EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!
Wow. . . There are no words to describe how relieved I am to know that I am not the only one. I know that my reply is going to be long(sorry), but to be able to express what I have been going through with people who can understand how it feels is, well it's been much needed! Don't get me wrong, I have some great people in my life who support me but nonetheless they can't truly sympathize. My fear of you know what started when I was about 7 or so. Every night after I would go to bed I would come back upstairs to tell my parents that I didn't feel good, more specifically my throat felt funny and that my stomache hurt. From the time I was 14 until I was 24 I managed to not you know what. I had all sorts of tricks and "habits" to keep me safe. I consider myself a very logical person but when it comes to this, logic is overshadowed by fear. When it finally happened last year it was the result from drinking a little bit to much. I spent most of my so far short adult life avoiding drunken states due to the fear of what results would occur but I guess after going so long without getting sick I felt sort of invencible. It wasn't as bad as I had built it up to be,but then it happened again a couple of weeks later and this time it lasted a good 12 hours or so. Fastforward to a couple of months later and it happened again! This time it was much worse. My husband had to take me to the urgent care because I was so dehydrated and out of it. Wether or not it was food poisoning or the dreaded stomache flu, it revived my phobia all over and this time it crept into every corner of my life with a vivid hold over my every thought and action. As I have read through everyone's messages I have found myself laughing at the similarities between them and my own story. Everything from not ever eating the same food I ate that day to throwing away the clothes I wore when it happened. As time went on I started to develope OCD behaviors, and really wierd ones to boot. To this day I won't park in a parking lot facing south because that was the direction I was parked when I drove home from work the night I got sick. I HAVE to eat tortilla chips and Milk Dud's every night before I go to bed along with water out of my designated night time cups. When anyone around me acts funny or out of character I automatically assume that it is because they have the stomach flu and I get as far away from them as possible and proceed to have a 3 day panic attack. I wash my hands so much that they are cracked and bleeding and I like so many of you will only eat "safe" foods that are less likely to contain food poisoning. Here's the fun part. . . last year while all of this was going on I was repeatively getting an upset lower stomache. Immodium became my best friend and I lost a whopping 15 pounds(and at 5'4" going from 116 to 101 was not good). As I prepared to walk down the aisle to my future husband to be all I could think of was how unhealthy I looked with my bones popping out and my sunken-in eyes and cheeks. I finally went to a gastonologist and have been on the road to what we think might be Celiac disease Who know's, maybe after a life full of wheat, it had made me feel sick all the time thus making me scared of you know what. I have made great strides over the past six months in gaining control over my fear but I still have flares. I work retail so being around the general public all day is a struggle within itself. I still freak out every time my stomache grumbles,or I get unusually gassy, or my loved ones have stomache issues. But there are a few things I can suggest to all of you. Find an activity that requires alot of attention to detail. For instance I have taken up bead work. Taking my mind off the fear through redirected focus is great! Second, I believe our fear results from not being able to live in the here and now. We are constantly taking what has happened into the past and projecting it into the future. Start with small exercises like walking down the street. Instead of thinking about where you have just come from and where you are about to go, think about how your feet feel against the ground, the light around you, the sounds of the street. I am seeking a good therapist and am going to try to stay off meds if possible but who knows? I hope to have children some day and the thought of moring sickness and my cildren getting sick makes my palms sweat and my heart race, but I continue to find strength in my faith and support from boards like this one. I will keep all of you in my prayers and we are ALL going to make it, ok? Keep your chins up!
Last edited by ms_mod; 12-05-2007 at 08:56 AM.