So here I am

Somewhere quiet to write about what I feel so I can stop making my friends uncomfortable with my rambling about it. They think anxiety is just that bad feeling you get before your annual review or when your rent's coming due and you're a little short. And it is, in a way. But it's that feeling, every day, every minute. There's always something wrong, and you can't really define what it is. You can't just go do your review and get it over with, or pay the rent late and move on. You can't fix it, because you don't know what "it" is.
The sun is coming up. I'm afraid to sleep because I have trouble breathing at night, and I'm positive I'm not going to wake up one of these days. It's irrational. I tell myself it's just an allergy attack. Except I barely notice it until I notice it. If that makes sense. I suddenly realize my breathing is too shallow, and it becomes not being able to breathe at all. It's a panic attack. A mild one, not enough to make me go for the Ativan bottle, but enough to keep me awake for another hour.
I'm afraid to sleep because I know I have errands to run today. Only one or two, but it means getting dressed and leaving my house and interacting with others. At least one of my errands involves dealing with a car salesman, and I know it's not going to go well. Anticipation of that single event is enough to make me ponder the pill bottle, but I'm running low, and I'm out of refills. I'll get through the day and get the things done that need to be done, or I'll sleep all day and nothing will get done. Either way, the day ends with me exhausted. It's my day off, it's supposed to be relaxing. When I don't get everything done, my husband will ask why. He won't be mean about it, because he's not like that. But he doesn't understand that sometimes, I just can't. I get up every day and go to work and sit in a small room with a dozen or so other people all talking at once, and I talk to people on the phone all day, and I pretend it's all fine. I've done this for 20 years now, working with the public. I'm good at it. It still terrifies me.
I want people to understand. This isn't a choice. It isn't situational. Situations can feed into it, but they're not the root cause. I'm tired of hearing how I brought my problems on myself. "You're stressed out and depressed because you never get anything done!" No. I never get anything done because I'm stressed out and depressed. This isn't a result of a bad childhood, or poor life choices. This is something wrong in my head, something I've dealt with since I was a child and always thought this is how everyone feels. I thought this was normal. I found out I had an anxiety disorder when I went to the doctor complaining of pain and numbness on my entire left side. "You're so tense that your muscles have pinched a nerve." I didn't even know that could happen.
This isn't normal. And I don't know how to stop it.