Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Scared Of Getting Lost

I'm nearly 13 years old and I think this is really stupid, but when I went on holidays I was so scared incase I got lost, so I was really clingy and tried not to loose sight of her, I just panic.

I know this is a really selfish thing, i'm really lucky to have the chance to go on holiday but sometimes I really don't want to.

I get really scared, I've had an experience of getting the wrong bus and ending up 20 miles from home and my mobile was out of charge, I wasted piles of money in the telephone box but it didn't work so I ended up going into a shop.

I'm just so scared, I don't know how to cure this and all I do is panic, I wish I was 3 and I wasn't scared of anything that I'm scared of now.


Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter to me. You’ve done well to contact me as I can tell you were unsure about whether or not to do so. 

Firstly I’d like to start off by saying that your problem is not stupid. It sounds like you had a scary experience when you got lost and got on the wrong bus. I can hear that not having your mobile phone to call for help made this extra scary but you absolutely did the right thing. You tried to use a pay phone and when that didn’t work you asked for help from someone. Although I can hear this was a scary experience, you should feel proud of yourself that you were able to use your brain and act in a way that got you back home safely.

However, I can hear that you feel really scared in case you get lost again. It sounds like your experience is now acting as a trigger, so when you feel there is a chance that you might get lost again all those same feelings come rushing back and you feel anxious and scared even though you are not in danger. 

This reaction is not uncommon and there is help for you to change how you are feeling. We have lots of really good information on anxiety, such as why you can start to feel anxious and what you can do to control it. We even have a video that explains a little bit about what anxiety is.

You do not have to go through these feelings on your own and it might help you to talk through them with someone that you trust.  Perhaps you do this with a parent or carer so they can understand what’s making you feel clingy and like you are scared to go on holiday. Perhaps you could look at the Childline pages together.

You can also talk to a Childline counsellor at any time. They can help you to understand how you’re feeling and what support there is for you to feel more confident and move on from these feelings. You might also like to read what other young people have shared on the message boards around what has caused them to feel anxious and things they have done to cope with it.

I hope you have found this information helpful and thank you again for your email.

Take care,

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter