I have emetophobia as well and yes it is hard. But at the moment it almost feels as if I've overcome it.
I'm sure you have tried a lot of things already but here is a list of things which helped me get over emetophobia in case it helps in the slightest.
- If you aren't already (although you most likely already are), see a therapist who can help with this
- I used exposure therapy. This involved firstly cooking with raw eggs, then very slowly to raw chicken. If you notice OCD type behaviour eg washing your hands, try and take baby steps if you can. For example, instead of washing your hands for 30 seconds, wash them for five. Or ten/twenty. And work your way to cutting back on washing your hands. That may help
- Whenever I feel anxious, I would use this app called smiling mind. And then I started using it daily as it trains you to feel calm on command and it is so helpful.
- Sometimes when worrying you spiral into irrational thoughts. Like I would think the most irrational thoughts like milk being in the fridge only one night being off. If you can notice this irrationality you can sometimes switch your brain to think rationally. Yours may be your mum trying to poison you? Things like that i guess. This sometimes requires some coaching, however, but try it
- Definitely tell someone you are close to how you are feeling. I was so reluctant at first and it was so dumb of me because i suffered my panic attacks alone, when my mum could actually help me because she had a fear of fainting as a kid and could always help me in panic attacks, but i didnt know this for a long time. If you can, find someone who can help you when you are worried because panic attacks alone suck.
- One of the first strategies I tried which helped me at the start was picturing my anxiety as a ball. It sounds dumb but my therapist showed it to me and it helped a lot. Basically, you picture shape, texture, size, weight, colour and everything you can. You put all your energy into focusing on this and it can make you calmer. Try practicing this when not feeling too anxious at first if you want
- I read somewhere that a big step is to stop carrying sanitizer and antacids everywhere. Maybe make that your ultimate goal?
I really hope that helps. I know it's a really horrible phobia to have because it feels like its always there. And it feels like there is no escape during panic attacks. But you will definately get over this trust me! Good luck and have a good holiday here in australia!