Growing pains. A funny phrase. I stand at 161.5 centimeters tall. If you don’t know what those numbers mean, it means short. I haven’t experienced the growing pains that come along with the change in height most people go through. For me, the growth of a few centimeters is enough, even when my friends are a head taller than me. 

With growing pains, no matter how achy your body gets, how sore you feel, there is still a reward of becoming a few centimeters taller. With my growing pains, it’s often difficult to see the reward. I often wonder what the reward is or whether there is one at all.

My growing pain needs no introduction. It’s something everyone knows, whether it be in the form of a phone call you are dreading but have to pick up or the thoughts in your head that make you unable to sleep at night. 

For most of the population, that feeling goes away. For the ones who can’t seem to shake it off, it can come in the form of waves or it can stay. 

Mine likes to stay and take a living form. 

Calm Down. There’s nothing to worry about if you just get out of bed, you’ll see that everything is okay. You’re fine, it’ll be fun, let off some steam. Don’t worry.

My knees aren’t wobbling, my eyes aren’t bloodshot, my hands aren’t bleeding, my hair is clean, my clothes look fine, I’m breathing, I’m alive. Nothing is wrong, right?


My throat is swollen and achy. My body is telling me not to breathe. I try to stop myself. But it’s the same, it happens every time. 

It’s like the monster under your bed, hiding in your closet, looking in from the window, banging on your door. And so,

He starts. 

He’s always beside me. I’ve gotten used to it. He holds my hair back as I throw up from the noise. He spins me until I can’t tell my hands from my feet. He holds my arms back when I wave hello. There are times he goes away. Those times are rare. But I know, 

He’ll come back. 

I imagine he doesn’t want to harm me. He’s not naturally like this, I’ve just gotten on his bad side. I’ve gotten used to him though. He was my first friend, he is my last friend, 

He’s mine.

Sometimes when I’m cold he warms me up. Sometimes I’m sick and he helps me sleep. Sometimes I procrastinate and he helps me focus. I’ve found comfort in him. I know him, 

They don’t. 

They won’t ever know him. He is mine and no matter what, he will always come back to me. He likes me, he hates me, he’s like a dog. He gets angry and then he is okay. He bites on my shoes, 

He bites me.

He likes to gnaw on my hands like chew toys. My bones crackle underneath his teeth, my nails snap. We play go fetch with my knuckles. He’s left me with tasteless scars. My dog gave them to me,

Don’t be afraid. 

I take medication to put his muzzle on when I go out.  But, there’s only so much that muzzle can do. I always have to take care of him, I can’t leave him alone. My hands are full, I can’t do much else. I can’t tell if he’s a good or 

Bad dog.

In the end, he is only a dog. There is always the hope I can calm him down with a bone or two. Always the hope that he’ll sit on my lap as I pet him and call him a good boy. Even so, he has his outbursts and tantrums,

He’s living.

Sometimes he gets jealous and makes me take breaks. I’ve had to take myself out of the equation. I’ve missed school, quit jobs, stopped countless hobbies, and been unable to leave my house for weeks at a time. 

Countless times. 

I was not sick, I did not have a cold, I did not have any illness. These were all consequences of owning a dog. At times I want to leave him, drop him off at the pound. Here’s the thing with a dog, I can’t pray him away or I can’t push him away. If I did, I’d be all


Even so, I denied him countless times in hopes he’d regress into a chihuahua that was only loud in their bark. So, I no longer held him with a leash when we went out. He didn’t need as much attention as before and didn’t bite. But, he still had the same old habit of running around and wreaking havoc. 

I know neglecting him was an impulsive decision that could have easily spiraled. But, he’s nicer now. Whenever words slip out of my mouth I’m never mortified nor ashamed. It’s a panic. Yes, the overwhelming kind. No, not the kind that kills. 

His temper tantrums have settled down, still far from gone. At least, he’s learned some independence. When we go on walks together he can roam around. 

When he roams, I’m no longer color-blind. When my eyes are open the only thing comparable to that site is the fairytale stories once read to you as a child, that spoke of colorful gardens and plants so alive they spoke.

When he comes back it’s a little duller. My mind is no longer empty. I no longer feel awe-struck. But, what’s so bad about thinking anyways? 

I don’t care that when he leaves me alone I no longer have a companion, I don’t care that he’s my only companion. He will always be beside me.

He keeps me warm. 

He keeps me burning. 

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