Question of the day.

I recently bought…

My answer:

…Well, the books for my Mum and Sofi that I’m going to give them as Christmas gifts. Other than that, our house continues to be a hospital (now it’s also my Mum who is sick with something that looks like it might well be Covid, she had a test today so we’ll see) and me and Sofi order food for lunch for ourselves every day and today I got us some pierogi which were really yum.

You? ๐Ÿ™‚

Jack Vreeswijk – “Tjuvjรคgaren” (The Poacher).

Recently, I shared with you a theme piece from Amir Chamdin’s 2010 film “Cornelis” about Cornelis Vreeswijk, which was composed by Cornelis’ son, Jack. Today I want to show you that this film was not the only close encounter Jack had with the world of film during his music career. There is a Swedish historical film from 2016, directed by John Tornblad, it’s called Tjuvjรคgaren which means the poacher in English, and the poacher is the main character of this film, however IMDB claims that this production is known in English under the name Lars and the Baron – Lars is the name of the poacher. – The theme song to this film was written by its director, as well as cinematographer Andreas Olsson, and is sung by none other than Jack Vreeswijk! I have to admit that I’ve never watched the film, despite I’ve wanted to because it sounds rather interesting, but somehow it never happened, mostly because with all my practical issues around film watching it feels like a huge undertaking and I’m not sure my motivation is equally huge. ๐Ÿ˜€ But ever since I’ve heard this song for the first time, I really really like it, and I think Jack vocals fit it so well.

Question of the day (28th November).

I am listening to…

My answer:

…something nearly all the time, haha. Today I’ve mostly been listening to a Swedish-Gambian soulpop artist called Seinabo Sey. I’m not a huge fan of soul, though it’s not like I dislike it as a whole either, but I do like a lot of her songs.

You? ๐Ÿ™‚

Song of the day (28th November) – Declan Galbraith – “Circles in the Sand”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

I figured I haven’t shared much from Declan’s debut album, which was released back in 2002 when he was 10, so thought I could share one song from it now. This is an original song, written for Declan by Barry Mason, and like most original songs on this album, has a very cheerful feel to it.

Question of the day.

I am reading…

My answer:

…Actually re-reading, at the moment. I am re-reading a Norwegian family saga called Livets Dรธtre (there is no English translation but the title means Daughters of Life) by May Grethe Lerum, in Polish. I came across this series a couple years ago in our Polish blind library and I felt super ambivalent about it! On one hand it’s just so interesting, it takes place in like 18th century Norway and follows the lives of women in quite a particular family living in a Norwegian village, who have extremely weird, tangled and overly and sometimes totally unnecessarily complicated life paths, but there’s 35 volumes in total if I remember correctly so if not all that it would probably take up much less, it sometimes feels rather forced though. I love historical fiction which portrays people’s lives and not necessarily all the political stuff and things like that but simply what life was like then, for different kinds of people. And that’s what these books show very well. Well, I don’t know if they show it thoroughly from a historical point of view and whether a historian would approve, but what I mean by well is that it’s interesting and sounds quite convincing to me. These women have some kind of gift or curse or what you may call it in their family that enables them to heal people or at least help them when they’re sick, and that’s both in terms of that they’re really knowledgeable about herbs and all the medical knowledge that was available to people there and then, but also something more like a superpower or something that they sometimes use. So they help people and treat them from all sorts of things, and it’s really interesting to read about in fiction. The characters are mostly portrayed very colourfully and feel almost alive although sometimes you can feel a lot of something that feels like some bias from the author as if you could figure out whom in the series she likes more and whom she likes less and sometimes it’s a little annoying. And then there’s Ravi Reinsson, or Reinsen or I don’t really even know what his surname is in the original, Ravi son of Rein anyways, on whom, when reading that series for the first time, I got quite a strong faza. I had several literary fazas before but this was definitely the strongest and longest-lasting. It’s partly because of Ravi, and partly because of my current affair with the Norwegian language, which wasn’t a thing back when I read it for the first time, that I decided to re-read this saga. On the other hand, despite enjoying so many aspects of it a lot, I had some problems with this series and a lot of little things and a couple bigger things that I found really annoying and sometimes even quite disturbing with this series and this hasn’t changed now that I’m re-reading it and some of that maybe even is more glaring. And the translation… ugh! I mean, overall it’s not bad, but some bits literally have such awful grammar, or just really awkward. Yet at the same time the aspects of it that were enjoyable for me the first time, are no less enjoyable for me now, and maybe even more so. I have been racing through these books, I can’t recall now when exactly I’ve started reading this series but I think more or less around the time when I got sick with that bronchitis thing, and since I had a lot of time for reading, as well as because it’s interesting while not being very challenging at all, especially that I read it once before, it’s going really fast, and I’m now on volume 15. There’s no Ravi yet but I’m curious if my faza is going to reactivate or something and how my brain’s gonna react. But yeah, overall it’s an interesting experience to reread this.

How about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Lynn Saoirse – “Mr. O’Connor With Jig”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Time for another piece from the Irish Celtic harpist Lynn Saoirse’s album The Seas Are Deep, with music composed by the 18th century Irish blind harpist Turlough O’Carolan. As I mentioned when talking about several other pieces from this album, O’Carolan often dedicated his music to his various patrons who supported him throughout his career, that’s why many of his tunes have different people’s names in their titles. I’m not sure who Mr. O’Connor was for him exactly though. As you’ll be able to hear, this piece consists of two parts. The first, longer one is a waltz, and the second, as is easy to figure out from the title, is a jig, although usually this piece is simply called Mr. O’Connor/O’Conner unlike on Lynn Saoirse’s album. While this piece is delightful in its entirety, I really really love this first, floaty waltz part.

Question of the day.

I want…

My answer:

…to do some book shopping tonight, or tomorrow. I buy books all the time but this time, for a change, they’re not going to be for me, and they’re going to be actual, physical books rather than ebooks or audiobooks. Christmas is slowly approaching, and my family have a problem with presents every year. I mean, we never know what to give each other, because we’re very self-sufficient folks, maybe except for Sofi who LOVES getting presents, and if someone needs or wants something, they simply buy it for themselves rather than wait for the next Christmas or birthday or what not when someone else will be able to buy it for them as a present. After all, it is yourself who knows best what sort of things you like, and for me personally the whole present business feels a little awkward. So we never know what to get for each other, and we never know what we could want from each other. ๐Ÿ˜€ And Christmas shopping is stressful. I guess it’s my Mum who finds it especially stressful because she’s a bit of a perfectionist where family is concerned, but I think it’s stressful for everyone else too, again except for Sofi who absolutely loves shopping for presents just as much as receiving them herself, both because of all the joy of giving and because she loves visiting huge shopping centres which she isn’t allowed to do often. If it wasn’t for Sofi, we could do totally without presents, but Sofi would be disconsolate. So when we were talking with each other recently, Mum and me decided that this year, everyone will be getting each other books. I’m particularly happy about that because for a long time I’ve been wanting my Mum to read the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy by Sigrid Undset, and generally make friends with Sigrid Undset’s books, because I think my Mum and Sigrid Undset’s books are a really, really, really good match for each other. I first heard of Kristin Lavransdatter in the Jeลผycjada series by my favourite Polish author Maล‚gorzata Musierowicz, whose character Mila Borejko really loves Kristin and reads it numerous times in the series, and I think I read it there, or perhaps it was Musierowicz herself who said it, that every woman should read Kristin. I have read Kristin Lavransdatter twice, and then also The Master of Hestviken once and I loved them both for so many different reasons, though if I had to say what specifically, I’d have a hard time naming all those reasons because while I enjoyed the plot and all the Nordic vibes, it was something else that I can’t quite put my finger on that made me love these books so much. Sadly I have not been able to read more Undset’s books so far but I really hope I still will, maybe even will be able in the original at some point, who knows, although right now I feel like this is a super bold dream. Anyways, I’ve been drilling it into my Mum’s brain for years that she should read Kristin Lavransdatter, that she would LOVE it, probably even more than I do, but she still hasn’t so far. My Mum loves to read and always says how she would like to read more, she values literature very much and always encouraged Olek and me to read a lot when we were children, but she has not very much time for it, and when she does read, she has a real problem that she starts feeling sleepy real soon. Also she usually does it so that she is reading multiple books at once, which in the end means that she reads each book for a really long time. And these days she has a strong preference for non-fiction as it seems, she mostly reads biographies/autobiographies, books in the form of an interview, or some Christian books or from fiction she mostly reads old, Polish classics at the moment, most of which I had to read not so long ago as school compulsory reads so they haven’t gained much appeal for me yet. ๐Ÿ˜€ So maybe Norwegian fiction is a little bit outside of her comfort zone. Still, I know that if she makes this step out, she WILL love it. My Mum loves Scandinavian movies, used to read more Scandinavian literature too, like Mika Valtari whom we both love, loves Scandinavian landscapes and there are plenty of nature descriptions in these books by Sigrid Undset, basically she likes quite a lot of things Scandinavian. Besides, Undset was Catholic and her books are very Catholic. And they just have this kind of quality that makes me think it’s something for my Mum. So I’m going to buy her both Kristin Lavransdatter and Master of Hestviken.

And then there’s Sofi, who, as I wrote a while ago, has started to properly develop her passion for horses. Sofi isn’t the most passionate reader and is easily bored by books, but she already has a few books about horses from Mum and likes to read a bit from them once in a while and seems to be very fond of them even though I’m not sure if she has read any of them in its entirety. So I thought I could buy her at least a few books from the Heartland series for starters. Heartland is a series by Lauren Brooke about a girl called Amy Flemming who lives on a ranch called Heartland with her family where they take in all kinds of traumatised horses that they work with in a rather unconventional way. I was introduced to Heartland at school, where one of our boarding school staff read it to us in the evenings, there was one girl who was madly into horses and I guess the idea came from her. From what I remember we haven’t read much of that or not very regularly, but then some years later when I was already out of there, a Polish website which is kind of like an equivalent of GoodReads recommended Heartland to me and I was able to get all the 26 books that are in this series and read them. They are short and not very demanding really. Actually when I read them I was like 16-17 so to me they seemed rather infantile in some aspects and the characters were not the most multi-dimensional I’ve ever seen and either black or white and very wishy-washy, I remember that generally something about the writing style was a little grating to me or maybe it was due to the Polish translation, but all the stuff that concerned horses rather than people was very interesting, especially that I myself have gone to a stud where there are only horses who have been through a lot of yucky stuff before they ended up where they are now. I thought it could be a really good and not too challenging read for Sofi and Mum agrees with me so that’s what I’m gonna get her.

I have still no idea what I could get my Dad and Olek, my Dad likes historical books, especially things like albums, like books with photos of what some places used to look like, or other historical non-fiction, especially regarding WWII. I like historical books too, but they’re vastly different from what my Dad likes and our tastes are 100% incompatible so I just have no idea, maybe Mum will give me some suggestions. Olek also likes similar historical books to Dad plus a lot of adventure/mystery, crime novels etc. so mostly also not my thing and here I’m not even sure if Mum will be able to help. So I’m going to order the books for them later on when I have some ideas.

How about you? What is it that you want at the moment? ๐Ÿ™‚

Travelle – “Phone Dating”.

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

For the last few months, I’ve been sharing with you some music from the Norwegian singer, songwriter and producer Travelle, and today it’s time for another song by him. As you can easily figure out from the lyrics, this song deals with the topic of Tinder dating, and how shallow it is. As much as this is difficult to comprehend for some people, I have never, ever dated and have no real desire to do it just for the sake of it, so I don’t really find it very personally relatable as such, also this is obviously from a guy’s perspective, but I think it shows well what it must feel like and how difficult and frustrating it must be and I like how authentic this song feels.

Question of the day.

I have to…

My answer:

…Well, nothing surprising here as for me. The thing that I have to do in the most immediate future, soon after I write this post, is my Welsh learning, which I’m going to do for about half an hour because today it’s mostly just going to be repetition. You could say that it doesn’t necessarily count as something I “have to” do, and more like something I just want, but in this particular case I think it’s both because when I love a language I just hardly have a choice, so I guess we can use these words interchangeably. ๐Ÿ˜€

You? ๐Ÿ™‚

Cecile Corbel – “L’orage” (The Storm).

Hey guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am quite surprised that I haven’t shared any music from this artist so far, because I really like her and have been familiar with her music for many years now. Cecile Corbel is a Celtic harpist and singer from Finistere in Brittany. She first learned about Celtic harp during a concert of Greek harpist Elisa Vellia, who later became her teacher. Cecile sings in many languages, from English to French to Breton to Irish to Japanese. I guess what she’s particularly known for is composing the soundtrack to Arrietty the Borrower. I like her characteristic, a bit child-like-sounding voice. This song I want to share with you today comes from her latest album SongBook, Vol. 5 – Notes. As regular readers know, I have no idea about French, but Google Translate claims the title of this song translates to English as The Storm.

Question of the day.

We haven’t had questions of the day in a LOOONG time, as I was sick with bronchitis, so I thought let’s do a little bit of a general question today, and maybe for the next few days, except this time they won’t be in the form of questions, but rather blanks to fill in. Here’s the one for today:

I am thinking about… well, mostly it’s hard to tell what I’m thinking about at the moment, because my brain’s simply buzzing away with all the Norwegian I’d just been exposing myself to. ๐Ÿ˜€ I know, it’s the middle of the week, and I said I am going to do Welsh on week days, and Norwegian on weekends, because I already know quite a fair bit of Swedish so Norwegian isn’t as demanding for me as Welsh is, but I already did my Welsh in the morning, and the Norwegian exposure I had today wasn’t part of my usual learning routine, I just came across some children’s stories in this language and ended up reading a few because they were written in a way that seemed a bit weird to me (guess just older language than what I’m used to or maybe some dialect that I hadn’t come across yet) but I was surprised and intrigued that despite the weirdness I was able to figure out enough to understand the plot quite well. Nevertheless, I’m not really used to reading in Norwegian for as long as I did, so now I’m more like processing rather than thinking about anything specific. ๐Ÿ˜€

One thing that I *am* sort of thinking about right now, though more in the background, is the bouts of illness we’ve been having in this house for a while now. For Mum, Olek and me, it’s nothing new at this time of year (autumn-winter season) because this is when all of us change into real mucus factories. My Mum gets her episodic asthma and coughs incessantly until spring, and Olek gets his sinus problems which don’t last quite so long but seem to be really annoying while they do. Then there’s me and right now my situation is the best in our little phlegmy club, probably because it used to be the worst and I had my fair share of mucus adventures when I was younger whereas for them it has only started out properly as adults, especially for Mum. The way it works for me is that, pretty much ever since I was born, or at least ever since I remember, I would very regularly get bronchitis. Like, I couldn’t get sick with a normal cold, flu or stuff, it always had to be bronchitis. A lot of doctors, whenever they diagnosed me with it, said it must have not been “treated properly” the last time I had it so it came back, so I was often wondering how come no one knows how to treat it properly. I would always get some kind of antibiotic, sometimes two or three, one after another, and then it would go away and come back next year, or sometimes even after a few months. At some point I just got used to the fact that I got that weird thing once or twice a year where I first got a really sore throat and impressive amounts of snot, then would go really hoarse for a few days and sounded as if I’d been smoking longer than I’d been alive, and then all the snot would gradually go down into my airways and make me phlegmy and wheezy. As a small kid I often got fever with that and felt very ill, but as I got older, aside from the sore throat, coughing for weeks or sometimes months and the discomfort related to being filled with gunk I felt absolutely fine and would just go to school and do everything as normal, and everyone figured I just am like this and that if I feel okay and don’t get fever or anything it’s probably more like allergy thann actual bronchitis though my usual allergy meds only worked so-so. It always took really long to develop, and it frustrated me and my Mum that despite that, there didn’t seem to be any way to nip t in the bud before it developed properly. I still haven’t found a way to do that even though things are much better these days. Sometimes some people who saw me not very regularly assumed that coughing up mucus and wheezing must be my normal, everyday state lol. I remember one volunteer in particular who worked in our boarding school group and it happened so that she only came during autumn for a few years in a row, and she was so worried about me and was like: “Gosh, are you always ill like this?” ๐Ÿ˜€ At some point in my teens I suppose my system had enough of that and I got really ill with high fever and feeling weak and like absolute crap so that I had to go home and stayed there for a few months. My Mum was really worried because I apparently also looked like I was really ill and she was afraid it must be something really serious but every doctor kept saying it’s just allergy or just bronchitis. Finally we ended up finding an allergist who took a real good look at my phlegmy history, and then later on also at my other family members’ more or less similar issues, and he figured that yes, it is bronchitis, but, from what I understood, it’s something based on asthma, which I had no idea I had, and this bronchitis thing is simply the only manifestation of asthma that occurs for me, which apparently classifies it as episodic, although my Mum was also diagnosed by him with episodic asthma but hers looks a lot different so I suppose there can be very many faces to episodic asthma. So he gave me some different antibiotic for that and totally different allergy meds that I was to take only during these episodes, and suddenly I was all fine within two weeks. Then for the next couple years I kept getting it real bad with fever and everything but used more or less the same medication regimen and it would last shorter and shorter and be milder and milder every year. Finally when I had it two years ago I didn’t even need the antibiotic anymore and last year I didn’t have the bronchitis at all. So I was actually a little bit surprised and bummed when it came back again a few weeks ago as I thought maybe finally it had been “treated properly” for good. I actually got a bit freaked out, because my allergist has now retired and doesn’t work anywhere anymore, so I was scared what I’ll do if it gets really bad again and that it will be a lot of hassle filling someone else in who doesn’t know my history that well and isn’t quite as flexible with things. I did feel real crappy and weak for quite some time and sleep was the only thing I felt like doing, and even had fever for the first few days, but my respiratory symptoms were really really mild compared with all the previous times, I didn’t even have almost any cough as such at all, so I just took all the meds I usually take for the bronchitis excluding the antibiotic and ate a lot of things that help to reduce mucus and tried not to get too close with Misha (officially I am allergic to cats, which is normally very mild for Misha probably thanks to my autosuggestion but when I’m sick with this thing I try to be cautious and don’t let him into my bedroom or anything, but it didn’t seem like he was too upset about that) and it’s almost all cleared out now, and I’m feeling great. Meanwhile my poor Mum keeps coughing, and now it’s her who gets weird comments and questions from people: “Wow, are you sick still, or again?” “Covid, eh?” “Have you tried…?”

Just as I started recovering, it was my Dad who got sick and he claimed he caught it from me. I’m not really sure it’s possible if my bronchitis is asthma-based or something for someone else who doesn’t have asthma to catch it, but, like, what do I know. Also my Dad doesn’t belong to the phlegmy club normally, it’s just the three of us. Unfortunately he had to work the first few days of his illness, but then thankfully managed to get along with his colleague with whom they work shifts that he’ll take over until Dad recovers properly which is really great. Then over the weekend things actually got worse with him, he now has real bad sounding, chesty cough and is just overall not feeling well. He was tested for Covid, because he said he had something wrong with his sense of taste, but it came negative. So yesterday Mum drove him to the doctor, and, surprise… it’s bronchitis. ๐Ÿ˜€ Mum and me still doubt that it’s mine that he caught, he probably just has your usual bronchitis that normal people get sometimes. He’s now on an antibiotic and keeps feeling really miserable as far as I can tell based on the very miserable cues he’s sending. Today Mum figured that she could do cupping for him, she usually does that when anyone in the family is sick with a cold or something similar. But then she forgot that there was an online parents’ meeting for Sofi’s class so she had to be there. My grandad had finally taught me how to do cupping last year, which was a very stressful process but now I feel relatively confident doing it, so when I did my Norwegian and saw what the situation was I offered that I could do it for Dad, and both Mum and he were happy with that so I did. So that’s why I’m now thinking about all that illness stuff. I really hope Dad recovers quickly, because so far for the last few days it doesn’t seem like he’s been doing any better.

So, how about you? ๐Ÿ™‚

Floraleda Sacchi – “Skin Against Skin”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

For today, I thought I’d share with you some original work by this great and versatile Italian harpist. This piece comes from her 2020 album called Chiaroscuro Harp.

https://open.spotify.com/track/6QrxQWXir9vtzcCkrsSn4W?si=1e74c9d764c5415d

Floraleda Sacchi – “Skin Against Skin”.

Jack Vreeswijk – “Cornelis”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’m sharing with you something from Jack Vreeswijk, but quite different from most of his music. For those newbies here who have very little idea who Jack (and Cornelis) Vreeswijk is, I’ll very briefly explain that Jack is the son of Cornelis, and Cornelis Vreeswijk was a singer, songwriter and poet, currently very famous in Sweden, despite actually being Dutch as he emigrated to Sweden as a child. Jack is also a great musician, writing his own music and covering his dad’s.

In 2010, Amir Chamdin made a film about Cornelis Vreeswijk’s life, which was the first ever film in Swedish that I watched (totally wasn’t easy especially without any audiodescription at all but I ended up watching it many many times so in the end it was a success ๐Ÿ˜€ ). Since the film is all about a musician, there’s a lot of music in it. And the original soundtrack has been written by Jack. I felt a whole lot of sadness when watching this film, and still when I listen to this soundtrack, I always have the same feelings. So this is the main theme from this film.

Jack Vreeswijk – “Cornelis”.

Adrian von Ziegler – “Woodland Tales”.

Hey guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

For today, I’d like to share with you something from this Swiss producer and composer of Celtic music, who has reached quite a popularity online. I’ve heard quite a few people who claim that they like Celtic music but aren’t like super deep into it or maybe don’t know extremely much about it but just sort of like relaxing music with strong Celtic influences, mentioning him among their favourite artists and saying that they really like to listen to his music. He is quite a versatile musician, and I can’t say I love absolutely all of his music, but I really do like some of it, the more Celticky Celtic the better for me. This, I think, is a very atmospheric piece.

Gwenan Gibbard – “Calon Drom” (Heavy Heart).

Hi guys! ๐Ÿ™‚

For today, I’d like to share with you something from the Welsh Celtic harpist, singer and songwriter Gwenan Gibbard. This time it’s her original song, from her 2013 album Cerdd Dannau”. Unfortunately my understanding of these lyrics is far from full, so I don’t feel capable of translating them for you.

Song of the day (18th November) – Enaid – “Guinevere’s Tears”.

Hey people! ๐Ÿ™‚

When I had a phase in my life when I was into various things new age, that also included music and that’s when I came across the music of Diane and David Arkenstone. I no longer really listen to their music, primarily because I’m no longer new age-y but Christian, but also because simply it no longer really speaks to me. However, there is this one piece that I still really like. Diane and her friend used to do a music project that they called Enaid (which is Diane spelt backwards but also means soul in Welsh which I think they well must have been aware of given the obvious Celtic connections in their music), and as part of that, they released an album called Avalon – A Celtic Legend. And this piece of music that I still love from them comes from this very album and is called Guinevere’s Tears. I think it’s very evocative.

Say Lou Lou – “Everything We Touch”.

Hiya people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’d like to share some synthpop with you, for a change. Say Lou Lou (previously also known under the name Saint Lou Lou) are Swedish and Australian twins Miranda and Elektra Kilbey. Their parents are Steve Kilbey, the vocalist in the Australian alternative rock band The Church, and Karin Jansson from the Swedish new wave band Pink Champagne. The twins have gotten a lot of good reviews and their music is clearly well-liked by a lot of people. I have started listening to their music a couple months ago and there’s something in it that really appeals to me. This is a single from their 2015 album Lucid Dreaming.

How to help someone with emetophobia.

A couple months ago, I wrote a mini series of posts about calming down emetophobia, where I shared

my own story,

and different

coping strategies.

I’m seeing that these posts are getting a steady trickle of traffic from Google, but I’ve also noticed that people have come across these posts asking Google questions more along the lines of: “How to support someone with emetophobia” or “How do I help someone with emetophobia” etc. As I often say, I like to know that when people come here looking for something, they can find it, as long as it is realistic and also in line with what I want my blog to be. And I thought this would be a very important topic to talk about as well, because despite it is a pretty common phobia, it is not very well understood and must be particularly difficult to understand for people who haven’t experienced any specific phobia.

In this post, I’m just going to do some brainstorming and list all sorts of things that come to my mind that you can do, or that you should not do, to help and support your a friend or your child or your partner or anyone else in your life with emetophobia. If you have any other ideas, strategies that you have used and that work well in your relationship with an emetophobic, or if you’re an emetophobic yourself and have something to add, feel free to share.

  • ย ย  Ask the person directly. This is a very obvious one, but I think it’s very important. While there are a lot of people with emetophobia and their experiences have a lot in common, we’re all different people, and if you’re helping a specific person, it’s always a good idea to ask them how you can help, especially if you have a strong and close relationship and can have a very honest, open discussion. Sometimes though, answering such a question can be very difficult, for example if the person in question is currently in a panic mode, has difficulty opening up, or is confused and unsure of what she would find most helpful, or if it’s a small child. In such cases, additional questions might help, for example: “Would you like to talk about your fear?” “Would you like to go out and do something fun?” “Would it be helpful if I gave you a hug?” etc.
  • Educate yourself. Sometimes, for people with a phobia, even talking about it may be difficult and/or triggering. Therefore, while it is important that you know the nature of your loved one’s fear if you want to help effectively and are serious about it, it is not always the best idea to throw dozens of questions at them like what exactly they’re afraid of in vomiting and why. Yes, it is important to ask questions if and when the other person is comfortable with it, and talk about the problem, but this needs to be done in the right circumstances and both you and your loved one will find it a lot easier if you as the supporter do your homework and read possibly indepth about this phobia. Since you’re reading this, you’re clearly on the right track. ๐Ÿ™‚ Learn about how and why phobias develop, what are the symptoms of emetophobia, what are possible therapies, common triggers for people with this fear, read personal accounts of people who have this condition etc. This way, once you start seriously talking about the problem with your loved one, you’ll be better equipped to help and have a much clearer idea of what you’re dealing with.
  • Listen and ask questions. If a person themself wants to talk about their fear with you, it will surely mean a lot to them and show how much you care if you’ll listen carefully, ask questions and try not to judge. If the person doesn’t initiate such conversations themself, you could try doing it yourself at the right moment. By the right moment I mean that it would be best that you try to raise the topic while the person is doing reasonably well, so not necessarily right after their fear has been triggered by something. That will make it more likely that they’ll share more and be able to think a little more rationally about their fear than what they would be capable of in the midst of panic, I feel especially when it comes to children. Don’t press them too much if they’re reluctant, but gently try again after some time. If you’ll continue to show them care and patience, it’s very likely that at some point they will open up, because dealing with something like this alone is difficult, and they’ll see that they can trust you. Ask questions like when did the problem start for them, how does it affect them or how does it make them feel, so you can get a clear picture of their specific case of this phobia.
  • Distract. Talking about our fears is a good thing, but because a phobic’s brain tends to spin around their fear all the time anyway, sometimes all that they need is the exact opposite. Often, when someone is being very anxious due to emetophobia, it’ll be more beneficial to talk to them about something that they find interesting or try to make them laugh or occupy them with something or get out of the house, rather than focus on the emetophobia together with them. With children and teenagers, make sure that they have things to do with their free time – interests they can develop, extracurricular activities to go to, friends to hang out with, things to look forward to each week. –
  • Don’t minimise. If your loved one shares with you about their fear of vomit, take it seriously. If it’s a kid, don’t try to tell them or yourself that they’ll grow out of it or that it’s just a phase. Yes, it may well be the case, as emetophobia often gets better with age, but for now, it’s still there, causing the child a lot of suffering, and it needs to be taken care of appropriately. Children don’t have the same idea about the future that adults do, so telling them that at some point they won’t have emetophobia anymore (which you cannot know for sure anyway) doesn’t do much. Don’t try to make it seem normal, like: “Well, everyone is a little afraid of vomit, it’s not pleasant for anyone”. There’s a difference between being a little afraid or not liking something and having a phobia.
  • Don’t make jokes about it. It sounds like an obvious thing that would only require some basic empathy and emotional maturity to figure out, but that’s something that surprisingly many people that I have come across with all sorts of phobias have to deal with from those who have no phobias and consider it funny how trivial some people’s fears are. Do not make pretend gagging noises around an emetophobic, joke that you have poisoned their food, say the words of which you know that freak them out on purpose, show them videos featuring vomit, vomiting or vomiting sounds, joke that you’re going to vomit etc. etc. etc. to see their reactions. Imagine such a thing: you’re abducted by aliens, and they find you particularly interesting because you have the ability to feel pain, which they do not. So they test all sorts of things on you whether they’ll cause you pain and how much, which obviously causes you a lot of pain and fear and torture, but they don’t really know what pain is like so they don’t know how much suffering the things they’re doing are causing you. That’s very similar to what’s going on when you’re making fun of someone who has a phobia that you don’t have.
  • Help them learn various coping skills they could use. This is particularly relevant if you’re helping a child/teenager. I’m talking about both coping skills specifically for emetophobia, as well as anxiety in general. For example you could help them learn to observe their body and differentiate between what might be anxiety vs. physical sickness, or give them a comfort item like a blanket or a stuffed animal that they could snuggle into when feeling anxious. Make sure that they know they’re not aloone, that this is a common fear, that it has a name and that there are known ways to overcome it.
  • Don’t draw too much unnecessary attention to the fear. When you see that the person is very anxious and you know or suspect it might be due to emetophobia, don’t ask things like “Do you think you’re going to be sick?” “Do you have nausea?” “Did you vomit?!” Don’t share stories with them about people you know who vomited in such and such circumstances. I am absolutely sure your intentions are the best, but things like this really aren’t helpful. For many emetophobics, the mere word vomit is a huge trigger and it scares them when they hear it, and when someone asks something like “Are you going to be sick?” it might feel like after this it’s inevitable for them to be sick. It’s irrational, but that’s the nature of phobias, after all. If you ask: “Do you have nausea?” that’s pretty much bound to make an emetophobic nauseated right this very minute if they weren’t before. Also, despite it may seem like a paradox, there are a lot of emetophobics who very rarely, if ever, vomit, so it’s not like they’re scared of it because they’re so unlucky that they do it ultra frequently, therefore you don’t really need to worry all the time that they will, because they worry about it more than enough.
  • Respect their quirks, even if they don’t make sense. Like I just said, people with emetophobia might have a fear not only around vomiting alone, but also some or all words relating to it. They might be very reluctant to use it themselves and use acronyms like v* or n* or some code words. They may also feel very anxious if those words are used around them by others. They may also have a lot of foods that they don’t eat for fear that they will make them vomit, wash their hands gazillion times a day, have some compulsions that they believe will prevent them from vomiting, avoid you when you’ve had a stomach bug etc. All this may seem very silly and strange to you, but I’m sure it will affect your relationship very well if you try to be accepting of this, rather than making comments about how irrational and nonsensical this is or purposefully using their trigger words around them or serving them food that you know they do not eat. Of course what they’re doing isn’t healthy, but it will have to be their choice to decide when they want to face their fears and start healing, rather than yours or anyone else’s, and it’s definitely not an easy one, so it might take a LOT of time sometimes until they make this decision.

So, there you have it! I hope you’ll find this list helpful and that it gave you some ideas as for what to do.

What else do you think should be on it? ๐Ÿ™‚