I Can Hold My Own Hair

zara's picture

I use to throw up a lot. It was a daily ritual at one point during my teen years. Oddly, the only person in my family who remembers me doing this is my baby sister who would have been about 5 years old at the height of my bulimic tendencies.

Somehow, over the course of those 2 years when I was purging, I started to develop a desensitized gag reflex. Toothbrush handles that used to do the trick just tickling the back of my throat I was now scraping back and forth against the soft palate of my mouth to no avail.

Having a desensitized gag reflex might sound like a dream come true but for the most part, it sucks. When I get sick with a stomach bug or just from having too much alcohol (although normally my tolerance, when tempered with regular consistent hydration over the course of a drinking day, is pretty high to the ill effects of binge drinking), I writhe in agony. Wiggling the finger in the throat doesn't work. Trying to force myself to heave won't do the trick. I mainly end up sweating it out for hours, nausea sweeping over me like a heavy quilted plague.

I have never minded the throwing up part. I'm pretty clean about it and for the most part can make it to a toilet or in a pinch a trash can or welcoming patch of dirt behind a dense bush. It's the feeling sick part that sucks.

I only got about 3 and a half hours of sleep before needing to get up to go to work this morning. Despite the fact that I sleep like the dead and am fucking impossible to coax gently out of a deep slumber in the comfort of my bed, I awoke before my alarm went off and felt the stomach cramps.

Lying on my side and tucking my knees to my chin, I listened to my stomach gurgle and begged my brain to shut down for ten more minutes, to ignore the physical symptoms going on elsewhere in my human amusement park of organs. By the time that I stared my trusty $10 alarm clock down to the minute it normally begins wailing at me, I knew one thing.

I was going to have to throw up. If I was going to get up and get through the work day, I was going to need to get rid of the nausea instead of waiting until my body finally couldn't take it any longer and volunteered the spew.

I gulped down three small cupfuls of water at the bathroom sink in rapid succession, making sure I was swallowing air along with them. Then I did something that I've found out works in getting me to gag in these recent times, with all the dental work I've had done, the instruments shoved crookedly in every direction in my mouth.

I took the flat of my thumb and pressed hard against the roof of my mouth and then let it slide down until it was bruising the softest part of my upper mouth. That part of the palate which itches and swells when you have a sore throat and a runny nose during the winter season.

It was almost like pressing in the right place to pop a zit. My stomach lurched, a crackle wrenched out of my throat and then I spewed the water I'd swallowed in a couple of good purges. My stomach was fighting with me, trying to hold onto its angst like a wicked witch sizzling from a drenching. My stomach wanted me to be sick. My throwing up was going to steal that little baby from it.

I drank some more water and pressed down on the soft spot again with my thumb. I imagine that I must have been a strange sight, sitting on the edge of the bath with the shower water running, my right fist shoved into my gaping maw and my left hand holding back wisps of loose hair. Being on your knees in front of the porcelain pedestal gives away your dignity to the moment. Plus, you're lower to the ground and risk not getting good, clean trajectory.

The upside is that in throwing up that water, I managed to kill the Nausea Monster. The downside is that I felt like a solid piece of shit, realizing that I was still light headed from drinking on an empty stomach too late into the evening. Luckily, it wasn't much worse than the effect of over the counter allergy medication, so while groggy and slightly disoriented and despite the fact that I felt like an asshole for just not calling in sick, I knew that if I could muddle through the first hour or so of my day, I'd be just fine. I might not come from premium stock when it comes to athletic prowess or musical talent or anything else that most people brag about coming from a long line of. But I'm the daughter of a daughter of a lifetime alcoholic who was the son of two lifetime self-medicating alcoholics. There's something in my blood which keeps me running when most other people would be passed out on their bathroom tiles.

It makes me want to get drunk more often, frankly.


RoQStar's picture

Could you get some meat in

Could you get some meat in you next time before the drinking?
You don't have to be a prize award Filly to win a race by the way. I'm epic and I'm sure it either skipped a few generations or something happens when I breathe in fresh air. [:
Good to see you writing again.

RoQkin' out wit ma C*Qk out! Watch, your eye...

That might've helped yo throw up faster? Wait, what?

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