I think I have finally worked out when the real phobia started! I have always known that the fear of others being sick started when I was 16 and a boy was sick in front of me when I was in a hotel restaurant. But I have never been able to work out when the real phobia of myself started. But I think I have cracked it!
When I was 14 I started seeing a therapist because I wouldn’t go to sleep. I remember being afraid to go to sleep in case I got ill again because I had just had a stomach virus. I would refuse to sleep and would even insist on having the TV on until I fell asleep and the light on because it was more like being awake. My problems all started then. I also remember going back to school after the virus and being really scared I would get sick again. I was really tired from not sleeping and worry.
I was just telling my Mum this just now and she said she remembered that illness as I was sick at 3 in the morning. I couldn’t believe it when she said that because even now if I wake up at 3am for any reason then I panic that I am going to be sick. So this is linked to back then.
Now when I have to go back to work after being sick, I panic that I will be sick again. Now when I have been sick I worry that if I do the same thing the next week that it will happen again. Now if I go to sleep feeling slightly off, I worry that I will be sick in the middle of the night. Now I will put off going to sleep as much as possible and will only go to sleep when I am just about to drop off. Now if I feel ill in any way, but especially feeling sick, I will not lay in bed for fear of being sick but would lay on the sofa instead. Now after I have a stomach virus I don’t find comfort in my bed but just fear that I will wake up and get sick again. I have only cracked my habit of having the TV on because I live with my husband and he needs it to be dark and quiet. But now I sit reading my phone in the dark. If I wake up in the middle of the night I have to go into the lounge and watch TV as I worry that if I stay in bed I will get sick. When I lived at home I used to just put the TV on whilst I was in bed and then fall back asleep with it on.
My goodness this all makes sense to me. This is why I am afraid of bed once I have been ill and this is why, unlike other people, I don’t want to be at home in bed when I am ill but I want to be with the person who makes me feel safest when I am ill and that is usually my Mum.
Well unfortunately this week I have had the dreaded stomach virus. My whole family is going down with it so I didn’t really have a way to escape it. But I had it for longer than anyone else. My mum and my sister were sick with it and my brother in law had it the other end. I managed (with mind over matter) to not be sick but I did have it the other end yesterday (sorry TMI I know). But that meant that my bug went on for 5 days whereas they all had it for only 24 hours! Typical.
Today I am very light headed and my stomach is all tight. I am driving everyone insane by asking them if that is normal! My appetite is slowly coming back and I am having three small meals and lots of snacks in between. Once I am over this I am going to get stuck into getting rid of my Emet as I can’t have it feeling like the end of the world when I get the stomach flu!
I have honestly had enough of being afraid now. I feel like just going out and doing something really stupid like doing a bungie jump or something but it won’t solve anything. I will still have the panic and the phobia.
For the last two days I have woken up with panic attacks. These have lasted from the moment I get up till pretty much the middle of the afternoon. I still have anxiety for the rest of the day as well, I am just not quite so obviously panicking. I guess I feel sickish with it as well and just don’t fancy food even though I am hungry. Of course this makes me even more afraid and panic more. How the hell do I break this cycle? Usually going back to work after being ill works but it hasn’t this time. I am so fed up of feeling sick. I am tired and thirsty and just want it all to end
Feeling a bit deflated today. I’m really desperate to get on and crack this damn thing but I just don’t have time. I woke up panicking this morning and I don’t know why! I guess it is just because of hormones at the moment but it still annoys me. Why can’t I just wake up and feel normal? I need to dedicate some time to working on the programme but it’s finding the time. I already struggle to work and do my normal household chores. Now I have to add in my next OU course as well as trying to treat myself. Plus I need to chase my GP up for where I am on the waiting list for CBT. It’s all so frustrating as I don’t want to be like this anymore.
The programme suggests you think about the goals in your life and actually imagine them in your mind to make your mind believe they are possible. So what I would like is to wake up in the morning and not have my first thought be ‘do I feel sick?’ Then I would like to be looking after my baby daughter and all I care about is how she is and if she spits up I don’t care about what it will do to me, just how she is. Then when she is in bed I would like to sit down and enjoy a meal with my husband, not worrying if the meat is 100% cooked (burnt more like!) whilst enjoying a nice glass of rosé wine. I want to be able to walk down the street holding hands with my husband, laughing at his jokes. Doing all this without worrying what is on the side of the pavements. Then if I do see something, I would like to be able to walk passed it, knowing that I haven’t touched it and carry on laughing and joking with my husband. I would like to travel and go out places without worrying how far I am away from home. I would like to go out to dinner and not worry that eating in public will make me sick. I would like to not have to worry that my husband will get sick and wonder what I will do if it ever happens. I would like to be able to be sick myself, say from morning sickness, and just be able to get on with my day. You see for me being sick always meant spending hours in bed feeling rubbish and not eating. It interferes with your life which is why I am so scared of it. I want to be able to do the deed and then get on with things.
So that is what I want. I know need to actually imagine it in my head as if it were real!
I don’t know what it is but I just hate this time of year. Something about it just makes me feel off. I don’t know if it goes back to my school days and that horrible feeling in September when you had to go back to school? I just know that it makes me feel weird and of course being an emet I interpret it as feeling sick. Add to that my new found fear of my monthly and you have a recipe for disaster! Fortunately I think I have found something that will help me get through the day. It’s an exercise that someone on the IES forum sent me. When you have a fear that something is going to happen, in this case that I will feel sick from my period, you imagine it in your head, make it really small and then throw it behind you. Seems to be working so far but I am having to do the exercise several times over. Feeling quite possitive that I can get over emet at the moment.