About 3 weeks ago I went out drinking with friends. It's normal for me to have a few drinks on the Friday or Saturday. It wasn't loads, maybe 4-5 pints. When I woke up on the Saturday, I had severe anxiety. My left arm at the top hurt and my heart was beating really hard. I usually work on my business at the weekend, but couldn't do anything due to the feeling.
I have had this feeling before, but not nearly as badly as then. I then went out on the Saturday, vowing not to drink too much. I didn't drink loads, maybe 5 glasses of wine, but woke up in a similar state, after not sleeping well at all.
Over the coming three weeks up until now, I have experienced sleepless nights, heart racing, negative thoughts that make my emotion almost fall into my stomach if that makes sense - preventing me from sleeping. In fact I can be very relaxed in my body, but my emotions and mind are on overload. I have also been gagging in the morning as I feel sick.
Some nights I have slept for less then an hour, but most nights I sleep until 5:30 and then cannot get back to sleep, even though I am shattered. I have not slept all the way through since that night.
I have felt anxious before and not slept, but never like this and never so prolonged. I have also started to feel very depressed in the morning when I wake up, which doesn't subside for a lot of the day.
After reading on the internet, I am worried I have developed and anxiety disorder, maybe Generalised Anxiety Disorder. I have always been a very optimistic person, so this is very out of character and although I probably worry more then the average joe, it is about fairly concrete things, such as financial matters.
To give a bit more background - I have been working at a place that is quite frankly awful. I have never in my life felt so worthless as I do there. My old boss hates me because she used to bully me and I brought the matter up with the director - they are very pally. Because of this, I went into defensive mode and colleagues started to say they disliked me - only a couple, but its a horrible feeling.
I have been working hard, creating a business over the last 12 months. The business is video production, which I have never done before, but lucky after spending a fortune to buy all the equipment on credit cards, I have found that I am good at it and have started to win some great contracts. This is what has seen me through my awful job and the breakup of my long term relationship.
I was so desperate to get out of that place, that I requested part time working so I could concentrate on my business, which was denied. So I booked all my holiday - one day a week (it was two days, but the director got pissed off that I was taking the **** as she had refused my part time working and I had to compromise). I have been working every night and weekends to make the business work and have been very knacked from it! I would sometimes have to sleep in my car for a few minutes before a meeting because I was so tired.
So now my holiday is running out. My director also now dislikes me. I have some great contracts on the books, but they are taking a long time to come off and me get the money in the bank and I have a huge amount of debt that I need to pay.
With all this going on and after a particularly bad day at the office, I phoned my old employer and asked if they had any part time jobs. They did and I have been accepted for a job there. All at the time when I am not sleeping, feeling anxious all day and depressed in the morning and finding it v.difficult to concentrate on my business. If I take the job, then I am very concerned that I will not have enough money coming in to cover my debts. I am also concerned that I will hate the job - I left for a reason and apparently it has got a lot worse.
On the flip side, I honestly don't think I can cope in this job any longer. I have taken 2 days sick to try and get perspective on the whole thing and decide whether I gamble it and go with the pt job or stick where I am and not cope or something else.
I think that everything has just mounted up and the pt job option was the preverbal straw that broke the camels back as it where. If I take it, I have the concerns mentioned above. If I don't, then I feel like I am still stuck in a job I hate and I won't get that opportunity to take the job again, plus with my holiday run out until Jan, not have enough time to concentrate on the business.
Also, because I feel so depressed and anxious, I have lost the will and confidence in my business in lots of ways. I have managed to convince myself that I cannot do it and am not creative.
I feel throughly stuck. If I do have this Generalised Anxiety Disorder, it says it gets worse with time, which is extremely worrying. Do I really want to put myself in a self employed position where I have lots more stress, especially as I haven't been doing it forever and although what I have produced so far was good, I have limited experience in the field. I also worry about being lonely running it on my own. I spoke with another video producer, who is very lonely and I don't want that to happen to me. Finally, if it all goes wrong and I need to get another job, I wonder if being self employed looks bad on your CV.
Having said all this - if I give up on my dream, I will always wonder what would have been and regret it i'm sure.
BTW - the anxiety usually comes in waves. Sometimes I can feel 70% the way I did before and then suddenly an onset will come, my heart will race, negative thoughts will come in my head and this will last several hours.
I am taking 5-HTP (a natural SSRI - antidepressant) and Rhodioa for the stress. This has helped me greatly, but the problems of anxiety and depression are still with me. Will I ever get better and back to my usual self I wonder!
It feels good to write this stuff down, therapy in a way. My friends and family have been absolutely fantastic and I am so lucky to have some amazing people around me. I realise the problem lies within, I'm just not sure yet how to get the perspective I need and wondered if anyone reading this might help me to do this.
My hope is that I can overcome this, learn a great deal and help others to do the same. But I look at a guy I know through a friend, who has become more and more depressed and anxious with time and I am fighting for that not to happen to me!