Living and thriving with OCD + emetophobia

by Charlotte Fantelli

Thriving with OCD + emetophobia

OK so some of you will have read my top tip in issue three of Uncovered Magazine, but most of you will not, so I want to share my point once more.

As you can see from my profile, my favourite quote is:

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... It is about learning to dance in the rain."

This beautiful quote from Vivienne Greene, has often inspired me to battle on through the storm - or find a decent umbrella, instead of forever hoping for blue skies. An example of this came a few months ago as I stood filling up with petrol before a very important meeting.

It was an overcast, glum sort of a day and I had big things to do, I was off to talk business with a distribution company in London, and, as it had not been many months into my 'entrepreneurial' journey, I was a little on edge.

As I approached the petrol station I knew I had my first big hurdle of the day to overcome... Due to my emetophobia and compulsive rituals I have developed as a result, not only can I wash my hands 100+ times a day, I can't touch things in public places that others have touched - doors, cash card machines, petrol pumps... All these things awaited like an army assault course laid out before me!

I pulled into the station and got out of the car. I decided I was going to put on the plastic gloves provided to put the petrol into the car. I did, what I always do when resorting to a 'coping strategy', I started beating myself up: 'You are such a failure' I told myself, 'Just look at all those people staring at you with your plastic gloves!'

And then it hit me, for the first time ever - what the bloody hell does it matter that I am wearing gloves? Maybe I had delicate skin, or just had a manicure - or had OCD!!! What business is it of anyone else's?

If putting on gloves means I can do the things I had always dreamed of, if it meant I would relax enough to do the work I always hoped I would be doing, what does it darn well matter?

So I wore my gloves to use the pump... to open the door... AND to touch the card machine!

I got in my car, I drove to London and I aced my meeting - Detol wiping all the doors I touched and Cutacura'ing my hands each time! It is a little quirky I know, and maybe one day I wont need to, but for now I am managing, my way - Besides the doors of London are a little cleaner for it too :-)


I have had off for about ten years now and some days are so hard. It's true I beat myself up so much when I give inn I'm gunna try what you said and not care wat strangers think.

Hi Becky, It is hard enough to battle with mental health issues, to be accountable to yourself and those close - but to worry about what strangers think, to concern ourselves with the opinions of those who don't matter, is just adding burden to our already heavy load.

I hope you find some relief, remember it is a part of you - not all of you.

Charlotte x

Gosh, I wish I would have had that informaiton earlier!

Thanks, hope it helped a little :-) 

how about effective therapy?

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