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I am surrounded by glass
A shimmering, delicate surface
Walls curving up and around
Encasing me

I am surrounded by light
Reflecting prisms across my hands
Dancing with color and warmth
Blinding me

I am surrounded by crowds
Laughing and speaking words I can’t hear
Holding out a hand as I reach for them
Calling me

I am surrounded by fear
Gripping my heart like a vice
Squeezing till every breath becomes pain itself
Choking me

I am surrounded by darkness
A crushing weight that pulls me down
Making me fumble desperately for a reprieve
Deceiving me

I am surrounded by walls
That close in around me
As I beat at them 
Screaming for a way out of this perverse pattern
Trying to reach outside
But somehow never making it past
This wretched bubble.

Residing in Texas, Sanaa Ali holds a lifelong passion for writing and reading. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas with a minor in Literature, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from Texas Woman's University. On her days off, you can find her cuddling with her three cats or meticulously obsessing over a painting. Sanaa hopes to bring awareness to mental health issues within the Muslim community and is an advocate for dismantling stigmas surrounding such issues.


  1. Wow! When anxiety meets visuals, and those visuals find words. Such a vivid piece!

  2. Zuhair Burmi Reply



    Wow this piece is of an anxiety filled person who on the inside wants freedom but on the outside can’t handle being around people or coming near people. Funny this is me and everything an autistic man understands

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