I haven’t ever written a blog post that is in the moment, meaning I’ve never sat down to write as something was happening at this instant, but I think I need too. I use this blog as a way to communicate to other people who have similar fears and anxities, and for the past few months I had begun to worry I was become out of touch with the anxities and panics that came with this phobia since I had not been put in a situation where I felt threatened.
While I think this phobia sometimes has ears and a sick sense of humor, I am currently experiencing a bit of a emetophobia crisis.
My husband has been sick with something, either a bad cold or bronchitis. He’s been coughing a lot, which hasn’t really triggered any anxiety for me (it’s typically a trigger), but overall just been tired and feeling crummy. He did tell me at the beginning of his sickness, which was Tuesday he felt a little sick to his stomach but he hadn’t since and was doing fine. We have two rules in my house about throwing up:
1. Always tell me if you feel sick.
2. Don’t ever surprise me.
That being said, let’s flash forward to this morning, April 26th. I had just put cinnamon rolls in the oven because my husband asked for me too. He hadn’t really been eating too much, but whenever he asks for something I make sure he gets it. Food heps you heal. Then, out of nowhere I sense he’s not right because with an urgency he says, “Hun can you please get me something to drink?” And not even a minute later he goes, “Oh gosh I’m really naesous…” Immediately I start to hit fight or flight.
I respond that he should go to the restroom and I’ll head to our bedroom. My anxiety is still pretty high, and there is always that initial rush that kind of goes straight to your head. It makes you feel dizzy and you can feel your heart pound in your entire body. Everyone reacts a little differently to their anxiety, and for me it always upsets my stomach (sorry if that’s TMI). Not in a naesous way, but still makes it feel very unsettled.
However, after 45 mins in the bathroom my husband emerged, unscathed and complaining he was hungry. He said he almost got sick, but nothing came up. He didn’t want to leave the restroom until he felt better and I appreciate that. Now he’s fine, just cold, congested and hungry. I sometimes am jealous of how easily it is for him to bounce back into things after feeling sick. I’d still be panicked if I was in his shoes, but I guess that’s the difference between him and I.
This is something I’m especially proud of, I’m sitting in the same room with him, on the same couch, basically touching him. If you had met me a few years ago I’d be curled up in a ball on the closet floor crying trying not to panic. Now, I can come out, assess the situation and make sure he’s comfortable. I got him a trash can, something to drink and even a little pound cake since he was hungry. I will be heading to the store soon, which I promise is not an evasion tactic.
I’m still very shaky, and I’m still pretty anxious. But the part that makes me the most sad is when I apologized for being anxious and running to the bedroom, he apologized for being sick. I hate that. It makes me feel so upset when I know that when he’s feeling his worst he is feeling guilty about how he made me feel.
Now all I can do is help him. Wash my hands like I’d been doing, avoid letting him breath in my face at night (to avoid bronchitis more than anything. I have asthma and those two don’t mix), and getting him whatever he needs to feel better. Even if that means I have to sit out there with him, staring at him while he plays his video games and asking him every couple of seconds if he’s feeling okay.
Now that the initial crisis has passed, I like to give myself a grade on how I handled the situation. If I had to give myself a grade, I’d say it’s probably a B+ or an 8 out of 10. That’s not bad in my books, and I hope that I can keep learning from this situation.
So, how do you handle a emetophobia crisis? What are your go to coping methods, or how to do keep yourself calm in such a high anxiety situation? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time, Internet!
If you would like to email me, you can send any questions, concerns, comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will do my best to respond to you within 48 hours, but if for some reason I cannot get back to you in that time frame, I promise I will always respond as soon as possible. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram!
Lastly, I run an Emetophobia Support Group on Facebook. Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of throwing up, and it is one struggle I am passionately engaged in. The group is a closed, by request only group to help facilitate sharing and support by all members. It is also private, meaning that the posts you and others make will not show up publicly in your newsfeed.