General Anxiety Disorder is abnormal and excessive anxiety that impedes the sufferer from carrying out normal daily tasks and enjoying life. It is perfectly normal to become anxious around stressful events, but GAD is an intense and overwhelming fear, or dread, intrusive thoughts and anxiety – which afflicts sufferers, as soon as they wake up until they go to sleep, with no reason or triggers. I struggled with GAD from 2010 to 2014.
I developed this condition after a long and painful trial, and from the demands of caring for a mentally unwell child. I was constantly keyed up and on edge. I was unable to relax, my mind was either racing or going blank – so I was unable to process information normally and often looked like an idiot because I just missed things. I really didn’t need help in this department, as I can look like an idiot all by myself. I was fatigued, irritable, sensitive, experienced muscle tension, digestive problems and constant headaches that interfered with my sleep. Anxiety changed me into a fragile and reactive person who couldn’t cope, which impacted on my relationship with my family. It was exhausting and futile trying to make my family and friends appreciate and understand my condition. I would receive a lot of – just get it together ect, but there was something broken in my brain and I couldn’t fix it. It was ironic and humbling for me because I once had the same attitude towards anxiety sufferers! My anxiety was starting to take over my life: I found it increasingly difficult to cope with social events and just getting to meetings required a monumental effort.
I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but tried to put on a happy and brave face, but cracks would inevitably appear. I was diagnosed with GAD: General Anxiety Disorder and it was a relief to know I was suffering from something and it wasn’t me. It progressively became worse, as I refused medication and treatment.
I went to Leadership Camp in 2014 and struggled through it owing to the anxiety, however I was adept at going through the motions and masking my problem, but on the inside I was troubled and scared.
I knew that only the Lord could heal me… but I wasn’t getting the victory, but things were about to change. At Leadership Camp, I heard Andrea Nankiville’s testimony of being healed from a intestinal fluke which ruined her life, but she said something interesting – she said that she knew she was healed by God, even though she still suffered with symptoms. To me that is not logical. If you are exhibiting signs and symptoms then it is directly indicative of a condition… but she maintained her faith and went to the doctor for confirmation. He took tests and gave her the all clear. From that point on she slowly recovered from the damage to her body. This was a great testimony, but it didn’t mean that much to me initially. That meeting, I had purposed to go to the prayer line to ask God for a healing from GAD because I was desperate. Owing to my anxiety, I had stopped going to the prayer line because it made me feel self conscious and anxious.
As I had hands laid on me, I experienced an overwhelming sensation to cry, because I knew the Lord heard my request and that I had been healed. I returned to me seat still fighting the effects of anxiety. I held onto Andrea’s testimony and realised that our God is not logical but faithful, so I held onto the fact that I was healed despite how I felt.
An outreach had been arranged in the afternoon and I knew that would be the confirmation of my healing. Since developing GAD I stopped enjoying outreaches and was too fragile to witness. However, I love serving the Lord and would turn up to witnessing events, just to support it. It was humbling and little bit humiliating, as I used to be a confident witnesser. I would stand mute, next to someone as they gave out pamphlets and witnessed. This went on for a few years.
So, I went to the outreach at Victor Harbour and before I knew it I had a stack of pamphlets in my hands. I wanderd off, on my own and the Lord gave me several very exciting witnesses in a row. I was completely healed and my symptoms soon disappeared. Like Andrea, it took a little while for my body to recover but now I feel like a normal person, who enjoys life and social events and can join in on outreaches. I really thank the Lord for this healing and the humbling process that I needed to go through.