I’m ripping myself to pieces inside

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Senior Member
“If you’re serious, you can put that gun in my ear and pull the trigger. I’m ripping myself to pieces inside.” He began to cough again, and then to groan helplessly.
Source: The Stand by Stephen King
Context: Vic has the superflu and the quote is his reply to Stu when he asked if he could be of help.

I'm ripping myself to pieces inside = I am tormenting myself or my coughing is tearing my inside organs? Is this expression common?

Thank you.
  • Amedeo Baragiola

    Italian/ English (IRL) - bilingual

    That expression isn't really common, it means being torn apart

    Given the context your provided it could as well be that his coughing is tearing up his inside organs. That's my guess.
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