tools that I need. My clarity of thought. My rational and objective thinking. My intelligence. My pragmatism. My physical drive. All gone. Instead I'm left with this pathetic mess of a human who struggles with even the most simple of tasks. And the scary thing is, it's getting worse. I feel like this is going to kill me, one way or another.

Thank you for reading!
 
dangergone

dangergone

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
11
Location
Lebanon
Hello Tombo46. I hope that you are doing well right now. It is very encouraging for me to see you speak out so courageously about your struggles. It encourages me to do the same.

It is good to consider looking up some CBT techniques that help you realize certain patterns of your thinking that are causing you debilitating anxiety. Anxiety comes from having automatic thoughts about situations that cause overwhelming, sad, and confusing emotions that are hard to manage.

Work on having more adaptive thoughts about situations and you will have better more manageable feelings. Journal this 7 point process down and do it through and through over feelings that are upsetting or overwhelming you. Hope this is useful
One of the most things I found useful about CBT (Cognitive Behavioral therapy) is this technique:
1. You cannot change your emotions.
2. You can change the thought or the behaviour which will in turn change the emotions.
3. Consider first your emotion. Define it. For ex, I feel anxious.
4. Consider next the situation that caused the anxiety. For ex, the coffee just spilled all over and I have to clean it
5. Consider next and take a note of what are your automatic thoughts about the situation. For ex, I can't do this, the coffee shouldn't have fell and I just keep getting problem over problem
6. Create an alternative; more adaptive thought to the situation. For ex, that is okay. No body got harmed and that is a cause to be grateful. I can just clean this calmly and it is no true problem. In fact, this table needed a wipe anyway! I'm glad to do it.
7. This alternative more adaptation thought to the situation will create more favorable feelings.

The key to CBT is that you don't change your emotions. You change your behaviour and your thoughts about situations and consequently, better and less anxious feelings follow.

Consider doing CBT therapy but if you cannot afford it, there are a lot of resources online about different CBT techniques.

I've done CBT on my messy emotions and it really made me realise how faulty ways I think sometimes. Some examples of faulty thinking are for ex overgeneralization, catastrophizing, all or nothing thinking, etc.
 
Tawny

Tawny

Well-known member
Forum Guide
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
1,453
Location
England
I picked up on your point about not being an anxious person. The term can be confused with so many different things.

What i do understand is how the body can lose its balance if too much stress is placed on it. You have had much stress. It takes time and rest to allow the body to heal itself. These sensations might be called anxiety by some, i don't think in diagnoses anyway. A shaking, struggling for breath, unable to take a full breath, then comes dizziness and tingling fingers.

I don't know whether an SSRI would help, i understand your fear. Can you manage without medication? Are you able to rest? Try not to take on too much. Eat well, exercise, fresh air, do things you enjoy, have quiet times, don't watch the news too much, get outside, spend time with people who make you feel good.

Maybe you need to find your balance again and keep hold of it.
 
J

Julie41

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2020
Messages
109
Location
Peterborough uk
Firstly, apologies if this looks like a rambling mess. I think part of writing this is to help myself make sense of the problems I'm having as at the moment, I don't have a lot of clarity of thought that I used to.

So, prior to this last year or so, I wouldn't have considered myself as someone with an anxiety disorder. In fact, I went to the doctors with a recurring breathing problem (air hunger) that had become debilitating at times. The first thing he said was that he thought it was anxiety related and I dismissed it because I wasn't an anxious person. After that I had several tests. Firstly a spirometry which showed me to have a well above average set of lungs (great news!). Ruling that out, we went to the hospital for a chest X ray. Also completely clear! Over time my air hunger crossed over to a point that it wasn't so debilitating and I could go about day to day life without much hassle. To this day it isn't too bad although I am now fully accepting that it is a symptom of anxiety as it gets worse as I feel more anxious. I have been to the doctors to talk about my anxiety but their solution has been to just throw SSRI's at me. I have a lot of fear of these for several reasons I'm not comfortable going in to into much detail. Essentially, they affected my father in a very bad way and I also experience with ex partners and friends etc. To this day I only know of one person who has said SSRI's benefited them and that is my sister. Everyone else is now just fighting their addiction to them.

The past year or so, I haven't had much stability. I had gone bankrupt due mostly to things out of my control and a couple of bad decisions following that. I lost my home/business/partner and ended up living in a touring caravan on a farm with my two dogs. This might sound like a bad thing but in hindsight it was a huge blessing in disguise. After that, I met a woman (my current partner) and I went on a (very short, 8 week) tour with the circus before that too went bankrupt. After that, I lived in a house share which was nice at first and I had a bit of stability. Even though that wasn't how I wanted to be living, I recognised how lucky I had been and went with it. Eventually an opportunity came up to move to Bulgaria with my partner. Everything seemed amazing and exactly what we wanted. Long story short, much of our plans fell through due to Coronavirus. We made it to the country by some miracle as they were closing borders around us. Upon our arrival, we came to a place which we now call home. We are actually house/dog sitting for a lovely guy who is stuck in England.

For the past 4 months I have been living in this house in Bulgaria which has amazing countryside right on my doorstep (literally). It is an incredible place and I can't see me wanting to ever leave it. In terms of mental health. I believe A LOT of people would benefit from living how I currently do. Unfortunately though, my anxiety has different plans for me and despite me being in an incredible position to progress in every aspect of my life, I'm finding myself incapacitated and unable to fulfill my potential.

I have very few "real" worries. I barely need any money to survive and I have plenty of time to do the things I want. I'm in an ideal situation to be able to achieve and do the things I want. I am currently building a business that (despite my overbearing pessimism) I believe will be successful. It will allow me to do something I love and "work" relatively few hours. Essentially I am in a position that most people would dream of but here I am. Unable to take full advantage of it and I feel like I'm in a slow descent in to destruction.

So, about my anxiety. I'm sure it's not as bad as many but it is what it is and it's debilitating. I feel an almost constant "fear". I liken it to when you were a child and you were in trouble with the teacher and had to go see the headmaster. That feeling of dread that's in the pit of your stomach. I also feel like I'm emotionally very tightly wound. Lately, the slightest thing can make me curl up in to a ball and cry. Just this morning alone I have cried twice without anything even happening. Sometimes it can be a remark from my partner that I perceived as being a little too harsh or simply a mug falling on the floor and smashing. Small things just push me over the edge.

I feel like I am becoming a massive burden to my partner. Anybody would struggle to deal with me and I was not anticipating being like this upon moving to Bulgaria. I feel guilty because she has some sort of moral obligation to put up with my problems. I also have an eating disorder which makes me feel anxious anyway and most of her solutions to anxiety involve eating/drinking something which kind of feels like fighting anxiety with anxiety. She can't relate to this problem so I think she feels frustrated when trying things like this are too difficult for me. Instead I think she see's it as me being unwilling to try things to help my anxiety which isn't the case at all. I find it difficult just to answer the phone, let alone do something I found incredibly difficult even before I had any anxiety issues.

I know what I need to do to achieve the things I want to achieve and by normal peoples standards, it's not really a lot. But the anxiety just leaves me incapable of doing anything. Like I'm mentally and physically disabled. If I have a meltdown and start crying then I can't do anything afterwards as it takes all my mental and physical energy away. All I can do is go to bed and sleep to try and "reset".

I'm finding I have a lack of energy anyway. I don't know if this is a symptom of anxiety or not though. Mentally I really struggle to focus on anything. It's not even like I'm thinking of anything else, it's simple that my thoughts are fuzzy. Like someone trying to put a square peg in a round hole repeatedly and failing.

I just want to feel normal. I feel like I have a lot of potential and I'm in an amazing position that I have so far not been taking advantage of in the slightest. I also feel like the strains this is putting on my relationship is likely to come to a head one day soon. It all feels like some sort of cruel joke and a catch 22 situation whereby I have a problem that I need to solve (my anxiety) but I have been robbed of all my tools that I need. My clarity of thought. My rational and objective thinking. My intelligence. My pragmatism. My physical drive. All gone. Instead I'm left with this pathetic mess of a human who struggles with even the most simple of tasks. And the scary thing is, it's getting worse. I feel like this is going to kill me, one way or another.

Thank you for reading!
Hi Tombo
That was really interesting reading - and I’m sorry you are struggling so much
It makes life so miserable 😩
I have suffered from anxiety for many years ( I realised I suffered as a child but didn’t realise it at the time)
It really hit me in my early thirties. Managed it until my forties then went on meds as l had periods of not coping - it would settle down then flare up but was mostly bearable ( physical symptoms were very scary) in my late 50’s I lost my Dad then my Mum caring for both of them which took its toll
Then l cared for my father in law in 2019 Which was also very traumatic he died in dec 2019 and my husband & his mum took this very badly - various arguments then happened between family & caused so much bad feeling I eventually felt so so ill with anxiety I completely stopped functioning- the Dr increased my meds which took along time to kick in - CBT has been fairly helpful when l have moderate anxiety but when I’m very bad it doesn’t work for me ( just don’t feel strong enough to face all the positive things as it’s just negative) I do find that the physical symptoms are the hardest
I truly understand your exhaustion- I sometimes feel so weak
Do you sleep well??
You have had a lot of low points in your life it’s not really surprising you are struggling
It’s hard for our partners - mine tries to understand but doesn’t
I too feel a burden - think that’s probably quite normal
Do you get many physical symptoms??
Sending you hugs 🤗
You will find this forum helpful & everyone is so understanding
Xxx
 
T

timi0000

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2020
Messages
47
Location
Pittsburgh
Firstly, apologies if this looks like a rambling mess. I think part of writing this is to help myself make sense of the problems I'm having as at the moment, I don't have a lot of clarity of thought that I used to.

So, prior to this last year or so, I wouldn't have considered myself as someone with an anxiety disorder. In fact, I went to the doctors with a recurring breathing problem (air hunger) that had become debilitating at times. The first thing he said was that he thought it was anxiety related and I dismissed it because I wasn't an anxious person. After that I had several tests. Firstly a spirometry which showed me to have a well above average set of lungs (great news!). Ruling that out, we went to the hospital for a chest X ray. Also completely clear! Over time my air hunger crossed over to a point that it wasn't so debilitating and I could go about day to day life without much hassle. To this day it isn't too bad although I am now fully accepting that it is a symptom of anxiety as it gets worse as I feel more anxious. I have been to the doctors to talk about my anxiety but their solution has been to just throw SSRI's at me. I have a lot of fear of these for several reasons I'm not comfortable going in to into much detail. Essentially, they affected my father in a very bad way and I also experience with ex partners and friends etc. To this day I only know of one person who has said SSRI's benefited them and that is my sister. Everyone else is now just fighting their addiction to them.

The past year or so, I haven't had much stability. I had gone bankrupt due mostly to things out of my control and a couple of bad decisions following that. I lost my home/business/partner and ended up living in a touring caravan on a farm with my two dogs. This might sound like a bad thing but in hindsight it was a huge blessing in disguise. After that, I met a woman (my current partner) and I went on a (very short, 8 week) tour with the circus before that too went bankrupt. After that, I lived in a house share which was nice at first and I had a bit of stability. Even though that wasn't how I wanted to be living, I recognised how lucky I had been and went with it. Eventually an opportunity came up to move to Bulgaria with my partner. Everything seemed amazing and exactly what we wanted. Long story short, much of our plans fell through due to Coronavirus. We made it to the country by some miracle as they were closing borders around us. Upon our arrival, we came to a place which we now call home. We are actually house/dog sitting for a lovely guy who is stuck in England.

For the past 4 months I have been living in this house in Bulgaria which has amazing countryside right on my doorstep (literally). It is an incredible place and I can't see me wanting to ever leave it. In terms of mental health. I believe A LOT of people would benefit from living how I currently do. Unfortunately though, my anxiety has different plans for me and despite me being in an incredible position to progress in every aspect of my life, I'm finding myself incapacitated and unable to fulfill my potential.

I have very few "real" worries. I barely need any money to survive and I have plenty of time to do the things I want. I'm in an ideal situation to be able to achieve and do the things I want. I am currently building a business that (despite my overbearing pessimism) I believe will be successful. It will allow me to do something I love and "work" relatively few hours. Essentially I am in a position that most people would dream of but here I am. Unable to take full advantage of it and I feel like I'm in a slow descent in to destruction.

So, about my anxiety. I'm sure it's not as bad as many but it is what it is and it's debilitating. I feel an almost constant "fear". I liken it to when you were a child and you were in trouble with the teacher and had to go see the headmaster. That feeling of dread that's in the pit of your stomach. I also feel like I'm emotionally very tightly wound. Lately, the slightest thing can make me curl up in to a ball and cry. Just this morning alone I have cried twice without anything even happening. Sometimes it can be a remark from my partner that I perceived as being a little too harsh or simply a mug falling on the floor and smashing. Small things just push me over the edge.

I feel like I am becoming a massive burden to my partner. Anybody would struggle to deal with me and I was not anticipating being like this upon moving to Bulgaria. I feel guilty because she has some sort of moral obligation to put up with my problems. I also have an eating disorder which makes me feel anxious anyway and most of her solutions to anxiety involve eating/drinking something which kind of feels like fighting anxiety with anxiety. She can't relate to this problem so I think she feels frustrated when trying things like this are too difficult for me. Instead I think she see's it as me being unwilling to try things to help my anxiety which isn't the case at all. I find it difficult just to answer the phone, let alone do something I found incredibly difficult even before I had any anxiety issues.

I know what I need to do to achieve the things I want to achieve and by normal peoples standards, it's not really a lot. But the anxiety just leaves me incapable of doing anything. Like I'm mentally and physically disabled. If I have a meltdown and start crying then I can't do anything afterwards as it takes all my mental and physical energy away. All I can do is go to bed and sleep to try and "reset".

I'm finding I have a lack of energy anyway. I don't know if this is a symptom of anxiety or not though. Mentally I really struggle to focus on anything. It's not even like I'm thinking of anything else, it's simple that my thoughts are fuzzy. Like someone trying to put a square peg in a round hole repeatedly and failing.

I just want to feel normal. I feel like I have a lot of potential and I'm in an amazing position that I have so far not been taking advantage of in the slightest. I also feel like the strains this is putting on my relationship is likely to come to a head one day soon. It all feels like some sort of cruel joke and a catch 22 situation whereby I have a problem that I need to solve (my anxiety) but I have been robbed of all my tools that I need. My clarity of thought. My rational and objective thinking. My intelligence. My pragmatism. My physical drive. All gone. Instead I'm left with this pathetic mess of a human who struggles with even the most simple of tasks. And the scary thing is, it's getting worse. I feel like this is going to kill me, one way or another.

Thank you for reading!
Tombo46, let me share with you what worked for me in curing my anxiety problems. I would recommend reading the book "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and APPLYING the principles he talks about in your life. Just reading for an intellectual understanding won't make a difference. It was the very first thing that started to unlock me from my anxiety problems.

Meditating on my breath really helped too. Focusing on the sensation of my breath as it enters and leaves a nostril is what you do. I would recommend finding a teacher in your area or at least find some information on YouTube. This really helped me unlock from my anxiety too.

More than anything, take whatever actions you feel drawn to take in dealing with your anxiety. When your mind sees that you are serious about getting to the core of problem, the anxiety will decrease since it has served its purpose. It is like an alarm bell letting you know that you have some issues that need to be dealt with.
 
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