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#LikeaGirl Interview Series

Battling Anxiety #LikeaGirl: An Interview with Yvonne Williams Casaus

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Yvonne is an incredibly resilient woman who refuses to let her anxiety stop her. As a licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, she has used her personal experiences to help others heal. Now, she is hoping to reach a wider audience through her book A Drop of Water. To learn more about Yvonne’s experiences and what her book is all about, keep reading!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a mom, wife, author, counselor and play therapist. I absolutely love being a Counselor and Play Therapist. I love helping people heal from their trauma. Although it can be hard work and heartbreaking at times, it always balances out. I will have an amazing session with someone that has done profound healing or be working with a child and think, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.” Spending quality time with my family is really important to me. I have the most supportive husband, family, and kids. We like to take fun trips together and we all love the water so we love to swim. I really enjoy going to Zumba and dancing. I even had my husband take Salsa Dance lessons with me. I love listening to music; it has gotten me through some tough times. I think that is why one of my most favorite things to do is go to rock concerts. I have also discovered that I really love to write. I am now working on my second book which is a fictional fantasy with suspense, romance, betrayal, and vampires. I am having a blast writing paranormal fiction and creating my own fantasy world.

'The joy I felt in my heart was in direct proportion to the pain I had suffered.' -Yvonne Williams CasausClick To Tweet

2. What inspired you to write A Drop of Water?

I felt a calling to write a book for years. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write, but I really felt like there was a book inside me that needed to come out. I now feel I was spiritually inspired to share my knowledge as a therapist and suicide loss survivor. I lost my husband, the father of my children, to suicide.  As I was writing I had the most profound experience. The words were just pouring out of me. I was literally writing with my eyes closed. I had a nice surprise; the joy I felt in my heart was in direct proportion to the pain I had suffered. I started rhyming and laughing at myself. That is why I named my website Laughingatmyself.lol. It was as if my fingers were dancing.  Before I knew it I was sharing my story. Believe me, I am a very private person, I never thought I would share the painful memories of losing my husband to suicide. I realized that the messages I received weren’t just for me but for everyone. I hope sharing my story will help others to heal and give them a tangible way out of depression, anxiety, and loss.

 

3. What was most helpful to you when dealing with the loss of your husband?

a drop of water cover yvonneI couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and friends, going to Counseling, and attending grief support groups. I went to counseling to deal with the grief and trauma from losing my husband to suicide. My therapist used EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy, and it helped me so much that I later got certified in it and use it to help people in my private practice. I also think attending The Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico was extremely helpful for my children and me. However, the most healing thing I have done was write my book. It has been so powerful and so healing that I now believe everyone should write their stories.

 

4. Why do you think women are more likely to suffer from anxiety than men?

On top of juggling multiple responsibilities and roles, women have different brain chemistry and have to deal with hormone fluctuations.  Also, women tend to cope with stress differently.  Many women tend to put others first and neglect their own needs.

 

5. What advice do you have for women who think they might have clinical anxiety?

First and foremost if you think you have clinical anxiety get help. Look for a therapist and/or Psychiatrist. Asking for help demonstrates strength. Get referrals from your insurance or just look on Psychology Today. You can do a search by insurance, area, zip code, and/or what kind of help you are looking for.  It is also extremely important to practice self-care. Instead of saying, “I don’t have time,” try saying “I’m not a priority.” I know I would rather feel like a priority. I often use a car analogy with my clients. We don’t drive our cars on empty. We have to fill it up every week, yet we run ourselves dry until we are depleted and worn out. We have to take better care of ourselves than we do our cars. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just take a few minutes to ground yourself. Do things that make you feel good even if you don’t feel like it. For example, connect with nature, take a walk, or call a friend. Do something simple like color, listen to music, or watch a funny TV show or movie.

'Do things that make you feel good even if you don’t feel like it.' -Yvonne Williams CasausClick To Tweet

6. What has helped you in your journey of dealing with anxiety?

I had to learn the hard way that there is never just one answer.  I have done many things throughout the years. My self-care has included Counseling, exercise, acupuncture, massage, being creative, etc… I learned that they were all just pieces of the puzzle. I couldn’t just stop when I started feeling better or because I was too busy. I had to KEEP doing self-care. If I don’t take care of myself, I have nothing left to give. When that happens not only does my family suffer, but I tend to get ill physically. I have to take time for myself. It is important to set the intention and make it a priority to do some form of self-care. Even if that just means I take soothing bath or listen to a meditation. I have to think of it as being just as important as brushing my teeth. It is just something I have to do.

 

7. Do you have any suggestions for our readers who are supporting a loved one with anxiety?

Be patient with them. Be compassionate and kind. Anxiety is not always something you can see. Ask them what they need and listen. As a society, we treat people suffering from depression and anxiety terribly. We would never tell someone suffering from cancer to “get over it.” Just because you cannot see what someone is going through does not mean they aren’t suffering.

'We can all overcome profound tragedy, grief, anxiety, and depression because we are all connected.' -Yvonne Williams CasausClick To Tweet

8. Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

I believe that we can all overcome profound tragedy, grief, anxiety, and depression because we are all connected. We all feel loss, we all have dark nights of the soul. Remember that no matter how lonely you feel, you are never alone. Of the 8 billion species on earth, there are 7.24 billion people of different cultures, ages, and genders. What is the universal link that connects us all? Water. A drop of water, an ocean of water, we are all connected.

'We can all overcome profound tragedy, grief, anxiety, and depression because we are all connected.' -Yvonne Williams CasausClick To Tweet

Thank you for your time, Yvonne!

You can keep up with Yvonne on Facebook and Twitter.

 

  • Thank you SO MUCH for talking about anxiety and mental health! It’s such a taboo topic, but talking about it can literally save lives. I loved this article.

    • It is my absolute pleasure to feature such strong women like Yvonne! I totally agree, talking more about mental health issues is incredibly important. So glad you enjoyed the article, thank you for reading :)

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