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  • Writer's pictureIbiyemi Balogun

On mental health.........

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I can’t lie this is not where I thought I would be 10 days to my 31st birthday……when God told me that he wanted me to rest this year, I didn’t know it would come in the form of severe burnout yet again. It’s almost like I don’t know how to live a sustainable life. I feel ashamed. Why do I keep ending up in this place of complete exhaustion and quite frankly apathy? Why can’t I be grateful, hopeful, and faithful for more than 5 seconds? Why is it always something?

Well this time, I can’t just sweep it under the rug, I have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling that this is my life. It was after the last panic attack that I decided to seek help in the form of medical leave from work……. Trust me, making this decision for my mental health was one of the hardest things I have ever done; it would have been easier if I was going into surgery or had something physically wrong with me, at least I could better explain it. I had allllllll the thoughts that one person can have ranging from I don’t want to disappoint my team, I feel mentally weak, I feel ashamed, what would people think? Do Nigerian women take care of their mental health? Am I exaggerating? Surely there are people going through much worse things? Do I really need to stop working….. literally agonized over these thoughts for a long time. Then I realized, I have been “pushing through” for months if not years and unfortunately I am at a breaking point. It is because I have been “sweeping it under the rug” that I now find myself in one of the worst mental spaces of my life. How do I move forward when it feels like heaviness all the time? How do I overcome it?

When I went to my doctor’s appointment and got a pretty heavy diagnosis about my mental health, I actually felt relieved. Finally, there is a glimpse of an explanation for why I have “nothing” left to give……so this is me being transparent, I’m not ok….I don’t know how to proceed, exhausted does not begin to describe how I feel, numb is closer to the correct feeling. The only hope I have is in Jesus because he said that in my weakness He is strong.

Anyways, I have no words of wisdom, I have no resolutions, and I have no more to “push through”....the only thing I ask is for understanding; if you see me on Instagram or in real life and I’m smiling, please know that I’m not ok, I WILL be eventually but I’m not there yet. Oh also with my medical leave from work, please know that I’m not on “vacation” or “holiday”, I am not “living my best life” or living it up; I am fighting for my health. I am taking care of my body, I am in individual therapy, group counseling, doctor’s appointments, and everything in between. I hate that I feel like I have to justify and explain myself; I hate that mental health still has such a negative stigma. It feels very icky even putting this blog post up but here I am …..everyone has different ways of dealing with mental health and sharing/getting it out of my body in a way that is transparent yet not "exposing" helps me. Someone in my church a couple of weeks ago told me that God told her that “it’s time to stop using “my joy” to cover up my pain”. I remember thinking to myself, that’s weird, I’m naturally joyful and I choose to see the bright side of things, why would she tell me that my joy is basically a performance? I remember feeling confused…but it makes sense now. Because I choose to “show up” smiling does not mean I’m ok but I do know that the alternative is 3-4 hours of crying so right now “smiling” is all I can muster. Simply put I need prayer and understanding.

You really never know what people are going through and honestly, how would you? What the hell does mental health look like anyway? I can’t even believe that I’m here either but it is what it is…..

Anywho, I'm heading to a fitness class… has always been 1 good thing I do for my mental. Thank you for reading through it, and hopefully not judging me….. if you feel the need to judge me don’t worry I’m doing a very good job judging myself already 😅

Till next time;


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