I can still remember every single time I have been physically ill. Weird, right? That isn’t really a pleasant memory, nor is it something that people can visualize daily. Unfortunately, I have been so blessed as to develop a serious affliction with vomiting. It’s called Emetophobia.

My emetophobia sticks it’s gigantic nose into my every day life. It is always begging for my attention. Going out for a drink with friends? Let me make sure I remind you that you didn’t eat a big lunch today so if you drink too much you’ll probably throw up. A kid at work comes up to you holding their stomach? Wash hands approximately 10 times. Feeling anxious? Let me help! I’ll make your stomach feel even worse, and then I’ll tell you that it’s because you’re sick.

Living with emetophobia has been, and continues to be, a journey that just doesn’t want to end.

For those of you who don’t know or are unsure of what emetophobia is, emetophobia is a phobia that causes overwhelming, intense anxiety pertaining to vomiting. It doesn’t matter who is doing the throwing up; it could be me, my boyfriend, my best friend, a baby, an adult, a stranger I pass on the street, even sometimes a dog, you can probably find me running with my eyes closed, and ears plugged. The thing about emetophobia is that it isn’t all geared towards whether or not I’m going to be sick. While that is a huge, and I mean huge, part of the fear, it is also about whether or not I’m going to be so lucky as to experience someone else throwing up. Everything about it is awful; the sound, the sight, and my favorite, the smell. There is nothing, absolutely nothing inside of me, that is able to reason with the fact that it is a normal, bodily function, that has to occur sometimes in order for us to remain healthy. Most of the time, I would rather die.

It all sounds dramatic. I know. Growing up, I seriously thought I was as crazy as crazy comes. I used to walk around the house, paralyzed in fear because someone in school went home sick. My parents would be asking me about my day, and I would blurt out, “DO I LOOK SICK?!” I asked this question multiple times a day, every day of the week. My parents were patient with me, and tried to understand that of course, no one wants to be sick. But what they didn’t understand is that while they thought I was taking a normal shower, I was actually following a strict routine that could not be broken because if it was, then I would get sick.

I made it through the rest of grade school, moved on to middle and high school, and graduated. It seemed as though my fear of vomiting had subsided in a way. While there were instances it would pop up, it didn’t pervade my every thought as it did when I was a little kid. I went to college and everything was great. No signs of freaking out about throwing up. Until I got home for my winter break. This was my breaking point. I attended a high school friends wedding, and the reception food was Little Caesars (don’t ask). Everything was normal, until twenty-four hours later when I was lying on the bathroom floor awaiting my doom. I had never been so besides myself. That was the first time, as a late teen, I had been sick like I had been when I was a little kid. Everything about it sent me completely over the edge. I recovered in less than 24 hours, and was back on my feet, but something was off. I found myself buying hand sanitizers and keeping them in my purse. I was using Clorox wipes on my phone, computer screen, door knobs, and surfaces I had touched throughout the day. Every time I walked into a bathroom, I avoided looking directly into the toilet bowl. It all continued at school. My emetophobia and I weren’t taking ourselves out to parties as much anymore, for fear of catching something or witnessing someone get sick. The summer after my first year of college was total agony. Being home made me think, that because I had gotten so sick over winter break I was going to get sick like that again. It was hard for me to eat some days. It was hard for me to reason with myself. I was borderline agoraphobic that summer; I didn’t want to leave the house.

Thankfully, I knew that there was something more than just a silly little superstition or fear. In fact, it had a name! I looked it up on the internet and was completely blown away by what I found. There are emetophobia forums, blog posts, steps to overcoming the phobia, and therapists who specialize in helping people with emetophobia! I finally began talking about it. First to my therapist, who reassured me that every thought I have about throwing up is completely normal. My parents came next, and while they tried to understand but couldn’t at first, have been a huge help to me. I think that my friends were the most supportive out of everyone. They assured me that I wasn’t weird or annoying for asking whether or not I look sick. My friends shared their own very real, very normal phobias that they struggle with as well. I became determined not to let emetophobia define me.

I’m still here, and I still hate vomit. Every day brings on a new trigger, a new reason to worry about getting sick. However, instead of sitting around becoming consumed by the fear, I have found ways to cope. Emetophobia doesn’t yell at me for hours on end anymore. Sometimes it will yell, and it will be loud. Other times, it just shuts right the hell up, and I’m thankful for that.

Reading about emetophobia, and talking about it with other people helped me to legitimize one of my biggest sources of anxiety. I know people now who struggle with the exact same phobia I do, and it’s a huge comfort. It’s also a huge comfort to know that the fear is real, irrational, and yeah, completely and utterly terrifying. I will be completely honest: writing this was not easy, by any means. Not because I’m embarrassed or anything, but because it forced me to actually think about the act of getting sick. But, I made it to the last sentence and my hands are only a little sweaty.

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My Future Freaks Me Out

Personal

Although it’s the title of a catchy pop-punk jam from my greasy middle school days, the future does freak me out. Sometimes I think it freaks me out more than vomit, and that’s saying something.

 

I’m going to be completely transparent in writing this. There are a lot of things about the future that scare me. I could probably dedicate an entire blog post to ‘100 Things I’m Nervous About Happening to Me’ but I will spare all readers. The end of my collegiate career is fast approaching, and while I never looked at myself as someone who plans on clinging to their college experience like a security blanket, I’m still struggling with the fact that it is ending. In the spring of 2018, I will be waking my a** up every morning, at approximately 5:30 a.m., to student teach. Besides waking up at that unconstitutional hour, I should be excited about student teaching. Right? For some reason, I’m not. There’s no ounce of excitement in me about this experience that is fast approaching, and that’s what freaks me out the most.

Like others before me, I should be preparing for student teaching with expensive planners, a new wardrobe, and a Vera Bradley tote bag. I’ll have a crisp, clean appearance every single day. When I wake up, the first thing I will do is make myself a warm pot of coffee, I’ll eat a healthy breakfast, and I will be on time. I won’t have to worry about whether or not the students or faculty are judging me, because I am confident. My organization skills are pristine; my planners have become bullet journals that are decorated with beautiful calligraphy fonts, and straight lines that have been drawn without a second thought. Right? This is what people expect! This is what I have to become!

I can’t. This is never who I was. One of my professors often referred to past student teachers as “star students,” because of their organization, appearance, and confidence. While his point was probably to motivate us, it only made me feel less motivated. For as long as I can remember, I have spent too much time comparing myself to other peoples successes. How can I not? One good example becomes the best example, the standard in which we are expected to meet. While we might be held to certain standards because our teachers believe we are capable, they don’t really know what we’re capable of. Hell, we don’t even know what we’re capable of.

And if we don’t know what we’re capable of, and it’s our second semester of our senior year, and we’re gearing up to do all of these scary things at once, it’s okay. Isn’t the whole reason we student teach to learn? Why should we be creating false expectations for ourselves, when we don’t really even know what to expect? I don’t know what’s coming my way, and neither do you, and neither do they. We can compare ourselves to those around us doing the same thing, but our performance reflects the standards you hold yourself to, and not what anyone else does.

Yes, I still have my learners permit. Yes, I’m still paralyzed by the thought of having to deal with germs in the classroom. No, I don’t have enough money to go out and buy an entirely new ‘teacher wardrobe’. Do I still say ‘like’ and ‘um’ in between almost every word when I’m speaking in front of people? You betcha. I am ready, though. These things are weird, and bother the living hell out of me, but they’re a part of who I am. The first step to my journey is realizing that I am not going to be that ‘star student’ that every professor wishes we could be because it’ll make their job easier. The future freaks me out, but now I think I’m ready.

 

 

Recently, I stumbled upon a blog post that was titled, 50 Things White Girls Do That Annoy Me. 

It was an unfortunate stumble-upon, really. Yeah, it pissed me off. Yeah, I’m still pissed off about it. It offended me, and even though that was their 50th thing that “white girls do” to piss them off, I can’t help but rebut every single one of their points.

Their points will be written down in this post, and then I will share my own damn opinion!

  1. “Listening to useless magazines such as Seventeen to get relationship advice, or advice in general”. 

          Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Tiger Beat, you name it, I was probably reading that shit.               To refute this point, everyone reads these magazines at some point in their life, not           just white females. Some girls may not have a role model in their life who they can             look up to for advice, so why not turn to something like Seventeen? I took advice                 from whatever and whoever I could get advice from, and whether that’s a fault of               my own or not, I’m not ashamed of where those pieces of advice led me.

     2.  “Going on a trip that’s 30 minutes away and posting on social media about how             much you’ve changed”.

    Unfortunately, not all females (or anyone) can afford to travel halfway across the      world, country, or even state on a regular basis. Perhaps depending on your living  conditions, one may live within a 30 minute distance of somewhere life-changing. We all have the power to change. It’s okay to use your power of change somewhere close to home. No one has to travel thousands of miles away to find themselves.

 3. “Going on a trip to a different country and posting on social media about how             much you’ve changed”. 

kanye  4. “Complaining about guys playing mind games, but then proceed to do the                       same thing.”

As far as dating culture in the 21st century goes, you can’t really label this “pet-                  peeve” with a race. Dating is a mind game. Dating is a game. Although it                                shouldn’t have to be, it is, and we all play that game at one point or another. The                way that people act in relationships should not be generalized by skin color, or                    sex. We aren’t defined by those two things!!!

5. “Going for assholes, and then getting your heart broken”. 

  Guilty! Looks like I’m just a stupid, annoying white girl. Better go to Starbucks and order   my Pink Drink, because those are the only activities that white females partake in!             (Apparently).

6. “Trying to be too culturally appropriate”. 

Hm, not sure I see the problem with this one. Educating ourselves on other cultures is a really, really wonderful thing. Being culturally appropriate is one of the best things we can be in today’s society.

7. “Not being culturally appropriate enough.” 

Okay, yeah. There are plenty of people out there who aren’t exactly culturally appropriate, but I wouldn’t just be so quick to shoot the blame on white women. Have you met our lovely President?

8. “Live. Laugh. Love”.

Same.

9. “Using slang to sound less white.”

By saying that someone “sounds white” you’re being a fucking racist. Someone can’t sound like their skin color. A person can’t “sound African American” or “Hispanic”. They can, however, speak their native dialects and be able to do so freely, without people like you commenting on it!

10. “Thinking country music is actually good music.” 

I don’t really have anything for this one, but everyone is entitled to their own musical tastes.

Their list continues on, and I think that their point has been made clear. They! don’t! like! white! people! Or other females…

Here are a few of my favorites on the list:

29. “Thinking you invented avocado, when it’s been used in other countries for ages.”

This one really got me good. I can assure you, no one thinks that they invented the avocado. For starters, I believe an avocado is grown on a tree. But, perhaps a white female invented it in her laboratory. Who knows.

23. “Thinking overweight or fat is replaceable with curvy.”

This is just plain hateful. While medically someone may be deemed as “overweight”, I’m pretty sure no one wants to be called “overweight”, and there is certainly no one on this earth that desires to be called “fat”. Every BODY is beautiful. There is absolutely no reason to shame other women for the size of their body. The world needs more lady love. Females supporting other females by cherishing and loving who they are. Telling someone they’re curvy rather than “fat” is acceptable, however there shouldn’t even be a reason you’re commenting on anyone else’s body. It’s their body, not yours.

38. “Expecting men to still be chivalrous and masculine, yet not knowing how to cook or be feminine.” 

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50 Things

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On Friendship

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Tonight, is the perfect evening for so many things.

It’s the perfect night to have a fire. It’s the perfect night to go for a walk alone, and breathe in the crisp night air that the wind swirls around your face. It’s the perfect night to lay out and star-gaze with your girlfriend, boyfriend or dog. It also just happens to be the perfect evening to sit on your futon, drink a glass (or two) of wine, and talk about your feelings. I promise I won’t get overly emotional, but I do want to talk about something that is incredibly important to me: friendship.

In light of recent events, I’ve decided to take it upon myself to seriously think about what my friendships mean to me.

I’ve never been much of a loner. My first friend, I met on the first day of pre-school. I remember simply running up to her, keep in mind I had never seen this girl before in my life, and I asked her excitedly if she wanted to be my friend. Without much hesitation, she agreed. We remained best friends until about 8th grade. She knew everything about me, and I knew everything about her. Our families were super close, which seemed to make our bond even stronger. However, it didn’t last. Of course there was fighting and disagreeing along the way, but by the time we reached middle school we realized that we weren’t really the same people we used to be. It worked out, however, that I would keep the group of friends that we had made together, and she would get stuck making new friends. Kinda shitty, right? Don’t worry, karma visits me a little later.

High school comes around. I still had the same group of friends I’d had since middle school. They were goofy, noisy, rambunctious, and so much fun. We fought sometimes, had our moments of being extremely petty, but for the most part we held strong. Nothing really tore us apart, even when we had weird boyfriends/girlfriends that we spent far too much time with. But then college comes along, and everything changes.

My parents always told me that the people who really matter, are the ones you’re still talking to when you’re a junior/senior in college. I didn’t want to believe them. I wanted to believe that my best friends from high school would never change, and that we would always remain that same awkward group of kids from freshman year. Again, my parents were right. Don’t you hate it when that happens?

Today, I have like one friend from high school that I regularly keep in contact with. Every now and then I hear from someone else, but other than that, there isn’t much. I’m not complaining though. This is probably the biggest thing I’ve learned about friendship in my twenty-one years of life: it’s really freaking difficult to keep in contact with everyone. There are people who I want to keep in contact with. The people who I want to keep in contact with, are the people who I would throw myself in front of a train for, and I know they would do the same. They’re the ones who will tell me when I’m being overdramatic and annoying, praise me when I don’t fuck up, and laugh with me until our abdomens are sore.

The worst part about this process of having people like this in your life, is losing them. I’ve lost friends before, and the fifth time is just as hard as the first time. Regardless of what that person has said/done to you, and regardless of what you’ve said/done to them, you share a past. You connected on a level that was much deeper than surface, and you trusted in each other for a period of time. Like my parents (and all parents let’s be honest), said: people change. Maybe they grew up and moved on to find that you were never that good of a friend to them. Perhaps they fell in love, and you were no longer a priority in their life. Or perhaps, they just don’t have time to manage a relationship they can’t give their all to. That’s where I’m at.

With a year left of college, and only a semester left on campus, I want to spend my time with the people who I can trust in full. I want to spend my time with people who aren’t going to talk behind my back. I don’t want to spend my time with the people who will ignore me one day and then say ‘hello’ the next. I don’t want to sit around and act like everything is okay, when it’s clearly not okay, but just act like everything is okay because that’s what people do best…pretend. I want to spend my time with the people I can tell the details of my day to, with no censoring. The people who will make me laugh until I cry, and who won’t judge me for the things I say and the things I do. They’ll be brutally honest, to the point where I might even get offended, but the truth hurts anyway. I have never appreciated anything more, than I do the relationships I hold with each of my friends.

At this point in my life, I don’t see a point to maintaining friendships with people who make you feel bad. If someone isn’t going to put in the time or effort, then why should I? Some may argue that a friendship like that is worth fighting for. I disagree.  A friend is someone who gives you their all, and is there for you as much as they possibly can be, regardless of whatever else is happening.

Maintaining friendships is difficult, but it shouldn’t have to be. The friendships that are the most special and meaningful, are the ones that you don’t have to think twice about. You should never have to second-guess a true friend.

To all my pals: I am eternally grateful for you all. Never change.

 

 

 

Bustle.com, Delete Your Account

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Something that I have been famous for, ever since I figured out how to work the internet, was self-diagnosing every ailment that popped up. Oh, your fingernail hurts? Better go straight to WebMD to find out you have a calcium deficiency and will soon lose your hair. Another headache? Probably meningitis. I’m literally not exaggerating when I say that I would search through every reliable source on the internet, to figure out what was wrong with me. Being a hypochondriac is my favorite thing, really!

As I grew up, it never really stopped. If anything, it got a lot worse. I found myself asking my parents, friends, and anyone who would really listen, if I looked sick.

Friend: “Oh my gosh, did you watch the season finale of Gossip Girl last night? I can’t believe tha-”

Me: “Do I look sick?”

Friend: “um…”

This continued well into my college days. The question still pops up every now and then, to be completely honest. I’m still finding myself researching small symptoms I have that don’t really have a reason for occurring, but I end my psyching myself out anyway. So, naturally, as I’m browsing Pinterest this morning an article popped up: “15 Daily Habits You Didn’t Realize Can Be Signs of Mild Depression”.

Me: “Just keep scrolling. It’s from bustle.com, Miranda. You know it’s bullshit.

Me to me: *clicks on it anyway*me to me lol

The first “sign” that they listed was, “You’re Snacking Way More Often”. Well, this is great. Looks like I’m depressed. I read on.

3. You Stay In The Shower For Forever

What the hell? At this point, I’m wondering if I’ve been depressed my entire life. But then I read the explanation to this one, and it infuriated me.

“But it’s also an easy way to numb your painful feelings” (Steber).

I want to fight whoever wrote this, honestly. Where does this writer (who, by the way, has no medical background) get off telling me that my 15 minute showers are a sign of depression? I’m saying this now, but as I continued reading I felt personally victimized and scared. I couldn’t focus on anything because I was convinced that I was showing early signs of depression. Although I do struggle with anxiety, I have never been diagnosed with depression. Until I diagnosed myself for a brief 15 minutes this morning.

Call me stupid for believing this article at first. Trust me, you can, because I’m feeling pretty dumb right now for even thinking it could be true. But the point is, people who have probably never suffered from a mental illness should not be writing articles that analyze things we do every day, that are not problematic at all. People who are actually suffering from the demon that is depression, don’t need Carolyn from Bustle.com diagnosing them further.

Me: *angrily searches for more of Carolyn’s hard-hitting articles*

“The Most Common Sex Injuries & How To Avoid Them”

Me:

 

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Actually, I lied. THIS is my point: stay away from bustle.com. Especially if you have a tendency to over-analyze things you read. The people writing these articles aren’t doctors, and they most certainly do not have room to try to diagnose you as depressed. So, go ahead and enjoy your twenty-minute showers, and that second glass of wine (which apparently is another sign of depression. Who would’ve known???)

If you’re actually worried that you are/might be depressed, then talk to someone. Don’t be like me, trust me I’ve learned the hard way, and go directly to the internet. Talk to someone immediately, and remember that Carolyn from Bustle.com literally has no idea what she’s talking about.

Hopefully she doesn’t get injured the next time she has sex.

Roasted.

I’ve Been Holding Back

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I’m just going to start out by saying, that I have never done something like this before.

Every year, for every holiday that included gift giving, I asked for a journal. One that was aesthetically pleasing to look at, as it sat on my nightstand, next to my other belongings and collected dust. I can count on one hand (and one finger) the number of journals I actually put to good use. The thought of writing down my thoughts has always been appealing, but in order to do this you actually have to WRITE in the journals your parents spent an unnecessary amount of money on. This frustrates me.

Lately it seems that everyone is frustrated. My Facebook newsfeed is an overflow of passive aggressive Odyssey articles, WordPress blog posts, the oh-so-relatable BuzzFeed videos and of course, we can’t forget about our girlfriends over at Beach Body who want to remind us to do our squats and eat grass!

Okay, so I’m overreacting a little. But like I said…I’ve been holding back.

The point of me writing this isn’t to bash the writers of those articles. Good for you!

Except for you, Beach Body coaches.

Having the confidence to write something, or anything for that matter, is something that I’m trying to find and I admire those who can muster up the courage to do it. That’s the point of me writing this. I want to be confident enough to write about my experiences, my life, my thoughts, etc. I’ve been holding back my entire life. Being confrontational and talking about personal issues, or public matters has never been a strong suit of mine. It most likely never will be, but at least I can start working towards that end goal. I don’t want to sugarcoat my experiences, or the things that I think. I’m just like everyone else out there on social media: I…*gulps* have opinions, and I’ve chosen not to write about them until now.

So, here’s to my first blog. Here’s to a fun new thing called “confidence”. Here’s to no longer holding back. And here’s to being overwhelmingly extra. 

Embrace your extra-ness.

Rant over.