BY TUBA S.
If my panic disorder were a person, he would never leave my side. He would be the pathetic reason as to why I would run from corridor to corridor and like a shadow, he would retrace each supposedly cautious step of mine. He would come after me till I would fall weak to his desires. Vulnerability was my best look, he’d say, before taking over my chaotic mind.
If my panic disorder were a person, he would laugh at my attempts to understand him. Ruthlessly, he would kick me in the stomach till I’d become short of breath. Gripping me by my bony shoulders, he’d shake me to the point of dizziness and when at last I were to succumb to his purpose he would scream in my face, “Stop trying to understand a monster!” Although, I would never stop, because understanding him had evolved from an action into a compulsion.
If my panic disorder were a person, he would stay with me to the point that I’d be identified by him and only him. I would never find it in me to fight him or stand up to him for fear of him leaving me. He becomes a part of me and in that the moment, his wretchedness becomes a part of me, too. I cease to exist. Do not strain yourself trying to understand me, for even I do not understand myself.
If my panic disorder were a person, I’d hide him for fear of being judged. He would not be okay with it and I’d cry to reason with him. He would simply hug me and whisper, “I’m sorry,” over and over again, and those two words would forever sustain constancy in our rather abusive relationship. I would’ve begun hyperventilating because of him; each breath coming out more haphazardly than the previous one. He’d hold me tighter and tighter, to the extent that I’d feel as if my heart and mind were exploding. I would never have gotten used to being in such close contact with him. He would find himself incapable of controlling his emotions and he would take over me. I’d have fallen to my knees screaming and pulling my hair from being in such uncomfortably close contact with him. My heart beating rapidly, I would throw my body around the room trying to distract myself from the chaos raging within me.
If my panic disorder were a person, I could never hate him because he would not be any different from us. He simply wanted to exist, and just like us, he would be hurting others in the process of doing so. If my panic disorder were a person, he would let his desires overthrow him… much like us, as a matter of fact.
Tuba S. has recently graduated from her school, Foundation Public School. She is a photographer with a vaguely pathetic camera and an artist focusing on creating new ways to make art even more beautiful. She is currently working on a novel to bring awareness regarding mental health and its impact on relationships.