View Full Version : I'm afraid of subways and need help with it

07-26-15, 01:33 PM
Hiiii everyone

So I've had a pretty busy summer with gigs!!

This week I have 4 gigs, one of them is in the city and it seems there is no parking so we have to take the subway.

I'm pretty scared of subways, I've had panic attacks on them before.
On a positive note though: one time, I had about an hour trip on various trains from one side of the city to the other, I had a panic attack on the first one that then once the initial 10 minutes of terror was up I realized I was still alive and well and lots of people around me who were perfectly comfortable and unfazed by being on the train and I was able to say "Oh. OK this isn't so bad..." So I remember being able to get through that particular trip fine.

But then I started my really stressful job and was trying to do public transportation because, I want to support that environmentally and everything. The thing is I still wasn't thrilled about subways and also my stress level was like through the roof so the morning subway commute turned into a daily nightmare. That with the dread of teaching ... it was like daily morning intestinal issues + panic, UGH. I finally gave up on torturing myself with the subway and started driving which lessened that part of my stress at least. Which is kind of ironic because driving around that city IS ridiculous. lol A lot of people are much more afraid to drive than take the train!!!

Anyways, since giving up on the subway during teaching, I have pretty much jumped through hoops to avoid taking them at all. I have a friend, a pianist in the area, we used to do some gigs in the city and I basically had to break down and tell him about my panic stuff - this is unusual for me because I'm very private - because I was like doing logistical acrobatics to not have to take the train to our gigs!!! lol

I have since moved out of the city...YAY. But now I have a gig there on Tuesday, I'm going to do some more investigating to see if there really truly isn't parking BUT...if not I'm going to need some strategies!!!

I have a counseling appointment the day before but I was hoping my boyfriend would come so we could talk about communication stuff with my therapist, which would be more beneficial long term, I think. But I could say never mind on the boyfriend and ask her if we could talk about this phobia thing and maybe that would help me be more ok the next day...what do you all think I should do?

The band is me, my boyfriend, and our good friend on guitar. Good friend knows I'm afraid of subways and I just emailed him "Be prepared to distract me with lots of jokes and entertainment!!!!" He is hilarious so I'm sure that will help :)

Does anyone have any tips? Does anyone really love the subway and feel like posting why I can love the subway too? :) That would really help. I need some logical things I can believe and repeat to myself about why subways are not scary. (The only thought that has helped me thus far is: there is a person driving this, and they are here all day long without an issue, they may even really like driving the train, maybe it is kind of fun.)

Thanks for making it through this post, and for any encouragement or help you can give :)


07-26-15, 03:17 PM
The subway, along with the train, is one of the safest means of transportation. Much safer than the car. In Bucharest there has never been any accidents, other than suicides. There are many automated systems, many backup systems and few things that can go wrong, considering there is no traffic. The crowds may be annoying and you're very likely to encounter pick-pockets, but other than that, I've never heard of other serious crimes being committed there. Also, if anything happens, at least there are plenty of people around to help you, especially security guards- there are more of them in the subway than in all other public transport. Personally, I have to ride the bus more often, because we don't have subways in all neighbourhoods, but I feel much safer underground, because there are less idiot drivers. Also there are less weirdos, since it's much better guarded.

07-26-15, 03:36 PM
How about entertaining your fellow passengers with some jammage since you're going to a gig and you'll have some instruments? Do what you love while you ride. :)

07-27-15, 10:03 AM
Playing music is an interesting idea! Hahaha that could be fun...maybe it would annoy people though

Or maybe it would make them come to our gig!! haha

Guitar player said he is going to bring monitors (speakers) for us...maybe that can be an excuse to drive....!!!!

07-27-15, 10:30 AM
I love the subway!!!!
I don't drive anymore (never renewed my license) and it's just so easy here to take the subway, it connects up with all of the commuter trains and train stations. There are 14 metro lines. It's so convenient you can get anywhere in the city. I have a monthly pass that covers my suburb and Paris.
I've never felt unsafe on the subway here, except maybe for pickpockets targeting unspspecting tourists on line 1 (major areas to visit!) Some lines are packed at rush hour but my office is close to the train station so it's not much of a problem.

I love not having to worry about driving and watching the people and wondering where they're going. :)

07-27-15, 10:54 AM
Oh man, once the anxiety train gets rolling, it's so hard to get it to stop or change directions. My sympathies. And knowing that you "shouldn't" be afraid of it, doesn't negate the fact that you *are* afraid.

I grew out of a lot of my phobias (elevators included), so I'm not 100% sure how to start on a path towards being able to get on the subway. If you were in behavioral therapy, they'd start on a series of progressive exposures and visualization exercises so you're much less sensitized by the time you actually wind up on the subway itself.

My mom, on the other hand, used to try to flood me by shoving me into the elevator and not letting me leave. It is very true that the ride itself was *nothing* as compared to the anticipation and build up towards the fact that I knew would have to *use* the elevator at the doctor's office the next day.

Systematic desensitization ( is the term for the therapy that is useful for specific phobias. I'm not sure, but it does seem like you might be able to implement some of the ideas with a supportive third-party without going through the full therapy.

07-27-15, 04:56 PM
:grouphug: willow, good luck - you deserve it!

I'm terrified of train tunnels so I can empathise :grouphug:

07-29-15, 10:34 AM
OK kind of due to a crazy series of events, I did not end up having to take the subway


It's hard to want to deal with this because I live in the country now so it's not a regular part of my life or I feel like it will just be until next time and I make a frantic post on ADDF about it :P

Series of events is a pretty good story though: Guitar player decided he should bring his monitor speakers to the gig because the people running the event didn't have any for us. So we were going to meet at his apartment and all drive in to the city together. (Because the speakers are so heavy to carry)

BF and I leave, go into our local town so I can stop at the pharmacy to pick up something. While I'm there he goes to get gas across the street. Unfortunately, for some reason, the automatic shut off on the pump did not engage when the tank was full! So the gas starts SPEWING out of the hose, and boyfriend didn't notice at first because it was raining buckets. It got all over his legs, shoes, my car. Agh! I'm hoping it's not something wrong with my car....!! Which is new, I just bought it.
Anyways after BF arguing with people at gas station who did not reimburse him, but did give him the number for their manager, I had to drag him off and we had to go HOME so he could shower, try to clean his shoes, and I could wash my car!!!

So needless to say we were an hour late leaving, too late to catch guitar player to ride with him, and too late to find parking at his apartment, walk to subway, wait for train, get off, walk to gig. We just drove straight to the city and crossed our fingers we could find parking!

Funny thing is - it was a good thing we didn't actually drive in with the guitar player because he dragged his car to the loading zone where it then sputtered and died!! He had to dash off in the middle of the gig because triple A was there to have it towed, lol.

Yesterday was crazy.

More gigs today, tomorrow, and this weekend. Here we go!