Or anywhere else for that matter.
I am aware as I type, that some of those who read what follows may have never heard of such a thing as emetophobia before. A few of those people may gain some insight into this fear and the impact it has on those who suffer with it.
Others will be completely unable to comprehend why some live their lives in fear and trembling of something which seems to be a relatively minor (and short lived) discomfort.
However, there may also be some people reading who know this fear only too well. People who have to carry the weight of uncertainty and fear day in, day out.
These unfortunate people are known as "emetophobes"; though, to use the term, 'known as' is somewhat ironic given that, due to the unprecedented sense of shame that surrounds this particular phobia, others are rarely aware of it.
What is it?
This is where it gets difficult because the strength of my phobia makes it hard to use the vocabulary associated with its definition.
For the purposes of this post however, I'll go against my instincts and attempt to use the 'words' (which often feel dangerous or overwhelmingly repulsive to an emetophobe) to define the phobia.
Emetophobia is the intense and irrational fear of v*miting.
(I thought I could face the words, but even spoiling them is difficult at the moment.)
Emetophobes may themselves be terrified of the act of v****ing, may be terrified of others doing so, or it may be that, like me, they have an equal fear of both.
Although it is relatively unheard of, emetophobia is actually thought to be between the fifth and seventh most common fear in the UK so if you are suffering from this, you may at least take a tiny bit of comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone.
Emetophobia affects people differently but can be so severe that it will render the emetophobe incapable of managing to leave the house, maintain employment, attend any function where alcohol may be present, be in crowded places or have children /fall pregnant.
As I have already pointed out, the fact that it is so deeply repulsive and shameful to the sufferer, often means that most phobics are unaware of just how many others share their fear and can often lead to intense feelings of isolation and loneliness in the pain and terror.
I can't recall the time when it dawned on me that my panic attacks were mainly caused by the fear of myself or others being physically ill.
What I do remember very, very clearly, is the moment when, walking over the bridge to the house where I was living in Greenwich about four years ago, my old house mate and best friend for 15 years phoned and told me that there seemed to be a name for what I had.
Now; I'm not big into labels and names and all that stuff... but I looked it up and I will never, ever forget the absolute relief I experienced as I read through the emetophobic websites I found.
Don't get me wrong
Since that time, I have hardly been near any of those sites.