Ok so it’s been two days since my first blog and I waited to post this one as I’ve had so many thoughts swimming in my head. I must say I’m feeling great today, I have been getting these thoughts out of my head and preparing lots of drafts. I hope this feeling lasts.
So I am emetophobic in other words I have a vomiting phobia and because of this it triggered my first panic attack.
I was 11 I remember it so well, like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday evening my dad was down his local, I was sitting in the armchair and my mum and brother were on the sofa watching the telly. I had already had our usual Sunday roast and I was tucking into these chocolate biscuit things (like the whole packet) . They were shaped like party rings only they were covered in chocolate and hundreds of thousands. I had scoffed the lot and then it happened…
I started having this tingling feeling in my throat, like a build up of vomit.
I shouted to my mum in a panic “MUM I’m going to be sick”.
She rushed me to the toilet and I stood there anxiously waiting for myself to be sick.
My breathing got heavier, and I suddenly needed to go outside as I was burning up. My brother was just looking at me like what is she on?!
My mum kept telling me to go back indoors as I was shivering; I wasn’t I was shaking uncontrollably. I was terrified! The tingling feeling in my throat kept coming up and each time it took my breath away, I would take a deep breathe and hold it. Up and down to the toilet and in and out the house… I couldn’t stay still, I was running around the house in utter panic.
It lasted around half an hour. But that felt much longer.
Little did I know at the time, that was the beginning of my journey living with panic attacks and anxiety. My phobia feeds my anxiety.
Bearing in mind I was 11, I am now 27. That is 16 years of torture, you’d think I would be used to it by now. But no, each panic attack is still as horrific as the last.
Anxiety is my hell, my life long one.
So after my first panic attack that is when my phobia started to control me, it just took over me. Its difficult as I love my food. I was obsessive and cautious of what I ate and I would avoid certain foods, (I almost went vege but i couldn’t give up bacon) I wouldn’t eat anything out of its sell by date even if it were perfectly OK.
I would avoid anyone who was ill (Including my sister who I shared a room with) I started washing my hands more often than normal.
As a teenager growing up I avoided alcohol, drugs (thank god), sex, foreign foods, fairground rides and the thought of going on a plane brought on a imaginary fear of flying.
As the years went on, I have since experienced many of those things apart from drugs.
And I still avoid fairground rides.
I remember it had gotten so bad by the time I was 16, I was having panic attacks daily, sometimes more than one a day. The doctors were no good, it wasn’t their fault because I didn’t quite understand it all myself, they prescribed my beta blockers which didn’t help. I remember looking at the pills one day and wanting to take them all, I just wanted it all to go away. However I just sat there thinking “if I take them all, it may not work and I will be violently sick”.
I think that is the only time I’ve been thankful to my fear.
I never wanted it to take over my life and glad in some ways I haven’t let it. As I have achieved things I never thought I would. Growing up as a teenager with peer pressure I gave in.
One that always frightened me was the thought of one day being pregnant MORNING SICKNESS!
But one day I did fall pregnant and luckily I didn’t have morning sickness.
On my birth plan I chose the only drug that didn’t have a side effect of being sick. I had heard so many sick stories about gas and air that I initially refused it when I was in labour. The midwife couldn’t understand why I was more worried about being sick than giving birth but little did she know I would actually rather give birth than be sick.
The funny thing is those who are emetophobic are rarely sick, which of course I am glad about. But I have a struggle my body does not let me be sick. It’s like it fights against it, and it causes a whole frenzy.
I had my last bug around 5 years ago and I couldn’t be sick yet it was there. It wasn’t a panic attack this time, it was the real deal and it was torture.
I know no one likes being sick but it really is terrifying.