Hi there, hello. I recognise at this point I’m mostly writing into the void, but hello to any of you who might have stopped by based on my one and only post about my emetophobia. We have some catching up to do.
I’m still Lilith, still living and working. It’s been a good long while since I last wrote to you, and it’s time for an update. First and foremost – I’ve finished my course of CBT for my phobia. What once was an all-consuming life-effecting chore is now classified as an aversion, but not a phobia.
Case in point – the other week, working at a popular mainstream soap shop, someone fell ill in one of my training sessions. I should preface that my role at said popular purveyor of bath bombs is that of a trainer, where I basically help shop floor staff develop their product knowledge so that they can successfully match shoppers with products to suit their needs.
Now, she didn’t fall ill in the sudden vomiting scene – she needed to sit down as she started to feel lightheaded, and I got as far as asking if I could get her some water before I realised I was ever so slightly in over my head.
The difference now, is that the panic isn’t instantaneous. In the past I would have been reduced to jelly by the mere mention of someone feeling anything but at peak health. In this case, the meltdown (mild though it was) came after doing all I could do for her, and because of my overall heightened level of stress that week.
I’m leaving this job in December, incidentally. I finally pulled the plug on that lukewarm bathwater, so to speak.
I went to some of my managers who are aware of my past difficulties with the subject matter and briefed them on the situation at hand, finishing with, “And I’m sure you’ll agree I’m not the best equipped person to deal with this,” at which point mercifully one of them went to help my ill trainee and get her out before she may have vomited, and the others tried to talk me out of my panic spiral to mixed success.
Another change – panic attacks are few and far between. I still had one, but recovered within about 5 minutes, and went back to finish my training session with the rest of my group; albeit with shaking hands and a decidedly paler complexion. I had another fragile moment after the session, but this time I think it was me mentally deciding that I had had enough of this job, and this overall feeling dominated the rest of the day.
I’ve been at this job for the better part of the past 2 years. It’s a job which has seen me change role 5 times, seen me quit university (a blessing) and seen me through CBT. It’s seen me through relationship woes (though few and far between) and through gaining the strength to make difficult choices. I’m leaving in December, and while the job has left a bad taste these past few months, I feel blessed that it in some ways forced me to go after what I really want.
I’m leaving in December, and I’m going to be a barber. CBT gave me the chance to take back the power my mental illness stripped from me; I’ve gone back to school, learning my new trade in the evenings, and school was something with the worst connotations for me after the trainwreck that was BA (Hons) Sculpture (as yet, unfinished). I graduate in December with skills I can travel with in a trade which will never die.
This was kind of an update, in a free-wheeling interpretation of the word. I’ll hopefully get back to writing as I’m approaching a kind of break for the first time in ages. I’m leaving my job in December and I turn 23 in January – between those two things there’s a Christmas and a New Year – and for the first time in a while, the future is looking hopeful.
Until I speak to you next,