To the boy with the panic disorder - Prithiva Sharma

To the boy with a panic disorder, who worries too much about the illness itself,

it’s okay.

In a world that favours your gender in all but openly accepting emotional responses, I can only imagine how difficult it is to live with something that makes your breathing stop and tears start with less than a moment's warning. There have been so many times when I have had to see you stop breathing and start panicking not because of the time loop you seem to be stuck in, but because of the overwhelming emotions of anxiety tumbling out of your eyes - a weakness, as a lot of people say.

I can’t count the times when your anxiety has grown and gotten worse to the point where you can’t hear anything beyond the bare silence of your mind, not because things are all wrongwrongwrong, but because you have a panic disorder and you are having an anxiety attack and oh shit you are crying but you can’t--

(you can, and you should)

this is for you, exclusively for you, only for you.

It’s okay to cry. You are a human being before anything else, an emotion before a gender; you are you before any stereotype that stops you from breaking down, not only in public but often in private as well. 

It’s okay to be anxious, and it’s okay to ask for help.

You aren’t omnipotent, and the baggage of stereotypes attached to your gender's emotional & affective responses isn't yours to carry. 

You aren’t weak, it takes strength to ask for help.

It’s okay to be sensitive and vulnerable. It’s okay to be jumpy. It’s okay to be fidgety. It’s all fine. It’s who you are - feeling, anxious, raw. 

It's what feminism tells you - you are your own, emotional baggage, affective responses, anxiety and all. It’s all a part of who you are, and society gets no say in who you should be.

To the boy with a rough surface and sharp edges, who has been trying to smoothen his creases out for the longest time now,

It’s okay.

To the boy who is more anxious about the society’s reactions to his tears than the tears themselves,

It’s okay.

To the boy who is just learning how his gender oppresses his anxiety and sadness,

It's okay. 

To the boy who wants to call himself a feminist but doesn't know how to,

It's okay.

You'll learn. Everything is fine. Don't bother with normal, nothing is normal. It's all you - your tears, your pills, your panicky clumsiness - it's all you and it's all valid. 

You are you, and not a categorical representative for a chromosome.

It’s okay, and I’m here. It's a start, and soon you'll never feel alone.

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