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About Sunnybunny

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  1. Hi Jon! Missed you guys too. Life has been busy and I find that I have to be careful how often I check in here otherwise I get too focused on my anxiety and any symptoms. Yes, the last two years have been a slow road. There are definite improvements and there have been a lot of god memories over those two years but I am starting to get frustrated with the fact that I still feel anxious about leaving the house. Even though I leave my house every day I still dread it. And I still can't drive outside my regular route, still don't get together with friends as often as I used to etc. Well my recent reading reminded me that we can't wait until we feel like doing these things that scare us. I have been waiting until my normal routine is completely anxiety free before wanting to add anything extra. But I'm not sure that is really going to work. I guess I just might have to get on board with feeling uncomfortable for a while and start expanding my circle even before the current circle feels secure. That's the thing about anxiety, it's a paradox every time.
  2. Hi everyone. This is a great thread and it sounds like Chris is making really good progress. I love Pistol's analogy. That is exactly how I have lived most of my life. I took the battery out with medication and that worked for a time but things inevitably creep back in because I have never really learned how to deal with my anxiety and retrain my thoughts and behaviours. I thought I had because I adopted a lot of coping mechanisms and many of those served me well for a long time. I do realize it will take time but I think I have been impatient. I will do well for a few weeks and then panic when I experience unexpected anxiety symptoms. Then I am back at square one. There has definitely been some progress over the last year but not what I was hoping for and I don't really think I have fully learned yet to accept my anxiety. Nor have I changed my thought and behaviour patterns that got me into this to begin with. So this thread came at a good time for me. I need to reset and truly practice floating and acceptance. Chris's updates have encouraged me :-)
  3. Hi Lulu. I take a small dose of Escitalaprom, which I believe is the same thing as Lexapro. In Canada we call it either Cipralex or Celexa (I forget which is which at the moment!). I have had very little trouble with it and the positive improvements have far outweighed the negative side effects. Pardon the pun as weight gain has been a side effect ion my experience! I don't know that the medication specifically causes me to gain weight or if it is more the increased appetite combined with the decreased anxiety and the increased feelings of laziness. Yes, I find it also makes me a bit more lazy and apathetic but that can be almost a relief for a while after feeling so anxious. I have been on and off quite a few medications over the last 30+ years just trying to find a balance and continue functioning at times when the anxiety has reared it's annoying head. I really haven't had any scary, negative reactions or side effects so I definitely encourage you to give something a try if you need to. It doesn't have to be forever but if it can get you over the hump it's worth it. With any of these medications the important thing to remember is to take them as directed and don't suddenly stop and start. I sometimes wonder if that's where people really run into side effects. Gradual increases in dosage when starting a new medication and gradual decreases in dosage if coming off are key. Best wishes to you.
  4. I just logged on after a few weeks to find this news. I am in absolute shock and sitting here (at work!) crying. I can't read the full thread right now so I don't have all the background but this was obviously very unexpected and I am just heartbroken for you Gilley. Wow, if there was anything I could to make this turn out differently please know I would. I will be praying for you and your family, Gilley. Take care of yourself. Lisa
  5. Hi TaisieLil. Welcome from Western Canada!
  6. Hi there! Yes, it is sometimes nice just to come on here and read what others are dealing with. Definitely makes me feel less alone and makes me feel more optimistic. Everyone here has ups and downs and we try to encourage one another so don't be afraid to share.
  7. I know Gale. Tell me, what do you do during the day and how do you deal with your symptoms? Do you work outside the home? What do you do with the bulk of your day and what have you been doing with your free time? And how do you respond (emotionally and practically) when you wake up and realize the symptoms are still there? Do you think we could work on finding some approaches that might help lessen your fear and frustration over this? I feel from your posts that you are very worked up and wound up over this. I get it. Of course you are. You are tired of feeling like crap and constantly worrying and scanning for the symptoms, right? So maybe another approach - if you can work on acceptance and relaxing a bit you might find some relief. Sounds counter-intuitive I know but in my experience it is the key. What do you think?
  8. Hi Gale: NEVER feel like a pain in the ass on this forum! Everyone is here to help each other which is what makes this site so great. Like you I am experiencing ups and downs. I went for years functioning quite well and then 2 years ago had a setback which I am still trying to get over. I keep going and I do really well for many days but I have bouts of anxiety now and then, usually during times of extra stress or if I am run down or hormonal. At 45 I am finding the hormonal issues to be a big factor :-( My symptoms tend to change over time. I think that's how sneaky anxiety is. Just when we stop worrying about a particular symptom it will throw something else at us to keep us on our toes. For me the most problematic symptoms are the feelings of impending doom and danger and the obsessive worrying and "what-ifs". They really interfere with daily life and are also the most difficult to explain to someone who doesn't understand. Even I think I sound ridiculous sometimes! And yes they can go on for days and weeks. But they always ease up eventually. I am still working on it but, honestly, I think the more desperate we are to make it go away the harder it gets. I am working on acceptance and it's an ongoing practice let me tell you. There are lots of threads here on this site that talk about the role of acceptance in managing our anxiety. If you think about it, it makes sense. When we are so desperate for it to go away, we create tension, tension creates more anxiety. Now we are stuck in a loop. Once in the loop we start to get run down which makes us more anxious, which makes us more desperate. And the cycle continues. It really is true, the more I worry about my anxiety and obsess over a setback the harder it seems to get. Accept the symptoms as nothing more than a nuisance, get on with our day and eventually they will fade into the background. Easier said than done, I know, otherwise I wouldn't be visiting this site 30+ years after the onset of my anxiety. But again, during the rougher patches I have to remind myself to take it "one day at a time". We can all do that. Anyone can make it through one day. Tomorrow just might be a better day :-)
  9. Headache sufferer here! At times mine have been daily, they can last for a week at a time and can make me feel nauseous. Mine are tension headaches for sure. Regular stretching and drinking lots of water can help. Anxiety definitely contributes to mine but lots of people get them. Someone I work with has been struggling with them lately too. I think it's partly our posture. Computers, driving, cooking, cleaning, watching TV, everything we do puts us in a forward posture and that is really hard on our neck and shoulder muscles. I try to remember to keep my shoulders back and down and my chin tucked in. And I get regular massages. Don't google but don't worry about a brain tumour. I would have been dead years ago if the daily, long-lasting headaches were a sign of a brain tumour! I don't think brain tumours are very common and generally a person would have some other symptoms telling them something was wrong.
  10. Hi Gale. I am 45 and have had anxiety since childhood. Diagnosed at 13. I've realized for a long time that it was anxiety but I used to think I would outgrow it. Ha! It comes and goes and I have good bouts then rough spots. Have been on meds most of my life. They work on and off. I think it takes a lot of trials to get the right fit with the meds and then as we age perhaps something that worked previously becomes less effective. Whether that's due to changes in hormones and metabolism I don't know but it would make sense. I completely understand what you and Gilley have posted here. When I have a setback I go searching for new answers. This time it must be something else. Maybe it was something else all along and just wasn't properly diagnosed? I've had my thyroid and blood sugars checked so many times. And the tests for ulcers, though I haven't had one of those in a long time as I despise drinking the barium goo. I've talked to doctors, read all sorts of books, surfed the web for hours on end but the undeniable fact is that I have anxiety. Plain and simple. I've gotten to the point where I know it's anxiety so I don't even worry about symptoms. Well it's not that I don't worry but I just know/accept that it must be anxiety. I have almost the opposite fear to you at this point. What if at some time there actually is something physically wrong with me but I assume it's anxiety and ignore it to my detriment? But then I remind myself that, if something were actually wrong, it would likely feel different somehow. And like Gilley says it would progress and/or present itself in different ways. Somehow I or my husband would realize it was different. And I agree with Gilley about the power of habit also. We mustn't underestimate the influence of our minds. For us long-timers these habits and patterns are so ingrained in us. We may not even be aware of small behaviours or thought processes that affect the way we react, think, feel. All this to say that I don't have any answers for you. But you are not alone in your frustrations. I just keep reminding myself to take things one day at a time. Some days it's one hour at a time! And I have been trying to remind myself that I don't need to fear the symptoms. The less attention I give them the less power they will have over me. I hope this helps you feel less alone at least. I appreciate you sharing your concerns as I now feel less alone knowing there are others out there working through the rough days the same as me. Best wishes to you.
  11. Hi Jon. Sorry to hear about your setback. You have been such an inspiration here and we all know you will pull through stronger than before. Take care of yourself for now.
  12. Hi Cmay. I don't think I have social anxiety but I know that I can sometimes appear to be distant or stuck up if I am in a situation where I am nervous. I don't smile too much and tend to have a scowl on my face if I am thinking too much LOL But the people who take the time to get to know me soon realize that I am not at all stuck up and so I keep that as a reminder that you really can't judge a book by it's cover or a person from a first meeting. I def do struggle with leaving the house! Not always but fairly often. I do it anyways. My circle of "safe places" starts to shrink if I allow it to and I know I can't live that way so I get out and keep going. It's really hard some days. Other days I don't even give it a second thought. On the hard days I just remind myself that it will pass - it always does - and I just have to take that first step. It helps to have little things to look forward to and to focus on positives. For example, I was struggling with my driving so I made a point of noticing the scenery along my route. That and singing along to a favourite CD. Now driving doesn't seem quite so bad. Hopefully you have been doing some reading on the site and getting some more ideas along with some reassurance that you are not alone.
  13. We understand Kim. You seem to have your agoraphobia well in hand if you are getting out riding and snowboarding. Sorry about your accident and injuries, that would be enough to make anyone feel a little stressed and vulnerable for a few weeks. Well I am a functioning agoraphobic too. Sometimes I wish I didn't ever have to leave the house but I do it every day though I don't always feel like it. I know I can't cut myself too much slack too often because my world will shrink if I allow I to. As you know, getting up and getting out is actually the hardest part. I'm sure that once you get to the stable you will be fine. Just tell yourself you don't have to stay long if you don't feel up to it but at least give it a shot. Do it for the horse. Go give him a pat and let him know you haven't given up on him :-)
  14. Good point Mark. I am beginning to think that the best thing I can do is remind myself that my anxiety can be a good thing. It's part of who I am and it is actually part of my strengths (kindness, empathy, detail-oriented at work). If I can start to view it as an ally that will take away the tension it creates in me and actually help me to calm down. It seems I'm still afraid to let the thoughts go. Sometimes it yells "don't ignore me, I'm important! You have no evidence that I'm not" Nastasia, what if we were to reply "But I have no evidence that you are important either. Maybe I will wait for now and give you more attention only if I get solid evidence that I need to. For now, hang out here in my head if you wish but you can stay over there in the corner and try to keep quiet because I have other things to do right now." I used to be better at doing that. I had visual cupboards in my head and some of them were messy but I didn't worry about it. I just put all those nagging thoughts away in the appropriate cupboard and reminded myself that I could open it and get the thoughts out to examine if I really needed to. But I focused on keeping those cupboards closed most of the time. Actually it really helped for a time and I think I need to work on doing that again! Right now I just seem to have a jumbled mess of stuff strewn about in my head, no wonder I can't think straight LOL