Why and How I haven’t Thrown Up For Over 11 Years!
Posted by Rohan 7 Things
Good Morning Flysters. I am sluggishly recovering from my birthday celebrations that included rollerblading, Jim Beam, camp fires and OMG DID I TELL YOU I GOT PHOTOSHOP? I got Photoshop. Soon, everyone will be wearing long johns whether they want to or not. But anyway, I would like to thank Mr. Rohan for taking over my blog for me today while I play around cropping Jacks head on to various items. And a special thanks to everyone who wished me Happy Birthday. It was quite a milestone.
Introducing Rohan Healy: This dude is in the middle of his third e-book release (and it’s about sex), he is touring the blogs, and he is a fellow YouTuber. Naturally, I had no problem letting him crash on my blog for a day. I even let him have some of Jack’s food. Because, just like me, he doesn’t throw up. I’ll let him tell you the story…
The last time I threw up I was 15 years old. I’ll never forget it. I was lying in my bed in my caravan during the school holidays. Yes, my bedroom was a stationary caravan which I had all to myself. Yeah I know, awesome. All my friends were totes jelly. I was playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on my Nintendo 64. It’s cute blue cartridge protruding from the top of the 64 bit black beast. My little CD player was doing its best to blast out disc one of The Beastie Boys Anthology: Sounds of Science. I was feeling sick. One might say I had a “Licence to Ill” (bad joke for Beastie fans). I had just begun the map “Downhill Jam” when I felt the unmistakable lurch of rapidly rising lunch . I threw my controller down, snatched my dustbin from beside my bed and proceeded to blow chunks over the tissues (I know what you’re thinking!) and junk food wrappers that inhabited my bedside bin.
That was the last time I threw up. It was a different decade, in a different country, on a different continent. But I suppose you are wondering how and why I haven’t thrown up for so long. No? Well I’m going to tell you anyway so listen up! I have a vomiting phobia. The very physical feeling of nausea terrifies me like nothing else. No one likes to throw up, it’s icky and feels weird, but I’d take a snake bath before hurling again!
It all started when I was 12 years old and entering high school. I was always, and still am, a sensitive little guy, and although I went to primary school when I was younger, I’d been doing home schooling while attending drama and martial arts classes for the previous few years, which may have made it trickier to adjust to high school life. Oh I had friends and family to play and explore with but nothing prepared me for the bullying, the social structures and the complexity of two hundred kids per grade finding themselves while at the same time finding their way from class to class in a sprawling concrete complex.
The cool kids took me in right away, as they did with all new arrivals, but it didn’t last long. I remember the chief cool kid asking me what my favorite band was. I froze and all I could think of was what my 4 year old brother was listening to at the time. “The Wiggles” I blurted out, and immediately felt the color drain from my face.
I later realized that the correct answer was Blink 182. And that was that. The next day was spent with the Pokemon trading cards kids. These guys were actually much more interesting and tolerant than the so-called “popular” youths who were so busy being “popular” they simply didn’t have the time to develop any compelling character traits or empathy. And so I traded Pokemon cards, and tried (and failed) to collect them all on my Pokemon themed Gameboy Color! By the end of my four years of high school I managed to climb the social ladder, dated a few girls and ended up being considered “cool” for what it was worth. But early on was tough, my image of myself was shattered along with my sense of self worth. I did discover Pokemon though so it wasn’t all bad!
There was the social anxiety but the academic pressure got to me too. I took things way too seriously! And so with everything combined, within the first few weeks of high school I suffered my first nervous breakdown. I started having panic attacks. And when I would hear any bell I’d instantly flash back to the classroom. In fact I remember watching the movie The Omen and having a panic attack when a school bell sounded in the film! I dreaded the drive to school. And pretty soon I was only attending a couple of days per week. The rest of the time I spent in bed, feeling numb. I never got to the planning phase of ending my life, but I certainly wouldn’t have minded a sudden end to what I was going through. And I don’t say that lightly. My parents told me I could stay home as much as I wanted, and even offered to take me out of the school, but for some reason I was stubborn. I wanted to stick it out.
And you see this crash happened to coincide with a nasty stomach bug. I vomited regularly for 2 days at the peak of my scholastic anxiety and viola; a terrible partnership was formed between intense fear and the feeling of being sick.
From that moment on I feared vomiting more than death itself, and sadly I developed a case of chronic psycho somatic nausea and panic attacks that lasted a full two years (What a cheerful post this is turning out to be!). Even when the stomach bug left me the feeling of nausea did not. Most nights for those two years I’d lie in bed sweating, my heart pounding, my face paler than my bed sheets, feeling like I was about to throw up. It wasn’t until I discovered affirmations that I swiftly got rid of the chronic nausea, and I still repeat the words “I’m safe. I trust the process of life to bring only good to me” whenever I feel a pang of the dreaded sickliness in my belly. It just works wonders!
I wasn’t the only one who cracked early on in high school either. A number of my peers, whether they came straight from primary school or not, just couldn’t take it and displayed symptoms of depression, dissociation, anxiety, hyperactivity and despondency. The unlucky ones ended up on drugs that made them gain weight, drool and generally act like zombies, making them the target of even more nasty attention. The lucky ones, like me, eventually adapted and healed thanks to support at home. And I am happy to say that since leaving school at 16 I have successfully unlearned almost all of the bad habits, limiting beliefs and destructive behaviors and thought processes that I picked up in the academic environment.
Now I know that many people thrive in the structured, academic environment of school which is awesome! However I did not, and still don’t. I don’t claim to know everything, I’m far from perfect and I have many flaws. I’m no better than anybody else. I just didn’t have a great time in school. When you tell your Advanced English teacher that you’re reading and enjoying “Heart of Darkness” and she wrinkles her nose up and says “That book is really boring!”, it kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. When your primary/elementary school teacher calls you “Deaf, dumb, blind and stupid” in front of the class, it stays with you. Bitter much? Maybe just a tad I’ve healed, I’ve forgiven but I haven’t forgotten. What I haven’t rid myself of yet is my phobia surrounding vomiting. Will it stay with me forever? Who knows! I’ve healed so many parts of myself that I thought I never would so I never say never! For now I’ll repeat my affirmation when the urge arises and hold it back with every ounce of strength and willpower I possess.
Here’s to another 11 years!
Do you have an interesting phobia? If so, do you remember a specific moment at which point it was developed? And what’s the longest you’ve gone without being sick?
Thanks for reading! All the best