Author's Note: I have emetophobia. It's an odd phobia to most people.

I'm writing this partly for my 13-year-old self, who probably would've loved to read a story about Haku going through all the things I had went through, right down to relating to every single word of it.

I'm dedicating this to all the fellow emetophobes out there, or people with anxiety issues in general. You're not alone. You're not strange. You will make it through! You're strong and valid.


Haku's POV

Today my class went on a field trip to a bowling alley. It should've been fun.

I didn't have fun. My mind was too preoccupied with thoughts. Worries wracking my head until it physically hurt.

Sometimes I wonder about these things that nobody else seems to even consider. Why smile when we're just going to cry again one day? Why do we treasure life so much in general? We're only going to die.

Do other people feel this way? Or is it just me? Everywhere I go, I see people enjoying their life, smiling as if nothing bad will ever happen to them, as if this smile of theirs will be perpetual, and I'm wondering how they're not worrying about things crumbling apart the way I do. Just how do they do it?

I know it's a horrible way for me to think. But I can't help it. I just can't help it.

I didn't ask to be emetophobic.

The root of all of this, all of this incessant worrying I do, is that I'm afraid of something so small and stupid that you'd just laugh in my face. You'd wonder why it's making me have such a negative perspective on life, and it's just because these feelings trap me.

I'm being completely serious.

I have a phobia of vomiting.

To say I'm "terrified" is an understatement. I'm literally more afraid of it then I'm afraid to die.

This is the part where I give you a few seconds to laugh.

Now that you're done laughing, please hear me out.

I feel trapped every day. Things might be okay now, but time continues to pass every day, every hour, every second... every nanosecond... you get the picture. I may feel fine right now, but what if I'm going to throw up tomorrow?

Soon, there will be a time where things won't be okay. The average person vomits at least once a year, or so I've heard. I may have gone eight years without doing it, but that also means I'm way overdue.

All I do is worry about the next time it will happen to me. Will it be in the near or distant future? Where will I be? Will I be "ready"? How bad will it be? Will I cry or have a panic attack? Will I be able to make it through? Or will I be traumatized to death?

But if I were dead... then I wouldn't have to worry about the next time I will ever throw up. I would be dead. I've considered this a few times before, but rejected the idea every time.

The thing is, I don't want to be dead.

I love life much too much. The good parts of it, anyway.

Also, If I died now, none of my dreams will ever come true.

My dreams are probably the only thing that are keeping me alive. I don't really want to say what they are. They're much too idealistic and really embarrassing. But they're in my heart during the darkest hours to remind me that maybe, maybe there is hope. And that's what matters to me about them.