Hi. I am 45 years old. I have gad. As far back as I remember I have always been a worrier. A what if.. er!
Around the age of 20. I started to struggle with public transport. I switched from the bus to the train to get to work so I could get there quicker. I then relied on lifts. I soon finished work and had my first child. My first panic attack started when he was 4 days old. I then had pnd. Constant worrying about the baby. Was he well, too hot too cold, etc. Afraid to be alone. Couldn’t go out alone, wouldn’t drive far.
A few years of meds and got through, but still struggled with being alone. Another child, all well. Then hit 30. Massive anxiety, an intrusive thought sent me plummeting into deep anxiety, depression. More meds. I got through. Couldn’t go to the cinema. Attend school plays alone, anywhere crowded.
Now 45. Am I better yes and no! It rears its ugly head at times. Not good this week, lots of bad thoughts, what ifs, but….. I work full time, I have trained 5 schools on autism in the last two years. I drive to work everyday for 45 minutes through a big town, I shop on my own, I attend conferences on my own, I relish my own company. I have been free from antidepressants for 14 years, but take a beta blocker.
More importantly what helps ……. I picked up the phone and did a no panic telephone support group many years ago. I read and listen to podcasts and self help books. I have done a mindfulness course and mediate most days. I do yoga twice a week and swim twice a week – on my own. I am who I am. I am still trying to accept that. I have quite a stressful life. I work in SEN. My youngest is high functioning autistic, but has needed lots of support. My oldest has SEBD! But is now an adult, who apart from his hyperactivity is a kind and considerate adult.
It’s been a rollercoaster but I I’ve got through. Acceptance of the fears, the what ifs, the feelings are what is the key to getting better. Books I have read are Dr Claire Weekes, my bible. The happiness trap based on ACT. Out of your mind and into your life, based on ACT – on audio. Ruby Wax’s book on mindfulness. Loads of cbt books, too many to mention. Podcasts, the ocd stories by Stuart Ralph. I am currently listening to the compassionate mind on audio. Make goals, don’t look back your not going that way. #tellyourstorystopthestigma Elaine