Monday, February 22, 2010

Spotting A GAD Girl

Josh calls me his "GAD girl". It is "Generalized Anxiety Disorder" and I have struggled with this since I was a little girl.

When I was 4 years old I was hospitalized for stomach issues and crazy symptoms and underwent many tests and procedures. One of which was a tube that was placed through my nose that went all the way into my stomach to pump out my stomach. These are memories that I remember all too clearly. The doctors could never really pin-point where all the problems were coming from and when all was said and done they said that it all linked back to excessive worrying. What in the world does a 4-year-old in a very loving, nurturing and godly family have to worry about?

My sister had just started school and I had a baby brother and my mom saw a need to get me involved in something that was just mine. Something that only I could do, something that I could thrive at. So, she enrolled me in a violin program=) (I have a pretty wise mom)

Well, fast-forward to the present. I had learned to live with my problem and it just became part of life. I thought, "Hey, everyone is stressed out and everyone gets frazzled over little things...right?" Josh was seeing it get out of hand after Micaiah was born, though.

We both started seeing a pattern...
  • Numbness (in my lips and legs)
  • Irritability (way more than what is NORMAL)
  • Insomnia
  • Fidgeting (think "nesting" to the extreme!)
  • Nausea (when the phone would ring or I'd look at my calendar-wondering what was going to happen next)
  • Shallow breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Heavy feeling in my chest
  • Hot Flashes and Sweating
  • Twitches (especially my eyelids)
  • Exhaustion (I suppose from all the trauma my body was feeling)
  • Trembling (my hands would start shaking when it would come on strong)
  • Worry over simple, everyday tasks
  • Felt like I just couldn't handle my children
  • Crying-let's just say I cried A LOT, not just at sad stuff, at everything. My friend Holly always laughed with me because I was always the one who'd be "that girl" crying at everything=) I still do, don't worry my unashamed crying friends (we have a club you know), I still shed a tear or two during those sappy Hallmark commercials!
It was textbook GAD and I had it bad!

There were a few problems though...
  1. I HATE taking medication, especially for long periods of time.
  2. Aren't Christians supposed to be worry-FREE because worry is a SIN?! I must not be doing something right.
  3. I like to at least appear like I have it all together and if I got "help" then I would be admitting that I don't. It was a big pride issue for me.
But action needed to happen. I was getting to where I couldn't function during the day. A trip to run to the grocery store and post office, or my kids getting in the least bit testy, would turn into a full blown panic attack. It was the most awful, helpless, frustrating, depressing feeling in the world.

I tried the whole natural route but it didn't NEARLY do the trick.

So, Josh made the call and I went in to see the doctor. I got home with my prescription and felt the relief. Just knowing that "help" was on the way. It took about 4 weeks for me to start feeling the effects but man was it worth the wait!

I have never felt so free, so full of life. My quiet times are much more full and intimate. I feel like GAD has been such a distraction from His voice! I can handle everyday tasks. In fact, instead of feeling like making baby food the other day was just something I had hanging over my head and to get checked off of my list, I turned the olympics on in the background, took my time and actually ENJOYED making food that I knew was healthy for my sweet boy. Instead of feeling like I just "cannot handle" the events of the day with my kids I enjoy time with them. I don't remember the last time I just broke down and cried, even with the ER scares with Cai a couple of weeks ago.

I have had these verses (and quote) on notecards in my Bible for years:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

"The one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead."
Philippians 3:13

"So do now worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings."
Matthews 6:34

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength."
Corrie TenBoom

I used to feel constantly convicted of these verses, knowing that this was such a huge struggle for me. Now, I praise God for creating such gifted people who can make something that will help us GAD folk get to a place where we can pray these verses into our lives and allow God to do His thing!

So, be encouraged all you who are heavy-hearted...To God Be The Glory!
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