How much anxiety do you have before a meet?

I'm thinking the level of anxiety I have leading up to meets, especially championships, is telling me competition is not worth it for me. I wish I could see myself improving through a season so that I can be excited to find out how fast I'm going to race at the end of it. Unfortunately, I'm at that age where I'm only getting slower, and I don't have the technical background to draw upon that some others do. I always feel relieved just after a big meet, but in the months and weeks leading up to one, I have anxiety even going to the practice pool. I dread the fact that I'm facing work, not leisure. That almost guarantees a bad practice. 'Sounds crazy doesn't it? Is it time for me to quit competing? In re-reading my first sentence I'm considering, maybe I need a therapist to help me learn what small reward keeps me going back to something so stressful, or to figure out how to give myself permission to quit. I saw a video on USA swimming in which they mention, Ryan Murphy used to puke before big events. That was a little validating. So how do you forumites manage your anxiety? Or if you don't have any, how did you achieve that serenity?
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