How do I calm down my emetophobia? (part 2) Coping strategies.

See part 1 here.

This is the part 2 of my mini series about emetophobia. In this part, I want to put together some tips, tricks and ideas that work for me or that I know of for people who also struggle with this phobia. For the sake of people who have a strong fear around the associated words, unlike in the first part, I will be replacing any trigger words with only their first letters. The section dealing with exposure may be more or less triggering for some.

   Mindset

One thing, perhaps not the healthiest out there, that has helped me a lot ever since I’ve become aware of this mechanism is the understanding that, seriously, people with emetophobia are less likely, at least on average, to v* than people who don’t have this fear. Part of this may be all sorts of things we do to prevent it, and that many of us simply aren’t all that prone to it, but what I think plays a greater role is that we’re often too stressed and blocked for v* to occur. I think this is a good thing to keep in mind, and very comforting, even though there’s always some chance of it happening. On a similar note, there are people, emetophobic and not, who only v* once in their lifetime, or maybe never at all. Now, imagine you’re one of these people, that you never v*ed for your entire life since the last time you actually did, and imagine that you’re nearing the end of your life, and you’ve been given some crystal ball or a mind superpower, thanks to which you can, reflecting back on your life, see it from different angles, what would happen if you did X or didn’t do Y. And one thing you learn about your life is that, with or without all your efforts, you weren’t meant to v* anymore in your life anyway. Wouldn’t you feel pity for missing out on all the yummy foods you never ate, all the journeys you didn’t take etc. despite deep down you really wanted to, just to avoid something that would never happen regardless of your actions, and that your efforts were essentially meaningless? Of course, we know that most people do v*, so looking at things this way won’t make anyone with emetophobia stop avoiding v*, but I think it’s an interesting perspective to put it in.

   Coping with crisis

   Evaluating how you’re feeling

Something that helps me not to panic right away when something triggers my emetophobia is to focus on how exactly I am actually feeling, to determine whether what I’m feeling is truly physical, or is it just my anxiety. N* is my primary anxiety symptom so sometimes it’s difficult, but I’m getting better at it every time. Basically, when I start feeling n*, or anything else that I think could potentially lead to v* and feel distressed about it, I try to establish how bad it is. You can try asking yourself questions like the ones below and see if you can answer them at all, which I guess won’t necessarily be easy at every severity stage of emetophobia, and if you can answer them, perhaps the answers will help to reassure you. For me, that’s most often the case.

  • Are you able to function normally the way you’re feeling now, or would you rather just lay in bed?
  • How about things that you normally enjoy, are you able to do them now with the way you’re feeling or are you feeling too s*? I think it’s important to differentiate here between feeling too * and not being focused on anything else than the way you’re feeling and that it might lead to v*, which also can make it difficult to enjoy anything.
  • What exactly makes you think it may end up with v*? For me personally, n* alone, unless it’s really intense, isn’t a valid argument, because like I said I experience it a lot due to anxiety and n* itself never made me v*.
  • Totally hypothetically, would you be able to eat something, and what could it be? By being able I mean physically, not whether your emetophobic brain thinks it’s safe to do it or not, but, like, what’s your reaction when you think about food? If you had it guaranteed that, regardless how bad you’re feeling and what you’ll choose to eat, you will not v* after eating, would there be something you’d actually like to eat right now? Or does thinking about any food make you feel worse and eating is the last thing you want to do? Or maybe you’re actually hungry but your brain doesn’t want you to know? People could have n* when they’re very hungry or have low blood sugar, maybe it’s the case with you?

Distraction

Then the next key thing in my opinion is effective distraction. I know, it’s fiendishly difficult when you’re feeling anxious, so it’s good to have some sort of distraction toolbox prepared beforehand, so that you don’t have to frantically come up with ways to calm yourself down and distract while already in the grip of emetophobia. Read something interesting. Watch your favourite series. Go for a walk if you’re feeling well enough, play a game. Talk to someone, preferably not about your fears as that won’t really distract you, unless you clearly feel that that’s what you need to talk about. Personally I don’t like talking to people about my emetophobia too much at the time when it’s really bad, because it only makes me feel worse and sort of like that if it’s so bad that I need to talk about it to someone, it must be really bad. I only talk to people about it when I absolutely can’t cope. Otherwise, I think it’s a lot better to just chat about something as far from it as possible that will engage your brain or make you laugh, just shift your emotions from hyperfocusing on all things n* and v*. Listen to music. Or engage in any other activity that you find interesting, but also sufficiently emotionally involving, so that there’s no space left for the anxiety. I find that what works best for me specifically is some intellectual activity that requires focusing a lot, or sometimes listening to other people and whatever problems they might be having, unless things are too rubbish and I just can’t focus. Lite and rather passive activities like reading hardly ever work.

Breathing

That’s quite crucially important imo. I’m shitty with it, it’s really difficult, but breathing properly really makes a difference with anxiety, it’s not just a cliche. Breathing also comes in very handy when things totally spiral out of control and you’re about to v*. When you breathe deeply through your nose, chances are you can make the feeling go away. It’s also definitely a good thing to find some relaxation technique that you like and that works for you. I find mindfulness not very helpful with this specific kind of fear because, really, focusing on your sensations is the last thing you want to do when your emetophobia gets triggered. 😀 What I like a lot is some kind of imageries, visualisations, and, even more so, grounding exercises. I don’t know if grounding can work for everyone, probably part of why it works for me is because it can sometimes help me more or less with dizziness, and dizziness triggers my emetophobia. Have something, or someone, that you find comforting close to you, like your pet or your favourite fluffy blanket, or your safe person, or some object you have a strong connection to, whatever works. I like to have Misha around in such situations, listen to his breath and heartbeat, feel his fur, it’s really calming.

Exposure and trying to overcome your fear

When you have managed to get through the crisis safely and are no longer triggered, you might think about how to reduce or completely get rid of this fear. I think this is very comforting news that it so often seems to diminish over time as people age. That does seem to be the case with me, although other things have come into play. Exposure therapy can be a great thing, if you’re brave enough. I know a couple people who have managed to overcome emetophobia with great success largely thanks to it. I perfectly realise though that it sounds very scary to many people and it takes guts (hehe) to make such a decision, and many of us don’t have enough of them for that. I, for one, did not. I had some experience with it with my first therapist, who was mostly CBT but also used other modalities a lot, and she encouraged me that we could try it with one of my anxieties, not emetophobia-related). After some initial fears and hesitation and with a lot of reassurance on her part I courageously decided I’ll give it a go, as I was actually very curious what’s at the core of it and why that thing scared me as badly as it did, and still does. But unfortunately we didn’t even go through it fully because there was just one mini thing that didn’t go quite the way it was supposed to, which resulted in my fear getting worse and me not wanting to hear about exposure therapy ever again, and I still feel the same way about it.

Still, even those of us who don’t like the idea of exposure therapy can do some mini exposure by ourselves as much as it’s possible, and slowly, gradually go out of our comfort zone. Can you think of something that you CAN handle about v*? It may be still scary and/or uncomfortable, but doesn’t scare you quite as badly as other aspects of v*. For example such thing for me is the words relating to the v*. Yes, they ARE scary, they are gross, and when I’m feeling very unwell mentally they can trigger me, but usually I can handle hearing them quite well with minor or sometimes no distress at all, unlike v*ing myself or hearing someone do it or reading some graphic descriptions or eating something that is very very risky.

So, if you’re like me, you could try and expose yourself at least to these words a bit more, so that they feel even less scary. Say them out loud, think about them, or write them on a piece of paper, or read in a book, as long as they don’t appear in any graphic scene, unless you feel brave enough for this then sure, why not. I remember once reading an article somewhere about emetophobia and there was a suggestion, mostly geared at children, I think, that I really liked, about how you can try to deal with fear of the words. Take some well-known song, or even just its title, or a book title, or a film title, a nursery rhyme, a saying, whatever simple thing like that, and replace one word in it with v*, so that it’ll sound funny or weird or just silly and meaningless, or gross. Like: “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of v*”. I believe this technique is called reciprocal inhibition, where you try to replace one feeling with another. And so while it might still scare you at first, at some point humour will likely win and you’ll be less scared. Also it’s just meant to show you that these are just words and can’t harm you as such, and it’s a way of familiarising yourself with them and desensitising your brain to them. I have done things like that and, while I still consider these words grosser and more unpleasant than an average person, and still they can mess things up if I’m not feeling well, but generally they are nowhere near such a big deal as they used to be.

Or if you are scared of v*ing yourself, but less so of other people doing so, you could watch a movie where someone does it. Or if human v* is too scary, do what I did and get yourself a cat, they have such sensitive digestive systems that most of them v* very regularly and at this point I don’t find it as extremely disturbing as I did at the beginning, especially that Misha takes great care to always do it in my room and makes sure that I get my dose of exposure.

When you’re feeling relatively stable overall, you could try and eat something that you particularly liked and miss from your unsafe food items list, even just a very small amount. And then, if you feel okay afterwards, try to eat more of it. And then another product. And so on and so forth. It’s an extremely gratifying feeling whenever you manage to succeed at that and realise this product no longer needs to be considered unsafe. Especially that a lot of things that we cross out, we actually like to eat. My most recent achievement in this field is from about half a year ago when I started to eat waffles again. I don’t even remember now how they ended up on my no-no list. You could also try eating out if you struggle with this, even just a very small meal at first.

Daily life coping strategies

But exposing ourselves to things won’t always eliminate the fear entirely, therefore I feel it’s important to have your strategies as for how to deal with things on a daily basis, to make life easier and less scary.

I recently had a thought that it’s a bit of a pity that we have all those no-no foods, but not many emetophobics put quite as much thought in making something like a mental oh-yeah food list, so basically a list of things that we consider safe and like to eat. Maybe that doesn’t make sense since you usually know what you like and what you can eat pretty automatically, but I feel like it’s still good to acknowledge this somehow, because having all those unsafe foods it’s easy to subconsciously jump to the conclusion that food in general is unsafe, when I think most of us do have some food items that are safe, even if for some people they are rather few.

And speaking of safe foods, I believe it’s also a good idea to have some kind of edible things that you find to be helpful for you with things like n*, for when you actually feel bad and like you may v*, whether it’s caused by anxiety or a tummy bug or illness. My best friend in this department is ginger, I really really really love it, just plain because of its taste as well as for its antiemetic properties. I like to suck on it when I’m feeling n* or add it to my tea. Speaking of teas, I think chamomile is the most trustworthy when it comes to emetophobia, although It also has loads of other properties. Another one I drink when I’m worried I might v* is… sheesh, I don’t even know the English name for this plant! 😀 We literally call it wild rose in Polish and apparently it’s rosa canina in Latin. But chamomile is always my first choice. Peppermint is a good substitute for ginger. I know people who find sucking on ice cubes helpful. I think this idea probably comes from that it’s often recommended for people who actually DO v*, like after chemo, and ice is given to them to help with hydration, but I don’t really see how it could help with preventing potential v*. Still, since a lot of what we experience is psychosomatic, there’s nothing wrong with having your own little strategies that work even if they aren’t proven or anything, because they work for you and that’s what matters, as long as your entire quality of life isn’t dependent on it, regardless whether it’s a placebo or not. As some of you may know, I have a weird affinity with ice so I like sucking on it sometimes regardless. 😀 Eating more protein-rich meals (as opposed to more rich in carbs or fats) also may potentially help with n* or queasiness a bit.

Also, find scents that help you, if you haven’t already. Scents that help you both with n* and feeling s* as well as scents that you find generally relaxing. Can’t say much more on this as I myself can’t really feel most scents.

Have some strategy for a crisis situation like when someone in your family is s*. This will be different for everyone, what things you want to use to keep yourself healthy and how you will want to deal with the situation and make it bearable. My safe bet is apple cider vinegar, although it’s not wise to go over the top with it or use it long-term, as then it can actually make your gut worse, and different people have different opinions on its effectiveness. While it’s not a very healthy way to cope, if you really have no other way of coping at the moment and you’re very scared, there are antiemetic drugs that you can get over the counter for the time being like Hydroxyzine which is also anxiolytic. Probiotics may also be helpful, or foods/drinks that have such properties, my fav here is kefir.

And last, but not least, whether you do decide to go the exposure therapy route, I think it’s important, or at least really beneficial to have someone who understands those things. Find a talk therapist who has some experience with this, some fellow human being with this phobia, or tell your friend about it if you feel they will be able to empathise, so that you aren’t alone with this. As I said earlier, talking and analysing it all through isn’t always the best way to go, at least not for me, but there are times when you just need to put it all off your chest and in such case of course it’s important that the other person understands what you’re talking about. Having someone like this is also helpful for making progress, as they can motivate you and be there for you while you’re trying to overcome your v* fears.

That’s all I’ve come up with. Do you have any other ways in which you calm down your emetophobia? Or if you have any other kind of phobia, how do you cope with it? 🙂

The Human Life of Misha Hhrrru? ep. 7.

January 7.

I am Misha. I am 7. It’s Monday. I hate Mondays, but today is a very good day. Well okay, besides that I’m sick. But if I wasn’t sick, it wouldn’t be a good day, because I would have to go to school.

My best friend Feluś came to me for the weekend, for two sleeps, and we had lots of fun. I’ve got skates for Christmas from my parents and am still learning how to iceskate. So yesterday we both went to the rink, because Feluś can skate a little bit too, my dad took us, and we were skating. But it was frrrrreezing! And I didn’t want to take my hat with me, because I don’t like it. It’s gross. I wanted to go out without it but mum started yelling “Misha! Misha! Take your hat with you or your ears will fall off!”. But that hat is really awful and cringey and the last time I wore it to school a few boys were laughing at me that I look like an idiot in it and asked me whether my granny crocheted it for me. Mum says I look cute, but Mum always says I look cute, so I think they know better, this time at least. So I just pretended I couldn’t hear her. It was really cold and my ears did feel like they wanted to fall off, but they didn’t and I was brave and tried not to show how cold I was, though dad said my ears were very red and if I wanted to go home. Of course I didn’t. I like iceskating, you know? I am getting better at it. I am still a little bit unsteady but I don’t fall as often as I used to. It’s a lot of fun. I’m sure that soon I’ll be able to iceskate as fast and smoothly as my mum. Feluś fell once and hurt his knee, and looked as if he wanted to cry, but he was brave too, and didn’t. Luckily nothing bad happened to his knee, it was only a bit bruised, but I’m sure it must have hurt him a lot. I wouldn’t laugh if he cried, or call him a cry baby, as some other nasty people do. So yeah, we had lots of fun, and then when we came back mum said that we looked all blue from cold so she made us a bubble bath, and we were making soap bubbles and were splashing at each other. In the evening I was very tired and went to bed just after we watched some telly and Feluś’s grandma came to take him. I was exhausted.
I had a long dream, in which I was skating, all happy, and then suddenly I saw a big monster, who started to pull my ears, and drag me around the iceskate so very, very fast, and I was scared. He was whirling around with me and I screamed and cried, and then I couldn’t keep up anymore and fell down, and he was still dragging me around on my knees, and I had such large, disgusting bruises on them. I woke up and it was still dark, my ears were hurting, my throat was hurting and my head was hurting, and I couldn’t swallow, and I was so cold that I shook like a leaf. A lonely leaf. A lonely leaf always shakes more because he doesn’t have other leaves to keep him warm. And I always say that I’m lonely as a leaf, and everyone says it’s strange, because leaves are always in a bunch, even when they fall. But when most of the leaves on a tree fall, sometimes one stays and is the last to fall. And sometimes when the leaves fall, the wind will take one away from all the other leaves. Is it strange to feel lonely as a leaf? So I was shaking as a leaf, and I wanted to call mum, to close my window, I thought it was open because it was so cold, and I didn’t want to get up because it was just too cold and I was too tired. But I was too hoarse to call her, and it was so dark that I thought she must be sleeping. I raised up in bed and saw that the window was closed, and mum even put a blanket over me. I pulled it closer so that I was almost all hidden under it, and soon I fell asleep again. The next time I woke up it was very light and I could hear some papers rustling in mum’s study, and when I called her she came to me immediately. “Mum? I feel sick, I can’t go to school.” – I screeched. – “No, don’t worry, you won’t. It’s noon already. I was trying to wake you up in the morning but you wouldn’t even move. The next time you go iceskating you will put your hat on, won’t you?” “No, because it’s ugly.” – I said, and felt so happy that I don’t have to go to school.
I don’t feel well, my ears are throbbing and snotting every 5 seconds but at least I can do my plast plast thingy. Plast plast is how I call arts – painting and drawing and modelling and cutting and gluing and all that. – I love plast plast! Mum went out to the shops. I’m lucky because our family doctor isn’t at work today, so I didn’t have to go see him, will do tomorrow! Or maybe he’s sick too? I hate going to doctors, I almost never have to. I don’t like the smells in there, and people coughing and sneezing all around me, and the doctor putting that stick in my mouth, eww. And I hate medicines. Mum only gives me vitamin C now, it’s good because it’s fizzy and doesn’t taste too gross, but she says I’ll probably have to stay at home for a week, and take a lot of medicines. The first thing is great, the latter is horrible. It’s also a pity that I can’t play with Feluś. Actually, who invents illnesses and why? I would like to know. I’ve always wanted to be a painter when I grow up, but if I could be both a painter and an inventor, I’d like that. Then I’d invent such an illness that would last very long, and everyone would see straight away that you’re ill so you wouldn’t have to stick your tongue or measure your temperature, they’d just know, so you wouldn’t have to go to school or work, but you would feel well, or only a little little bit sick, so you can go out to play and have adventures, bruise your knees or do whatever you want and no one can tell you that you can’t. You just can’t do things that you don’t like and talk to people you don’t like because then you will infect them and they will have it too, you only want to infect nice people.
The worst thing is that when someone in our house is ill, either dad or me, mum gives us loads of veggies, and I hate them. And my mum isn’t a good cook, so things are always over- or undercooked. But I’ll deal with that somehow, though I am not hungry at all today because it hurts when I swallow and mum has to force me to eat and everything tastes so icky. At least she lets me play on the computer and do as much plast plast as I want and as I can in between having to snot, even with her things. Sometimes it’s very pleasant to be sick.

Question of the day.

When was the last time you did something you were afraid to do?

My answer:

Hm, I’m afraid of quite a few things, and also such things that are quite common to do so you sometimes just have to do them and it’s hard to avoid doing them. Don’t remember when exactly was the last such situation but what first came to my mind when I think about it happened about a week or so ago. As you may recall, despite all my desperate trials of avoiding it earlier this season, I finally got struck with a stomach flu, out of the blue. Now if you don’t know it yet, I’m emetophobic (fear of vomiting and pretty much everything to do with vomit), so it’s a drama in itself, even though the chance of me vomiting was rationally probably really slim considering how extremely rarely it happens to me, these days. I’ve once read an article on a website about emetophobia and I’m not perfectly sure if I understood it right, but the way I understood it, it said that many people with emetophobia are actually so anxious of vomiting that they are sort of blocked and often just can’t do it. If so then it’s possible I’m one of such individuals, though as you may imagine when emetophobia really strikes me, it’s only a little help to know it. So usually if despite all my efforts I do get some tummy bug or anything like that, it seems to be milder for me, like less violent, with no throwing up, but often lingers for a bit longer than for normal people. ANyway, the first day I got that flippin bug, was of course the scariest for me and I felt completely out of control and just overwhelmed by anxiety as much as I rarely am these days, I almost couldn’t think properly, and add all the physical symptoms to it like nausea and fatigue and stomach cramps, it was a nightmare I tell you. And finally Mum told me that whatever is the case of my sickness, I should drink apple cider vinegar – she believes it’s an almost perfect cure for almost all kinds of gastric problems. – And yes practically I do agree with her, apple cider vinegar is my good friend and helped me through many threatening situations where I had to be around sick people or feeling like I might be sick. But this time it was a bit different. A week before I got sick, my brother came home one evening and it turned out he ate something that was poisonous. He also drank apple cider vinegar and straight after that, he threw up. Never mind that it of course helped him to speedily get better, what’s important for me is that he threw up. I’d rather feel sick for days than throw up once. So I was sitting for what felt like eternity with that glass of apple cider vinegar, with my rational mind and anxiety having an incredibly dynamic battle while my brain felt like it’s going to go crazy any minute of all that. Finally, my logical mind won, because I was feeling really bad and because it had Mum on its side , so I drank it but man was it scary. I didn’t throw up, I didn’t feel much better either, until much later the next day after drinking a few more glasses of apple cider vinegar, but hey I do now, and I didn’t throw up yaaaay! That’s what counts. 😀 Some people are adrenalin junkies and overcome their fears of bungee jumping or skydiving, while I get over a stomach bug and feel like a superhero. 🙃

How about you? 🙂

Update on Misha and me.

First of all I wanted to thank all of you once again for all the support and kind thoughts for Misha. It’s way more appreciated than I can express at the moment and means a lot for us. 💙
So as you may know from my yesterday post Misha is sick and that’s for sure now.
I went to sleep almost straight away after writing this post though couldn’t fall asleep for ages, had that awful feeling when you’re just too exhausted emotionally and physically to actually fall asleep. Misha spent some part of the night under my bed, then he threw up again, which messed up with my absolutely fabulously overactive emetophobic brain even more and I felt so sorry for him as he looked so scared and devastated and I was just helpless and scared as well, maybe more than him. 😀 Poor child. So I finally gave up and had to take my sleep meds which I always try to avoid as much as possible but sometimes they can be really saving.
Before I fell asleep Sasha came to me and laid down on me purring so blissfully and loudly, even without me stroking him. He is really such a nice little furball, so very cuddly and joyous. As he lied on me, I felt more grounded and calm under his little, warm body and finally we both fell asleep, although I can’t say I was sleeping well because I was waking like every two hours or so which was really irritating.
Mum gave Misha the antibiotic in the morning, the one he was prescribed yesterday, but he was looking very very poorly. He didn’t eat anything, only drank some water, had diarrhea and fever, although he felt very cold and was shivering just like yesterday. He laid down in his bed – the basket on my bed – and lied there so silently, literally the only way you could actually see he’s alive is to feel his chest moving while breathing, other than that he was so still that it felt utterly scary to me and Zofijka and even to Mum, although she says she isn’t emotionally attached to Misha.
So finally we decided we should go to our local vet to check on him, maybe he would know what’s wrong exactly.
Mum and Sofi ended up packing Misha and driving there twice because the first time they went it was closed so poor thing was quite stressed out, no wonder as he hardly ever leaves the house. Luckily though the vet was indeed able to tell us what’s wrong.
He was actually laughing openly at the thoughtlessness of the vet who vaccinated Misha for cat flu, knowing that Sasha is sick, the more that he was sick with just the same thing. Who on Earth would vaccinate their child if another one is contagiously sick, and why should it be otherwise with pets? That was just what we thought, but obviously you don’t want to come across as a know-all, after all the vet should know better what she does…
Actually, before Misha was vaccinated on Monday, my Mum had one of those inklings she has – the first time they told us to come with Misha for the vaccination and Mum went with him it turned out that they actually didn’t have the vaccine at the moment, then the second time they went was just the same, and my Mum started to wonder out of the blue that maybe it means Misha shouldn’t be vaccinated. Then they planned to go for the third time, but Mum had to collect Dad so they didn’t.
As I said my Mum has such inklings or impulses quite often, she really seems to have a good intuition. It might look a bit like some superstitiality or something like this, but she really acts as if she had some sixth sense sometimes, and generally she’s not superstitious at all, quite the opposite. Oh gosh what a long digression!
So our local vet to whom Misha went today laughed at that vet quite honestly, and told Mum that Misha most probably has caught cat flu from Sasha and this is its very beginning. But because Misha was also vaccinated, plus has been very stressed lately, and not coming out of the house much, it might be a bit more severe than Sasha’s, as his autoimmune system is probably weaker due to all that.
He gave Misha two injections with no problem – although the emergency vet to whom they went yesterday couldn’t manage to do it and Misha broke the needle – and he told Mum to come with Misha again on Saturday to see how things are going. So it’s probably much less serious than it looks.
Mum mentioned to him that Misha is so very stressed out lately and so very fearful, that he’s always been rather prone to anxiety, but since Sasha is with us he seems much more stressed, and he prescribed him something mildly sedative that he can take ad hoc when he’s more stressed, like at such times as now, when he has a lot to cope with emotionally. When I heard all that, I felt somewhat relieved and so did Zofijka and Mum.
I can’t say though that Misha is doing better. What’s for sure though, is that he’s not worse and he’s even eaten a little, so we’re very hopeful.
Sasha is so very caring of him. He’s really such a kind-hearted baby. I went to Misha about an hour ago to check how he’s doing and I found Sasha sitting by his side and purring. Misha was indifferent and rather not encouraging to make any closer relationships with him, but Sasha didn’t care. He really likes Misha. He always purrs and hhrrrus when he sees him, though Misha usually runs away. It’s not like Misha doesn’t like him – he’s not hostile or anything anymore – he just seems like he still needs time to adapt to the situation.
When it comes to me, as I said I feel significantly relieved after all those news and that Misha is relatively stable even if still poorly, though I feel like it hasn’t sunk in in my brain yet. I can’t say I’m feeling well emotionally today.
I’m kinda agitated all day and very anxious in general, don’t know if it’s actually about Misha or for no particular reason. I’m just feeling sort of wired and antsy and jittery and my thoughts are racing quicker than horses and I feel like all the sounds and smells and everything was way more intense than normally and sort of overwhelming, – that thing happens to me quite often but today it’s really pretty distracting – but at the same time I feel exhausted. I don’t even know how to exactly describe it. My anxiety is pretty bad but as I said I’m not really sure of the reason so the more it’s hard for me to get rid of it. I guess I just have to get through this and can’t do much about it at the moment. I rarely feel that way, I mean agitated and like I can’t sit still for too long, usually my anxiety doesn’t look that way, so it feels rather awkward and annoying and maybe there’s something deeper to it that I can’t figure out, but honestly I’m not quite in the mood for figuring out anything at the moment, don’t think it would be actually productive. I think I’ll try my luck and go to sleep, who knows maybe I’ll succeed. Sleep well too guys. 🙂

Freaking out.

Guys I’m so panicky and jittery today, I just can’t calm down my mind.

Misha is probably ill. And it doesn’t look too well, if it ever looks well when someone’s sick.

Today we have a vet day overall, because earlier today mum was at the vet with Sasha, whose eyes are very watery and he has runny nose all the time and is hoarse. Sasha is feeling OK overall but those symptoms are still present although he’s been with us for three weeks now and on antibiotics, so Mum decided to go to another vet as she had an inkling there’s something more to it than just blocked tear ducts.

It turned out he has cat flu or I don’t know how it’s called in English, or actually that it is a recurrence because he was treated at his breeder’s before but not long enough. So now he’s taking other meds, and we’re hopeful he’ll get better soon. Other than being tearful and husky and sneezing all the time he’s fine and dandy so we don’t think there’s something to worry about.

But Misha…

I’ve been kind of worried about Misha since Sasha has come to us, he seems to be adjusted now to his new little friend, unless he invades his privacy or something, though I’ve had an impression he’s even more wary and anxious than before Sasha came. I tried to rationalise it that maybe it’s more visible now that Sasha lives with us and Sasha is so cuddly and energetic and all Misha’s individual traits are now more expressed or something. And maybe it is so.

But since like yesterday I had even an impression that he’s actually kind of sad and dejected. Well, he may be anxious, a loner, very withdrawn and it’s hard to figure out what he feels, but you couldn’t say he’s sad, when he’s his normal self. He’s actually pretty cheerful and humourous in his way. But yesterday, he was sad.

Last night he came to me, I didn’t even know it. I was already in bed, and he hid under it, as he often does when he doesn’t wish to be cuddled, because no one can get him out of there even if they want. He likes to sleep there, although I don’t think it’s the most comfortable place.

And suddenly I heard such a strange noise…. before I even realised I heard it, my heart started racing. I think everyone would be scared to hear some strange noises from under your bed if you don’t know that someone is sitting there since probably a few hours. Then I realised it has to be Misha, and that it sounds a bit like vomiting, or choking, or whatever.

Whatever it could be, if you’re emetophobic like me, you have yet another reason to be scared now.

In a way I got used to cat vomit since Misha lives with us, it’s much less anxiety provoking and triggery than human, the more that he usually does it very discreetly and away from us and it’s not me who has the honour to clean it up, and it’s usually not contagious, still though, I am quite anxious when it happens to him.

But this time it was worse, like more violent, I just felt like it sounded more serious.

He calmed down pretty quickly though so I tried to persuade my brain to forget about it.

After some time he wanted me to let him out so I did and Mum just came back from her friend’s so I went downstairs to her and told her that Misha was choking or vomiting very violently, but to my surprise she didn’t find anything extraordinary under my bed.

So I thought I can sleep peacefully and it was just some weird incident.

In the morning though Mum told me that she heard weird noises at night in the living room so she went there and found Misha choking and vomiting with foam, but said he calmed down quickly after she came to him.

So then I was already alarmed, though Mum said he probably ate something not edible or just ate too much.

And that would make sense – Misha sometimes likes to eat really weird things, despite all his classiness and aristocratic manners. If you leave him in the bathroom and there is water in the bathtube, he will drink it, even if there is soap melted, or shampoo, or bathsalt, or whatever you wish, he’s crazy about water. So maybe that’s why there was foam?

Still though I couldn’t stop worry about him although I was sure there’s no reason and i am just panicking like a neurotic spinster-catmummyfreak. I couldn’t help it though. I always freak out when it comes to Misha, because he’s the most precious thing I have. Even when he came to us, guess what was my first thought when I saw him?? “Oh God how beautiful he is, I love him, what will I do when he dies?” I was scared of even thinking of it, but it just popped in to my mind so suddenly…

I wanted to play with Misha a little in the morning, but he was definitely not in the mood. Then he went to Mum’s bedroom and just curled up there and slept.

I went horse riding then and, well do I need to say it was fabulous, only that it would be even more if I wouldn’t think constantly about Misha and wouldn’t be mad at myself for freaking out for no reason.

When we came home, I found Misha still curled up in Mum’s bedroom and lying very peacefully. I hugged him and I already noticed that he was all shaking and trembling. It happens to him sometimes, particularly when he’s asleep, so I tried to not think about it too much, maybe that’s the way he is.

After some time Mum was going to vacuum and she brought Misha to my room because he’s scared of vacuum cleaner so we always close him somewhere so that he wouldn’t be too scared. I laid him on my bed and stroked him, and couldn’t stop thinking about how shaky he is, as if he was freezing or extremely fearful, or had fever. I couldn’t resist to not wrap him up in the blanket, though it didn’t really help

I left him asleep and went to do my own things but soon heard him choking and vomiting again. And again and again. And then a couple more times throughout the day. Obviously it scared the shit out of me, both because I was so worried about Misha, but also because anything about vomit scares the shit out of me.

A while ago my Mum and Sofi went shopping and they also were at KFC (to get that takeaway meal with milkshakes I was telling you about recently) and when they came back I told Mum to look at Misha once again, because he’s really shaky and looks so depressed.

She looked at him and said there really has to be something wrong and she called the vet and they told her to come with him quickly. I just don’t know what to think, actually I would be really happy if I could switch off my brain, maybe if I’ll let it out here I’ll be able to…

So Mum took him and Zofijka went with them. I wanted to go too at first but then decided I rather wouldn’t, as it won’t make any good to anyone, especially me, and I can’t help him. So I stayed with Sasha.

By the way, speaking about Sasha, I don’t know if I told you about that guys before, but ironically Sasha seems to really like me. And I feel a bit weird about that since so far I don’t feel almost anything to him other than simply like him. Nothing as strong as to Misha. While Sasha is so clearly affectionate to me. 😀 Poor Zofijka, because officially he’s hers. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like her though, he likes everyone and is so very trustful.

I had my KFC food a while ago and the milkshake, and yes, it was good, as I expected, but I didn’t enjoy it at all, just drank it because probably I’d regret it later on if I wouldn’t, getting a chance after like ten years.

They just came back with Misha. Much quicker than I’d expect…

Mum says they don’t know anything. Misha was vaccinated like two days ago or so for cat flu, so maybe it could be a reaction for that, or the stress related to Sasha as it’s such a major change to him.

They wanted to give him an injection, but he was apparently fighting very vivaciously and crying, and Zofijka started to cry too, and she still can’t calm down.

I wish I could cry like her too, but I can’t and my head is throbbing and I feel almost physically sick of all that.

Misha got an antibiotic and something else and the vet said he indeed has fever.

I so wish it was just stress and that he gets better quickly.

Sorry for being so dramatic and emotional but I don’t have another brain mode to switch to at the moment and I just had to get it off, though don’t know if I really achieved it..

Please keep Misha in your prayers if you can or send him good vibes or something… He just looks so hopeless…

😱

Think I’m going to bed very soon, although it’s only half past eight, but I think it’s the wisest thing I can do now.

Second week of winter holidays.

Yes, today we just started the second week of winter holidays. I am happy I have one more week of chilling out before I’ll go again into my usual routine.

Unfortunately my family seems to have a bad luck recently. My dad got sick a few days ago, it looks like sicknesses really like us recently, because Mum was ill not so long ago, as well as Zofijka and me and my Dad were ill around new year, and now Dad’s sick again. And it looks like it’s angina again. He can barely speak. Only my brother Olek seems to be relatively fit.

And yesterday Mum and Zofijka and our cousin went to the icering and were skating for like a few hours, my Mum loves skating and is fairly good at it, but then suddenly she slipped and fell on her arm and now it hurts her terribly. We are worried it may be broken or something, ’cause it still seems to really hurt.

But Mum says that once she recovers, she’ll go skating again, she haven’t done it in years, but she really loves it.

I think that if my labyrinthium didn’t suck so much and if I had better balance, I would like it too, I have always had a weird liking for everything ice related, but I’d feel pretty unsecure on the icering with my freaking balance, I think. So as for now I am trying to help Mum when and if it’s possible, since it really sucks to be able to use only one hand and to be, as she calls herself, a “house manager”. 🙂

My cousin is still with us which I am very grateful for because Zofijka is such an absorbing and really easily-bored kid, that she often gets on my nerves when she keeps repeating how bored she is and what she’d like to do and that no one wants to play with her and she is so alone. No matter how I love her, it can be annoying when she still only wants people to play with her and make up ideas for her to have fun, since we all have better and more important things to do. I often play with her and I like to do it, but, I hope you get it, I can’t do it all the time. No one can and wants. So I think we all appreciate it when Zofijka has someone her age to play with, if she really still needs company.

Misha is delighted, he got his new cat sausages today and he loves them. He was licking himself about 10 minutes I think after he ate lol. And he seems very happy and relaxed now. He is sitting by the window and looking at the world and licking his paws. This is the life. 😀

Hope you all are also having a nice day, no matter if you have a winter break or not. 🙂