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  • Writer's pictureIbiyemi Balogun

I'm going through changes .....yet another blog post on anxiety BUT this time is good news :)

I’m going through changes BUT what else is new….Honestly, I feel like I’ve been in one of the LOOOOONGEST transition phases of my life. However, this time I’m choosing to lean into the changes and not kick and scream about the timelines.

For YEARS, I’ve had issues with anxiety, especially around the idea of change and transition. When I was in university I didn’t have the language to describe it but as I started to grow up and thanks to the invention of social media, I now get FULLY inundated with all the knowledge. For anyone that suffers from anxiety, you know that it’s less about the things that trigger your anxiety and more about how you respond. Triggers are literally EVERYWHERE and if you live in any major city and are online in any capacity then sis you are going to get trigggggerrred.

Let me prove it to you…….You wake up in the morning, try to open your window, 1st thing - noise from the construction work on yet ANOTHER condo, then you remember you can’t afford a condo anyways. Then you spiral into thoughts like “Well I need to make more money” then it's straight into “I need to transition jobs to make more money”etc…..You try to re-center by praying and journaling but your mind is still racing, you manage to calm down that is until you check your phone and BAM another dose of our medicine called anxiety….your boss has sent a frantic email, your friend on their Instagram stories went to an event and didn’t invite you, you scroll passed a reel of a woman working out and all of a sudden you are stressed, feeling FOMO and fat and it's not even 8am yet. It's no coincidence that my favorite emoji is this one 😅….it’s giving “I want to be happy and calm BUT everything is loud and overwhelming all the time”.

Anyways, back to why I even started talking about anxiety; it's less about trying to “not get triggered” and it's more about our response. You know the “fight, flight, freeze or fawn” response options to anxiety. All of which suck if you ask me but it’s what our brain has at its disposal. What’s even more annoying is that you don’t necessarily choose which one you get, it typically comes from how you learned to cope as a child. The only thing you can do as an adult is learn to choose a better response and that goes AGAINST everything in your body and that’s the hard part about living with any type of anxiety. Social anxiety, relationship anxiety, work anxiety, health anxiety, hormonal anxiety(don’t EVEN get me started 😅), financial anxiety, and the list goes on and on. Why am I saying all this? Well in the last month or so, I’ve been on leave to prioritize my mental health and I’ve really wanted to “tackle” anxiety hahaha, I know it's a MASSIVE topic. I definitely didn’t think about it intellectually or anything like that, I simply surrendered to God and the process and tried to release/reduce the idea of “perfection” in the process.

So here are some of my BIGGEST wins so far, hopefully, they can encourage someone. Before I start, I would say, my “brand” of anxiety response is usually freeze; which honestly I don’t love but yea….anyhow let’s dive in!

  1. Driving Anxiety - I’ve talked about this on the blog a few times but I really wanted to get to the bottom of where this anxiety comes from. I googled it and apparently, 60-65% of people have driving anxiety 🤯. It typically starts if someone has been in an accident before however, mine was different. I don’t drive often, but the last couple of times I’ve had to drive were during my driver’s test. If you know anything about getting tested in Toronto, they could literarily FAIL you for the slightest mistakes. So enter in perfectionism…I realized the driving anxiety I was experiencing was the idea that I had to be “PERFECT” and if I made a mistake like not turning on my signal early enough then BAD things with DIRE consequences would happen. Been frozen on this idea for YEARRRRSSSS; in this season I let it go. I rented a Zip car, asked one of my “calmest” friends to sit in the passenger seat with me, and just got on the road…we have done this a couple of times now and wow the anxious feeling of NEEDING to be perfect has left. I’m able to make good choices while I’m on the road, to keep everyone safe and get us to our destination.

  2. Singing Anxiety - If you know me in any capacity, you know that I LOOOOVE to sing. I sing in the shower, on the subway, at my cubicle at work, at dinner, and on walks, I am ALWAYS singing. God told me to sing in church, 7 years ago and I’ve been frozen for that long 😅….don’t get me wrong, I am still belting it out on the front row but singing on stage?? Whew chile…..the list of the “things that could go wrong”, is too long to list in this blog post but let me just say i’ve been terrified. Idk what happened but I’ve been showing up at rehearsals and I even did easter sunday choir and wow! All I can say is God is doing a thing.

  3. Financial Anxiety - How do I describe this one? I either never my account or I check it every day…..there is no middle ground. I’ve struggled with this one for a long time because in my head, I’m no good with money and I can’t be trusted…it’s actually a very sensitive topic. I’ve been working on a blog post about my relationship with money for the past 4 months 🥵, for context it usually takes me 2 hours to put together a blog post. SO stay tuned for that post. Let’s just say, I actually surrendered it to God, yet again and he prompted me to speak to my financial advisor. What I’ve found is that I’m actually in a MUCHH better place than I thought and I was just anxious for nothing.

  4. Last but certainly not least….Dating Anxiety - I’ve talked about dating and relationships a lot so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. The anxiety comes from going on dates and not liking anyone as well as going on dates and liking someone 😂😂. Do you see my dilemma? Long story short, I’m dating around, and even though I want to RUNNNNNNN I’m asking myself questions like “is this what you want?”, and analyzing feelings like “he going to abandon me” on a regular. It’s a lot but now that there is no STRICT timeline for getting into a relationship, getting engaged, and getting married, the pressure is off and I can just try to be in the moment.

Again, God has been faithful because for YEARSSSS I have been frozen and in the last month and a half, I’m starting to thaw out. It’s almost as if, when you take a break from a job that requires so much and will have you second-guessing yourself every day, you start to realize that maybe you are a competent adult that can manage your emotions…..#justsaying this break from work has been everything and more; the rest, the clarity, the learning and the “sitting in the uncomfortable” have all been exactly what I needed. On a separate but related note, I’m going back to work in 3 ish weeks, pray for me yall.

To recap, anxiety sucks but my God is bigger….that’s it.

Till next time;


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