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lonesailor14 last won the day on February 12

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About lonesailor14

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  • Birthday 03/15/1984

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    Queensland, Australia
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    Fingerstyle guitar, neuroscience, fishing, boating, historical fiction, helping others.

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  1. Routine!

    You're right there Mark. I left my job driving trucks for that very reason. With nothing to do all day but drive, my mind was going crazy making things up. It was tiring trying to stay logical and focussed all the time. I was talking to a friend of mine that also gets anxiety and we discussed that when you're in a routine, you learn to manage your anxiety around the routine. You can manage it so well you may not ever feel anxious. Until the routine changes. Or a variable changes. For instance, I drive a particular route to work. At first I had anxiety on the long drive, but learned to overcome and manage it. Months later I headed off for work on the same route but now a variable was thrown in...it was raining and overcast. For some reason this stuffed me up and made me anxious! Sometimes it's road works, sometimes it's fog. The variables get me! Today I drove again on the original route this thread is about, for work. A variable was thrown at me...the car I normally use was unavailable and I had to take a van. My apprehension crept up a bit, I managed it. I told myself this is just an unexpected variable, nothing had changed since yesterday except my perspective of the situation. Today's trip was odd. I was a bit anxious and apprehensive about the long stretch in the middle of nowhere. But weirdly enough, once I was actually on that stretch, I was fine. It was the build up getting there in the first place that caused the anxiety. Another day done. 1 to go.
  2. Routine!

    Thanks MsLLL Well I did it and everything was fine. I observed that I was making myself apprehensive with the "what if" thoughts and kept ignoring them or not believing them. I told myself I was quite capable of facing anything that might occur on the journey, be it a flat tyre or major panic attack. There isn't much I haven't seen before. Basically the "what if" voice is like a bully, trying to drag you down and scare you. If you keep your self confidence high and ignore it's remarks the apprehension doesn't build. That or counteract it with logic. As you said, my work knows where I am and a good samaritan would help if I needed it. Staying mindful on the present moment helps an awful lot too. It stops me from going fuzzy headed and feeling like I'm dreaming. It keeps my head clear and present. Anyway, now it's done, the apprehension and anxiety is gone. I have to do the trip again today and tomorrow. Now I've done it once, I'll be fine. It's like I have to prove to my subconscious that it's fine before I believe myself!
  3. Routine!

    Hi AC it's been a while! Life has been super hectic. Something I thought about and thought I'd share here is... routine! Does anyone else find they're ok most of the time but when your normal routine changes, anxiety creeps in? My example is that today I have to drive for work, a 5 hour round trip. 1 hour and twenty minutes of this is on a deserted road, with no phone reception or towns on a road I've never been on before. I wasn't expecting to have to do this and now the anxiety is creeping in. I've got the "what ifs"! What if I panic and lose it so badly and I end up stranded in the middle of nowhere? I'm getting anxious about the way I could feel later on. Don't worry though! I've got this. Just a new challenge to add to the seemingly never ending path of recovery. I can "see" what's going on and how the anxiety has developed. I am trying not to buy into and believe the "what if" thought. I am determined to complete the drive and observe what occurs. But this is a curious thing I've noticed before, that at any change of routine, anxiety creeps in. At a new job, of course there is a bit of anxiety but once you get the routine you're ok. At my last job I was left to do the same thing over and over day in day out. Then the boss came and asked me to do something else one day and the anxiety was unreal! I wonder if anyone else has found this? I'll check back in later and let y'all know how the drive went.?
  4. Being over 28 depressing

    As you can see from Butterfly Moms reply, it's all about perspective! I thought being in my 30s would suck but you know, I've got mates who didn't make it to 18. I'm grateful for every day I get. Age is a number. That's all. Just a number. I'd love to be younger but only if I could take the knowledge I have back with me. If I had to choose, knowledge or age, I'd stay put. ?
  5. Hi Brianpaul I guess you could look at this new house and new beginning in a way that things can only get better from here. I understand the memory and association with a place that comes from anxiety and panic. I have just gone back to a job I had when things were bad for me. 3 years break and now I'm back and certain things remind me of my old ways. But I just think to myself "I'm glad I'm better these days." Or "I'm glad that person is gone". I can now fully experience the good parts of the job and enjoy them this time around. Rather than being wracked with anxiety and panic. A place is a place. Bricks and mortar. You're really over thinking it and placing too much importance on everything being perfect. Nothing is ever perfect. Can you step back from being emotionally attached to the house and rather look at it more practically as a building, investment, roof over your head? Sure this is the beginning but you have a long way to go. The old memories will fade away as new ones are made. Rather than remembering with negativity, why not be positive? Why not think of the great things to come? Why not feel pride that you were able to overcome your troubles and live to fight another day? You really should be proud of this. Memories are past events. The future is an imagined event that hasn't happened. You can only be alive right now. Right now, enjoy what you've achieved. Right now appreciate that everything is good.
  6. I've never been one to have these conspiracies and believe almost all anxiety and panic is caused by your own thoughts and nothing else. But I have to agree with this one, antibiotics do seem to effect anxiety somehow and make it worse. Not all antibiotics, just some. I've had a hard time on amoxicillin before. More than once.
  7. Reasons for shortness of breath

    This symptom has always bothered me. I can have no other anxiety at all and find myself taking a gasping breath. Then this causes me to become anxious and a loop starts. It took me a while to realise it was an anxiety thing at all! I thought I must have a lung problem. But no, it's anxiety? A few months ago I found this video and it's helped a lot! I don't have the shortness of breath so much anymore. If it does pop up, I quietly do the exercise mentioned towards the end of the vid and it goes away. There's so much conflicting info about breathing on the net. Should you deep breathe, shallow breathe, hold your breath? Ugh!!! My theory is just breathe! Don't worry about it being too shallow or too deep. Natural breathing is almost imperceptible it isn't deep and gasping. You can see this when you're relaxed. Breathe from your belly and breathe as slowly as you comfortably can. Once you feel ok, carry on with your day and forget about your breathing. Your body knows what it is doing. It's been breathing on it's own without your mental input your whole life from when your were a baby and when you are asleep. I only consciously interfere when I feel short of breath. Do the exercise and move on. Try not to worry about it or spend all day thinking about your breathing. If that makes sense?? It is caused by hyperventilating. Who knows why we do it?! I have noticed I do it when I'm a little anxious or if I start to interfere with my breathing when I didn't need to. Like I just get this thought in my head that I'm not breathing right. Then I interfere and make it worse. At least now if I interfere it's with the instructions from the video and these don't cause hyperventilation where as before I would interfere not knowing what I was doing and make things worse. Sometimes I think I'm not breathing right and add more panic when I actually am fine. Just jumping to conclusions. I've learned to sit back and watch. I may have the thought "I'm not breathing right" & I quickly react to it, becomming anxious and start interfering or trying to regulate my breathing. Now I notice the thought but don't panic, just calmly wait and watch. If things get worse and I feel a bit breathless then I'll do the exercise. There is a lot of recovery in learning to stay calm and not react straight away. It also eases the mind to know just what to do if there is a problem. So check out that video. Then you are armed with the tool to be used when it's needed. I hope it helps you as it worked for me.
  8. Someone please talk me down :|

    Sounds like you know the answer, you're being logical and can see that it's very, very unlikely. Good on you for that. What you're dealing with are intrusive thoughts. They're a pain in the a**! Have you tried mindfullness? This is where you kind of step back from your thoughts. You notice them & observe them but don't get involved. Pass no judgement on the thoughts just "watch" them float by like you would watch a cloud float by. You notice it come and you notice it go. There is no need to believe the thought or let it wind you up. Thoughts appear all the time, but they are just thoughts not fact. As I always say, I can think I'm a millionaire all I like but that doesn't make the thought true. It's just background noise and nonsense. Everyone gets intrusive thoughts. Sometimes things pop into your mind and you think "god I'm such a freak for thinking that" but we didn't think it on purpose. You can't really control it. But you can choose to detach from the thought and not let it drag you off into "what if" land. Mindfullness is also great for staying in the present moment. Right now, do you or any of your kids actually have a problem? No. Right now, everything is fine. Keep your mind on right now. To do this, notice all you can...the smells around you, the sounds. Are you kids talking to you? Are you actually hearing the words or are you letting your mind wander off with the thoughts of bacteria? Stay focussed on what is actually going on and don't let the thought take you away from the moment. It is just a thought and doesn't need your attention. Feel the ground under your feet. Feel your body, really feel it living and breathing. What do you see around you? It all sounds a bit simple and silly but it truly does wake you up, bringing you out of your thought loop and into the present. Repeatedly trying to be mindful and stay in the present can actually rewire your brain to make this your natural habit rather than intrusive thoughts and worry being your natural habit. Or so I've been told? I've been practicing this for a few weeks now and see things getting better. I don't fall into anxiety so easily now. We with anxiety tend to live internally, inside our own heads most of the time. Thinking, thinking and more thinking. It can look to someone else as if you're paying attention but you're really not hearing a word they say because you're too busy inside your own head. Keep being mindful. The brain is a like a muscle and if you work on it, it will get stronger. Hopefully this makes sense and helps a bit. It was advice given to me not so long ago and it's really helped. I was told not to expect instant change or to give up if it didn't work. Just keep at it and eventually you see progress just like as if you worked out any muscle.
  9. So tired! So over it!

    Hi rainbow. It must be the time of year for work to get on our nerves! I hope I can learn something from meditating too. I'm able to calm my anxiety and talk logic to myself but am getting frustrated that I have to do this in the first place!? As soon as my eyes open in the morning my thoughts are anxious and a little depressive. Though I've learnt to "watch" this too rather than get carried away with the story they tell. I hope you can use your stress leave time to find some peace. I find it hard to actually put a reason behind my anxiety at the moment. Maybe it's work, but then I can find something to be anxious about in any situation haha. I think I need rewiring. I'm working on it.☺
  10. Taking the path of least resistance

    ⬆⬆⬆ You're all over it MsLLL. I think what you're doing there is what Dr Weekes calls floating. You awknowledge the feelings and accept them as a bodily reaction and float through it until it passes. I love that idea of not attaching the emotion to anything. Great work! It is really amazing how we can convince our body we are ill and it will react as if it is true. I can remember trying to fake a cold to get out of school when I was little. I noticed after faking it well enough I actually would feel a little sick. The opposite is also true. If I can convince myself I'm stong and fit, I start to really feel that too.
  11. Taking the path of least resistance

    Hi Missy I too have recently wondered why do our thoughts even go there in the first place? Why are mine so anxious and timid when everyone else just gets on with their day, happily and not over thinking. I asked a counsellor this and they told me it's just habit. When you've thought in this particular way for so long, the brain wires itself to always do this. Holls is right in that the answer is meditation. The counsellor tells me by practicing mindful meditation, the brain can be rewired to a more pleasent way of thinking. She also said to stick with it. Don't just do it once, say "it's not working" and give up. Keep at it. So that's what I'll do. I've only just started last week. With health anxiety, I always try to laugh at the things my mind comes up with. A twinge in the leg and my brain says "it's a blood clot!" I always laugh and say "of course it is brain, of course". The other thing I did which pretty much ended my health anxiety was made a rule that I won't worry about imaginary illnesses until the doctor says the words "you have x,y,z (whatever it is)". So if I was afraid of heart troubles, I'd wait until I was sitting across from the doctor and they said the words "you have a heart defect" until I started to worry. Because before that happens, it's not a real thing nor do I have any control over it. This includes waiting until I'm in the back of an ambulance or waiting until I actually passout or whatever it is that bothers me. It's really waiting until it's an actual, real, in the moment, happening right now problem. There's no point in being paranoid before hand. This is how everyone else lives their life. They live, a problem pops up, they deal with it the best they can and move on. They don't prepare or worry beforehand, only when it is actually happening. After a while of reminding myself of this rule, my mind stopped producing those health anxiety thoughts. It is a habit and thoughts pop up automatically. Your job is to catch the thought out when it happens, remind yourself of the rule and carry on without worry. If you exercise this as much as you can, you will get better eventually.
  12. Does marijuana work for panic and anxiety attacks.

    Mary J is a funny thing for anxiety. It's 50/50. Half of people are fine and it helps, the other half find it makes things worse. I'm in the second half. I don't like not being all there. Panic attacks cause enough depersonalization as it is, adding pot to do that on purpose is just a no go for me. I have tried it but found I've had to work harder to calm myself down when high. I hated feeling that way so I'd head to bed and sleep it off. That's just my experience. In Oz, we don't really get into different strains. There's just hydro, strong stuff and bush, more mellow stuff. I had bush.
  13. That's great to hear you're going to give it a go! How about a practice ride? You say anywhere within 2 hours is ok, maybe practice by pushing the boundary? Is there somewhere you can ride to that makes you uncomfortable? I'd suggest going there & letting a panic attack come on. I know that sounds crazy! If you read that site, panicend, the way to beat panic attacks is to stop fearing them. The way to stop fearing them is to let them happen, let them do their worst and just sit back and let it. Experience the attack fully. Face it, let it run it's course and then carry on with your day. You'll find they happen less and less each time you're able to stay calm and let it all happen. Each time, you lose more fear of them. If you can learn a few calming breathing techniques that can help too. You do them if you start to feel panicky and you do them after an attack to calm the mind and body, letting things go back to normal. I'm super proud you've decided to give this a go. I hope you find a way to enjoy the trip and the panic leaves you alone. Please keep us updated☺
  14. Hi oceanlover67 Sounds like you've got an amazing husband and that lady who offered to drive, what a great person! I used to sail yachts. We'd be far from land, phone signal, any help at all. Then when I developed anxiety and panic attacks I couldn't see myself ever being on a yacht again. But guess what? I recovered and live on one full time now. So there is hope for you. You talk of limitations and that perhaps you should know what yours are and just stay within those boundaries. This is the worst thing you can do. Once you start placing limitations on yourself your boundaries become smaller and smaller until one day the panic wins and you end up never leaving your home or living life. It's a bitch of a thing, so please try to keep pushing the envelope and don't build a wall with "can do's" & "can't do's". There is no such thing as "can't" and nothing is impossible. Though there is such a thing as "don't want to" which shows up when things are scary. Make sure you know the difference. If you didn't have an anxiety disorder, is this trip something you would want to do and enjoy? If the answer is yes, don't let anxiety stop you. The best thing you could do is face it, conquer it and learn from the trip. It's ok to not be ready though, but it is something you should work towards. Maybe you'll make this trip, maybe you won't but you might be ready for the next one. Just don't stop trying! How long have we got until this trip? I belive you can do it and enjoy it, with a little help. These panic attacks are making you belive you can't when you absolutely can. If we can work on the panic attacks, I think you'll be fine. Another thing you're doing is giving yourself anxiety by being apprehensive about the trip. You've already decided that you will panic & have to come home and you haven't even left yet. You don't know for sure that any of this will come true. We anxious types always imagine the worst case scenario, we never imagine the best thing that could happen. This is where you should start. Whenever you catch your thoughts thinking about the bad things that could happen on this trip, stop. Then force your mind to think of good things that could happen. You can choose what thoughts you want to listen to or focus on and which ones to ignore. Thoughts are not fact. Just because you think something doesn't mean it is true. I can think I'm a millionaire all I like but that doesn't make it real. The brain is amazing though. If you start to belive you are in a bad way, your body will produce symptoms to match. It will also produce thoughts to match. Down, depressive, anxious thoughts. If you practice positive thinking, tell yourself you are fit, healthy and ready for anything, your mind and body slowly start to belive it and you feel better mentally and physically. Anxiety really rips your self confidence to shreds. Try to tell yourself or remind yourself of all the awesome things you can do, have done before and will do again one day. Then visit Panicend.com which is a very good place to discover more about panic attacks and how to face them and overcome them. I'm not affiliated with this site in anyway, it just helped me a lot a few years ago, so I recommend it often. You can do this! Or at least try. We'll be right here with you. Keep us updated on this thread.
  15. So tired! So over it!

    Thanks GinaB The thing is, I know all this stuff. What makes me tired and angry is that I have to do it at all! This week it just really got me down and I was thinking "why can't I be like everyone else". I spoke to a counsellor just to vent about it. I told them how I was tired of having to manage anxiety. Having to watch my thoughts, slow my breathing, push through and face the fear as the thoughts were lies. It's exhausting. Once again I asked "why me". Why do I get these stupid thoughts in the first place. For once a counsellor told me something useful. She said that the brain is a muscle and when it has suffered stress or depression or anxiety for a long period of time, it gets this muscle memory and starts to use those circuits to produce thought all of the time. So the thoughts are naturally fearful or deoressive. Others, who practice happy and positive thoughts find that this becomes their natural state. She told me the brain can be rewired with mindfulness meditation. It is a muscle and that makes sense to me. If you only ever exercise the negative muscle, that's the one that will grow. If you want another muscle to grow, you have to use it! You have to exercise it. So I'll follow her advice and do this mindfullness every day. (She told me a website with free guided medititations). She did make a good point that people do these meditations and lay there thinking "this isn't working" or give up after a week. She says to stick to it and eventually I'll see results. So I'll let you all know how that goes.