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Old 12-20-2018, 12:02 PM   #1
2Jumpy
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Default Getting control over feeling constant fear

Any tips for calming down a constant flight/fight fear feeling? Exercise seems to make it worse and then I feel like literally running away. Meditation attempts leave me feeling like a sitting duck that is going to be pounced on. Breathing exercises cause me to practically hyperventilate. I can't get my resting heart rate under 100 bpm, for the last week. It's typically around 78 resting.

I am a married woman in my mid 40's and have had anxiety and depression since age 18. In the past, I have been able to overcome it with exercise, therapy, antidepressants and Xanax once or twice a year for a panic attack. But my husband has been having massive anger issues/job issues, etc. that he is trying to get help for but it is taking months. And his constant bad mood and outbursts has now left me feeling so jumpy that I feel nauseous 24/7 and am shaking daily.

Why can't I get more control over myself? I know that I can't control others, I can only control myself. So why can't I get a hold of myself? Just knowing he is going to walk in the door each night has me shaking. He doesn't hit me or anything. He is just always screaming at the TV or complaining about people or basically anything that is alive. It takes me until noon each day to just calm down after listening to him curse and swear as he is getting ready for work in the morning. Then I am calm for about an hour or two in the afternoon, until I realize that I have to see him again after work soon. Then I start to shake again.

We have a treadmill and exercise equipment at home so I have tried to keep my distance from him when he gets home and tune his rants out. I listen to him tell about his day and when he is done I hop on the treadmill to calm down. But then he comes in every 5 minutes for the whole hour and stops me to say "hi". I feel controlled. I put ear phones in and try to zone out to music. But his coming in every 5 minutes to say "hi", forces me to remove my ear phones each time and negates the entire purpose. It is triggering my fight or flight response and I literally want to run away from him. Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs to him to just stop it and leave me alone. I did this once, I just lost it and I feel awful about it.

I am trying to hang in there until he gets diagnosed and gets into therapy. But he keeps changing jobs and loosing our insurance so it keeps getting rescheduled. I can't go to therapy any more because of this also. He has drained our accounts and maxed out our debts so I can't find temporary help. I just feel like I am strapped into the passenger seat of plane that is being driven by a suicide bomber and I can't escape. I have started to drink a couple of beers every single night now just so I can calm down. I usually never drink. I can't keep doing that. I have Xanax but that's prescribed for the occasional panic attack and leaves me foggy brained all the next day at work, and then I make a ton of mistakes. So I don't use it.

What am I missing? Surely other people have to deal with much worse at home and are still able to function at work the next day. How do they do it? What's the secret?
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Old 12-20-2018, 12:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Getting control over feeling constant fear

I'm so sorry you're struggling, 2Jumpy. From what you wrote, the relationship with your husband doesn't sounds very healthy. You're constantly afraid of you and it's almost dominating your life. Is your anxiety related to any other aspect or just to him? Have you talked to him about this? Maybe that could help. Although I understand you may feel too anxious for discussing this with him. But I think you need to seriously reconsider this relationship, or at least have a serious talk about this. Do you see a therapist? Maybe that could help. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this
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Old 12-20-2018, 01:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Getting control over feeling constant fear

MickeyCheeky, Thank you for your response and input. I agree, it's very unhealthy. All of the things that I am worrying about are related to crisis's that he keeps causing with his explosive outbursts. I have talked to him dozens of times about it all. And his employers and coworkers have been complaining to him this last year as well. So it has led him to finally looking into help abut a month ago. He suspects that he has a neurological condition that he was supposed to be tested for when he was a child, but never was. So I am trying to sit back and give him a chance to get help for his lifelong issue. I have come to terms with the fact that he may never follow through. By February, he should have all the testing, etc. completed. So I am trying to hang in there until then. If things don't start changing after that, then I know I will need to divorce at that time. But I am crumbling under the pressure in the meantime. And I need to be at my strongest right now.

His issues are dominating my life. And I'm letting that happen all day long even when he is not around. .... and I'm sitting here typing this out and just had an "A ha" moment. My daily planner has had 1-3 "To do" tasks of his each day. So even when he is not around, I still can't be left alone to do my stuff. Every day, all day long, I'm doing things for him. Wow. Did I just wake up.

Thank you. Just you responding with your input, was enough to help me figure out why I feel like this. Thank you. Your a complete stranger to me and you just made me feel immense relief. That kindness means so much right now. Thank you
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Getting control over feeling constant fear

I can relate to your experience on some levels. Chronic stress can seem like anxiety on a surface level, after all anxiety from your description is what you've been treated for and those are the coping skills in your metaphoric toolbag. Dread and the sinking anxiety however (not your words but my own experience ) are more akin to melancholy and those anxiety work throughs don't stand a chance.

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Old 12-21-2018, 08:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Getting control over feeling constant fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by healingme4me View Post
I can relate to your experience on some levels. Chronic stress can seem like anxiety on a surface level, after all anxiety from your description is what you've been treated for and those are the coping skills in your metaphoric toolbag. Dread and the sinking anxiety however (not your words but my own experience ) are more akin to melancholy and those anxiety work throughs don't stand a chance.

Thank you for your input. You bring up some good points that I have not considered before, even in therapy. Would you mind expanding on your thoughts? Is chronic stress (i.e me putting out daily fires that my husband creates) different from anxiety? Does that mean that anyone would feel like I do under these conditions, and that this is not just a "I have anxiety issues" thing? Also, I just heard the term "coping skills" for the first time in my life a couple of months ago. I literally had to Google it after I heard it. And then I realized that I had none and began to research some and try them. My lifelong coping mechanism was to always jump in and solve/fix any problems so that I could then go on with my life. My work was always my escape from problems that could not be quickly solved. But now that gets interrupted every couple of hours with my husbands panicky texts or calls. I have put firm boundaries down dozens of times regarding work hours yet he only listens for about two days and then starts up again.

You stated that "Dread and the sinking anxiety however are more akin to melancholy and those anxiety work throughs don't stand a chance." . That is what I have suspected is the reason behind my experiencing depression anytime life gets tough. And each tough time has been because I have entered into mutual contracts with people who drop the ball. Ex: a mortgage that takes both of our paychecks, but then he quits his job. etc., etc. And I seriously question how I keep allowing people to get that far with me and I have recently began to change my life structure towards being more independent, and to quit entering into two party agreements unless I can handle them all on my own.

I am very curious about what you said here "those anxiety work throughs don't stand a chance." I do see that I am getting it wrong. But I'm not sure which parts. And I don't have a clue what right looks like. I am embarrassed to ask this much of you, but would you mind literally spelling it out for me. And what work throughs might work instead? (Explanation for such a strange request: I grew up in a single parent household where I was left alone starting at age 5. My mother worked all day and then locked herself in her room the minute she got home every night. If I made any noise, she would come out and beat me. So I have had to muddle my way through life, trying to observe "normal families & people", to try and pick up life tips). But it's obvious that there is some big piece here that I have missed and I feel like you may have spotted it and it could lead to some major clarity and positive change.
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Old 12-21-2018, 06:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Getting control over feeling constant fear

Anxiety work throughs or coping skills that are taught by therapists, I've come to accept as not always working when life at home is dreadful and if there is anything like depression going on. I have found, personally that chronic stress can lead to other health issues.

No it really doesn't sound like it's all you being the one with anxiety issues. You aren't in control of your husband and how stressful to not have the financial support that needs to be mutual when partnering in life together. It's one thing if there are circumstances beyond his control but it doesn't sound that way to me.

I'm so sorry to read that about your childhood. I haven't had too many therapists delve into how the past with family of origins affects us in the here and now, yet, when I was doing a ton of self help work (and in an online support group) in addition to counseling when I was going through the hardest of marital times, much was discussed about family of origin. Even in working through anger, back when I thought reacting from being provoked was all about "my issues", much was discussed about family of origin and how reactions when amplified can be lingering reactions to pain from childhood. Was certainly eye opening and an important piece of "working through" what I was going through.
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