• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
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Struggling to edit and write, and starting to read.


Another one of Pinkie's parties is winding down, and Dash sits alone in the corner. She feels another knot tightening in her chest, clenching harder by the second. She just can't seem to make it go away, not alone.

Expanded from an entry into one of the Quills and Sofa Speedwriting group's contests, with the prompt "Spurred to Action"

Thanks to Zontan and Petrichord for some proofreading and feedback.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 48 )

Relatable. I'm sorry I wasn't able to help with this one. This is an excellent story.

This really struck home. Bravo.

A wonderful, very personal insight into social anxiety, and how debilitating it can be for those who suffer from it — even among very good friends.

I didn't come into this expecting a story that practically perfectly reflects how personally I think and see. Absolutely marvelous, amazing work.

A beautiful story. Absolutely brilliant job of portraying social anxiety. Thank you for this story.

Made me tear up good; I enjoyed this very much. Wonderfully written.

I wish I could say I didn't have this problem.

Strikingly accurate.

Too real. Too accurate. Loved it for that.

I'm not sure why this particular story caught my eye, but I'm so glad it did. As with many others, it seems, this resonated with me on a very personal level. You've done a fantastic job of putting social anxiety into words. Two thumbs up from me.

The argument for Rainbow Dash's social anxiety is quite compelling (the loudmouths tend to be the most insecure inside), but I'm surprised you didn't choose Fluttershy--perhaps she's too obvious of a choice? :fluttershyouch:

Also, when I first read about the knot in the chest, I thought Rainbow Dash was having the early signs of a heart attack.

I'm not really the most social of guys - I spend the majority of my time playing games, reading fanfiction, and watching YouTube in my bedroom - so I don't often feel social anxiety due to me admittedly unconsciously avoiding social stuff like the plague. The few times I do have to go out with/meet people I don't know, I do indeed feel quite anxious about what to talk about, since I'm strictly interested in isolationist/introverted activities.

My social anxiety also comes into play when someone I don't know rings either my mobile phone (not often, but still happens every now and then) or the home phone (which I strictly do not answer, since it's almost never for me anyway). Like, when I was waiting for a company I applied to work at to call me, I was dreading the phone call, since I didn't know what to say or how to react - still somehow got the job for a few months, though.

Oh, and university? I only meet people for group assignments, never to socialise - which is quite disappointing for my mother, since she's told me countless times she wants me to make friends at uni. Yeah, no - I only see these people once a week for twelve weeks (sometimes a handful more times, if we need to meet up in person for group assignments) before I never see them again in future semesters; it's not like school, where it was based on year groups, meaning roughly the exact same boys for six years, so befriending some was much easier.
I could join one of the university clubs, but absolutely none of them interest me - what with me having incredibly isolationist and defined hobbies I find it extraordinarily difficult to talk to people about (even in the 'gaming' club, it's not just videogames but also tabletop games and pen-and-paper games, the latter of which I've never experienced, and I do not play multiplayer in videogames period, so even the videogame aspect's unappealing).

And yes, I have been to a psychologist. Tried their recommendations; didn't work all that well. Social anxiety's practically part of me, just like my dislike of tomato, beef, Xbox consoles, extra transactions in games, motion controls (gyro's fine; wiggle's a nonfunctional disaster, especially if I have to be precise in my movements or positioning), the Switch Pokémon quad, and female protagonists.

She feels another knot tightening in her chest, clenching harder by the second.

Dashie was experiencing ventricular fibrillation due to a malfunctioning atrioventricular node... it was congenital and was deemed later to require pacemaker implantation.


I'll admit, I've never had this level of social anxiety, but I know some of my friends have, and they don't like talking about it, so thank you for putting it into words that I can understand. It really helps to know so I can try and do what AJ did in the future.
I'm one of those people that's perfectly happy to interact, but I don't tend to go out of my way to meet anybody new unless either I'm introduced to them or they approach me. Like, all the friends I already know and have spent time with? When they ask me to hang out I'm perfectly happy to have them come to me, and if it isn't overly difficult to go to them (because I can't drive) then I'll make the effort. But when I am in situations where there's a large number of people that includes my friends (example: one of my older brother's friends, that I am also good friends with, just got married a few weeks ago, and I was invited to the wedding—he and his now-wife both invited a lot of people), if my friends are already occupied speaking with people that I don't know—or even people I do but I'm not familiar with the topic—I don't always take an opportunity to introduce myself to anyone. It feels like I'm kind of... thrusting myself upon someone if they have no interest. And even if I am familiar with a topic of conversation, I feel like I'd just be interrupting them to give myself a place. Like, what if they wanted to keep the conversation between just them? But if I'm invited into a conversation, I just fit right in in a heartbeat, even if I'm not familiar with the topic, because I can pick up on it pretty quickly. For me, I guess it's more like holding a loose grip on the shield instead of fully keeping up my guard.

I can't quite relate to this, but this was an interesting read regardless. Kudos!

I don't suffer from social anxiety, but I do suffer from its generic brand cousin, GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Where social anxiety preys upon irrational thoughts regarding social relationships, interactions and expectations, GAD preys upon irrational fears of the unknown, of the future, etc.

As such, I might not be able to perfectly relate to how Dash feels, but as someone who's lived with the harsh static of anxiety his whole life, I do appreciate the effort gone into accurately portraying it. :twilightsmile: Great job.

This was so good...........now I know why it's second in the feature box. When Dashie finally told AJ what was wrong....I legit started crying. This was a really good story. :fluttercry::heart:


I'm really happy to hear so many people say I did a good job of portraying it. I wanted to try and put into words how I feel at times, and it means a lot to see that message come through, and that others relate to those feelings and emotions. Thank you all for reading and the wonderful comments.


I felt Fluttershy already shows it on the show, and is fairly vocal in expressing it. I don't always get this kind of anxiety, and I don't show it or speak about it often, if at all. I wanted to find a character in the show that could probably act the same, and Dash seemed a fit because she seemed like she'd struggle with expressing it too, given how boisterous she is.


Thank you both for taking the time to type out your own experiences, even if they aren't the same as others have, and if you haven't been able to overcome it. Even if we don't make progress on our issues, I think it's still good to be able to express what we go through to others.


I was sobbing while typing it out. :twilightsheepish: I'm glad some of that emotion flowed through.

This was really good. Great work!

Everyone said it already, so great job!




(That one person liked it so much they clicked both)

Thank you for writing this.

This was amazing and very relatable:rainbowkiss:great job

Sounds like it could come with a sequel... but at the same time not and keep this the way it is :)

Is this depression?

Gosh I didnt think I could relate to a story so much ><, take my fave and a follow, ya earned it x33

Wow, yup, this was good. I have had these thoughts, these doubts and such. Amazing, as if you've stolen into my mind to properly fill out Dash's self-talk. Brilliance.

I've never had any sort of social anxiety that I can see for myself. But I know multiple people who do have extreme anxiety, social or otherwise.

So while I can't relate to this personally, this helps me to understand what they're thinking and how they're feeling, so I can be closer to them. For this, I thank you

Signing, VShuffler42


Dash is suffering from some form of social anxiety here. Basically, she sometimes gets anxious, maybe irrationally so, from social situations. I believe that it's possible for depression to lead into social anxiety disorder and vice versa, but they're separate things.

Oh man, I feel so sorry for Dash in this story and it makes me want to help in any way possible. Thank you for conveying this, I believe these are the same sort of feelings my sister experiences on a daily basis. I’ll give her another hug.

Like that feeling when you miss a step on the staircase and you are pretty sure you're going to die, but it never ends.

Well done.

This is so relatable it hurts. Intrusive thoughts suck.

Are you speaking from experience?

Also why Dash and not let's say Twilight?

I based Dash's internal thoughts and her explanation to AJ on my own experiences. As for why not Twilight, I mean, it could have easily been. Dash just seemed like the sort that valued her friends' opinions very highly, enough that she could stress about what they say/think of her.

This story hits so, so very close to home.

I'll be honest while this whole thing may be realistic I think it'd fit more to characters like Wallflower. Or science Twilight. Certainly not RD.

Hmm I get your point, but to me I feel like rainbow''s one of the best for this story; having it with wallflower or scitwi feels a bit... obvious. On the other hand, rainbow is the sort of character that you could expect to hide how they truly feel sometimes. When Mare Do Well shows up, she acts all angry and frustrated around her frieNds, but when she was alone only then did she let her feelings show. Everyone has a delicate part of them

Reading this, I know there are sooo many people who could connect with this on a deeply fundamental level.
I could relate a bit myself, it's a scary thought thinking people around you are just faking, that they don't really care. RD imagining what her friends might be saying was so sad, and the talk with AJ at the end was nicely therapeutic, a step in the right direction.
But then I also know that going too far down that path can just make everything worse- if you start avoiding your friends because you think they hate you, all your friends see if you avoiding them, and it's so easy to slip apart. And I know it can also get bad if you do ask your friends for reassurance too many times (sad to say). It's a balance, like all things in life.
Anyway, this fic was a great look into that mindset, and comforting in a way to read.

True. I don't mind it being obvious. There's clearly telling signs of social anxiety from the way I look at it.

This really hits hard to home with me. I am the same way that you depict dash to be in this story. There will be times that I'll be at parties with friends that I've known for a very long time and I'll slowly start to ease myself away from everyone thinking that it would be better off that I wasn't there and my thoughts will wander off to what everyone thinks about me.
I'll go days or even weeks at a time just stewing in my thoughts and basically cut myself off from everyone while this happens thinking that there having the time of there life without me around. I used to be able to cope with is by damn near working and drinking myself to death but it got to the point that drinking and working almost a 110 hours a week wasn't even helping with it.

I know all too well about how this feels and the problems and turmoil that it causes. I have been working towards bettering myself when the thoughts come up. Its work in progress but I'm getting there, be at a snails pace but I'm getting there.

At least she could breath without sobbing.

Do you mean “breathe”?

Lots of interesting ideas here! Social anxiety feels very constrictive, and you captured it here wonderfully. It is a very honest fic, and I love the way you use the characters!

Overhearing people I know having a conversation in another room is a one-way ticket to making me paranoid that they're talking about me. Whether they are saying good things or bad things, I'd rather that they chose any other subject whatsoever.
Back in college, it was easy to defeat social anxiety: we'd get hammered and then sing songs to one another about how we are all assholes. Not only did we celebrate our faults, we'd rather be assholes than members of a rival fraternity.
I haven't had that kind of time and place for drinking and whoring in about a decade. Avenue Q was right.

Dashie really needs a hug.
Joining a fraternity was one of the best decisions I made in college. Otherwise, I'd be the smart kid who kept to himself all 4 years.

Very interesting. Although I'm incredibly fortunate to no longer suffer from this level of anxiety, I think everyone can relate to this one way or the other. The use of the knot that just refused to go away was particularly powerful. Good on RD for finding the courage to trust in her friends at the end, and good on AJ for being such a supportive friend all the way through.

Painfully accurate portrayal of anxiety. Nicely drawn tension. Heartwarming ending.

I felt that.

Like, uh... whoof. Hooo boy. This hit hard.

I... I can relate. I seriously can. This story speaks to me. I have what's basically Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD. I tend to worry, fret over the silliest things, really. Catastrophize. Over silly, and small things. It's... it's not a nice feeling, and seeing it or at least something similar in a story... I... yeah I approve.

So sorry for the delay, have a review!


Damn... that was excellent! A beautiful little piece :twilightsmile:

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