Today’s post is going to be a much more personal one. I love chatting about makeup and fashion here on my blog, but of course, life isn’t always that lovely! I want to talk about my fear of sickness (called emetophobia) and share some tips that have helped me out.
I didn’t really plan on writing about this here on my blog, but I know there are so many people with the same problem. I wanted to share my experience in case it makes anybody else feel a bit better!
My fear stems from worrying I will see/hear someone else being sick. Because of this, I can sometimes feel claustraphobic when I can’t get out easily. (on a plane, for example)
I am ok with it though – so many people struggle with things that are much more difficult than this. If having this fear is the main thing in my life that I have to complain about, then I am completely ok with it – things could be a lot worse!
So, on to some tips. I feel now that I am at the best I have ever been with my fear! Last year my boyfriend and I flew to Edinburgh together – getting on that plane felt like the biggest achievement and I was so proud of myself. There are a few things I like to remember to help calm me down:
Find people who understand.
This is one of the most important things. If you surround yourself with people who understand, and will help you if you start to feel panicky, you will feel so at ease. I have the most lovely friends, who never pressured me to join in on nights out or to get drunk but would always encourage me to try things if I felt I could! My boyfriend is amazing whenever we get into a situation where I feel panicky. He always stays calm, never gets frustrated when I can’t do something. My lovely family all understand too, they are very used to me by now!
Plan escape routes
This one helps me a lot when I feel like I am trapped in. Just making myself aware of where I am helps as I know I can get out if I need to. It might mean sitting near the front of the bus so I can get off quickly if I want to, or sitting on the edge of a row at a concert. For me, knowing where the nearest door is makes me feel at ease, because I am in control of removing myself from the situation if I wanted to.
Choose your battles.
These days, I simply choose my battles wisely. The way I decide whether to push myself outside my comfort zone is – will the fun of doing this activity out-weigh the anxiety I will feel in the build up to it? So, is a trip to Edinburgh for a weekend worth feeling anxious for a flight? Definitely – I had the best weekend ever!! Is it worth me being nervous all week to try and go sober to a drunken night out in a club? Probably not. This way, I just push myself to do the things I really want to do. If not, I’m not wasting my time worrying about it.
Remember that bad situations will end.
Again, this one took me years to realise. If I am on a bus and start to feel worried that someone will be sick, I just remind myself ‘No matter how horrible this journey is, I will eventually get off this bus and carry on with my day’. It sounds overly-simple – but it really helps! When I used to get nervous in exams, I would look at the clock and think to myself ‘By 1pm, I will be out of here and on my way home!’
Put things into perspective
At the end of the day, you have to remind yourself that you aren’t in real danger, despite how real it might feel. You won’t get hurt and remind yourself that the panic is just in your head – remember that you are safe!
I hope this post was helpful to anyone looking for some tips! Remember that sometimes, some counselling or cognitive behavioral therapy can be really beneficial too. If you want to ask me any questions or just chat about it, feel free to leave a comment or email me if you want to talk privately – I would be more than happy to be a listening ear if you need!
Let me know if personal posts are something you’d like to see more of here on my blog!