So the one big truth of my life is this: I am deathly, pathologically, insanely afraid of throwing up. Like to the point where I’m not sure I’m going to be able to get through writing this post because it’s giving me anxiety. Like to the point I never go anywhere – not even the bathroom – without Gravol on my person. Like to the point that when I broke my leg I refused to take pain killers because they could not guarantee that the would not make me throw up.
I don’t know if I have the words to convey how fucking debilitating such a fear is. Like the photo above says, if anyone anywhere around me has a stomach bug it sends me into a panic. Yesterday my daughter barfed four times. I didn’t eat for the rest of the day. I can’t really eat in restaurants. I can’t eat without washing my hands. I won’t eat something that has fallen on my own kitchen counter – even if it’s clean. I don’t like to ride in cars, basically can’t handle riding in a car on the highway. I will do almost anything to avoid flying. The list goes on and on.
Add a fear of throwing up to poor body image, IBS, and a controlling mother and you end up with – you guessed it – disordered eating. Right now I have a list of maybe 20 foods that I’m reasonably sure will not make me throw up (or otherwise make me feel unwell). Think about that – only 20 foods. And that’s progress! 15 years ago I ate nothing but toast and Diet Pepsi. For over a year.
It’s kind of a hard thing to explain to people because no one likes throwing up. If I say – I’m deathly afraid of throwing up, the person I’m speaking to will say -oh yeah, me too. I hate throwing up. But it’s one thing to dislike it, it’s quite another thing to fear it so much that the entire framework of your life was built around avoid situations that might provoke it.
I never wanted to have kids for many reasons; not the least of which being morning sickness. And while I managed to make it through my pregnancy without the unthinkable happening, kids throw up a lot. And I have to try to mother them while trying everything not to touch them. It’s not easy.
Why am I telling you this? I don’t really know. I am getting about sick and tired of it, and starting to investigate ways of overcoming emetophobia. I’m finding a disheartening amount of articles advising me to look at pictures of v*** (see I can’t even type the word anymore, it’s freaking me out), watch videos of people v***ing, working your way up to watching other people fake v*** and then fake v****ing yourself.
No. fucking. way. That’s what I have to say about that.
Pray for me people. It’s a little hard to be spiritually evolved and then refuse to eat matcha and drink kombucha because you’re afraid of v****. Kinda damages my street cred, you know?
Who else has a phobia? Do I have any emetophobia buddies out there? Drop me a comment or tell me a secret if you’re shy.