In the Moment of Fear

I thought I should write about another knot I am still unravelling, emetophobia. I often feel like I have this one sorted but times like now, when I feel sick, I realise perhaps it’s not as unravelled as I though.

Emetophobia, for those who don’t know (and to save you a trip around Google) is an irrational and often all consuming fear of throwing up. Many people who suffer from this phobia cannot even say, type or read the words related to it (I won’t write any more just in case you are one of those who are highly sensitive to it) and it often controls a persons life. It will affect the food eaten, social events (due to germs), it can cause OCD in terms of obsessive cleanliness and can cause some people to stay in their house as it is often linked to social phobias or to being s* in public.

I think I’ve written about this fear of mine before. My memory isn’t always the best. But either way, I didn’t always have it and I’m not entirely sure when it got so bad. I’m better now than I used to be a few months back and I’m not even sure how that happened. Perhaps my few sessions of hypnotherapy mixed with my normal therapy and some inner work have made it less prominent. But it’s still there.

Every so often I’ll do something daft like eat a food that makes me nervous, either because I have no choice or because I suddenly think I’ve grown a pair, or I’ll overeat, which is actually the worst feeling in the world as far as I am concerned. Due to IBS issues, if I don’t stick to smaller meals my digestive system goes haywire. I get cramps and nausea and feel like my abdomen may explode. I get incredible heartburn a lot of the time and then also end up needing the loo all of a sudden.

Right now I’m lying in bed, it’s 11pm and I have the worst burning stomach in the world…or something like it. I wasn’t starving after attempting yoga (which my knee detested to the point where I actually had to just sit out) so I just had a bowl of Futurlife cereal with a handful of rice krispies thrown in. I had to take my enzyme capsule though and normally if I don’t eat enough I get a lot of fizzy burps (excuse the lovely picture this post is painting) and still feel hungry or it makes my stomach burn and I feel sick. So the cereal wasn’t quite doing the trick but not being hungry I decided to have a hot drink. I chose a forbidden hot chocolate because I was craving one (yay, go will power) and about halfway through felt a bit full. But it tasted so good and only after finishing I realised my stomach had that bloated, over-full feeling and about half an hour later the fizzy burps are replaced with cramps and mild nausea followed by more cramps and the feeling of being able to pop my stomach with a pin should I be so inclined. Then it’s sudden need for the loo and then heartburn and more heartburn. Right, note to self, learn to listen to yourself!! I knew I shouldn’t have had the hot chocolate!

So I lie down to read and all of a sudden my mouth gets watery and my heart is racing and I feel sick. I’m pretty sure this is more panic attack than real nausea but it’s hard to tell sometimes because they both set each other off. I try ignore it. “I’m okay, it’s just in my head.” But my heart is pounding and feels like it’s trying to win a 100m sprint. “It’s just the anxiety. OK, focus on your breathing. Yoga breathing. Slowwwwwly…” Argh heartburn, racing head, racing heart, want to jump out of my body. So I sit up because at least that helps with heartburn. But it’s not helping so much and eventually I take an anti-nausea tablet. Dammit. I caved in…I’m trying to stop taking them and I really am better than I was, but still. I need to get over this. I even bought the Thrive book other emetophobes rave about but I only read the first 2 chapters and as per normal got distracted and moved on to something else. Maybe I should take it out and start again. It was really making tons of sense and helping…actually, maybe that’s what helped me to not have this phobia in the forefront of my life 24/7.

I’m going to have to end this post now. I think it’s mostly just waffling on anyway as the anti-nausea pill I take is also an anti-anxiety and can make me incredibly spaced and sleepy. I’m beginning to feel like my sentences are becoming jumbled in my head. Argh I hope this heartburn stops. I need to sleep.


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