When I was younger, my stomach always hurt.
There was nothing safe for me to eat without not feeling good.
I remember being scared to go to soccer practice because I didn’t want my stomach to start hurting in the middle of practice.
I remember being scared to go to parties because I didn’t want to be stuck in the bathroom all night.

Now, at twenty-three, I’m afraid of a whole new variety of things for a variety of different reasons.
Now, at twenty-three, when I say “I don’t feel good”, I am not referring to my stomach.
Now, at twenty-three, I’m terrified to go to soccer games and parties for completely different reasons.

Instead of my stomach being the problem, it’s my mind.
It’s exhausting thinking that everyone is thinking something bad about me, all of the time.
It’s exhausting sucking my stomach in for four hours and pretending I like celery.
It’s exhausting stressing out about what I’m going to wear and what they will think of me and whether or not I am in the mood to put makeup on ’cause Lord knows I need it.

Being twenty-three is more exhausting than running up and down that soccer field.
No amount of gatorade is going to make these feelings go away.
No amount of gatorade is going to help me catch my breath…
Not like it used to.
Not really.

So, at twenty-three, I don’t need gatorade…
Just someone to ask me, “what kind of don’t feel good?”

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