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As long as I can remember, I have had this thing; what I’ve have come to call my monster. It’s an angry ball of annoying, selfish, fever that bounces around in the pit of my stomach and tears at the tight muscles in my limbs. It’s always there. Even when I am happy, sleepy, or completely thoughtless while I lose myself in television. He tells me that the world is against me, and I am alone, forever. These thoughts use to be disguised as my own, but I now know better, as I start to creep up to my 30’s. I have private conversations with the monster I’ve seemed to have subconsciously named, Mike.

Mike and I battle mostly at night… when I lay in bed and my thoughts turn on me. I start scrolling through all my bad decisions and regrets of my past and wish for something different to happen. Mike is always laughing, letting me know how stupid I’ve been. I shake him off. I think happy thoughts. My unborn nephew, my mentor talking over coffee, fishing in a wild pond, my dog… my dog running into the street and getting run over by a speeding SUV AAAHHHHHHH!!!

Thats what Mike does. My dog is fine, by the way. Never got hit by anything other than a rolled up newspaper. My thoughts are not always my thoughts. The anger wells up without cause and suddenly it’s morning and I wake up. Pissed off. Now… My poor mother thinks she’s done something wrong and has learned to not make eye contact, physical contact, or speak of anything other than, “Would you like some breakfast?” I always feel terrible about the way we worked out this dance over the years. I don’t like to be touched. It’s a physical aversion, repulsion to human contact. It makes my monster flip out! Like he is doing backflips in my stomach, then racing up and down my extremities. I grind my teeth and wiggle my toes, sweat and flinch until it passes. I’m exhausted afterwards. Christmas get-togethers are a must-be-drunk situation. Makes Mike whisper, “Who could ever love someone like you? Freak.”

I’ve seen doctors, my mother had me in therapy since I was six. I’ve been committed once and on all sorts of pills for this illness or that illness. I don’t have an illness. I have Mike. I have anger, rage, and I fight to keep him inside me… So we dance.