Yes, the unthinkable happened to me about a week ago. The biggest fear. It happened. It’s over. Now what?
Last Thursday I threw up for the first time in fourteen years. The last time before this was when I was 10 years old and got heat stroke after a soccer tournament (my team came in first place, by the way, but this led to me quitting soccer, unfortunately).
So, what happened Thursday night? I don’t know exactly. It seems like a combination of too much dairy all at once and stress.
I didn’t have a fever, I didn’t feel “sick sick,” my stomach just really, really hurt. But, my stomach always hurts. And this happens so often I have no way of telling if it will actually lead to getting sick or lead to dry heaving or if it’ll go away after taking a Gravol (FYI, not to scare you, but Gravol didn’t work).
When it was actually happening, it honestly wasn’t so bad. I guess bodies just know what to do. It went on autopilot and did its thing. A second later, it was over. The fear itself was much worse than the actual act.
My younger brother had a theory that if/when I finally got sick again, I would realize it’s not so bad and then get over my fear. Kind of like exposure therapy. Was he correct in his theory?
No. He wasn’t.
I spiralled back in time and was once again the scared, 7-year-old girl terrified to eat anything at all. For the past week and a half, I’ve lived off bread and eggs and the occasional handful of peanuts or almonds. I’m trying my best to at least force down some protein rich foods so I can sustain myself, but things are pretty bad right now.
I also thought that maybe once it finally happened again I would be okay. Well, maybe not okay at first, but that I would soon realize it’s NOT a big deal. Because in reality, it wasn’t.
But that’s the funny thing about phobias, they’re irrational. I can’t reason with my phobia. My phobia is stubborn and mean and has lied to me every day for the past 17 years of my life.
So the big question: now what? I guess I’ll just continue working my way back to where I was before. I had come to a place where I was finally okay eating at restaurants, eating at people’s houses, and even eating when my stomach hurts.
Shaking. Crying. Yelling. Starving myself. This is what emetophobia looks like.
And it sucks.