November 23, 2014

SUNDAY LOVE. #45. FALLING IN LOVE WITH FOOD AGAIN WITH EMETOPHOBIA.


You know I am open on this blog and it has been a way for me to not only document my progress as I am slowly growing as a young lady but also for you to read that things aren't always perfect. We all have those things that make us who we are even if they aren't pretty. When it comes to me, I have never hidden away from writing the honest truth about what I have gone through over the last year or so, battling with my anxiety but more importantly for you to read is the progress I am slowly making.

I have never really explained this side of my anxiety on the blog before but I wanted to share it with you as a I feel that it might explain a little bit more with where my anxiety is really deep rooted and explains why its taken me a long time to do just the simplest of things.

Back when I was younger, I always knew that I wasn't quite the same as everyone else. I would have these things that we would call in my family as 'delirious attacks'. In a nut shell and looking back on them now, they were anxiety attacks. When I was going up I never quite knew the trigger or why they would happen to me but I would act completely panicked, I would just need to get out of where ever I was and I would act like a complete nutter. Looking back, it all makes sense now. I was having  an anxiety attack and it was usually triggered by my Emetophobia.

Even just writing that word on this blog makes me panic but I know this post might help someone or give them the courage to explain what is really going on inside that seems impossible to share.

Emetophobia is a phobia of being sick. For me it is everything that entails sickness, being sick, the thought of it, the prospect of being sick, doing something that might make me ill or even something as simple as touching a door in case it's been touched by someone who is ill...I mean I am a crazy woman. But i cant explain to how much this phobia has ruled my life. I think about it all the time. It's always with me. I have to access everything with my phobia in mind before even stepping outside the door. I can remember literally every time I have ever been physically sick, when people around me have, when I have seen it on the floor, when I have witnessed someone being sick, I mean its pure madness that owns my brain.

It might be hard for the masses to understand, as it is tough, you can't just jump inside my brain and suddenly understand how it feels. There have been so many things that I haven't done because of this phobia and also it sadly explains why I am the way I am sometimes. Just as an example, I am scared of flying and I have never stood up on a plane before...why because I'm scared I'll be sick or that someone on that plane might be sick. I mean those sick bags say it all and fires up in my head that it is a dangerous situation to put myself in. Of course I have fought this and travelled far and wide but its extremely stressful and has always upset the people around me. It has only been in the last year that I have understood why I do certain things like that and why my head gets so worked up. 

For years I have been so scared to tell anyone what has been going on and how I feel about sickness. I was so worried they would just laugh or just not get it. It wasn't until earlier this year when I opened up to my family and friends when I was in a very dark place. This time last year and I could see that my anxiety was scaring my family and I started to look around and try and work out where my anxiety had developed so badly that I couldn't leave the house. When I finally let the thought into my head that maybe worrying about sickness wasn't normal and that maybe i did have a problem with it that I found out about the phobia. I mean you google Emetophobia and I tick every single symptom or characteristic, I then had to not only process that I had something like a phobia but also actually saying the words out loud about my screwed up brain terrified me.

I can't really say who it is that has been my rock in getting me to feel like I can do things that I never thought I could but they know who they are. Just identifying that I have anxiety and that its hugely linked to my Emetophobia has been a huge step for me and speaking about it and just saying openly 'look I am feeling ill' has taken me a while to do. One major part of my Emetophobia and my anxiety last year and even now to an extent was food. Things had got so bad that I just couldn't eat. I was petrified of eating in case it made me sick. I was eating but I ate 'safe' food, things like apples or pre-made food in packets that I knew would be OK to eat, I wouldn't dare to eat meat as that could make me sick or something like peas and carrots that would remind me of sick (nasty I know). It would sometimes take me hours to get through a plate of food in the comfort of my bedroom alone as I would feel so anxious eating it. This is where I literally couldn't even walk into a supermarket and a restaurant...no bloody way.

Now I look back, it was horrific, I lost so much weight and I was so deeply in a bad place, I didn't know what to do. It has taken me a while to finally get myself into a restaurant door and even now I can't always do it but I have started eating out again. If your a regular reader and have read my journey with anxiety, eating out was always a huge deal and I wanted to fall in love with eating again. This special person in my life has shown me, supported me, made me feel like I can take my life into my hands and do anything I want. With him I took the step to go to a restaurant and do you know what it was so amazing that I pretty much cried when I left as I couldn't believe I did it.

I am in no way cured but I do things that make me feel a little more comfortable as I always think why do anything that stresses you out. Of course its important to push yourself but do it within reason and be gentle on yourself. I till prefer to eat outside, which means winter eating has become a little tricky. I do prefer not be trapped inside a busy restaurant or waiting for too long but the option is there. I am not as scared as I once was. I have to train my brain that things will be OK, I'm not going to be sick and if things get bad I can just walk straight out of the door. Its these simple ways of thinking that have got me to do things I could never imagine.

Since eating out a bit more, I have become not only a little plumper, I have got an addiction to Shake Shack burgers in Covent Garden and Burger King! You see, they are take aways but I can eat in if I want so the option is always there. I can't imagine me eating a three course meal just yet! I am making steps in the right direction and I want you to know that things do get better if you want them to. I even pushed myself to the Antipodes dinner a few weeks back which was huge!! Read about it HERE

Surround yourself with people who can be there for you and talk about whats going on in your head as how can you expect anyone to understand if your keeping it to yourself. Never suffer. I still live with Emetophobia everyday but its getting better. 

Last weekend, I was standing in a queue at the Southbank food market with the person who has got me to where I am and I thought, this is incredible, I am so far from the person I was last year and that I am finally enjoying life again. Of course then I fought over a Duck Confit, smoked cheese, rocket and chutney toasted sandwich and thought this is the life I always wanted and these taste buds haven't seen nothing yet!

Please please talk and if you ever feel like I might be that person  I am always here.

Hugs & Kisses
Becki xox 


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2 comments

  1. Very brave post, good for you that you are in a better place and learning to manage this phobia better & that you have somebody supportive by your side. Stay strong xxx

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  2. It definitely sounds like you've come a very long way; well done with persevering and pushing yourself to succeed! I suffer with social anxiety but have improved so much - I never used to eat out in restaurants because I'd worry it would be busy and people would be looking at me all the time, but now I am much more comfortable in many social situations, although I do struggle every now and again. It definitely helps to have a special someone by your side! :) xxx
    www.justemma.co.uk

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