To be honest with you, being terrified of vomit has fucked my life up in quite a few ways. Just because I wasn't being sick all through the 2000s doesn't mean I wasn't dreading the possibility of it every single day. There were school trips that I avoided purely on the off-chance that I'd see someone get travel sick. And I don't mean day trips but the big weekenders. How pathetic and weird you come across telling your family that you, a young lad, are "not really into quad-biking, canoeing and rock climbing," or whatever else they got up to on those trips.School was puke hellfire. Kids don't always tell someone when they feel ill, so that overturned-bucket-of-water ripple was something I'd have to deal with every few months. Either that, or I'd see someone who was visibly feeling shit, watch them put their pen down, take greedy breaths, raise their hand and fail to get the teacher's attention in a frenzy of nausea. If they did seize their focus, they'd get a considerate "just go sit by the window for a second." By the time they'd even made it there it would be too late. And then came the domino effect and the lingering smell in the corridor.
"To be honest with you, it's fucked my life up in quite a few ways. Just cause I wasn't being sick all through the 2000s doesn't mean I wasn't dreading the possibility of it every single day."
When I try and talk to people about my phobia, the response is usually either: "Well, no-one likes being sick." See: 2 Girls 1 Cup and secondly, "Being sick isn't going to kill you." See: John Bonham and Jimi Hendrix.There's a certain fatality to having emetophobia rather than, say, a peach phobia. Sickness reinforces the idea that you don't have a body but you are a body and it could give out anytime. It's an irrational distrust of your body and a fear of, ultimately, losing control.There's a certain fatality to having emetophobia rather than, say, a peach phobia. Sickness reinforces the idea that you don't have a body but you are a body and it could give out anytime. It's an irrational distrust of your body and a fear of, ultimately, losing control. Phobias, like the majority of anxiety disorders, can't be magically "cured" as such, but they can be tamed and made liveable through therapies like CBT and, often, medication. Usually, anti-anxiety medication is recommended on the basis that emetophobes tend to have baggage disorders like agoraphobia, OCD and depression, and due to our dubious attitude towards side-effects, antiemetics are designated before that. These can come in the form of simple antihistamines. There are things that can be done to make life better and break down the barriers and obsessional behaviours and avoidance tactics that might stop you from getting a job or starting a family. Like hypnotherapy, for example. Personally, it took a specific event to change my outlook. By my mid-teens, I'd become so germ-savvy (washing my hands 25 times a day, pressing bus bells with my sleeve pulled over my hands, flushing toilets with elbows et cetera) that I managed to avoid not just being sick but feeling sick altogether. During those years I'd only have to feel a slight glitch in my throat and that was enough to make me freak. I'd completely forgotten what it felt like to be nauseous.
"I often find that there's two reoccurring statements brought up by people without the phobia to people with it: the first is that, 'Well, no-one likes being sick.' See: 2 Girls 1 Cup and secondly 'Being sick isn't going to kill you.' See: John Bonham and Jimi Hendrix."