Since getting an office space Downtown, I now take public transportation to work. Taking the Skytrain aka metro system, was a major source of anxiety. I would feel trapped as soon as I got on the train, feeling the air leaving and walls closing with each new person that got on.
Crammed next to a bunch of people during rush hour was a terrifying experience for me, I would begin trying to get some extra space around, but the anxiety continued to build and I would often get off before a full panic attack occurred. I remember many times, getting off a train and waiting for the next train to come, hopefully with fewer people. Generally the next train would be just as full, damn it, why didn’t I stay on that last train.
Now feeling embarrassed and like an idiot for getting off the train, I would wait until a train came that I felt comfortable getting on and would continue home.
Having now controlled my anxiety, I find taking the Skytrain a very different experience. I walk on the train and see all the space and how I can breathe regularly, even during rush hour when its packed with people.
Going through this anxiety self-management process, I have become appreciative in the minor details in life. The feeling of getting on public transportation and being relaxed, enjoying the ride and taking a martial arts class and enjoying the workout, these are the small victories that I cherish.
It’s a different feeling these days, more focused, but I’m grateful for this change and to be actually living life now, I wish you the best on your journey.
Hi Lucas! It’s my first visit to your blog, I thought I’d say hi. My first-ever panic attack happened quite late in life, in 2008 right before class. Before that, there were signs in my personality that I was just not 100% okay being around people. But in 2008 I experienced symptoms and I thought something was seriously wrong with me (I went to the doctor for a full checkup, and he said everything was fine). I did a lot of reading online, and that’s when I was introduced to the possibility of it being a panic disorder. I got to know a few people online as well, who understood what I was going through. Where I’m from, such disorders are not accepted by the society so it’s not something I care to tell people about. Well, that’s a bit about my story. Thanks for sharing yours!
Hi Sabrina, thank you for commenting and sharing part of your story. Seeing the Doctor and finding that nothing is “wrong” can give mixed emotions as you’re relieved to know nothing’s wrong, but confused as you know that you don’t feel right. I struggled with the label of Panic Disorder for a couple years and have now accepted that most anxiety is situational and changed to a healthier lifestyle, which has helped a lot.
Best wishes with your journey:)
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