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Don't Give In (To Anxiety)

Don't Give In (To Anxiety)

Editor-Lizette McMillen

If you were to ask me what my favorite Third Eye Blind song is depending on the day, time, the color of my mood ring, and planet alignment, you would most likely get a different answer every time.

 Third Eye Blind-We Are Drugs 

Third Eye Blind-We Are Drugs 

Their music ebbs and flows within me and morphs to fit whatever I need it to be at the time - and that's what’s beautiful about it. However, there is one song that stands out to me personally, above the rest, and it's “Don't Give In” from the 2016 EP, We Are Drugs.

If I'm being 100 percent transparent, the anxiety I've felt over simply writing this piece out has been all-consuming at times. I finally just had to sit down and hammer it out.

I don't remember where I was or what I was doing the first time I heard it.

All I know is that it shook me to my core and has become MY song - an anthem, or a mantra, if you will. I've been blessed with a fairly uncomplicated life thus far, in comparison to some of my peers out there, but I do have one little demon that I deal with on a regular basis. That demon is anxiety.

  Birmingham, AL - October 2017 - Courtesy Cassie Yorba

Birmingham, AL - October 2017 - Courtesy Cassie Yorba

I've learned to manage it, how to cope, for the most part…

But this song has become something that I use to ground myself when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Anyone that has struggled with anxiety knows how irritating, and even suffocating, it can be at times. You're fine, going about your day. Then, all of a sudden - BAM! There's that voice fading in again, making your brain race around at warp speed about anything and everything, working you into a frenzy. When this happens to me, it's crucial that I step back and center myself. The title of the song itself tells me, "don't give in."

If I'm being 100 percent transparent, the anxiety I've felt over simply writing this piece out has been all-consuming at times. I finally just had to sit down and hammer it out.

Don't Give In Cassie.jpeg

I used to be so anxious in school about writing up and presenting oral reports. The idea of reading out-loud in front of my class, let alone actually doing it, was too much. I would nearly black out sometimes, I’d have no recollection afterward of ever being up in front of the class at all. This article felt similar, in a way, but I hope that by sharing this I can help break the stigma attached to anxiety and inspire others to share their stories.

Two of the things that I use as tools to cope are music and mindfulness.

The music part speaks for itself, especially within this community, but here's where this song ties in even more: The lyrical phrase, "it doesn't work for you, then don't do it, feel yourself again," is a reminder to me that I'm not here to please anyone; I'm here to live my truth, with my purpose, to be kind to everyone, and to just be happy. Mindfulness, and just really stepping back to examine what's important in life, helps to calm my racing mind (or "monkey brain" as I like to call it).

In an interview with Salon, Stephan says:

“[In "Don't Give In,”] when I say, "It doesn't work for you," I don't know what the antecedent is to "it." Before, I would just sit there and suffer over that endlessly, instead of being like, "I don't need to know. I need to know if it's evoking the feeling that I want to evoke when I sing it." And that's kind of a big step for me.”

I love that "it" doesn't have to be a specific thing. “It” can be literally anything you're going through. “It” doesn't work for you - then don't do it - simple as that!

Stephan also sings the words, "don't live your life pretend," and those also ring so true with me.

It’s not always easy to be yourself, but I encourage everyone who reads this to dig deep down inside and find the courage to be your authentic self every day, because life is too short to live your life pretend. Just sitting with these words can turn my whole day around. It's magical what music can do.

I just can't thank Stephan enough for putting this song out there as a reminder to never give in. Hopefully, I'll get to see it live one day soon! (Hey, Stephan - I’m going to be at Riverbend… *wink, wink*)

So, the next time you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, turn this song up (or any song that resonates with you). Turn it up as loud as you can. Then, just let it all go. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

P.S. It also doesn't hurt to envision yourself going for a ride with Stephan on his motorbike... Just saying.

Amoeba Records: A Night with Stephan Jenkins

Amoeba Records: A Night with Stephan Jenkins

St. Patty's day in NOLA 3.18.2009

St. Patty's day in NOLA 3.18.2009

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