That sounds like the way I felt when I had anxiety. Impending doom is exactly what it felt like. It's a horrible feeling that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
One of the things I found really helpful was the Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1572244992
You don't need to escape your mind and body. The point of all this is so we can live inside our minds and bodies and not fear that every emotion is going to overwhelm us. To get better at feeling, instead of trying to feel better.
The thing that helped me most when I was having horrible anxiety was the Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1572244992 . It saved my life pretty much.
Being human is uncomfortable. That's why people turn to drinking or running, cutting, gaming, meditating, drugs, etc etc to cope with the discomfort of being human. Some of those things are healthier than others.
Can you go back to your therapist and talk about this and figure out some ways to make room for the discomfort so that you can live a good life while feeling things that sometimes don't feel good (and can often feel really really horrible)?
When I was having massive anxiety (which is basically the feeling that the discomfort I was feeling was going to kill me) I found The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety to be really really helpful. https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1572244992
You haven't wasted anything, it's never too late.
Ugh, anxiety is the worst. I had a few years of it and would not wish it on my worst enemy. That constant feeling of dread and like something is chasing you to kill you.
One of the things that helped me tremendously was this workbook:
I say that it saved my life, and it really did. It was a different approach to anxiety - instead of trying to get rid of it (because you can't), the work is done to lean into it, make room for it, see it for what it is - physical sensations, thoughts and behaviors - accept that it is there, and then move your hands and feet towards the life you value, instead of the tiny miserable life that anxiety wants you to have.
When I first starting working through it, I got mad. "My anxiety is justified! I should feel like this all the time because things are terrible! This author doesn't understand and this is all b.s." But I kept at it because things couldn't really get worse.
By the end of it, I had located the author's email address and written him a letter that he had basically saved my life.
Stopping drinking doesn't have to be the first step in recovery. Alcohol is a solution to the anxiety. Taking it away before you have any other coping skills in place is understandably a terrifying thought.
But you can start to build up support systems and other coping mechanisms, and then revisit the drinking later.
You may also want to point your family in the direction of this program: https://alliesinrecovery.net/
Good luck! Stick around if you feel like it. I read here for a long time here before I stopped (and was in therapy for longer.)
Panic disorder is, at its core, an anxiety disorder.
There's a million books out there on anxiety.
When I'm learning skills, I like to use client workbooks because they help me focus on the direct skills I need to learn.
I'd invite you to explore an ACT workbook like:
What helped me, was this book: https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1572244992
It's not " "persevere, time heals and things improve." It's more "accept the anxiety, see it for what it is: physical sensations, thoughts and feelings. And behaviors. Lean into it, feel the feelings, and then move your hands and feet toward the life you value."
When I first started working with it, I was pretty much incapacitated by anxiety. My life had shrunk with my attempts to "manage" it. Which of course left my life crap, and did nothing to help my anxiety.
But I kept doing the exercises in the book and something shifted.
I also found that now when I'm feeling anxiety and I want to burn it off - I try to find something that will create genuine fear/anxiety that can be solved. So, for instance, I'll go hiking on a trail that makes me nervous. Or I'll go someplace new (which gives me anxiety.) And then, when the anxiety of that thing dissipates, it takes the generalized anxiety with it.
For instance, in the spring I was having a lot of anxiety. So I signed up for a hunter education class. I'm a woman, so walking into a gun club to take a class, when every bumper sticker on the trucks in the parking lot let me know that I was not among my people anymore. My belly was like "please stop what are you doing!" But I went to the class, and as I realized that it was interesting and people were nice and I could learn some cool stuff. So as the anxiety of the class faded, it took the free floating anxiety with it.
I don't know if that makes sense, but it seems to work for me.