Chester is looking at me like I’ve lost it. I’m laughing uncontrollably at nothing in particular. He’s so precious.
I apologize in advanced. I’m writing this buzzed. K bought Maple Jim Beam and it is awesome. Lately in the evening, we’ve been mixing a bit of it with Diet Coke and it’s pretty great. Sometimes when you come home from work you just need a drink, you know? Anyway, Zoloft + alcohol= wicked buzz.
Today at work, I had a couple of strange discussions with colleagues during our office break. We were outside and the topic of phobias, namely agoraphobia, came up during one of our breaks. Someone commented several times saying, “I just don’t know how someone could think that way. What’s going through their minds?” I was thinking in my head, if you have a phobia, then you can understand. Later on, during another break, another coworker said, “Megan, sometimes I just want to shake you and tell you it’s going to be ok.” This was said in reference to my constant hand washing and hand-sanitzing. I wish it were that easy, to just be shaken out of it. It’s not.
Having OCD is not just as simple as having OCD, if that makes sense. My OCD is fueled by my emetephobia, or an irrational fear of vomit(ing). If my coworkers, or anyone without emetephobia, went in my shoes even one day they wouldn’t make such comments or they would at least understand the torment that I go through almost daily.
I’m not sure when I started having emetephobia. I have some ideas of events in my life that may have triggered it, but can’t say for sure. Anyway, it sucks. The “v” word, as I call it, is a “normal” bodily function and I have a phobia of it. It’s very debilitating. I never drink a ton or party, which I think is overrated anyway, because of my fear of the “v.” I fear having kids because of the “v.” It literally is on my mind at least once an hour every day. On particularly bad days, it’s on my mind every minute of every hour.
I like to say it’s what fuels my OCD. I think I’ve always had OCD. I can remember times when I was a kid when I did things that were clearly OCD tendencies, such as wearing long sleeved shirts to school everyday even in the warm months because I had texture issues. It has only been in the last decade or so that emetephobia has overtaken my life. I hate it. I hate having this phobia every single day of my life. I wash my hands constantly and roughly because of it and it’s almost always on my mind. Even whenever someone mentions “getting sick” years ago, I freak out.
In the past year or so, I’ve taken great pains in trying to overcome this phobia. For those of you with phobias, you know this is VERY difficult. I know the things I”m thinking are irrational, but my body reacts in a way that seems very rational and protective. I go into fight-or-flight. Something that has really helped me to work on my emetephobia is educating myself on how illness spreads. I’ve read websites and articles and whatnot on how the “stomach flu” spreads. Educating myself on the nature of the viruses that cause this illness has helped me a great deal in knowing that I can’t get it just by breathing the same air as someone who is sick with it. This site has been really helpful http://www.emetophobiahelp.org and so has cdc.gov.
If any of you have emetephobia or OCD, you can probably relate to most of this. If you have a phobia, I certainly empathize with you! It’s not easy being afraid of something that you know isn’t rational.
Anyway, I’m going to take a nap now and sleep the rest of this whisky off. Please feel open to share your experiences.
Thanks for reading!