Not quite sure how to start this but here goes, I guess its good for me to get it all out because I haven't talked to anyone else about how I feel apart from my GP, and I hope that someone else may read something that helps them, even if it is just knowing that someone else is thinking the same thing!
I was always quite a nervous child, I always had lots of friends at school but never really did anything socially outside of school until I was 18, quite late I know. I then had a really good few years at university and afterwards socially, at work setting up my own business, buying a house with my (now) wife etc etc.
Then my dad got cancer and was ill for about 9 months before he died, seeing him in such decline coincided with a massive stressful time at work when I thought I was going to lose my business. I couldn't sleep for more than 2 hours a night, I didn't eat, I had that awful fight/slight adrenaline rush in the stomach and tight band across my chest for more than 3 months. Then he died, the stress at work miraculously went away and with some sleeping pills for a few weeks it all went away..... or so I thought.
4 years later (now) I have one bad bit of news (that I'm having a normal, standard tax inspection) this has sent me right over the edge. All those same feelings are back, I've started smoking again, I can't enjoy being with my young family and pregnant wife who I adore. The funny feeling is, looking back it was all there, I had chest pains more than a year ago, went for some tests with no bad results, I've started to be more inward looking, not seeing my friends etc etc. But until now had no idea that I was suffering with anxiety.
It was all building up and it just needed something like this to tip me over the edge. I feel like I'm two people. The one who's keeping it calm on the surface but is retching and struggling to breathe when nobody is watching. On top of everything else, its my birthday. Woohoo. I'm going out to dinner with my wife on a oh so precious break from childcare, but all I can think is how am I going to keep a smile on my face? Is this normal?? Should I just hide under the covers for a few days? Run away to Cornwall to start a new life cutting lawns for a living?? The truth is I can't do any of these things because I have a company to run, people who I employ to find work for, and most importantly my wife and child to look after and spend (supposedly happy) time with.
How do you do it?? I have no idea at the minute, I get the feeling that once the tax man has been and gone I will go back to "normal" but actually now, I think I've had the realisation that what I thought was normal actually isn't. By which I mean I thought I was happy and one of the more relaxed people I know but it turns out maybe I wasn't/aren't.
I've been to the GP a few days ago who has given me citalopram 10mg and zopiclone 3.75mg to help me sleep, but if anything the citalopram is making me more shaky and the zopiclone hasn't helped so far not even when I took two last night.
If it wasn't for stumbling upon this site and realising this isn't just me that feels like their breath has been taken away I would think that I was going mad. It's so good to look through and hear other people's stories, they help take the edge off definitely. It also feels cathartic to write this all down, I think It must be the first time I've expressed myself like this ever!