Anxious in a Crowded Room

My body is shaking, and I don’t understand why.

It’s trembling despite the fact that I’m wearing two layers of clothing.

I can’t remember the last time I felt this way.

So out of control.

Gasping for the closest thing I recognize.

Any familiar face.

There are way too many people here.

When did it become so crowded?

When did all these people arrive?

My eyes are beginning to tear.

My lips trembling.

I can see my chest moving up and down.


And faster.

I’m starting to hyperventilate.

Everything is pulsing.

I keep searching in what seems like a sea of unfamiliar bodies.

And within seconds it takes over me.

My mouth is dry, but I need to speak.

My legs are stiff, but I need to sit.

I need to gather my thoughts, but my mind is racing.

A sudden touch.

A familiar voice.

An anchor.

Brings me back.

And I’m safe.

The Mighty is asking the following: What is a part of your or a loved one’s disease, disability or mental illness that no one is aware of? Why is it time to start talking about it? If you’d like to participate, please check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

man head

3 Simple Things to Tell Someone Who Doesn't Understand Anxiety

Anxiety is like being at war with your mind. You’re fighting an internal battle tougher than some outer battles. For someone who suffers from the same problems, it’s easy to understand. For someone who has never dealt with it, not so much. There will always be those people who don’t understand, and it’s tough to [...]

When My Mom Told Me I 'Wasn't Special' for Experiencing Anxiety

My mom still has a hard time accepting I suffer from a mental illness. She’s sad, because I suffer from something she can’t fix. She’s confused, because she doesn’t know what the trigger was that brought on my symptoms. She’s concerned, because of the influx of young women my age who suffer from mental illness. [...]
Vectorized black drops.

'Anxiety' Isn't a Dirty Word

Dear friend I’m sorry to hear you aren’t great at the moment. That you’ve been feeling anxious. That your heart has been beating faster. Your mind has been racing. Your worries are escalating. You haven’t been able to sleep. You would rather stay at home than face the world. I am sorry that you feel like other [...]

5 Reasons to Share Your Story... Even If It Scares You

Despite suffering from social anxiety and selective mutism the majority of my life, I appeared much the “typical” child to everyone except my family, coaches and teachers, who saw my struggle firsthand. Ashamed of my friendless existence and years of “not talking,” I kept my story deeply hidden within and firmly resolved it would die with [...]