Whispers of Courage: Confronting the Shadows of Panic

Words by Josephine (she/her) 18, TAS 

Content Warning

The following piece “Confronting the Shadows of Panic” may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Lifeline (13 11 14) – visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.


The world around me starts to blur,

As panic grips me like a cruel burr.

My heart races, my hands start to shake,

I struggle to keep my fear in check.


My breath becomes shallow and quick,

My mind becomes a turbulent thick,

Of thoughts, of worries, of endless doubt,

That seem to swallow me inside and out.


The walls around me start to close,

My body shakes, my mind implodes.

I cannot escape the all-consuming fear,

That feels like it will never disappear.


My chest feels tight, my throat constricts,

I struggle to control my wits.

The panic takes hold once more,

And I’m left feeling helpless and unsure.


I try to tell myself that it’s okay,

That the panic will soon fade away.

But in that moment, it is hard to believe,

I am left feeling lost and self-betrayed.


I take a deep breath and try to calm,

My racing heart and trembling palm.

I remind myself that I am not alone,

That others have faced this panic and have grown.


And with each breath, I begin to feel,

A sense of calmness that helps me heal,

And I know that though the panic may return,


Illustration by Aileen. You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenngstudio

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