Walking into the crowded room my heart skips a beat. I suddenly feel like I can’t breathe. Panic hits me.
I look around the room, there are so many people but for some reason I cannot focus on them. I am looking at them but they are blurry. I cannot see their faces. There are too many of them; men, women, children. Too many faces.
I feel like I can’t breathe. My chest rises as I take a deep breath trying to get some air into my lungs. I stand still once again trying to get some focus on the people around me. Nothing! Just fuzziness!
All around me there are just blurry faces, one merging into the other. I see them but at the same time I can’t see them. However I can hear them.
Voices everywhere. I cannot make out what they are saying, there are too many of them; men’s voices, women’s voices, children laughing, children screaming. They are all so loud and muddled. I feel entombed by the voices, unable to make sense of them. I am trapped; they are so loud and just getting louder. They are closing in around me. My head hurts. I need to make them stop.
Suddenly as I move around the room I am being followed by one single voice. This voice knows all my insecurities. All of a sudden it is the loudest voice in the room and the only one that I can hear. It begins to use my insecurities against me. Fear begins to set in.
I don’t feel safe. There are too many people. I am panicking. I suddenly go from zero to a hundred in an instant. My heart begins to race, beating much faster than normal.
I am sweating now. My palms especially as I clench my fists in frustration, my nails digging in to my skin. My eyes begin darting around the room in fear. I need to find something to focus on, a fixed point, but my mind just won’t work.
Emotions start to take over and it is hard to act normal. The voice starts to control me and I lack the ability to shut the emotion out.
I am frustrated and I want to cry. Loneliness kicks in and my insecurities take over. I am a failure. I feel like I don’t belong and I am going to die. I am an idiot; I should be able to cope with being in public places, to cope with my emotions!
I pick a chair in the corner of the room. It is right next to the door just in case I need to make a quick escape. I sit; the noise and hustle and bustle making me feel dizzy and faint. There is nowhere else to go, I have to be here, I need to be here, I want to be here, but right now I feel trapped. I feel vulnerable.
I am sad. I am afraid. However if I try to tell people they will think that I am doing this for attention. The voice says so. I have to get control!
As tears begin to cloud my eyes, my chest feels heavy as I reach into my bag. The pack of pins stares at me. I know I shouldn’t do it but I also know they can calm me. They can stop me crying. I know that they can bring relief and ease the panic. They can give me focus.
No one knows the thoughts going through my head. The embarrassment I feel about being scared to be in public places. The shame I feel for not being able to control the voice. The fear of the voice, of the insecurities, of tears and of him.
The voice never goes away. The only way out is to go through it, to confront the voice. Some days I can manage but today I am weak, I am vulnerable, I am afraid.
I roll up my sleeve and begin to drag the pin across my arm; one time, two times, three times. I push harder and draw blood. I feel pain. I am finally focussed, no longer panicking but I am angry with myself for the voice has won yet again.
Anxiety is a voice; the voice of insecurities.
Anxiety is a monster, a fear, lots of fears. It is real and a daily struggle.
Anxiety is my monster and this time it won the battle.
But I won’t let it win the war!
Thanks for reading.
**Image courtesy of Google Images**