The many faces of anxiety Pt1

Hi I’m Tahiyya and I have anxiety!

Before working in the mental health field the closest I got to knowing what anxiety was is when my granny would talk about taking her nerve pills. Nerve pills. I didn’t know what nerve pills were. I assumed it was for her nerves in her body. Little did I know it was for being nervous. Anxiety.

My granny didn’t appear nervous. As a matter of fact she was very strong. She was quick with the tongue and didn’t take no junk. My granny never showed that she was worried about anything.  She slept good at night and go up early the next morning with the chickens. My granny sat on the porch and watched the people and enjoyed her fresh air. If she wasn’t on the porch she was watching the news or The Andy Griffith Show. Granny didn’t look like she had anxiety. Silent Sufferer.

Granny’s story is just one of many when it comes to the faces of anxiety.  In the older generation many took nerve pills which were actually anxiety medication. The older generation kept their worries to themselves because that is what they were taught to do by their parents. In doing so they were able to walk around as if nothing was worrying them. You would often hear the saying, “I’m going to leave it in God’s hands”. However you would hear your grandma (and sometimes Grandpa) praying every night over the same thing aka worry.

Let’s look at other faces of anxiety.

Perfectionist. Always busy trying to make things look good out of fear of rejection. Unable to sleep at night as your thoughts are consumed with plans for the next day, what you forgot to do that day, who is going to be upset, how you could have said this or said that, what you are going to do tomorrow, and much much more. You panic at the thought of not being in control because if you don’t have control it won’t be “perfect”. When you wake up in the morning everything is in “perfect” place from hair, makeup, clothes, and smile. Yet inside you are consumed with overthinking, overanalyzing, and rumination of thoughts.

Overachiever. The overachiever is sometimes paired with the perfectionist characteristics. Always trying to outdo what you have done previously. Looking for ways to achieve more in life, love, health, status, finance, or some part of life just to get the satisfaction or approval from others and/or self.  Your thoughts are consumed with achieving more, doing more, succeeding more and being better; getting it right for the people’s admiration. You thrive off feeling as if you are in control of your success or failures. Yet you look calm and collected. You don’t look like you are anxious. Again this is another face of anxiety; high functioning anxiety. Think of Olivia Pope

Worry Warrior. You look worried even if there’s nothing to worry about. You look nervous even when the environment is stable. Your sleep is filled with things to worry about even when a threat has not been preceived. Your conversations is about worrying and not feeling confident. You are hypervigilant. You hide from success and failure because you worry about the outcome of both. Sometimes you are on “nerve pills” just to calm down the thoughts of worry that is in your head. Another face of anxiety.

Always angry (irritable). You go to bed angry. You get up angry. You don’t want to be bothered so you either isolate yourself through being mean or physically remove yourself from others. Your thoughts are all over the place with worry and assumed thoughts of what others think of you. Heck sometimes these thoughts are of what you think of yourself. When you return to your center, it is filled with anger. The anger masks the anxiety that lives within you; the fear of outcomes that you have no control over. The fear is deep because anger plays the protector. Another face of anxiety.

The indecisive one. You are afraid to make decisions because you worry that it may not be the right decision. You are always looking for cues as to which way you should go with your decision. You fear that if you make the wrong decision people will reject you therefore you walk on eggshells when it comes to decisions.

The phobia one. Certain events, items, people, places trigger the anxiety in you. Your mind is consumed with being in the presence of the person, place, or thing. The thought of the person, place or thing puts you in a state of fear and often prevents you from living happily or from having fun.

These are the faces of anxiety. It is very important to understand which face or faces you wear in order to get the best treatment out there. Although similar techniques can be used to treat the different faces the techniques are tailored to the trigger that sets off the different types of anxiety. Check me out on FB Live on 5/11/2017 at 7pm to find out how to manage the symptoms!!!

Hey ladies! If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety please contact me at to schedule an appointment.

Don’t live close to Charlotte, NC then you can utilize teletherapy (North Carolina natives only).

If you are not local please check out these resources.

Until next time;

Tahiyya xo

The beautiful truth about addiction

Addiction is such an ugly word. People are either afraid of the word or use it too loosely. I remember growing up and being afraid of crack addicts or laughing at the comedy skits depicting addicts in a comical manner. But now I’m all grown up and treating people with addiction(s).

I didn’t want to work with addicts. I didn’t want to bother with forcing anyone to seek treatment for something I once thought that they wanted to do. Boy did God made me reconsider. My first license is in clinical addiction. For a whole year I worked with individuals with substance use, codependency, gambling, and sex addiction.  That first year was a wonderful experience. It opened my eyes and heart to addiction.  I discovered the beautiful truth about addiction.

I became more aware of addiction and how it was more than just drinking alcohol or shooting up drugs. I began to understand that people didn’t wake up thinking “I want to do drugs”. People didn’t remain on drugs out of a choice. People who wanted to stop didn’t know how. I began to understand that taking drugs, drinking alcohol, having an obsession with shopping , sex, or gambling, setting fires or any impulsive behavior that was producing a pleasurable release to the brain was addiction.

Addiction affects all people know matter the race, gender, social economic status, age, culture etc. Although addiction tends to only get profiled the ugly truth I want to provide three beautifult truths.

  • One can recover from addiction. Individuals can stop taking drugs and alcohol, refrain from unhealthy sexual behaviors (another blog), manage their shopping habits, stop gambling, eat mindfully, develop healthy relationships, etc. Recovery is a life long process. It is not something that happens over night nor should supporters have the false notion that the urges will go away. (a possible training I may do).
  • One doesn’t want to remain on their substance/process/behavior of choice. Often times when there is an addiction it is a way to suppress a distress. Addiction is what I like to call self medicating to handle stress, anxiety, depression, family challenges, personal challenges, etc. It is a way to escape into another reality or to produce pleasure chemicals in our brain to alert us that we feel better now. When individuals find another way of coping that is healthier and meaningful recovery is easier. The addiction begans to let go of the control it has on the individual. Think of addiction as the puppet master.
  • Addict and family together can equal successful recovery. Addiction is a family problem. Ahhhhhh. I bet you’re saying but I’m not the addict. Well if you look deep within yourself there maybe some type of behavior that is addictive or a family history or some codependency (but that’s another blog/training). What I mean by addiction being a family problem is that if affects everyone connected to the addict. Therefore it is a family problem. Good news. As a family you can help with the success of recovery by being a part of recovery. Attend therapy sessions for yourself while getting the addict love one some help (residential, outpatient treatment, group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, support groups, sponsor). Be supportive the best way that you can. If you don’t know how it is important that you seek local support to learn how.

I can go on and on and on forever about the topic of addiction. 🙂

Check out the resources below. If you or someone you love is affected by addiction please seek help. I am a licensed clincial addictional specialist-associate and I am here to help. You can contact me at 910-434-5325 or email me at

Tahiyya Martin xo


Healing from our past

Today I saw a client that is still healing from his past emotional pains from childhood. Although he believes that he’s fine and has moved forward reality hit over the weekend when he was faced with family calling him names and putting him down like they did when he was a kid. He said ” it hurts. It starts in my head and down to my stomach”. 
His words speaks truth as I’m reading The Body Keeps the Score. This books talks about how trauma, when not addressed, starts to break down the body. Our bodies feel the pain just as if we fell down and hurt ourselves and left a scar. We get older then we “forget” about the fall but the scar is still there, a reminder that we sometimes try to hide depending on the location. The scar isn’t healed it’s just there and can be reopened if it’s been manipulated or bothered (wound). It bleeds again. Or people begin to ask you how you got that scar and then you remember. The memories come back as if it just happened. 

Healing isn’t about allowing self to forget and let the wound become a scar. Healing is about facing the pain and rewriting the story. Healing is about experiencing the emotions behind the trauma and not being afraid to ride the emotions through in a healthy way (support group, helping others heal). Healing is about being able to speak your truth and not afraid to do it. Healing is about building relationships with positive supports. Healing is about knowing that healing is a process and you must trust the process in order to heal. Healing is about allowing yourself to get unstuck. Healing is…

Tahiyya Martin LPCA LCASA

If you’re ready to heal from your past emotional pains schedule an appointment today with me at 910-434-5325. Let’s talk. 

The depths of a 6 letter word

TRAUMA. These six letters create a word that is harsh on an individual’s wellbeing. It is the puppet master of ones emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. It is sometimes the grim reaper of lives. TRAUMA. 

Yesterday while flipping through channels I came across Spike Tv The Kalief Browder Story. I felt a moment of relief because I thought I had missed it. Yet soon after I felt an overwhelmed sense of sadness as I began to remember his story (google Kalief Browder). The sadness came for two reasons. First I see my sons in this young man. Young men and boys (21, 13, 10) who could easily become victims of th judicial system. Second a young man who has faced traumatic experiences took his own life. 

I want to discuss the second as it relates to my profession (the first I’ve posted many times on my social media page). Trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience. Being in a jail as a teen with adults for a crime one didn’t commit is a very deeply disturbing and distressing experience. But his trauma didn’t began there. It began when he enetered the world. 

Trauma isn’t just about experiences that we witness or are a part of such as sexual and physical abuse. Trauma is also created from chaotic environments, inconsistent and poor parenting practices, and inconsistencies in the family and its resources such as finances, emotional, housing, coping skills, etc. (wanna know more about trauma, email me and let’s talk). 

So let’s imagine being 16 years old experiencing what Kalief did in Rikers and then get released three years later to the same environment he was born into and without adequate coping skills

How would you feel? What would be your thoughts? How would you behave?

Symptoms of trauma ranges from anxiety, depression, anger, distrust, hypervigilence, dissociation, nightmares…to name a few. 

The Kalief Browder story leaves behind the need to provide awareness on trauma and mental health especially in the black community. We have to stop being afraid of getting help. Stop being afraid of talking about our mental health. Stop being afraid of not being ok all the time. What’s the big secret and what’s the secret costing you…life. 


You can’t spot someone whose suffering from trauma or mental illness. It has no set look. It can be your friend, family member, coworker, partner, neighbor or stranger sitting next to you on the bus OR you. 

If you or someone you know is suicidal please get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 


If you live in the Matthews, NC area and is in need of a therapist please call or email me to schedule an appointment 


ADHD hits close to home

Today was an emotional day as I prepared for my son’s IEP meeting. 

Working with clients with ADHD has been something I’ve done daily for the last 10 years. So when it hit close to home I felt at a lost. 

As a mother I was very emotional because daily I see my son struggling to keep up in school and it breaks my heart. I also see his strength because he doesn’t believe he’s struggling. As a therapist I saw an image of what could be one of my clients. 

Being in this field I was able to recognize the signs and symptoms early but denial was also there because I didn’t want him to be labeled. I didn’t want him to feel different or be treated different. However as the years go by and his academics suffered I had to step up as a parent and advocate for him and give him the tools to succeed just like the parents I’ve worked with has done. 

Living with ADHD is a daily journey full of challenges (and fun). Daily there are reminders, reassurance, redirection, and the challenge of getting through the day without allowing distractions to take over. There are also the emotional components of anxiety, depression, and/or excitability that can show up as well. Then there are some days of self doubt when you know you’re trying but it just seems so hard. 

So as a parent I say to other parents 

  • Hang in there. 
  • Don’t be ashame 
  • Don’t worry about the stigma. 
  • Don’t worry about the naysayers. 
  • Advocate
  • Educate yourself and others 
  • Get parental support (therapy, parent coaching, support groups,etc)

As a therapist I say 

  • Get support whether it’s a coach or therapist for yourself and your child.  
  • Learn techniques to help with getting focus and getting organized. 
  • Try mindfulness to manage the emotions and calm. 
  • Get structured
  • Talk it out
  • Have patience lots of it 😊

And know that you are not alone. 

Here’s a pic of my luv bug 



Do you need support with managing your ADHD symptoms? Email or call to schedule an appointment today for therapy or coaching. 


Anxiety be gone…

So I started a new routine on Fridays…yoga and meditation. Since starting this new routine I can say that I’ve ended my week a little more relaxed.

This Friday we did yoga and meditation in the park. The sun felt so good as it hit my skin and the sound of nature made both yoga and meditation a little more meaningful and a whole lot more relaxed. Like many other women out there I too suffer from stress. My stress also leads to anxiety. It’s not fun being anxious. It’s not fun being anxious and not having the right tools to come out. So let me share with you how I used yoga and meditation to come out of my anxious mood

1. I stayed present. During Y&M I used the deep breathing to focus only on my breathing. I didn’t focus on the many projects I have or want to do. I didn’t focus on the errands I need to run or the upset baby who was grunting because I wasn’t holding her (she was in good hands tho).

2. I did some positive affirmations. During Y&M there were some positive affirmations used to help me accept who I am. Part of anxiety is that you worry about events that have not taken place OR you worry in general. Positive affirmations can help you with self acceptance as well as accepting that you have no control over things that haven’t taken place…well because it hasn’t taken place. Say “I am good enough” and “I will not let worry take away my peace”.

3. I had support. Not being ok is ok however shame and other negative feelings and thoughts creates barriers that keep us from seeking support to get ok. I do my Y&M with a friend, actually my cousin (a fitness trainer and health coach). Together we provide support and encouragement to each other to end our hectic but beautiful week. As a therapist I believe that when we are surrounded by those who empower and encourage us it helps to build resilience to cope with our anxiety in healthier ways.

I’m planning on continuing this routine for as long as I am able to help cope with my anxiety. Are you ready to build your routine?

Well let’s do it.



Are you struggling with anxiety and would like support of a therapist. Contact me today 

I loved my therapist btw

Welcome to my first blog post for my new blog site. I wanted to use my first post as a way to introduce to you who I am and what drives me to creating on the site. Well I am Tahiyya (pronounced Ta-hey-yu).

I started this blog as a way for others to have resources when it comes to dealing with their emotional, behavioral, and mental health. I also wanted to create a safe place where people can come and get acquainted to therapy and know what therapy is about. I grew up in an environment, Black community, where people thought therapy was taboo and just a place that white people go or where crazy people go to get their heads evaluated…aka shrink.

Well that is completely wrong…

Therapy is a place where you can go to get support, help, and guidance to deal with challenges that life has brought you. It is place where you learn healthy coping skills to face your problems. It is place where you can begin to make changes to living a better life.

I loved my therapist btw ❤

So who am I to be able to provide such a blog. Well not only am I a therapist I used to go to therapy and strongly advocate therapy. I am also a mother of three children and one on the way. I have married for the second time (yep a former divorcee). I am a stepmother who is learning the ropes of blending two families all while helping my own children through their different stages of development (21, 16, and 9). I am a recovering perfectionist who practice mindfulness to calm down my anxiety.  I love cats even though I am allergic to them. I love to read and binge watch horror movies. Most of all I love to help others unpack their baggage to make room for a better life.

So in the blog you will get my experience, my journey, resources to use, tips to stay healthy mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and my truths as I hope they help you. You’ll get therapy without the couch…Unfiltered!

Stay tune for the next post…

But remember this blog is not a substitute for therapy. If you or someone you know is in need of therapy please be a friend to yourself or that person and seek one.