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I seen your post and had to reply! This is EXACTLY how I felt when anxiety hit me last October. I had finally really started my life and was happier than I have ever been, with the exception that I did have some stress going on with my family that I tried to repress and pretend that it wasn't there. I think that was a big contributing factor, if not the entire reason, as to why I got the anxiety.

I felt everything you do now, I felt like something was terribly wrong with me and that I was going to go crazy or die. I felt miserable every day, I lost all my energy, my love of going out and doing things, I lost the ability to enjoy life. I also had a lot of stomach issues, feeling nauseated, hurting, throwing up. I had many er trips and doctors and cardiologists with everything coming back showing I was in complete perfect health. But still, I never thought anything would ever get any better. I found a counselor in my area who was luckily very good in helping me out. At the time, I still had anxiety so bad that I had to move out of my new apartment and back home with my parents, but my counselor gave me a lot of tools to help me get through the anxiety. It really helped me a lot just to simply be able to talk to some one once or twice a week that really understood and didn't pass any judgement on how I was feeling.

Eventually, I was able to get up enough confidence to start facing my fears and that's when I slowly but surely started getting better.
First, get a notebook and pen to keep near you at all times. Write down how you are feeling and give it a rating between 1 and 10 (1 being barely any anxiety and 10 being the greatest amount of anxiety). Use the notebook to do this each time something spikes your anxiety, or even if you are just feeling anxious for what seems like no reason, anything. Write it down. Give it a rating. Trust me, it works. Then, start facing your fears. What are you afraid of? Start with the thing that makes you the least fearful or anxious and then work your way up. For example, I was so anxious about everything, even just getting up off the couch to fix my own meals. So, I started with that, slowly. I would start by simply fixing a bowl of cereal or making something quick and easy like microwaving a bowl of soup. Once I seen that I could do those things with nothing bad happening, I started getting confidence again and got braver. I was eventually cooking entire meals and found my love of cooking and baking all over again. I also started doing little things around the house chore wise. Now I'm up and about doing all types of household chores again. There are no limits with these things anymore. I'm not going to lie and tell you it was easy, it was not. I had several times where I felt weak, dizzy, like I couldn't do it. I felt like, I can't stand here and stir this pot for 30 minutes! I'll pass out! But I told myself, no I can do this. I will not pass out. Even if I were to, I would wake up in a minute and be just fine. Nothing bad is going to happen. After a while, I didn't have to reassure myself anymore, now I just do it and I'm perfectly fine.

As you are facing these fears, document them in the notebook, being sure to include the date and time of each entry. It is very helpful because you will be able to look back and see how you felt then compared to the present. I know right now it may seem silly, but coming from some one who has been there, it really works! I have come such a long way and I would never realize just how far with out being able to look back one year ago and see how terrible things were then. I am still an anxious person to an extent. The anxiety forced me into agoraphobia, which is a fear of leaving your house or going out into public. It sounds like this is exactly what is happening to you. Take it slow by going on small outings. Maybe just go on a quick car ride into town with a close friend or family member at first, then go home. Or try a quick trip into the grocery store or Wal-Mart. Plan a reward for yourself when you plan these trips. For example, if you are able to make a trip to Wal-Mart to buy bread and milk, buy something special for yourself as well like a DVD or a game you've been looking forward to. The trips at first seem horrible and terrifying! Your mind just wants to look at all the things that will go wrong, but you know deep down that nothing will. Play the worst thing game. My counselor played this with me all the time. He would make me think of what I was anxious of doing, like sitting in a restaurant or going to the store. He would make me imagine it and then start thinking whats the worst possible thing that could happen? Whats the best thing that could happen? What would I do if the worst thing happened? How would I feel? I started realizing, that the worst thing that could possibly happen isn't really that bad. After making several trips into town, I'm realizing how much easier it's getting and that I don't really even think of all the bad stuff anymore.

I'm not saying it's easy for me yet, but it's getting there. This is still something I'm working on. My main fear is being home alone. I do not like to be left by myself. I have made some progress with this by spending time alone in my room, which was very scary for me at first. But now, after a few months of doing so, I have been spending almost all my time in here alone and feel no fear. I am getting closer and closer to getting my life back and kicking anxiety out on its butt.
Another helpful thing is to write a letter to anxiety, tell it how its making you feel and tell it that you will not allow it to destroy your life and take all these things away from you. Get angry at it. Then, when you feel like you start losing confidence, just get that letter out and remember that you are refusing to allow it to take your life away from you. That has helped me as well. I honestly have never read my letter to anxiety since I wrote it, but I know it's always there if I need a reminder.
One more thing that my counselor taught me to do when you are really freaking out or having a panic attack or anxiety is coming on really strong, think of your favorite tv shows. Pick two or three. Or think of all the people in your family who you are close to. Have someone ask you, whos all the characters in the Simpsons? family guy? sponge bob? name all your family members. And as they are asking you these questions, you'll respond out loud the names. You can even do this alone. This is a reminder to yourself that you are not actually going insane. Someone who really is crazy or going insane wouldn't be able to recall any of those things, but you can so you aren't crazy. Plus, it actually helps you to calm down because it puts your mind on something else. I really resisted doing this at first because when you are feeling so anxious, you could care less about naming off the characters of any TV show, but my fiance (boyfriend at the time) made me do it and I realized that it really worked. I would calm down within a few minutes.

These techniques may not work with everyone, because everyone is different. But they really worked for me. I admit, yes, I do still have some anxiety in certain areas like being alone or going into public. But I am myself again and I am able to actually handle it with more confidence than I ever thought I would again. The anxiety isn't fully controlling me anymore, and soon, I know that I will overcome this completely. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but you can do this. You can. I will be more than happy to be here for you anytime you need. You can email me if you want, anything I can do. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone, but just remember, it's completely harmless. It feels really scary, but it can not hurt you!! Also, you do not have to be this way forever. If you stand up against it, you can get out of this and get your life back!

I know exactly how you feel as well with your husband being your safety person. I was the same way with my fiance. Every time he would go to work, I would have a major panic attack and go out of my mind with anxiety and freaking out all day. The only thing that seemed to help some was to play a video game because it got my mind off things. For some people I heard that watching tv has the same effect, but it never really helped me. It may work for you though. I really freaked out when I had to move out of our apartment and back into my parents house so they could watch over me, he had to stay there because its in another state and his job is there. At the time, we were broke and I wasn't able to see him for several months with the exception of Christmas.

I see him more often now, but before when I couldn't really see him often, I was a mess until after a while of being back home and having my mom around all the time, she started to become just as much of safety person to me. If you are able to have someone stay with you or you to move in with someone else until you feel better, that will help a lot. You will eventually start looking to that person as a safety providing that person will take care of you and be understanding. That was how it worked out for me.

I know this post is already long, but I just want to add as a side note that they did find out that the anxiety was causing me IBS, which is why my stomach hurt so much all the time and I was feeling sick a lot. The doctors also tried to put me on a lot of different medications. I was on so many it was crazy, but each one only made me worse, not better. I only started really getting better and seeing things more clearly when I got fed up and stopped taking all the medications. I'm really happy to see you are already saying no to the medication!!

It was really hard to put all that into words and I hope I didn't confuse you on any of that. I just hope that I was able to help you and that you get rid of all your anxiety very very soon! If you have any questions or want to talk some more, please just let me know. God Bless!!

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