Emetophobia [the eugh xlog].

Phobias are bizarre things.  One [a spider] comes along to smack you in the face and within hours another rears its ugly head and makes for a very anxious beginning to the week.  I don’t think I suffer from too many irrational fears.  But then I also don’t really believe that it is irrational to fear something that can harm you … if it can harm you doesn’t it become rational?  Which means that a phobia stops being a phobia if by its very definition it means an irrational, persistent, uncontrollable fear of something, and that something turns out to be something that is capable of harming you – surely?

I’m [therefore un-]phobic when it comes to [most] spiders because they are evil and vicious creatures who can maim with one look from many eyes. Lorries can kill and the only thing that can stop them from getting all deadly is the screwing up of the face and the whispering of don’t overtake, don’t overtake, don’t overtake, whilst the heart thuds loudly and the fingers dig in painfully, and the car being driven – by whoever – overtakes the big evil lorry.  Aeroplanes can fall out of the sky when the invisible string holding them up snaps in half.  People can be vindictive and judgemental and want to do bad things to me, and even want to look at me and talk to me.

They’re all rational fears, yes?  Therefore, not phobias.

However, I do have another [mild-]phobia.  And it’s one that – I agree – is irrational, but it’s only irrational because I don’t understand it.  And it isn’t something that usually bothers me until it happens near me, or to me, or is close to happening. 


The fear of vomit/ing.  Apparently it’s about number six in the Top Ten of Phobic Things.  But ssshhh!, nobody ever talks about it because admitting you have even a mild form of it makes you a freak.  When I was an ickle nipper I feared vomiting so much that I would burst into tears, put my hand over my mouth to stop myself vomiting and then be terribly surprised when it squirted out of my nose instead.  This happened every single time.  You’d think I’d have learnt that it only made the whole experience worse after the first time, but no.  Sheesh.  These days [I say these days but I haven’t been physically sick since the October of 2002, and that was (possibly) due to food poisoning at Butlins, and there are only two other occasions in the last fifteen years when I have been physically sick] I don’t put my hand over my mouth but I do everything I possibly can to stop myself being physically sick.  And I still cry when I’m feeling nauseous.  Lots.  Because nausea can lead to vomiting and there is nothing worse than vomiting.

People being sick freaks me out as much as me being sick.  The Blokey being sick nearly freaks me out even more than me being sick.  And yes, The Blokey has seemingly picked up some bug from somewhere and has spent the last few hours throwing up.  Our toilet has finally been vomit-christened.  Lucky thing!  So for the last twenty-four hours I have been irrationally panicking, irrationally disliking him for making me panic, irrationally feeling nauseous myself, irrationally equating every feeling of wrongness in my belly with being sick, irrationally believing that every time he opens his mouth he’s going to vomit all over me, irrationally thinking that vomit does mean death, irrationally not wanting him to share my bed, irrationally keeping the bedroom window open because it takes away all the nasty germs …

And if I am physically sick in the next twenty-four hours I am very-rationally going to blame him. 

I took Mumsy to the Land of Jason so that we could dance on the slabs of stone under which interred bodies lay in a pretty cathedral … but even that didn’t stop the [mild-]Emetophobia, which just dug away at me … making me feel sick. 


You didn’t really want to know any of that, did you?

please God, don’t let me vomit xxx Elsabeth

[i’m lucky, my emetophobia is a very mild form and it doesn’t consume my every waking hour as it does with the most-hardened and orthodox of emetophobes, and for this i am truly grateful, but i still wish i didn’t suffer from it. and i hate the way that orthodox and hardened emetophobes believe that those who only suffer mildly don’t really suffer from it … grrr]

Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

My middle name is Worrywart.  Seriously.  Or it may as well be. 

I worry about anything and everything.  I always have done.  What you consider to be a minor triviality I consider to be a major life-threatening situation.  I can barely use a phone, overtake a lorry, speak to a stranger, sit on a bus, hear an odd noise, watch my cat disappear to her secret place, walk past a small crowd [even when it’s people I know very well, although amazingly I can cope with a crowd of teenagers], enter an unknown place, send a text message, open my front door, disagree with someone [even a good friend], smell a smell, stand in a queue, sit in the cinema, order at a bar, make small talk with the hairdresser, smile at a parent, watch the news, laugh at a joke [I don’t ‘get’ jokes], nod a greeting upon seeing the neighbours, open the post, walk along the pavement, and many other ordinary everyday things, without worrying. 

I live with it, like some disease.  I’ve developed coping strategies: when sitting on the bus I hide behind my iPod and laugh at folk in my head; I’ll check through the window before I toddle outside and if need be I’ll wait till the ‘danger’ is less and there are barely any folk around; I won’t open my front door if I’m not expecting anyone, nor answer the phone unless I recognise the number [and even then I’ll only answer if I want to]. If I didn’t develop strategies I’d be confined to never leaving the house, and that in itself would probably be worse [when I think something is wrong at home (a leaky toilet, for example) the best thing I can do is go out because if I can’t see it or hear it then it isn’t happening]. 

Sometimes I can’t control things though [usually my emotions, rather than anything tangible] and that’s when I’ll start to panic.  I’ve never suffered a panic attack, at least, not of the variety that you read about.  My worry is manifested in the tight constrictive feeling living in my chest, in the way I play with/bite the skin around my thumb nails, an uncontrollable urge to giggle … this is the way I live – anxious, bewildered, on-edge all the time.  And when I panic the way I am is multiplied by zillions. 

And it makes me want to cry. 

Occasionally I’ll start to panic for no discernable reason.  There’s no rhyme or reason behind it, it just happens.  Sometimes it only lasts for a matter of minutes and sometimes it lasts for days.  Trying not to cry on a crowded bus is silly, but trying not to cry in front of your blokey is just ridiculous – but when you worry that you’re a disappointment [he helped get me off the anti-depressants] and that feeling is so severe it makes you feel physically sick … pffft.

And then, to really mess with my head, I get insomnia again [of the i can fall asleep easy enough but i’ll wake up at very early o’clock and not be able to go back into the land of slumber variety], after a break of a few months.  Not sleeping makes me worry.  Not sleeping after trying for an hour makes me panic.  Getting up at four in the morning to watch the tellybox and make strawberry jelly is a stupid thing to do, but at least it helps quieten the panicky feelings.  Not sleeping last night makes me worry that I won’t sleep tonight and so now I won’t sleep tonight. 

Ah, ya bugger.

So, this post was brought to you by a very panicky katiefinger, who is worrying about everything and who currently has no control over her feelings and would like very muchly to just curl up into a ball and forget about the world.  I can’t even blame it on PMS.  Humpf.  Writing about it is my coping strategy.  Therefore, feel free to ignore this post.  Thank you.

please God bless me and let me sleep tonight, and bless the blokey’s toothache xxx Elsabeth