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Old 01-15-2013, 10:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Coping with anxiety/panic attacks over your past?


...And if you do, how do you cope with it?

I've been sober for a year, and every day, I am still tormented with anxiety and panic attacks over the memories of the things I've done in the past.

I was on drugs for 9 years of my life, and when I was using, I did and said so many horrible things, and to so many countless people. In the year I've been sober, I have managed to get and maintain a job, sign a lease on an apartment in a nice area, finish my college education, and make several new lovely, classy friends. However, I live every day in a constant state of fear that, somehow or another, my past is going to come back and get me. I'm terrified that people are going to start coming out of the woodwork, the rumors are going to start circulating, and everyone in my "normal life" that I have now is going to find out about the person I've been.

It's a small world, and not to mention, I live a life that is very much in the public eye. Does anyone else have similar fears, or advice on coping with these sorts of problems? I feel so alone in this.
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ColetteTocca (02-01-2013)
Old 01-15-2013, 11:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah, I do - not from a history of taking drugs, but from a history of being hopelessly codependent and a whole lot of shame about a whole lot of things!
I tossed around moving away from the place it all happened in, but that's not the way for me now, I know.
There's always people that judge, or people that remind you of things you'd rather forget, but the past is the past and I have come to believe that pride can actually stand in your own way.
I have done and said many things that I regret and would do differently today, but somebody said to me lately that good decisions are made through experience, and experience is gained usually through bad decisions!
When you stand in front of people you stand as you are today, not as you were yesterday or the day before, and you give what you can give today.
None of us can change the past, most of us wish we could!
Full kudos to you for changing bad habits that were destructive to you! You've done an amazing thing! I too have done an amazing thing in getting myself out of my own bad habits (emotional)
We're all in this together really, and everyone has their own demons to overcome. Most are happy for you when you overcome your own, and if there's been hurt done just make sure the person you hurt knows you're sorry. That's all you can do.
We've really only got now and the future, the rest has already been written.
So happy you've made the change! You're not alone xxx
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ColetteTocca (02-01-2013)
Old 01-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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oops sorry to reply again, but I realised I forgot the most important thing that does help me, and that was realising that although some may and do judge, there are others that will draw inspiration from your story. People so often say such hope defying things, "once a ------ always a -----" etc etc
You may have caused harm in the past, but by doing what you're doing you will also be doing a lot of good whether you know it or not, and giving hope to others still stuck in the mire that it is possible to get out and stay out!
And also for the people that have loved ones caught up in that cycle, you are giving hope.
The winds that blow in from the past get less and less as time goes by, and the more distance you have from it all the better. Stay strong, and many hugs for a great achievement xxx
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