On election night, I watched America have a collective panic attack.
If you’ve never had a panic attack, you might not have recognized the signs. But I’m used to them. They go like this: first there are the inklings of uneasiness, a small pit in your stomach that indicates something’s wrong. Then comes denial: maybe if you ignore the feelings they’ll just go away. But they don’t. When you’re not looking, the anxiety grows and grows until all of a sudden your breath catches in your throat and your heart starts racing. You knew it was coming, all the signs were there, and yet the severity and the speed with which it hits you knocks the wind out of you. Suddenly there you are, your world turned upside down, struggling to remember how to breathe.
That’s what watching the election results roll in felt like. When you’re panicking, the world feels impossibly claustrophobic. Decision making feels impossible, you cry but the relief never comes and you scream but it feels like no one can hear you. Panic is oppressive and overwhelming—it hurts so badly that you fear you’ll never remember what it feels like not to want to crawl out of your skin.
It’s so hard to remember, when you’re in the middle of it, that panic always subsides. It always has and it always will.
We cry because it feels so unjust. We scream because in Hillary we see ourselves and our mothers and our sisters, we see amazing women who have spent their entire lives losing to unqualified men. We are angry, we are hurting, and we are scared, but we are strong. Let's widen our scope from our panic–induced tunnel vision and take stock of what we still have: each other.
Friends, it’s time to put on our big girl pantsuits and show the world that no matter what happened on Nov. 8, love really does trump hate. It does if we say it does. And we say it does.