Before I begin, I should mention that due to my anxiety, I do not take public transit and therefore, I am bused to school. I have a support worker who helps me when I AM on public transit. Down below, is a mini story about what it is like for me to be on a subway. I find things above ground to be more manageable minus the carsickness I feel when I am standing.
The sterile smell is thicker than that of in a hospital, here. The fluorescents are too bright and it makes the stainless steel shine, showing each and every individual scratch. The coarse fabric seats carry germ after germ and person after person still manages to sit on them! The floors are linoleum and dirty.
This is what I perceive from being on transit. As soon as I step over the threshold of my safe, quiet and clean Earth and into the world of the dingy unknown, my heart begins to beat faster and faster in my chest, feeling as though it will leap out at any time. My breathing accelerates and I try to keep my cool by looking at the things around me but with each squeal of the rails, with each infectious cough of the person sitting there, I get more and more anxious.
I can not handle my anxiety, but my support worker is right there. She is there for me and I lock eyes with her. She speaks in a calm voice, one that I can barely manage to keep.
“What level are you at, A?” she asks me.
“On the anxiety scale? Probably like 4. It could be worse,” I say. “I want to stick it out.”
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