Hi. This is my first post here. A little background:

11 years ago I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. Out of nowhere I had my first full blown panic attack. I had no idea what happened but it stopped and after I calmed down I continued my day. One day driving it happened again. This time I couldn't move, the panic kept coming and coming. I was stuck on the side of the road, phoneless, for hours until my husband drove by and saw me. I got home and didn't leave again except for doctors appointments and then my husband had to drive me and I'd still panic. After my daughters birth I developed post partum depression but honestly I think all of the depression was from this sudden panic disorder/agoraphobia. My husband couldn't go to work because I was petrified of being alone period. We lost a lot during this time. I went on every single medicine they could find, had every imaginable side effect, eventually ending up on a cocktail of 4 that left me numb and just barely functioning. I decided to come off everything and just live through the feelings. After the torturous withdrawal I ended up in a far better place than I was before. I pushed myself to just go out. I began driving by myself (WITH a cell phone) up to 1.5 hours away, I could go shopping, visit my family, take my daughter to the doctors etc. I still had some anxiety, very rare panic attacks, but things were far improved! This took almost 2 years in all.

Then I got pregnant with my 2nd daughter and the panic occurred again. Not to the same extreme, this time I just couldn't be where I knew I had no cell phone service and therefor couldn't contact my husband. I still have this problem. 2 years later my family packed into a mini van and we spent 6 weeks driving coast to coast, camping, hotels, exploring every city we came across, amusement parks etc. The first 3 days I shook constantly but after that I loved every single second. Now I have ZERO problems being far from home as long as my husband is with me. We have plans to travel long term internationally now. I have the travel bug in a big way!

The problem is I can not be far away from my husband, my safe person, without panic. He can go to work, visit family, do whatever. But if I can not get ahold of him on the phone I go into panic mode. If I think about him being far I get anxious. Other than that I don't even think about anxiety/panic anymore! Now we have a great opportunity to stay in a house 2 states away, only ~5 hours or so, for 5 months, but the downside is my husband would have to split the week between our home town and there. At first I just thought ok, we'll come back and forth as we please, no big. Now I'm looking at it as maybe an opportunity to just stay and see what happens. I've been to this place multiple times, I know the roads, stores, etc, it is not a foreign place to me. My children would stay with me (homeschooled) so it is not as if I'll be alone. My 10 year old is aware of my panic issues and anytime I've had one coming on and couldn't get ahold of my husband she would say "just talk to us, everything is ok". My biggest issue is at night when I know he'll be asleep and may not hear the phone, or if I have a panic attack while driving and he's so far away, the "what ifs" pop into my mind and I'm scared.

But I need to push through this last issue. I know if I do this, go 5 hours from my safe person, that my anxiety and panic will likely increase 10 fold. But I also know that those panic attacks aren't going to kill me, I'll survive. And if I live through it I'll always know that even if it's not comfortable I can do it. At worst he will come all the way back and we'll come home. I will not have a "just in case" medicine, I will never go that route again.

I know this is considered "flooding" and it is always better to do things slowly but I really don't think that will help me in this case. If I use small steps, he stays 20 minutes away or something, I know he will come and save me no matter how much I tell him not to. Or I'd call my family and they would. I'm tired of asking to be "saved"! It is more and more demoralizing every time. And honestly, the fact that I'm really considering this is very encouraging to me. I do get anxious thinking about it but no full blown panic attacks. I just tell the anxiety so what, I'll live through the sensations, and it has helped to just say that and not be afraid of it.

I'm just writing it all out and hoping to hear some feedback, opinions, experiences etc. I am so sorry this turned into a novel! If you read the entire thing thanks for bearing with me!