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1306047 tn?1333243591

Fixing My Anxiety/Real Medical Issue Combo Is Eluding Me For Decades

I have lung damage from smoking weed and cigarettes.  I developed this in my early 30s.  I'm 48 now.  I am right at the line of being diagnosed with COPD.  Fortunately, my numbers have remained steady for the eight years I've been doing my lung function testing so that is good.  I'm not in any danger of dying from it.  Nor does it appear as if I'll die from it in the future.  I also have general anxiety disorder.  I'm on 20mg of Lexapro and have been on Celexa or Lexapro for ten years.  I can feel the damage which doesn't help.  The problem is, I can't tell where the real damage and the anxiety induced, exacerbated breathing difficulties begin and end.  I have had so much anxiety over this in the last 16 years and I can't shake it.  In the last several years, I've had a nearly constant sensation of my lungs feeling rotten and that they are getting worse and I'll probably develop lung cancer or get emphysema.  Even with the lung function tests telling me I'm stable, I still have the feeling of rotten lungs and inability to breath.  Sometimes it goes away and I don't feel too bad.  Sometimes, for a shorter period of time, I actually feel really good.  This is associated with taking actions that promote vitality and lung function like Wim Hof breathing, meditation, bike riding, pool swimming, ect.  The problem is that I don't have my life set up so that I have any free time to dedicate to my health (physical and mental and spiritual).  I have to get up at 5am for work.  I have a 100 year old house with rotting trim and a window sill and the property is an overgrown jungle just getting worse over time.  I am a late bloomer, so I'm not made of money.  The money I do make goes to adulting needs so I feel enslaved to my job and the need for money.  This feeling of life never stopping despite your need to press the pause button is very deflating for me.  I understand catostrophic thinking and know I'm doing it, but I just feel so overwhelmed with life's demands that I feel as if I just don't have the time to care for myself.  I understand that I am super busy, though, and life is very demanding so even if you take away the catostrophic thinking, I am quantifiably quite busy.  

Long story short, I don't know what to do.  I don't know to simply my life so that I have the free time to spend pursuing vitality and cultivating peace.  Should I sell the house?  What do I do then?  I'm debt free.  Should I take a $60k line of credit and just get the house dialed in?  Then I'm in debt for years, though.  Still, nothing is more important than  your health, and even if I'm imagining the cancer and emphysema, the decades of stress in my body could actually be the end of me.  I know this.  I have getting up at 5am for work so I haven't slept the best for years.  I sleep great in my periods of doing well so I know I can sleep good.  

Anyway, this is pretty long-winded.  I feel I know what I should be doing to feel better, but I don't feel I have the luxury to structure my life so that I have that amount of free time.  However, this near constant feeling of rotting lungs and inability to breath is ruining my life, my ability to have relationships, and ultimately my will to continue.  Is there any wisdom, advice, insights out there you, anyone reading this, can give me?  
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Avatar universal
The only one who can judge the  future of your lungs is the doctor who told you that you are stable now. Perhaps another session with him (or your family doc) will help provide more certainty about what you can expect in the future.
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