How do you enjoy life when you are in a day to day battle?

I've had GAD for 2 1/2 years which started out of the blue when i had a panic attack with symptoms to me felt like I was having a heart attack. This episode and for the next 3 months knocked me back as I didn't know what was wrong with me and i was off work. Previously I thought I was indestructible and had a huge capacity for life and work and was the centre of everything. Now I'm on my second period of CBT, not had any meds, made some lifestyle changes, but feel my happiness is impacted by the sheer effort of day to day living and the pressure to be well. I'm making progress and through mostly my own efforts I am much more aware of the condition but it has taken me the best part of the last 12 months to better understand my condition and its still a learning game. Of course the ups and downs happen with downs always making it hard to see that you are making progress. I've been really disappointed by the NHS as I know if somebody had explained to me at the outset what I was going to have to deal with i could have avoided some of the negative habits i formed. it really leaves you in the middle feeling helpless. Anyway as I approach my 40's now with a young family sometimes i feel broken -I know I am making progress and I am in a far better place but i feel insecure about the future and feel that life is passing me by. although I'm not waiting to simply get better I can't help to make the comparison to how I was to how I am now and then worry about how I will deal with anything major that happens in my life. I am persistent and resilient but even for me this is a major challenge which really affects my happiness- would be good to hear people's experiences on how they remain positive and happy and enjoy life...

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  • I can realate to how your feeling, I have had anxiety GAD and depression since my late teens i avoided admitting i was having problems for the best part of 10yrs i blamed eveything around me for the anxiety i felt developed aviodence and removal bahaviours (Negative) and as a result i lost my friends, had chaotic relationships with my family and left a brillaint career. After a few very bad episodes of depression i got help and am following this I am continuing progression doing alot of self help to get myself back on track. I have to take it day by day else like you I find myself thinking my life is passing me by, because i no longer have a good career ect. The way I look at it now though is eventually when im more in control of my anxiety I WILL develop a career again ect. Slow progress is better than no progress :0)

    I find that taking pleasure in victories that seem small to others but are major to me (Leaving the house to walk the dog, talking to people on the phone in the street,days out with my partner)reminds me im making progress and gives me motivation to keep trying. I make lists at the moment of tasks to do each week, this keeps me focused and allows me to pick a few things which i need to start doing and allows me to keep trying these things which at the moment cause my anxiety to be high ...its exposure and everytime i do it the easier it becomes. I use the lists or I get overwhelemed by how much work i need to do to get back into the world as it were which then increases my anxiety.

    I am also still learning sometimes i get things right sometimes i dont and at times its still hard to stay postive, but theres nothing wrong with admitting to those closest to you that your having a hard day, week ect those that care wont mind those that say pull it together...well slap them ppl lol no just kidding those people either through no fault of thier own dont understand but mean no harm or are ignorance (thoses ones dont matter)

    Keep at it and good luck it will be worth it

  • Thanks for your words, I hope you also continue to progress. My formula at the moment is acceptance, avoid over analysis, catch the negative thoughts, DON'T self-criticise, focus on progression not perfection and treat each and every day as an experiment that you learn more and more about yourself. Being a man the hardest is to allow yourself to have feelings.....crying especially, followed closely by talking about your feelings to other people-it's unnatural to me as I always used to keep things inside. Anyway if you don't do yoga I would recommend Dru Yoga-it's made a great difference for me over the last few months-it's also proven to help with anxiety.

  • Hi darling

    I have Gad as well.I understand your fear for the future but please appreciate your progresses,u are blessed.Some people after 2/3 years seems not having any.Don t give up hope,we all have good days and really bad days but we all always survive and that s why we are lucky.I know you re not the same as before,I was different person as well..but those are things that unfortunately can happen in life.I don t know if I will never be the same person as before but I want to try or get better as much as I can..recovering takes lots of effort and strength..some times we have more strength then other day..remember u re brave!!And do your best after all we are just humans being xxx

  • I guess I'm inpatient and I know I'm a perfectionist. I've had some really bad days in the past and I forget how much better even the bad days are now....I think what catches you out is that old feeling/sensations returning and you can then think you're at the start of a downward spiral. Anyway it's something that you learn to deal with through acceptance and experience, it's just a shame there is no magic formula and none of us know what the end outcome is or how long it will take to get there...I don't focus on getting rid...for me it's about progression no matter how slow and no matter the ups and downs. Take care and thanks for your words.

  • Hello LV sorry your having a bad time it starts with that first panic attack which frightens the hell out of us leaves fearing another one although iv had anxiety problems for yrs but I have had some brilliant times they are not all dark days the NHS approach to this is patchy I know because iv seen many drs some sympathetic and helpful some not so I found cbt to be useful in so far as it made me want to dig deeper about what the causes are and little things we can do to help our selves because that's who it's down to in the end and we can come out of this as for meds they suit some and not others but they'r worth a try if your doc suggests them as for panic attacks it took a few bad ones for me to realise these were mind tricks with symptoms down to the adrenalin released to rush round my body and no matter how bad they got I didn't die even tho I thought I was just a bit of personal info here iv had a heart attack and it felt nothing like my panic attacks so if you've been checked by your dr and he's said your fine heart wise believe it' and take it a day at a time and treat yourself occasionally because we deserve a treat for living with something that's constantly trying to trip us up and remember next time if you have a panic attack iv been here before and you didn't hurt me then and you won't hurt me now and don't forget folks on here are with you so your not alone I hope your life comes around and settles down to a happier life you deserve it all the best. Mel

  • Thanks for the words and I hope you are well recovered from the heart problems. That certainly puts a perspective on things. As you no doubt know the fear anxiety creates is irrational and sometimes it catches you out, however with experience you learn to deal with it in the way that best suits you. There is no magic formula or sudden cure and I think the initial reaction and advice you get doesn't tell you this......what happens we end up searching, creating negative/ bad habits, getting frustrated and then once you understand what you are dealing with going back and trying to correct what has been created. Of course this makes it harder and it takes longer because we pressure ourselves to get better with quick results......the reality is its better to think about long term progression in a non-critical way accepting and recognising and praising your progress, best wishes

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