I am so sick of my own egocentricity. The fact that I think I’m the centre of the world is the reason it spins out of control. I heard a friend to my left cough in class, a rusty bell ringing in the fog. He felt very far away, and in that tiny part of my brain that wasn’t panicking, I wondered how he could just sit there and not be swimming in intense, unwelcome thoughts. I was incapable of imagining feeling anything different from what I was feeling at that moment, even though I have been where I assume he was: in the clear. I’m not as accustomed to panic as I once was, when it used to arrive like clockwork.

I used to feel a terrible rush almost every time I went to class at my old school. Not a rush of life and excitement and love, but one that convinced me that the world was ending.

I thought these attacks were in the past. I don’t want that terror to find a new home.

I took a detour after school so I could refresh my senses and walk off my nerves. I wanted to feel calm again, like white linen hanging in the breeze. I finally felt tranquility once I reached the park swing and surveyed the desolate greenery around me. I’ve decided the park is my favourite place. ♦