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this pain in my stomach

by thehusk

I spend so much of my life feeling unwell. It’s hard to know how much of it is in my mind, and how much is physical. I get these pains in my gut – kind of like hunger, only they’re still  there after I eat. It might be bloating – my gut feels kind of swollen or distended. Or like something is squirming inside, trying to get out. There’s weird gurgles and rumbling.

I feel tired so much of the time. But in a low-energy, rather than lack of sleep way. Maybe my body isn’t properly absorbing nutrients somehow.

I’m sure there’s an anxiety component to it. It seems to get worse when I’m dreading something specific, and temporarily relieve when something’s over with. I definitely spend an abnormal amount of time on the loo.

I’ve had a nervous stomach since I was 9. People describe it as ‘butterflies’ but that always sounded far too pleasant. More like slugs, or worms. But it seems to have become all pervasive over the years. There’s rarely a day I don’t feel nauseous.

I’d never actually thrown up from anxiety before, but a few months ago I was more sick than I’ve ever been. I threw up so much that it hurt, for so long I started to worry my internal organs would follow. It might have been a rare case of food poisoning, but I have been especially anxious since the pandemic. I still feel different – like my stomach is on the edge of doing it again. I get a weird taste in the back of my mouth.

I think of it as IBS, but that’s mostly just because I have nothing else to call it (I know it’s not a food allergy). All I know is I feel like shit a lot of the time, and I didn’t used to, at least not as much. I don’t know whether my anxiety and depression cause these pains, or whether the pains cause the anxiety and depression. I would pay quite a lot of money to someone who would really cure it – god knows I’ve tried every form of quackery over the years.

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