Over the past week, my anxiety has hit levels it has not reached for the last 14 years or so. Although I have dealt with anxiety my entire life to an extent, it was about 15 years ago that it started going out of control. At first, I kept thinking I was having heart attacks (at age 19, no less), but eventually learned that my heart was fine and my symptoms were actually panic attacks. A few months later, I began having days when I was nervous constantly: you know the butterfly-in-the stomach feeling when you have to give a talk or something? Like that, only with no apparent reason for it and for hours and hours with only momentary reprieves. I found out it had a name: generalized anxiety disorder.
I went to doctor after doctor trying to find a solution: counseling, psychiatrist, allergist, alternative medicine. I'm not sure what finally helped me, but eventually my life seemed under control again, with a bit more anxiety than I had prior to age 19, but not anything that I couldn't handle or deal with from day to day. I did have a few leftover anxieties relating to panic attacks I had during that time period, like driving on the freeway or eating pot luck meals where there could be nuts as an ingredient unbeknown to me (since I am deathly allergic).
I do find it interesting, though, that my anxiety started shortly after Scott left on his mission, and then started to subside shortly after he came home from his mission. Coincidence? I really don't know.
So, as my anxiety has now resurfaced suddenly (and I am back to the butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling pretty constantly), it occurred to me to wonder if on some subconscious level, I am afraid of losing Scott (like I did when he left on a mission, only this time forever) and that has pushed my anxiety back into full swing. I expressed that concern to him a few days ago.
Tonight, he and I were talking about it some more. He helped me realize that I have known he is gay since July, and yet my anxiety is surfacing now. I seemed to be going along just fine, and then wham, it started with depression and lots of crying, and then turned into this nervous feeling. He thinks it started spiraling downward at the point we met with our bishop.
I do think there is some link to the stress I am facing at school, but school has always been stressful, and I've always handled it before, so why is it out of control now? I guess it is probably a combination of things.
So, if Scott is right, and it is mostly the bishop thing and conflicts that I am feeling as a result of embracing gayness vs. following the prophet, then what do I do about it? I had already determined not to go inactive, but if my anxiety now seems to be out of control and getting worse, what should we do? What is best for me, for my health and sanity, and for our family?
4 weeks ago