As it turns out, I’m a pretty skeptical person. Chalk it up to my emetophobia and anxiety, but sometimes when I hear something that is too good to be true, I make this face that just screams, “Come on, really? There’s no way.”
So, I think my skeptical thoughts shouldn’t be a surprise when I first heard about a book called Cure Your Emetophobia & Thrive from the people in my support group. Plus, my track record with emetophobia related books are not necessarily the best, so how could this one be any different?
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be reading this book, sharing my thoughts and hopefully at the end be able to recommend this book to emetophobics around the world.
It’s been highly praised by all the members in my support group who have read it, and the Amazon.com reviewers have nothing but positive things to say.
Now that I own the book, I’m going to start reading it, maybe a chapter or two at a time, and I’m going to answer the most important question there is for any skeptic:
But does it work?
This book has really surprised me, especially the introduction. I’m not usually an introduction kind of reader; I’ll skip over it and assume that I’ll learn what I need to learn from the meat. But for the sake of really immersing myself in this book I decided to read the intro.
Boy was I impressed.
The three things that stood out to me in this intro were:
- I felt like I was being talked with, and that this guy really understood the struggles of being emetophobic.
- He put the accountability to making his method work in my hands.
- He made me feel like I had control.
Anyone can go on the internet and research symptoms of emetophobia and write about it, but only people who have dealt one on one with emets or struggles with it themselves truly know what it’s like. Throughout the introduction, he would make mention of things that made it feel like he knew me and my personal struggles, despite never meeting me.
In that same breath, he used that knowledge to make me feel like I was in control of my life, my phobia and my outcome, something that I think a lot of emets don’t get to experience on a day to day basis. It’s something that over several years I’ve grown to acknowledge, but even on my best day control is still an issue I tackle.
While reading, for at least a brief moment, I had a feeling that maybe I have more control than I think.
With control comes accountability, and the pinnacle of this intro was at the end you sign a declaration that states you are ready to tackle your phobia and overcome your fears – despite what it takes.
He stresses continually that without pushing yourself, this book will not work. You, and only you, can take control of your situation and turn it around. He can give you the tools, but if you do not apply them you will see no progress.
Counseling, self-help and recovery are all 80/20. It’s 20% what you learn and 80% what you put into it. If you learn the tools, you will be knowledgeable, but without applying that knowledge you will never grow. I think that’s the biggest take away from the intro.
Chapter One: Beliefs
This is where the fun began, and by fun I mean learning. In order to tackle something that is causing you problems you have to know how it begins.
There was one statement he made that rubbed me wrong at first. What he said was that emetophobia does not just happen, it’s something that we create ourselves. In that same paragraph, he also wants to make sure we know it’s not our fault.
My face when I read that was like, um what? You’ve got to be kidding me, why would anyone who has this phobia willingly create this issue? No one who has it wants it, so much so that they wouldn’t even wish it on their worst enemy.
Furthermore, if we create it, how is it NOT our fault? This dude just contradicted himself and he expects me to get something from this book?
After my internal tirade I started to realize maybe I was jumping to conclusions and was being too critical. So I kept reading and that’s when I started to realize that by create he didn’t mean that we consciously made ourselves this way.
What he meant was over the course of many, many years, we’ve developed these beliefs about ourselves, others and throwing up that has manifested in the form of emetophobia.
This chapter explains what a belief is and how serious of an impact they can be. We as people are always forming beliefs based on experiences that happen in life, and sometimes those beliefs become invasive, turning into something that limits our ability to function and experience the world the way we want.
At the end of this chapter, there are a couple exercises that help you look inside yourself and begin the process of outing the beliefs that have rooted themselves in your life. This is something that thanks to EMDR I’ve been able to really focus on, but if you need some examples of limiting beliefs, here are a few I wrote:
I am out of control; I’m not okay; I can’t handle this; I may never have children.
What’s great about this chapter is it starts to open your eyes to WHY. So many emets are focused on why things are happening or how it works because it gives them a sense of control.
As you start to learn about why you are reacting the way you are, it helps you chip away at this wall you’ve built (something the author discusses in depth) and you will eventually begin to regain the control you feel you’ve lost.
Too Long; Didn’t Read?
So far I’m impressed. I think that this will be a great tool for me to continue my counseling outside the office, and allow me to also improve other areas of my life. I’m only two chapters in, but I think this is something that will prove beneficial to my mental state. It’s helping me get used to the idea of having more control, and allowing me to begin taking accountability for my actions.
Most importantly though, it’s helping me grow and slow myself down. Once you’ve had emetophobia, you realize that your mind is always racing. You’re constantly in a heightened state, and the author recommends you take your time. Really focus on what he’s saying, and don’t be afraid to read chapters more than once.
Next week I’ll tackle chapters two and three, hopefully with a lot of great insight.
Have you read the book? If so, what did you take away from the intro and chapter one? Has it helped you improve your phobia? Let me know in the comments below!
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