Notes on Anxiety.

5 min readMay 14, 2022


art from pinterest.

My boss is one of the nicest people I’ve worked with. I feel valued and appreciated by her. Our work environment is great, and we extend a lot of grace to each other. So tell me why on Saturday, 30th of April, I called my friend Timi shaken with tears over a work task I had failed to complete?

When I think about it now, I’m amused, but that experience wasn’t funny at all.

I knew the task was due on Saturday but the week had gone by in a blur — filled with birthday activities, extracurriculars and other errands that took my time. That morning I had a shoot I thought would end early so I could promptly return home and complete it. But that did not end up happening. The shoot dragged on and I got stuck in traffic for a very long time, so I avoided WhatsApp like a plague.

Around 2 pm, by mistake or design, I opened the app and saw a message from my boss asking about the task. Dread seeped into my stomach like ice water. I asked for an extension and promptly closed the app, too scared to see her response. In the evening when I got home, I tried to use my limited knowledge to complete the task, but the resources I needed were on Whatsapp — videos she had sent me to teach me what I had to do. Yet I couldn’t open Whatsapp because I was terrified of what her reaction to my request was going to be.

To some, this might be really odd behaviour, but it made perfect sense to me, and so I tried to do the work with my limited understanding, knowing fully well that I didn’t have everything I needed because I had refused to open WhatsApp. And knowing also, that the solution to my problems was in opening the app and getting the resources I needed. As expected, I got frustrated over and over again, till I started crying and called my friend.

Anxiety is terrible. It has robbed me of a lot of things. I have avoided speaking to people because I was anxious about how the conversation was going to play out, and I was worried that their perception of me was going to change. I have ruined some of my relationships because I was constantly worrying over things that hadn’t happened yet. I thought that by anticipating the madness, I could prevent it from hurting when shit eventually hit the fan. Newsflash: It didn’t.

Anxiety is what makes me replay a conversation with a friend over and over and over again in my head until I am convinced they hate me. It has stopped me from doing things I really wanted to do because I thought the reception and results would be poor. Anxiety has affected my ability to write, post content, visit places and do things. One day I was posting the things I wrote, the next day I felt my words were not meaningful enough to be shared. So I kept writing (because how else do I make sense of life?) but I stopped sharing on social media. Instead, I stuffed everything I wrote in my Google drive folders and hated myself for it.

Anxiety made me cry as I tried to open WhatsApp that day, a thousand expectations in my head of what I was going to find there — all in different variations of red, with a “you’re fired” wrapped in a bow. Only to find nothing. She hadn’t replied. I felt ridiculous.

In trying to calm me that evening, Timi said something really simple — Open it. I don’t know why, but in my head, I was convinced that speaking to someone else was going to transfer the responsibility of having to face that situation to them. But she was miles away in Lekki while I was in Ikeja, with my phone in my hand. They say that a problem shared is a problem half solved, and while that is true, the other half is very very important. Anxiety has taught me that the only way to deal with it is to go through it. At the end of the day, my life is my responsibility and as much as it sucks to have to say this out loud to myself, and to you my dear readers, I have to do everything that makes me feel anxious in order to live.

Life presents these types of conundrums to us, once in a while, and I marvel at the simplicity of the solutions they bring. The other day, I saw a TikTok video where a lady expressed her faux annoyance with getting help from the simple solutions presented by therapists. Go for a walk, clean your room, listen to happy music. I thought about it. Sometimes we want new, never before seen solutions to our problems. We believe that if we watch the 150th video on How to Deal with Anxiety on Youtube, it will present new solutions that will magically erase the existence of this issue. “Old things have passed away, and all things have become new!” But it doesn’t happen like that. Sometimes the simple things are exactly what we need to do. The things we’ve been told over and over again. Yes, listening to happy music will boost your mood! (Crazy, I know right?) And sleeping early might be the solution to your lack of focus. And going for a walk can help you deal with your anger. And doing it afraid, doing it anxious, will help you get the work done.

I would very much like to stop being a very anxious person (please). I am too hot for this. It’s my greatest desire that one day I will be able to speak in public without feeling like an earthquake is happening in my chest, or go out of my house without feeling like the whole world is pointing lasers at me. But I know I wouldn’t get there unless I speak in public, and go out of my house, repeatedly. It’s an act of rebellion, doing the opposite of what your mind expects from you. It’s reprogramming. Rewriting the disk in your mindframe.

Sharing this is my one defiant act.

Treasure — 1
Anxiety — 0