The Anatomy of Anxiety (+ Truths, Myths and Tools)

Anxiety is real guys. No matter what David Rose from Schitt’s Creek says.

Anxiety is like an abusive family member coming to visit, staying way too long and never, ever leaving. The dread is real.

Understanding that you have anxiety is the beginning of a very long battle.

For me it happened with the death of a friend. I didn’t understand what was happening to my body or why I felt so scared all the time. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t eat, sleep or laugh like I used to.

Don’t worry, this has a happy ending. I promise.

Here is how anxiety reared it’s ugly head in my life, how I learned to accept and how I learned to tackle it head on.

Custom artwork

Developing Anxiety

When I was 21 years old, I had a party in my college apartment along with a few of my girlfriends. Typical, right?

A lot of people were invited that I knew and some that I didn’t know. I remember getting a phone call from a certain friend that was wondering if he should come. Of course, my birthday mode fully activated, I said yes. I had no idea what would transpire that evening.

For most of the night, it was a normal party. Music, drinks, laughter. People were coming in and out.

I remember hearing a commotion in the living room and my boyfriend at the time saying to go in the bedroom and close the door. I didn’t understand (and to be honest was a bit tipsy) but I did it anyway.

The next thing I heard were screams. Something hit the floor hard and there was a tussle as I heard glass breaking. Something slammed hard against the door and then I heard more screams. I heard pounding footsteps of people running away.

Most of it was a blur but the next thing I knew there was blood on the floor, the police sirens were ringing in the background and the party had dispersed except for a few people. There was a person laying very still on the living room floor.

It was the friend that had called and asked me if he should come.

After a very long night at the police station and being more sick to my stomach than I had ever been in my life, I crashed hard at my boyfriends house with puffy eyes and a terrifying feeling.

The next morning we heard that our friend had been stabbed to death over a racial issue. A simple miscommunication and a life was taken.

Herein lies the anxiety trigger for me.

Anxiety triggers

Understanding anxiety

The year that followed was one of total confusion.

I didn’t realize how powerful the mind could be until I was unable to stand up.

Understanding the combination of post traumatic stress and anxiety was all new to me. The first physical signs were a stomach ache for me. I couldn’t eat anything that I normally eat without getting an upset stomach.

The second thing I noticed was I was scared of everything. I was scared of normal things like going to work, getting groceries, driving in my car and even hanging out with friends.

All I wanted was to go home and talk to my Mom because she was comfortable to me.

I did just that. I drove straight to my moms house and hysterically talked my way through the wide array of emotions that were flying out of me. She immediately called the doctor and I heard her say, “I think my daughter is having a panic attack.” And then it hit me. This was full blown anxiety in it’s ugliest state.

The doctor put me on Paxil and Xanax. The pills made me feel like absolute garbage, if I am being honest. I lost my drive, my spirit, my determination and I felt like a zombie. I felt lethargic and disgusting.

I got off of those within three months and will never be put on anti-depressants again. I do NOT recommend taking this route if you are looking for an answer. Putting a bunch of chemicals in your body to numb the fear just doesn’t work.

Check out the natural side of relief first.

From there on out it was losing weight, losing friends and losing time. Over the course of the next few years I would learn more about myself and the power of anxiety than I ever knew possible.

Overcoming Anxiety

Let’s clear something up here. There is no such thing as overcoming anxiety. You will never fully overcome it because it is organic just like you.

Your emotions will come and go, just like anxiety. It is up to you to learn about yourself first, and overcome the fear of anxiety.

The fear of anxiety is actually more powerful than the panic attacks themselves. Not knowing something is worse, for me, than anything. Every ache I had, every worry I felt, I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t enjoy things like I used to because I was scared I would be thrown into another panic attack.

Overcoming the fear involves many different things. Reading books, articles and medical news on what we have learned thus for about anxiety helps but can also be terrifying. Learn about what happens physically to the body so you can help prevent it from happening, for sure.

Once you feel comfortable that you’ve learned some cold hard facts about anxiety, it’s time to power up. You need to arm your body with wellness. We all know the power of the mind, and the body will follow.

I found that eating a high protein, high vegetable diet made me feel unstoppable. I went fully organic, non-GMO and all natural. I took all the vitamins, drank all the water and even switched out my lotions and shampoo. Anything that touched my body was all natural. If you would like to see a list of foods and accessories I use, please send me a message!

I also began to move. I walked my dog (my lovely, amazing rescue pup Sophie Love White) everyday for at least a half hour. I got sunshine on my face when I could. I moved slowly on the elliptical when I found the energy. I filled my life with positive vibes through my food, my movement and my family.

I also used art therapy as a way to escape. Creating art was something that brought me peace. There was never any fear when I was drawing, painting or crafting. In fact, most of my art is about my own journey through emotions, anxiety and chronic pain. It sounds depressing but it is totally a redemption story!

Yes, family. The glue that holds all of me together. Never underestimate the power of the love you get.

Caylin White

Conquering Anxiety

Now this… this is something you can absolutely do. Conquering anxiety is 90% mental and 10% superhero power.

You are a superhero and you just don’t know it yet. The power of belief is key here. You need to believe you can do it every single time you look in the mirror in order for this to work.

If you have followed my journey and repeated these actions, by now you are powerful in your daily wellness. You are feeling healthy and strong. Now it’s time to maximize your brain power.

Mental strength is equally important as physical strength. It is also ten times harder to conquer and will always be a work in progress.

Here are the ways I work on my mental strength to conquer anxiety:

  • daily Artfirmations and positive self-talk
  • daily CBD oil drops, morning and night
  • sunshine and fresh air
  • mini mediations and breath work
  • more tea less caffeine – love Buddha Teas.
  • movement when the body allows
  • listening to my inner voice and stepping away when needed
  • zoning out to music
  • surrounding yourself with good people
  • creating something
  • watching funny movies and shows
  • balancing my sleep
  • balancing my alcohol intake
  • following my cycle and treating my body as needed
  • taking hot baths (baths make everything better!)
  • chatting with friends (thank you Sarah, you are the best)
  • connecting with a therapist
  • writing about my emotions
  • loving my dog (get one if you don’t have one, it was the healthiest choice I ever made)
  • hugging my husband (Bear, thanks for all the hugs)
  • loving myself

I am not an expert. I am not a doctor and I am not perfect.

My advice and my tools, tricks and tips are of my own experience. I found what works for me and I’m sticking to it.

I will never rely on chemicals to change my brain waves when I have the superpower to do it myself. I will never rely on someone else to make me happy when I most definitely can do it myself. I will never doubt my ability to overcome something that is in my power to do so. I will never fear anxiety again.

If you have #anxiety or if you may or don’t even know it yet, own it. Understand it. Overcome it. And conquer it. If I can do it you can do it.

Here’s the happy ending.

I have not had an anxiety attack in over a year. I have learned daily habits to prolong and sometimes even prevent anxiety in all forms. I have controlled my emotions to a point where I can feel the overwhelming sensation looming and preempt it with my wellness superpowers. I have accepted my anxiety openly and whole heartedly and also talked through this with my loved ones so they are all aware. I came to terms with what happened to me and am at peace knowing my friend is at rest in Heaven. I know that I can handle what life throws at me to the best of my superpower abilities. I love who I am and truly hope to help others in their journey.

I am also the most happiest, healthiest and strongest I have been to date.

Add wearing fuzzy bear hoodies to the list of things you should do.

Reach out to me with your story!

I would love to hear how you have learned things in a different perspective. Send me a message, leave me a comment or share your own blog with me!

We are all in this together.

We totally got this.

XO

CBCInked

9 thoughts on “The Anatomy of Anxiety (+ Truths, Myths and Tools)

  1. Beautiful post, thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ Anxiety is a tough one for sure. It comes and goes for me no matter what I do. I invite her in for coffee and acknowledge her presence and then get on with life the best I can. Amen, we got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautiful ❀ I am sorry that you were witness to such tragedy that is close to your heart *Hugs* You are doing so well and I love all your coping strategies (I use most of them myself). I was born with anxiety, or at least it has been with me for as long as I can remember. It took until high school to get an official diagnosis but everything made so much more sense afterward. There was a point in my life when I had difficulty leaving the house, even getting in the car. I learned to find my balance though and am managing well now, with no medication. I am a big supporter of meditation, yoga, being in nature, watching funny movies, listening to music, affirmations, hot baths, and writing/talking/expressing creatively what I'm feeling and thinking. Having support and practicing self love are both so important! I benefit from limiting my caffeine and alcohol intake, healthy eating, and adequate sleep as well. Thank you for sharing your amazing story! It is sure to inspire others who haven't quite discovered what works for them. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words and the virtual hugs, Tiffany!

      What an adventure anxiety is, huh? It sure teaches us a lot. I love how powerful your stance is in your growth and you are doing all the right things. It sounds like you have a good grip on it – don’t let go. πŸ™‚

      Take good care of yourself, Tiffany! We got this! πŸ’ͺ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is amazing. I loved reading your story, although I am so sorry you had to go through all of that. Unfortunately I can’t say that I haven’t been through similarly traumatizing events. I haven’t opened up about all of them on my blog, because I am also still recovering from many things and don’t have the courage yet. I am happy that you are doing so much better now, and in a good place. πŸ™‚ Sending hugs and lots of love your way!

    Liked by 1 person

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