This is an anonymous blog post
I’m writing this anonymously because I don’t want to share this personally. Why? Because it’s something I am deeply ashamed of, I am afraid of being sick, Emetophobia is the medical name for it, its something I will go to great lengths to hide, to appear normal. I try to forget but it’s always there, hiding in the back of my mind.
Threatening to overrun any hint of happiness, destroying my happy go lucky nature. I have a fear of vomiting,
Emetophobia they call it
Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated. Wiki
It started 8 months after my grandfather lost his life to terminal cancer. I was out shopping and suddenly came over shaky and light headed. I made my excuses and left. I couldn’t wait to get home I was convinced I was going to be sick, and I wanted to get home fast. Once I was home, the symptoms slowly started to ease. I managed to calm myself down.
I went on with my life, and all was well for a few weeks.
December rolled around, it was my sons birthday and we’d spent the day with family. My then, boyfriends parents were coming over that evening to meet us and have cake. I hardly ate a thing at dinner and by the time they were on the way I was leaning against my bedroom wall hyperventilating.
I felt hot and cold, I was shaking, crying. I managed to calm down enough to see them but I was counting down the minutes until they left.
After Christmas it got much worse. I stopped eating certain foods; chicken, eggs, fish. I become obsessed with use by dates on things I did eat. I survived on sausage rolls and cola alone for two months.
I avoided sick people like they carried death itself
The realisation that something was wrong came when I called my dad in tears one Tuesday afternoon, to beg him to come and take my son to football club. That was literally across the road from my house. I went to the Doctors the next day, the prescribed me tablets to calm me, and sent me to therapy.
At therapy I learnt the reasons why my body had the reactions it did, and that how I was feeling was normal, not a sign of a bug threatening to attack.
Did it help? No and I stopped going.
After about six months on these tablets I decided enough was enough. I didn’t want to live my life on them, become reliant on them. I took myself off them. In hindsight all I did was replace the pills with an anti sickness wrist band and polos to suck on.
Because the feeling of being sick was more present with a dry mouth.
All I could think was at least it’s not drugs. Slowly the symptoms eased. I’m back to eating normally, most days. Although I still struggle sometimes. I took the wrist band off, and have only used it once since. I still have to have polos but I’m working on having them less and less.
Throughout this whole time, I haven’t vomited once.
I have however contracted more colds than normal for me, and for the first time in my life was knocked of my feet by a chest infection. Why? Because I become reliant on using hand gels to prevent sickness. I’m not better by no means, but am I out of the woods.
I have more good days than bad. My symptoms are not as over powering as they were.
All the self help guides I’ve read say avoid the cause of stress, if I had of done that it would be worse today not better.
I have to push myself. If I’m sick I’m sick.
I have learned that being sick wont kill me
It may mean cancelling plans, it may mean I have to be sick in public. It may mean I cry like a baby when that happens. It’ll be gross for a minute, the taste will last for five or so minutes but no one will die, least of all me. I’ll feel ill for a day, maybe two, but thats it.
I can survive being sick.
I know I said I didn’t want to share it, and I could edit it out if I wanted too but I feel that’s important to show how I was at the lowest point when struggling with Emetophobia.
If you have a fear my message is push yourself, as far as you can manage, a little more everyday. There’s no rule book, I found a method that worked for me by trying desperately to get out of my hole. The more I do the things I fear, the more I realise nothing bad has happened.
That doesn’t mean one day it won’t, and if it does that’s okay. I’m strong enough to deal with that too.
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