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Thread: My Path to Success

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    302

    My Path to Success

    Okay, so this is not a classic success story as I am nowhere near success. However, I have decided to blog my path to success here as I think it will be helpful.

    Little background, I am 34, married, with one of the best jobs in the world in my opinion, as I can work from home, just few hours a day on average. However, I suffer from health anxiety, and it's being going on for a while, probably since my teens, but it got worse since late 2012.

    Some diseases I "had" : ALS, MS, PPMS, bowel, gastric, brain, penile cancer, leukemia, lymphoma, amyloidosis, focal glomerulosclerosis, HIV, Hepatitis B, C, Autoimmune Hepatitis, melanoma, nail melanoma specifically, oral melanoma, blood clots and now tonsil cancer.

    I have probably even missed some diseases and not all of them sent me into a state of panic. Some where very short and I was scared just a bit, but others make me go into full panic mode, like ALS back in late 2012 when my true hypochondria started.

    Let me share first what I did/am doing right now which doesn't help. I live pretty healthy lifestyle. Never smoked or drinked. Since last June, I started eating healthy and started exercising 4x week. I was very consistent with it, and although I was never fat, now I look pretty athletic, 13-14% body fat etc. They say exercise helps with anxiety, and while I see that I could be worse, I am certainly not in the place where I want to be as it doesn't prevent me from going into full panic/depression mode.

    The most recent scare is tonsil/throat cancer as I realized I have HPV and I have sore throat. Normal response, you go to doctor, he says it's fine, you go back home and move on with your life. My response, I Google, first Google a tone, then go to doctors office, and when I hear term tonsil cysts (caused by chronic tonsilitis apparently) I freak out completely, Google more, then, I stop Googling and I get depressed. I am dying, so what is a purpose of doing anything. I am still able to go to gym, but I have hard time concentrating for my work, I sleep in the afternoon which I never do, and my mood is horrible. I am not sure how my wife even stands me when I am walking around the house, like someone told me I have 3 days to live.

    So, this is what I want to change. I don't want to be a freaking zombie every time I get disease scare.

    Exercise didn't help, as I have said, I am not sure that stopping to Google will help as well. The reason I am saying this is that I remember, 20 years ago or so, I heard someone mentioning HIV and I didn't even know what HIV is, certainly didn't have sex at that time, wasn't Googling a thing, but managed to be afraid that I have it, can't even remember why. So, without Googling, instead of having specific cancer that I am afraid of, I would probably pick some random one.

    However, I don't want to be a smart ass about this, so from today I will stop Googling illnesses completely and I will record by the end of each day if I was successful.

    I am going to therapist from time to time, and we have agreed that I start Lexapro 10mg from today, so I will do that as well.

    I want to stop sleeping in the afternoon and also, I need to do something every hour of every day. The worst time I have is when I am not doing anything, just lying and thinking about how I am going to die.

    To summarize:

    - Stop Googling
    - Take Lexapro 10mg every day
    - Stop sleeping in the afternoon
    - Do something all day when I am awake

    Goal:

    - Stop walking around like a zombie when panic kicks in.
    - Stop whining that I am going to die

    I have decided to start this blog when I am almost at my worst. Sore throat for almost 20 days with no sign of viruses and bacteria infection. It is either anxiety or cancer. So, if I manage to pull through this, without going completely depressed, I think I will be able to handle anything that future might bring.

    If you have any other advice, tip, that I can try, feel free to share.

    Let's begin...
    Last edited by Hypo84; 11-09-19 at 18:47.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    302

    Re: My Path to Success

    Day 1

    On top of the things that I mentioned I would do, I also started meditating two times a day, 7 minutes each. Can't hurt I guess.

    Haven't slept today in the afternoon, went with my dog for a short walk instead which is a plus. Haven't Googled as well.

    Mood is pretty much the same. Worse in the evening as throat hurts more for some reason, but Rome wasn't built in a day, so I don't expect huge changes immediately.

    My hope is that with consistent work and with meds things should get better eventually.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    302

    Re: My Path to Success

    Day 2

    1 step forward, two steps back I guess.

    Slept in the afternoon for 2 hours.

    Not sure what is happening, I wake up, go to gym and have an awesome workout, come back do something for work but gradually my symptoms get worse and worse during the day (lump in the throat feeling today) so by around 2pm, I feel so "depressed" that I don't want to do anything and just go to sleep. When I woke up I felt better and finished my work. Haven't Googled, but also haven't meditated.

    Not going to update this thread daily as it will become tedious I guess, but I will update at least once a week, or when something important happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,787

    Re: My Path to Success

    This is a great idea!
    Youíre doing really well. You set yourself quite a lot of challenges, so maybe go easy on yourself do that you donít give up altogether because itís too hard.,,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Posts
    274

    Re: My Path to Success

    I once had sore throat for three months and was freaking out but all tests were fine and it finally went away magically one day. I was sucking on lozenges like crazy and was smelling like one with all that menthol.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    302

    Re: My Path to Success

    Day 8

    Haven't Googled for the past 8 days. Yesterday I slept in the afternoon but this was on purpose as I had to stay awake after midnight for work. Taking Lexapro every day obviously. Going to gym 4x a week as usual.

    I would love to say that I feel better but I don't really. I still want to sleep in the afternoon, not because I am tired, but because in sleep nothing hurts, there is no anxiety, no fear.

    My therapist used to tell me that I am gaining something by worrying, and it's true. It's completely irrational thought, but somewhere deep down, I believe that there is less chance of being truly sick if I worry about it. If I relax, and don't worry, I will either miss something, or these symptoms will turn out to be something serious. So, in the end, I live in a state constant anxiety/fear.

    It is not equally strong throughout the day, and it is definitely not a state of panic as I am able to function normally, but instead of being happy with what I have, I am scared of what might happen. Basically, I need someone to slap me in the face periodically during the day so I would come to my senses.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    302

    Re: My Path to Success

    Day 14

    Still not Googling however, can't stop sleeping in the afternoon. It turned into habit and I will try to break this habit by drinking double dose of coffee around 2PM. Since I don't drink coffee at all, this might help.

    Had almost a nervous breakdown yesterday btw. Went to my therapist and she confirmed what I initially thought, that my tonsil cyst increased in the past 10 days. She added also that it doesn't matter as it doesn't look like cancer at all, that it has clear edges, very nice color, that it is smooth and bunch of other things but you know when you are anxious person you filter only the thing that scares you, so in my mind, the only thing that was repeating like in the infinite loop was "It got bigger"...

    In panic, went this morning to do ESR (sedimentation rate) as ENT and my therapist told me that you can't really have cancer without at least double digit ESR and it was normal so that calmed me for a while.

    Since it is only two weeks, anti-depressants are obviously not doing anything yet and the fact that I stopped Googling doesn't help much as I have Googled for so long that I already have all those scary things memorized.

    Hopefully in the next two weeks some improvements from meds especially will be seen. The positive thing is that I am still going to gym, so at least I am able to function pretty normally despite the anxiety. Only yesterday, when I had this nervous breakdown I was behaving like a zombie and didn't feel like doing anything.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    302

    Re: My Path to Success

    Day 32 I guess

    Feeling great for a change. Haven't Googled since I started this thread. Lexapro is probably starting to work as well.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,787

    Re: My Path to Success

    Good to hear

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