For eight years Lydia, from Uganda, lived with stress, heart palpitations and constant worry.
When a doctor suggested she was suffering with an anxiety disorder, this unlocked a journey that led her to find peace of mind through the power of story and forgiveness.
Lydia shares her story to inspire others that living a full and meaningful life is possible.
Fourteen years young yet convinced I must be dying. There could be no other reason for the sudden headache that showed up. Some days the headache stung cold, like ice-cubes rattling in my head, other days, like insects crawling through my brain. On the worst days, it felt like a fire raged across my neurons. Whether I drunk gallons of water or dosed up on pain killers, the headaches continued relentlessly.
Feeling scared, I tried to get help. I was alone, still at boarding school in Uganda. Who could I turn to? I couldn’t tell my mother. She had been aloof since childhood. She was not a “mummy, mummy” as I liked to call the caring mothers of my friends. Jealous, I wished my mother could be like theirs.
Many times, I spoke to one of the hostel wardens. She arranged for my Father to take me to hospital. Time and time again, the doctor’s consultation ended the same way. “You’re stressed, take these pills. You’ll feel better soon.” When the headaches persisted, the hostel warden accused me of playing tricks with her, saying my headaches were just an excuse to avoid classes.
Eventually, Dad suggested a brain scan. My heart raced; strange sensations ran down the left-hand side of my body. Tingling hands and feet heated me up like fire-ants running under my skin. I was certain the scan would reveal a brain tumor. I felt it would all be over soon. I cried to Jesus to save me. Fortunately, the results came back clear. No brain-tumor, but now, with the results clear, not even my father would believe my suffering. So, I resolved to suffer alone. For eight years, my symptoms persisted, each year they worsened …
that is until one Monday morning. A morning I’ll never forget. The morning my healing began …
Inspiring True Stories
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I was now twenty-two years old. Not ever giving up hope for answers, I booked an appointment with a cardiologist. As I walked into the examination room, a kindly spoken Doctor named Barbara greeted me warmly. I told her of my symptoms. After checking my ECG was normal, Doctor Barbara sat in front of me. She looked at me and said, “Lydia don’t tell me you’ve had anxiety all this while?” I looked right back, confused, and said, “Anxiety? What’s that doctor?”
Doctor Barbara explained the symptoms of Anxiety Disorder. She told me how the Anxiety Disorder could be triggered and what was happening in my mind and body. Most importantly, Doctor Barbara assured me I wasn’t going to die from Anxiety Disorder.
From that day, I started to learn more about the effects of long-term stress and anxiety. I delved into my past story, and in doing so I recognized a difficult childhood had taken a toll on me – as it does for many people in the world today.
I delved into my past story, and in doing so I recognized a difficult childhood had taken a toll on me – as it does for many people in the world today.
As a baby, my mother decided to give me up for adoption. If it wasn’t for my Grandmother saying, “over my dead body” and practically raising me herself, my mother would have given me up.
My father tried to be there for me. But my parents ended up separating. Dad paid my dues, he bought me whatever he could afford, but he was always struggling himself and never fully present.
I reflected on the absence of my parents and the constant yearning for their presence. With self-reflection and inner questioning, I realized I held resentment in my heart. It was important for me to come to a place of forgiveness if I was ever going to deal with this anxiety.
Finding acceptance & forgiveness
Finding this place of acceptance and forgiveness changed everything for me. Yes, I still have my moments, but now because I have a greater understanding of Anxiety, and know that not all my worries are valid, I celebrate everything in my life.
I’ve released resentments towards my parents. I’ve set goals and am moving ahead in life toward a future filled with possibility. Though not easy to share my story, I want to tell others about my experience to bring awareness.
If there is anyone else out there who was been through an experience similar to mine or can relate, don’t be sad, stand up and seek help. Find a doctor, a counselor, a trusted friend, someone you can confide in. Truthfully, anxiety doesn’t kill but you don’t have to continue living with it.
You deserve better. Choose a full life, forgive the past and face the future with peace of mind.
Meet Lydia Ndagaano ...
Hi my name is Lydia. I'm 26 years old, currently living and working in Uganda. I love Jesus, and I love to see my life being an inspiration to others.