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Thread: My CBT journey

  1. #31
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    CBT tomorrow. Getting nervous to tell him how I've completely failed these past 4-5 days. I hope he can spin it to something positive.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  3. #33
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    Alright. My third session was postponed til this morning because he had a cold. I almost didn't go because I felt so hopeless about the whole thing. It's been a really rough week for me. I've been so ridiculously down in the phobia; not eating, not sleeping, not going to the gym. I was so taken over by anxiety that for a few days I just stayed in bed with awful, awful panic attacks. I felt like it was no use, I could never ever get better. I mean, I thought I had gotten better but then THAT happened and I really thought it had all been for nought.

    Then I got really frustrated and angry. WHY me? WHY can't I just be 'normal' like everyone else? WHY do I have emetophobia and PTSD and all these other weird things. WHY did this all happen to me? It's not FAIR etc etc. Many tears. Once I'm done with the treatment for emetophobia (which my therapist estimates to about 6 months) I will have to work on my PTSD and anything else that pops up in the pandora's box which is my psyche. It all felt useless and pointless and neverending. I was in despair.

    But I went anyway because I never give up. I'm a chronic overachiever and the thought of failure brings up such horrors in me. I was really afraid my therapist would be mad at me, disappointed, give up on me, tell me to never come back so he could help someone who was actually worthy. My disaster-thoughts have obviously spread to every situation, not just emeto ones.

    I told him about my week. I told him about how my heart races all the time. It's last thing I remember at night and the first thing that happens in the morning. And I wake up at least once an hour with my heart racing which really sucks as I can only manage to sleep a few hours a night right now. I told him I've stayed in bed, that I've refused food. He said I need to get back on medication, I agreed with him but said that I'm too afraid of the nausea side effect so I just... can't. So he said that for the next two weeks we'll work with my biological rhythm instead to try to pull me out of this anxiety filled depression funk - I'm to go to sleep at a set time and get up at a set time come hell or high water. We set bed time to between 2 am and 9am. If I fall asleep at 6 am (which has been the latest trend) I still have to get up at 9 am, no matter how tired I am. It's going to be really hard. I have such depressive thoughts when I first wake up (What's the point? Life is worthless. May aswell stay in bed.), it's going to be a huge struggle to get up.

    We talked about how I feel like I've failed with the tasks I set out to do; but he disagreed. Even though I felt like complete and utter ass the past week I still kept the bathroom door open all the time. I went for little walks (even if it was just to the store real quick). And I watched movies and TV programmes without having my laptop with me 'just incase' I get anxiety or nausea. He says I don't give myself nearly as much credit as I deserve for the things. I still sort of feel like I failed. But then again; what did I expect? Did I expect it to be a nice stroll on a warm summer's day? Did I expect that I would conquer this fear in just a few days? And because I didn't conquer the fear; does that mean I am a crappy person that doesn't deserve guidance? It's hard for me to keep my acievements (or lack of) and my self worth apart. If I don't excel above everyones expectation I feel like a complete failure.

    It's hard for me to write this post because I really want to have amazing news like "Wow! He said I've done better than anyone ever and I'll be cured by tomorrow at 5pm! Great!" but I don't. I had a hard week. I struggled. I'm afraid I will keep struggling. But I also know that I'll keep on chipping away at it until this fecking mountain of fear is gone.


    Edit:

    I forgot to add the new plan. I am to keep doing what I've been doing: the open bathroom door, watching movies, going for walks and go to a cafe. He wants me to work myself up to watching videos of people being sick but he was very adamant that I don't do anything to overwhelm myself. I have to let this take time. I can't push myself more than I am ready to go. My body needs to catch up with the new mindset I'm building.
    Last edited by Avath; 12-03-2010 at 04:21 PM.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    You are still doing AMAZINGLY well! Setbacks happen. But once you get through this one that'll be one more thing that has made you stronger!! You should be really proud of yourself. Don't ever worry about your therapist deserting you... not only is it their job to help you, its what they love doing! They will never let you go! Good luck and keep us posted on how things go this week :-)

  5. #35
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    Thanks Jada =)
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Avath, I don't post here often as I subscribe to this thread so get the posts via email when I'm "out and about" sometimes. This is a great thread and so helpful to other people that I'm going to make it sticky for a while. No pressure! lol

    But honestly, there is no "quick fix" to emetophobia and so EVERY step you take in the right direction (like watching a movie) is a good one. Please know that logically, rationally, scientifically it makes NO SENSE that if you relax you may get sick. Try to stop your inner voice saying that to yourself because it's making your phobia worse. Every time you "hear" that voice just say "STOP" and carry on what you were doing. It's ok if you say it 1,000 times a day. That's 1,000 opportunities for healing.

    Good luck!
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  7. #37
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Haha no pressure at all sage. Ahem. Gives me reason to work even harder at this though. I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not hahah.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    A little update:

    My next session in on Thursday. On Tuesday my husband leaves to go to America for few months to get surgery for his arthritic ankles. I'm feeling a lot of general anxiety along with the usual emetophobic anxiety. I'm scared because I don't know what's going to happen when I have an anxiety or full-on panic attack and my husband isn't there to hold my hand and breathe with me. I've found lately that that really helps me - before I was too afraid to tell him I was anxious because I was afraid it would curse me and make it actually happen. Now I tell him how I feel and what I'm afraid of and why and it really helps me bring my anxiety down. It sort of removes the thoughts from spinning internally and releases them.

    I'm also really nervous about the trip to the airport. We have to take the bus really early to the train, and then train to the airport. The bus ride is about an hour long. I feel absolutely terrified about it. Last year when he went we took the same bus ride and I had a really bad anxiety attack on the bus which lasted pretty much the whole trip. But this year I have a secret weapon - anti-nausea chewing gum. My mum bought them this summer when we all went on a little cruise. Whenever I feel really anxious about the bus ride I just remember that crutch (which I am sure my therapist will be annoyed that I used haha) and I feel better.

    I'm afraid I'll get noro at the airport. When our cat Lilly flew in from America my husband got sick at the airport. Really sick. We had to spend the night there because Lilly arrived late and there were no trains til morning.... and my husband spent most of that night in the airport bathroom. Airports used to be safe places for me but now they feel 'infected'.

    I'm afraid one of us will fall ill before the trip.


    Lately, I've been having a really hard time seeing the progress and really feeling despair about how far I have to go and how little way I feel I've made. My husband keeps reminding me that I HAVE come a long way - I talk to him about it, I seek support, I use alco-gel a lot less. I've gone out with him to friends once this week, and today we went to a flea market. I can watch videos of cartoon characters (like Family Guy) and laugh if they vomit, without anxiety. I can watch funny movies that have vomit in them and laugh, but I still feel a little anxiety when I do.

    My anxiety levels have also gone down a bit because my husband has really taken onboard how important hand hygiene is. I read pieces of the noro information thread, about how it's easy to avoid noro if you just wash your hands and he was really surprised by it and made a big effort to wash his hands more. Out of the two of us he's the one that gets sick, really (KNOCK ON WOOD) so that's really good.

    It's really hard though sometimes because I feel very overwhelmed about the journey ahead. Especially at night when I usually have the worst anxiety. I feel trapped and like it can never change and I truly despair. But I've decided to just trust in the process and my therapist. And my husband keeps reminding me that not one thing that I've set my mind to have I failed, ever. He says he's seen me set goals and secretly he's thought "Oh God, she'll never be able to do all of that!" and then watched me succeed. I really want to keep that streak, especially with this particular goal.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    You amaze me!!!! great for you! im on board with this thread and cant wait for the next update! keep up the good work.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    I had to cancel my session last Thursday - I was way too depressed and messed up by my husband leaving. I couldn't even make myself anything to eat, let alone face my greatest fear! My therapist seemed understanding though, if a little disappointed.

    Since my husband left I've been really... I feel like I'm going backwards. My husband has been my greatest support and source of courage since I started CBT. He's been here to hold my hand when I've cried and felt like it was too much and now I just feel... sort of deflated. I've messed up my sleeping schedule completely. I fall asleep around 8 am and wake up 12 hours later. Right now I'm trying to put it right - I spent the night cleaning my apartment and the morning doing laundry and I'm fiiighting right now to stay awake as long as I can. It's 2.30pm and I want to stay awake until at least 5pm but I am not sure I'll make it that long.

    But what I'm most bothered by is how I've been letting my anxiety rule over me again. I've had a REALLY hard time eating and that is rare for me, though a huge HUGE red flag. A few years ago I dropped to about 115 pounds on my 5'8 frame because I was so afraid of eating. It was really hard to start eating again because not only was I afraid but I had just almost died from an illness so everything I put in my stomach made me cramp so much I would just sit and sweat for an hour afterwards in the most unbelievable pain. It was hard to start eating again, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

    But I am just trying to boost myself up by remembering this is not a good time. My husband just left this week, and he had surgery which was really hard on him so I've been worried and anxious about that (he threw up from the first pain medication he was on and of course I was really anxious that I would be sick aswell - even though he is an ocean away) . And Christmas is coming up and that is always a high anxiety time. With my sleeping schedule messed up I'm feeling guilty over that and feeling more anxious about everything.

    And again I forget the good things I've done this week. I took the bus all the way to the airport and even though I was scared, I did it. I cleaned my apartment even though I have this really weird fear that if I have a really clean apartment, or if I move furniture around or (this one especially for some reason) I put a rug down somewhere new it will make sick. I've done all these things this week.

    I really need to find a way to change my mindset so I stop forgetting and disregarding the things I did to and only look at the things I didn't do. Does anyone have any tips for this? It's a huge issue in every part of my life and really fucks me up sometimes.

    I've also got it in my head that sleeping at night is dangerous because one of my greatest hangups with my emetophobia is waking up in the middle of the night to be sick. So I've been staying awake all night and obsessing and sleep during the day. But now I just feel afraid all the time - no time feels safe and I am convinced that the sleep schedule itself is making me afraid of sleeping.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  11. #41

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Thank you so much for posting about your accomplishments. It makes me feel better to know that people are getting better. I think I'm going to write a list tonight of the things that scare me the most and actually do them instead of procrastinating which I'm really good at by the way. What a good idea

  12. #42

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    And to Avath. It's really hard when you have no support system that you can talk face to face with but I don't think it's good to cancel therapy because right now that's helping you. As for eating I really do understand. I've had quite a few comments that I've lost too much weight but I don't want to eat until I'm overly full because then I'm afraid I'll get nauseaus. Here's what I have noticed though and it was kind of a lightbulb moment for me. As soon as my world starts to crumble around me and I lose control of everything my emetophobia starts to get MUCH worse because that's the only thing I feel like I can control. My husband and I had some money issues and were living on almost nothing and that's when the emetophobia got worse was when I had no control over money. As soon as my bank account hits zero I start to panic and control other things around you. As for the eating pick foods that are tasty and foods you love to start with. I am not a big fan of forcing yourself to eat foods you don't like just for the sake of eating. You need to enjoy the food and taste it.

  13. #43
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    You said you JUST had "food poisoning". I point this out only because thinking of that makes me horrified and I feel so bad for you that you had to go through that. How did you handle it? I am going through treatment of my own right now and I have made MUCH progress but I am very intrigued by what you told yourself to make you "okay" with being that ill. Everyone always tells me their FP* stories (I DO NOT KNOW WHY PEOPLE DO THIS, Haha!) but they do...and they make is sound like death. In fact that even say "i thought i was dying". lol this is NOT good. so back to the point. How did you cope? Just curious. Congrats on the treatments by the way. You are strong and can do this. One day at a time. God Bless!

  14. #44
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Quote Originally Posted by hopefulheart View Post
    You said you JUST had "food poisoning". I point this out only because thinking of that makes me horrified and I feel so bad for you that you had to go through that. How did you handle it? I am going through treatment of my own right now and I have made MUCH progress but I am very intrigued by what you told yourself to make you "okay" with being that ill. Everyone always tells me their FP* stories (I DO NOT KNOW WHY PEOPLE DO THIS, Haha!) but they do...and they make is sound like death. In fact that even say "i thought i was dying". lol this is NOT good. so back to the point. How did you cope? Just curious. Congrats on the treatments by the way. You are strong and can do this. One day at a time. God Bless!
    You know what I think it is? People feel like they are dying because of the anxiety they feel when they feel very sick and have stomach pains - and emetophobes that's like our normal state of mind so really it felt like nothing to me. We are used to the anxiety and we learn to handle it better and we can identify it and learn to seperate it from actual symptoms of sickness. So I could say "Ah. I am anxious. But I also don't feel well. I can make this easier by relieving the anxiety with the techniques I've learned over the years of living with anxiety. I'm going to be just fine." while perhaps a 'normal' person would mix all of it together and feel awful and bring themselves to an anxiety attack which they aren't used to feeling or know how to handle. I think the anxiety is the part that made them feel like they were dying. We can handle anxiety better than them!

    Also; People are drama queens! How many times a day do we absolutely HATE things that we just dislike a bit? How many times a day do we LOVE things and forget about it a few minutes later? How many times a day do we "LITERALLY!" feel something? "My heart literally broke" etcetcetc It's natural to be dramatic about illnesses then aswell. We can take all the hate and love and literally's with a grain of salt because we know it's not LITERALLY so =P but because we are emetophobics it's hard to do that with the topic of vomitting. People exaggerate for dramatic effect. And then we emetophobes embellish a bit ourselves, I am sure.

    When I get ill and know I'm going to throw up I go to a very strange calm place in my mind. It's inevitable what's going to happen and it doesn't bother me one bit. The worst bit is the waiting bit. The actual vomitting isn't bad at all. It happens in a couple seconds, and afterwards you feel so much better. I've carried over the worst bit into my daily life and it's what I do all the time. Waiting. Waiting. Trying to avoid things to make me not have to wait so intensely. Ridiculous!

    I'm not all that afraid of getting food poisoning anymore because I've had it a few times now and I know it's over and done with quite quickly. I've had them at the worst possible times - by myself, at a stranger's house the night before we left to go to their wedding, the day before my brother's birthday, waking up in the middle of the night to be sick - and I was FINE! I'm still afraid of the noro-virus the same reason you're afraid of food poisoning - people's dramatic tellings. But my friend recently had it and he was like "Man that sucked, I didn't feel great for a while there. Now where's my soup? I am starving." and I was a wreck for days and couldn't eat. I live in Sweden. He lives in Canada. And he was eating just fine. I find this very comforting.

    I think the worst thing about stomach viruses and throwing up in general is the anxiety part. People get worked up and it's awful because their minds make it awful. My friend is really quite relaxed and he had an easy time of it even though he had the same sickness that newspapers like to print the most terrifying things about like it's the worst thing that could ever happen to you. It's not. Quite a freeing thought.

    To me, the worst thing that could ever happen to me is that I live with this mind-fucking anxiety every day for another year. For another day!

    With that said; I am going to go to the shops now and I am going to touch stuff with my bare hands.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  15. #45
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    You're totally right, I used to fear going out just incase I vomited but now I seem to be more scared of getting a panic attack if i'm not near home and this makes me anxious!
    Anxiety is a real bitch!

    Thankyou so much for posting this diary though, Im hoping to get CBT soon and its made me feel very positive about it. From my point of view you're doing really well I really admire your determanation!
    Good luck, I look forward to reading more posts!
    xx

  16. #46
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    It's been a while since I updated. I've been doing A LOT of soul searching and some really hard CBT work. Thinking about it is making me a bit teary eyed because this journey is so amazing. I'm learning so much.

    I finally had another CBT appointment last week and I was really nervous and dreading it. I felt like I hadn't made enough progress to please my therapist. I went and we talked for a bit and then he said something that shocked me: "Are you even afraid of anything, anymore?" I was caught off guard. I realized the things we decided that I should work on... they didn't scare me anymore - well, sometimes I still get nervous when I do those things but the fear never stops me anymore - I don't even hesitate. I know it's just fear now. I had to take a minute to think of things that I'm still hung up on. We made a new list of some of my bigger hang ups, things I've been afraid to mention before. Like going for a swim at the public pool. I'm afraid of germs in the water, germs in the changing rooms, germs in the shower. I'm afraid that I'll somehow be sick if I swim because of the exercise (which is ridiculous because I used to be a competitive swimmer, and I swam HARD and nothing even close to that happened).

    My therapist said he's really happy with the progress I've made and he was just showering me with praise and motivation. I left feeling really, really ready for the next bit. I left feeling like I'd done a good job. On the way home I started thinking about how I'm so unable to feel like I'm good enough, and my mind wandered about in different thoughts and I started thinking about how throwing up isn't my only fear.

    Let me explain. After new years (which was AWFUL I had SO much anxiety) I started really questioning myself. WHY do I feel this way? And I started really watching my thoughts, and I identified some patterns.

    First, I realized that for over a decade I've been self mutilating - for many years I cut myself, and now I go through phases where I starve myself for no other reason than to feel hungry. I've always felt like I needed to be punished. And in my mind there was no worse punishment than throwing up. So I started to expect it.

    So, I came to the conclusion that my emetophobia isn't the disease, it's a symptom. Besides my strange self punishment, I am wary of everything. Then a thought hit me that has literally changed my life and made fighting this thing so much easier: I always expect something to go wrong. I do it with everything. I'm afraid to go out in the winter not only because of noro - I'm convinced that I go out enough times I will fall and hurt myself on the ice. Things like that.

    I realised I have some very strange OCD thoughts. Like; I can't play a videogame and watch a movie in the same day because it's too much fun for one day. I feel very uncomfortable going out, coming home and then going out again in the same day because I feel like I've used up my "outside" ticket of the day. I challenged those. I played video games then watched a movie and then I played video games again! If I got an urge to do something that I would normally talk myself out of I did it. It's been so much fun.

    I've been doing a meditation every evening and sometimes in the morning that I found on youtube. They use the mantra "everything is absolutely okay right now" - and I tell myself that everytime I get anxious about if what I just did will lead to me coming down with something. If it happens, it happens but in the meantime I'm going to live. I am starting to learn how to live in the now and not what maybe might possibly happen in the future at some point.

    It feels good you guys.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Hey guys!

    I had another CBT appointment today. As usual I made myself quite anxious worrying about not having done enough to please my therapist... and as usual he seemed really pleased with my progress and a bit surprised that I've done well. SO motivating!

    Today it's been 11 days since I got rid of my hand sanitizers. I found one this morning hiding behind some things on my kitchen table so I brought it with me to the session and gave it to my therapist - and he threw it in the bin quite happily!

    Tomorrow is the third anniversary of my dad's death so my stress levels have been way up this week - dreaming of him at night, bursting into tears during the day, and just generally anxious. We started talking about my dad and my conflicted feelings about him and how my PTSD from my childhood is affecting me still... man it was hard. It's so hard, you guys. I am so confused about my father and my mother and the entire family dynamic from that time. I was never safe, I was never in control of anything, I always HAD to expect the worst because most of the time the worst happened. So I created something I can control. I can control not going out, I can control washing my hands, I can control my food. I'm slowly starting to realise that that lack of control and safety I felt then isn't true in my life NOW. This is so huge for me as my brain on PTSD constantly thinks the trauma is still happening. I'm starting to really understand that it's not. I'm in charge now, nobody is hurting me, I am safe. There is nothing that is so scary that I can't stand up to it because I'm an adult now and I have a voice that I didn't have when I was a kid. It really feels good to talk about my PTSD and all the things that still are so hard for me to talk about. I grimace my way through the subjects.

    I know CBT is a lot about just doing things to make particular fears go away but as I have all these issues on the side I really appreciate that my therapist really understands that it's important to me to go through them aswell because it's all so knotted together that I don't know which is which. I'm so controlling and OCD and it's not just with my emetophobia - it's with everything.

    And I really appreciate my therapist for being so frank with me. He says things that are almost borderline rude but are true and he really makes me face them; example, today we were talking about how my mother has some major bitterness issues and how I'm pulled into them and it sucks my energy, and he said "How does it feel to have no support from your family?" and instantly I started crying - because that is something I feel but I've never said aloud. And I told him I don't know how I got to be so alone in life. Crappy, heavy stuff.

    More focused on treatment - My new homework is to continue to challenge ALL my fears not just the emetophobia ones. I'm to avoid taking the same routes when I go to the gym, for example. Watch a movie AND play video games if that's what I want to do in a day. Basically, just doing more fun stuff every day and gradually becoming less afraid of 'consequences' of being happy. Also, more emetophobia focused, I'm going to run at the gym every other day for at least 20 min (interval training) so I get rid of my fear of throwing up while doing cardio.

    Yesterday I was feeling hopeless, like I was getting anywhere. I am so glad that I have CBT to give me a boost every other week.

    I can do this!!!!
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  18. #48
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    I have just read this thread after a few months of not using the site and I agree with you all, it is very inspirational.

    I have suffered with emetophobia for as long as I can remember and I am now 18, 19 in March, so I beyond desperate for help as it is hell living in constant fear (as you all will know). So I hope to start counsellinh or therapy again sometime and that it might work for me!

    I hope you are still doing well with your CBT

  19. #49
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    I just wanted to thank you for posting this, it can't be easy opening up to everyone about your therapy but it makes me more positive about starting my CBT - first session is on 23rd May. I am looking forward to doing it and being able to lead a normal life again. Even if it doesn't cure me, just as long as it makes my life easier and able to cope when my children are sick is all I ask!

  20. #50
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    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Hello! So pleased to see that you are finding something in my posts here! It makes me really happy that I can help because goddamn do I know what hell emetophobia is.

    CBT has helped me more than I thought it would. I had no concept of what it was like to live without being scared shitless ALL. THE. TIME. so how could I know? I don't have anxiety every day anymore. Not even weekly. When I do get it it feels like the end of the world - but I take that as a good sign because it means I am not used to feeling that way anymore. And I have better tools to cope with it now so those moments pass so quickly.

    I've felt really ill a couple times in the past month or so and you know what? No anxiety. Nothing. All I thought was "Okay. I'm cool with that." and I continue doing whatever I'm doing. I still have some of the tics - like checking the colour of my cheeks. But when it comes down to it - I'm not afraid.

    I am not afraid anymore.

    The words seem so unreal to me still. I can't believe that I am not afraid anymore. I don't spend each night in bed in panic until I fall asleep from exhaustion with my laptop on my stomach. I turn my laptop off and I deliberately go to bed and I RELAX.

    CBT will be difficult at times. It will take time. But what I failed to see at the start was that when my therapist said "It'll be 5-6 months until you're better" was that there's a huge gap between my starting point and my better. And every single step in between those two feels like freedom. Every step is a breath of air, every step left me with a feeling of victory and every single day I was a little less afraid. It's not like you have to put in hard work 6 months and wait for the one day suddenly a switch is flipped. Every step is freedom.

    Another thing that I hadn't been expecting was how my husband would have a struggle to adjust his expectation and picture of me to one that isn't afraid. "She won't want to do that because she will be afraid" - it doesn't apply anymore and I had to actively prove that to him. Not grand gestures but every day things like not throwing away the milk the day before it expires - instead the sniff and taste test applies even if the milk expired three days ago.

    I am so happy that I now have to reconsider my 'emetophobic' label.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  21. #51

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Avath

    I'm new here. Just read your accounts and it was really inspirational! Well done with the progress you made!

    I could relate to quite a lot, I'm having a PTSD reaction to witnessing someone die. I have a fear of vomiting at night particularly....right now i'm on here rather than going to bed.....and yes i expect things to go wrong. I havea short trip coming up and i'm petrified for some reason about going, as it could mean being ill away from home, etc......I might have to record my 'journey' here at this site while on the trip. :-) Thanks for the inspiration.

  22. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Penryn Cornwall/ Jersey Channel Islands
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Hi, I've just read you're post, I'm brand new to this site, and my phobia sounds very similar to yours. I've always felt uncomfortable with the subject of being sick, but the last couple of months it's began to take over my life, and nearly every day I think about it and feel nausias during the evenings because I've been dwelling on the thoughts. Last month I saw a councellor about my problems as I had begun not eating in the evenings due to the fear of it making me sick, or becuase I was feeling sick and couldn't bring myself to eat or drink anything.
    I've started doing abit of CBT, but I've been trying to do it on my own, and finding it a bit of a struggle. Reading your process is giving me a structure to go through, thank you.

  23. #53
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    I read through these posts when I first joined the forum and was inspired by Avaths CBT journey. My therapists that I have been too, I don't think are really qualified to tackle the severity of my anxiety and my specific phobia. A few of them have said that they use CBT but I only got one worksheet to fill out, which did help my thinking a little. But my therapy was mostly, go in and talk about how you're feeling that week. Some of them wouldn't hardly give me feedback. I'd be telling them what I figured out and what I was going to work on, so I wondered why I was paying for this type of therapy, if I could just find my own ways of working on things. Although it is nice to have an unbiased party listen to your problems.

    So I thought for myself, I would start my own CBT and use some of the things Avath used and also maybe thinking of some anxiety producing situations that I could do each day-which I have been trying, just not every day. I'm also trying to uncover 'feelings and emotions' about things. I've been recently getting into collaging, just using photographs, images or words from magazines and catalogs and pasting them down. And I have uncovered a couple new ways of thinking about past feelings. Interesting. Need to keep up on that.

    I wonder, though, how Avath is doing now, still not afraid???

  24. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Is your CBT suggesting that you watch any videos of purging? Or watching these with you? Have your practiced making "purging sounds"? Keeping an eye on this thread - sounds like you have made a lot of progress!

  25. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    I just started CBT yesterday and am terrified. My therapist gave me homework to listen to 5 minutes of v* sounds per day until I see him next week. The hard part about this is finding the sounds. Has anyone else every started with this? He recommended I look for apps for my smartphone. The more and more I think about what else I will have to do as part of my exposure therapy, the more frightened I get. I broke down in bed last night bawling because I don't think I can do this (thankfully my loving husband is extremely comforting and supportive). I have come to the realization that I have never actually seen a person v* and now, I will have to see it quite frequently as part of my therapy. I am feeling angry about my fear and have been having urges to send an e-mail to my therapist to say I won't be able to go through with this. But I have been dealing with this fear for 20+ years (I am 27) and I am sick of it. It is so debilitating and no one understands what it is like to feel so closed off and afraid.

    I am afraid I won't have the courage to go through the therapy...but if I don't, I will continue to be miserable and scared. I feel very conflicted.

  26. #56
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Quote Originally Posted by ashmg1984 View Post
    I just started CBT yesterday and am terrified. My therapist gave me homework to listen to 5 minutes of v* sounds per day until I see him next week. The hard part about this is finding the sounds. Has anyone else every started with this? He recommended I look for apps for my smartphone. The more and more I think about what else I will have to do as part of my exposure therapy, the more frightened I get. I broke down in bed last night bawling because I don't think I can do this (thankfully my loving husband is extremely comforting and supportive). I have come to the realization that I have never actually seen a person v* and now, I will have to see it quite frequently as part of my therapy. I am feeling angry about my fear and have been having urges to send an e-mail to my therapist to say I won't be able to go through with this. But I have been dealing with this fear for 20+ years (I am 27) and I am sick of it. It is so debilitating and no one understands what it is like to feel so closed off and afraid.

    I am afraid I won't have the courage to go through the therapy...but if I don't, I will continue to be miserable and scared. I feel very conflicted.
    Your therapist does not sound like much help there. Exposure Therapy is based on the following principles:
    - Graded (step by step, starting at step 1 and not jumping to step 4 etc)
    - Repeated (for example, 3 times a week or 3 times a day)...
    - Time Specific e.g. half hour
    - Without distraction - not using your ipod/watching tv/reading a book or holding your best friends hand while doing the exercises...

    all this... until your anxiety reduces to less than 40% per stage... so its good to document/record it... say you started looking at photo 1... and you were 90% anxious before the exercise, you were 70% during the exercise and then 72% after the exercise.. repeat repeat repeat until you end with 40% or less... and it can take time but you define the pace...

    You set the pace and define what you are comfortable with. If you don't want to start with sounds then you can start with photos. If you feel okay starting with sounds then start off with some silly sounds or short sounds. This is a fantastic resource, search for emetophobia resource org.


    Look at Exposure 1-12 at the top bar. The whole site is great so have a look see. It is mentioned in this forum at several points so it's not like I am recommending something private/not recognized by these users. Any questions then feel free to post back.

    The aim of the game is to watch/listen until you are bored. Sometimes there is a push from the therapist as you have a number of sessions to do it within etc.

  27. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Nice work! I'm in therapy currently but not really doing exposure. Hope all is well

  28. #58
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    My daughter is in CBT therapy and her therapist started with the writing of the words as much as she could. The
    next meeting they said the words verbally and the last one they watched cats/dogs V**. She has her next appointment
    tomorrow and she keeps telling me "I'm not going.....sorry Mom". She will go.....it is just scary and causes anxiety. But,
    her therapist said that she does well in the session. I am hoping that this is the right thing for her....so hard to know if
    you are doing the right thing.

  29. #59
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    Hello!!!

    I came to check in =) and to tell you things concerning my emetophobia are great!

    In the past three weeks I have thrown up twice - and you know what? It was not a big deal at all. In fact, it wasn't a deal at all. It was just an occurrence. After the first time I was HIGH on the experience. WOW! It happened, I did it, I wasn't scared. It was fine! The second time was yesterday - I hit my head and got a concussion. Again - I knew it was going to happen and... I didn't get as much as an increased heart rate.

    It's amazing. It's so amazing. Sometimes I can't believe this is me now. I was SO sick with emetophobia. I was so ruled, so held back, so.... it was like how people describe an eating disorder: the eating disorder is a whole other person inside you that rules you and you are so small and weak and you follow, and you follow gladly because you are so scared. My emetophobia was king of my universe. Now I am king, queen, princess, court jester... I promise all of you who are struggling with it: IT IS WORTH IT. IT IS WORTH IT. Don't give up. It is truly an irrational fear. I know how deadly even the thought of it feels when you are deep in the emetophobia - but there is nothing worse than the panic, the constant anxiety, the stiff routines, the joyless existence. It is so much better on this side. You all can do it.

    I now treat my emetophobia like a chronic disorder - I check myself before I wreck myself haha. I sometimes still catch myself with little emetophobia tics, and I stop myself and do the opposite. But it's just little habits, things I did for so many years that they just happen. Just chipping away the last remnants, really.

    I started nursing school last fall, and one of my biggest fears when I started was that I would have to do the 5 weeks of work experience we had in term 2 in a different city where I would have to travel on the bus everyday. I cried in terror when I saw where I had been placed. A 40 minute bus ride away. Every single day for 5 weeks. In February/March. And I know all of you know the significance of those months. You know what? I don't know what I worried about now. Every morning at 6 am I would get on the bus with my travel cup of tea and nap the whole way there, and at 5pm I would nap on the way home. Not once that whole period did I ever have anxiety or panic at night over the possibility that I may have picked up something at work. I didn't even have anxiety at a practical lesson in school when the teacher used me as her example for how to brush someone else's teeth and put her fingers in my mouth without using gloves.

    I would do CBT a thousand times over to live this life. I wish I could find the right words to stress to you that any discomfort experienced when facing the emetophobia is worth it a million times. Emetophobics are so strong. Living with such a deep fear and not going completely crazy is a showing of incredible strength. Direct that strength toward beating the emetophobia! Just a month of hard work at it makes such a huge, huge difference. I don't know if I ever posted this video, but this video I credit so much of my recovery to. It taught me to be "in the moment" and not rush in to the future of the what ifs and maybes. One time I was listening and I was at the part where he says "everything is okay right now." I GOT IT and tears just started falling because it was such a relief. I mean, I logically understood the value of being in the moment, but it was as if something clicked in me that allowed me to emotionally get there as well. At first I could be in the moment for maybe a minute before the anxiety came back... then increasingly longer and longer times. I listened to it every time I would have a panic attack, as many times as it took for me to calm down (I would get several panic attacks a day! Once it took three hours of listening to truly calm down haha, but I felt that was sort of a breaking point. A show down. After that I improved a lot because I wouldn't back down). Then, before I could really wrap my mind around it, I could say to myself "everything is okay right now" when I felt anxious and it would calm me. Go on, give it a listen! http://www.kewego.it/video/iLyROoafM687.html

    I hope I don't sound grossly, annoyingly enthusiastic but the joy I feel when I think about what emetophobia was to me then and what it is now is kind of hard for me to contain.
    If fear hasn't killed me yet, then nothing will.

  30. #60

    Default Re: My CBT journey

    I'm about to start CBT on Tuesday. And I'm actually quite excited after reading this thread, I'm hopeful that I can overcome this fear and start living my life and not be making excuses not to do things anymore .

 

 

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