I didn’t sign up for this. This condition that steals my breath. Making the air I need thick and inhospitable. A clenching fist around my throat, each inhale like drowning.

I didn’t sign up for this. This new catastrophe that races lightning quick pain down my face. Tracing the path of my tears with agony and despair. That crushes and grinds the nerves of my face into live wires.

I didn’t sign up for this. My body attacking parts of itself just like the foreign invaders it fights so valiantly but never conquers. A disease that weakens my digestion and defenses. Leaves me vulnerable to all the viruses and the embarrassment of going in the woods like the proverbial bear.

I didn’t sign up for this. An illness of the mind or body chemistry or whatever “they” finally decide causes all of this acid fear. Crawling from the pit of my stomach to coat the back of my throat. Racing in my veins until my hands tremble and making day to day living a constant struggle through waves of terror and insecurity.

I didn’t sign up for this. My body feels too heavy to move and my sick mind tells me we shouldn’t even bother trying anymore. Everything too hard, too pointless. A sly voice whispers that perhaps there’s only one way to solve our problems. I’ll ignore its poison again today, and pretend to smile instead.

I didn’t sign up for this. Born with missing vital pieces, leaving me reliant on all of these meds. Strangers see only my thinness and judge my actions because my pain isn’t plain to them. I devour brownies to gain breasts, and envy the friends with plush bodies who themselves are envying me.

I didn’t sign up for this.

We didn’t sign up for this.