Every time I sit down to have a meal I feel like I’m going into a battle. I have this hate-love relationship with solid food; hate because of the fear of swallowing it and love because I do love tasty, delicious food.
I tried to date back to when this anxiety started to happen so many times and even discussed it with my friends, but to be honest, I never understand what it could be. There were two incidents I could remember which traumatized me while I experienced them.
1) I remember I was taking a sleeping pill which didn’t descend since I could feel the lump in my throat. I was anxious, so I told my roommate about it, and he said “Can you breathe? If you can then it’s nothing to worry, drink a lot of water, and it will eventually descend.” And he further explained that when you choke, you will undoubtedly cough and it will be hard to breathe. He was so calm when he told all these things, so I didn’t get a panic attack. I did what he said. I was trying to breathe normally and drank a lot of water, but to my dismay, I could still feel the lump.
2) I was sleeping at my best friend house, and I had this dream which I felt like a nightmare. I dreamt that my niece choked on something round and big, (I can’t recall what it was) but I was the one who felt she was choking which was odd (but dreams are always unexplainable and weird), and I was trying to swallow but couldn’t. The choking sensation was so real that I woke up in the middle of the night with sweat and heavy breaths.
(Later my little sister told me that my niece did choke on some candy, and luckily my little sister and her husband’s family was there to give my niece a Heimlich maneuver. Everything went well.)
I have always had dreams that come true which I don’t know is good or bad, but the feeling of déjà vu often comes up. As an empath, we do have that kind of ability. Having prophetic dreams is incredible, but usually, I wouldn’t know if it would happen in the real world or not, and that leads me to discard them as just dreams.
It was hard to trust my own gut instinct, or intuition when people often didn’t believe in me and also because I have suffered a great deal of low self-esteem since childhood which caused me to not believe in myself more often than not. (I’m better at it now than before).
Anyway, when I started on medication, and suddenly one day sitting at the dinner table I felt there was a lump in my throat, and when I tried to eat, I was so anxious that I lied to my family that I wasn’t hungry. Later I went to the doctor and got it checked out, but they didn’t find anything unusual. It was a psychological issue, and not a physiological one. It was tough. No matter how many times I chew my food, I still couldn’t swallow it, and it was so frustrating that I gave up trying to eat. The frustrating part was because I got anxious and nervous each time that I would rather starve myself and go for ice cream that melts than eating my favorite foods. And I don’t usually eat “sweet.” My doctor prescribed me nutrition drinks full of protein and advice me to go for soup for awhile while he also prescribed me more medicine which was Sobril (Oxazepam). I tried to take them once or two times but swallowing pills equal swallowing food so you can imagine how hard it was for me. Because of my phagophobia, the doctor has also switched my anti-psychotic medicines (Zyprexa/Olanzapine) to melting pills.
The downside to going to therapy is that they usually want you to take medicine to damper your symptoms instead of helping you to understand your emotions. I don’t take cold or flu medicine, what I do is rest when I feel I’m sick, but since my awakening in 2011, the wake-up call was just too dramatic that it gave me a medicine ticket “for life.” In my case, there’s no chance of talking to the therapist or doctor about spirituality or ascension. I feel I’m under “their” (lower vibrational entities) radar. I felt this apathy for a long while because my feelings were numb, and the phagophobia made me lose weight so much that I thought life was getting boring and hard to live. I was suicidal and had this urge to escape the reality so much that I rather sit in front of my MacBook and binge watch all the Chinese fantasy dramas I found on the internet.
Oh Lord, why did I develop this phobia? Food is the source of nutrition if I can’t eat then wouldn’t I fall into demise? This struggle is so real and hard to fix, although I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as when I got it, even though I still struggle, mostly when I’m stressing out. I have never been a picky eater, but because of the fear, I have been selective about which food I dim smoothly to swallow. I can’t enjoy a meal with friends or family at restaurants or cafe unless it’s soup or something soft in the menu. Whenever someone invites me out for lunch, dinner or just getting a bite, I freeze as not knowing what to say, because I don’t want to pay to poke at my food, it’s not cheap eating outside!
In the middle of it all, I develop a strategy. My strategy is to eat before a social gathering or not going at all. With close friends and family, they know I have this problem, so they will be very understandable if I don’t want to eat with them but instead buy a drink when we get together at the coffee shop. It’s acceptable, no further explanation. Often when my family gathers together to eat, I will first figure out what’s on the menu, if there’s something I feel like I could eat I would come, if not I will decline the invitation and stay home while eating my soft boil broccoli and tomatoes. Since I’m an introvert and highly sensitive to noises, I usually skip the family reunion and stay home reading or surf the internet instead. Karaoke is the thing for Asian people, at least Vietnamese people, and when my family gathers together they would sing, or talk loudly as if they were fighting.
My social skills are not bad, and I don’t avoid people, all I’m doing is making myself a priority. If I know, I’m low on energy I would rather stay home and recharge. I have come to term of being an introvert, and I’m perfectly satisfied being selective with whom I associate. I like socializing with few people rather than in big groups of people anyway, and mostly I get more connected with one person at a time than many at once.
Another thing worth mentioning:
I have had readings on my Akashic Records. They say this phobia is related to my throat chakra, which is to express myself verbally. All I needed to do was telling the truth, being honest about how I feel which was hard when I felt my feelings were never acceptable and because I dread fights and drama so much that I rather not. And to be honest, I never like to lie, but I often conceal my opinions and not talking at all about them which in my case is bad for me, since my needs won’t be met that way. After my psychosis last year, I have become so honest and direct without sugar coating anything my anxiety hasn’t occur so frequently as before when it comes to food. I’m more relax being myself and it does feel excellent to be able to air out my thoughts and feelings without feeling guilty or weird.
The only thing that still bothers me is losing my appetite due to stress, which hinders me to eat and it leads me to lose weight.
Honestly, the best policy is honesty, and even how challenging it is, I will continue being honest. Why is being honest a challenge? Well, people get so offended by it that I cringe every time I’m direct and honest. Truth hurts, people have to deal with it. I can’t make it my problem since I have enough to handle already.
It may be hard to open up and talk about your feelings, but do yourself a favor and foremost, be honest with yourself; then it will be easy, to be honest with others too.