BySteve Johnson, writer at
cheffin up some mad fueg
Steve Johnson

Hello people of the interwebs. Today I thought I'd get a little personal...

Oh, no not that kind of personal. I was gonna tell a little story about how Daredevil changed my life. So sit down children, it's storytime. Before you continue, I want you to keep in mind that I'm not here to throw a pity party for myself or anything. I just want to bring awareness to something (that even I didn't know until recently) a lot of people suffer from.

The Fear

2 years ago, somehow I developed a serious case of emetophobia. Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting. I understand how that might sound laughable to somebody whose never experienced emetophobia, but it can be debilitating unfortunately. In the early stages, I was so petrified of throwing up that I ate little to nothing for about 3 weeks, and in that time I lost about 15 pounds. By the time I decided to see a doctor, I'd lost almost 40 pounds. I was already an underweight kid and losing so much wait so fast took a toll on me. Lethargy, migraines, you name it, but none of it could surmount the horrible fear that was eating me alive. I was a prisoner of my own mind. The first day of school arrived. I was too nauseous to go. "One more day" I said. One day turned into two, two into three, until I had no choice but to skip an entire quarter of school. 2nd quarter came, the cycle repeated. No matter what I promised myself, I was unable to bring myself to go to school. Now, In this time, I was so sick that I couldn't even leave the house, so I was left with myself, and a laptop, this was when I discovered a little comic book company called Marvel.

Things Are Looking Up

Being left with my computer for large portions of the day, it was only a matter of time before I came across Marvel. I already knew of Marvel, and their movies. I was a big fan in fact, but I never knew anything beyond that. Over the course of a few months, reading the comics, learning about the characters, I became obsessed. I had found a little glimmer of hope in what I thought was a barren wasteland of thought. I was in love with a fictional universe. I immersed myself in anything I could get my hands on, watching youtubers like Shartimusprime and ComicsExplained. Vomiting wasn't on my mind 24/7.

The Man Without Fear

Among the characters that I was familiarizing myself with, I found Daredevil. What caught my eye was the "Man Without Fear" tagline. Seeing as how fear was a massive part of my life, I could really relate to that. This was right around the time when news of [Daredevil (Netflix)](tag:1168702) was on the rise. Seeing what Matt had gone through in his life, and how he turned that pain into something good made me feel really inspired to make an attempt to take control of my fear. I wanted to be like Daredevil. I wanted to be a Man Without Fear. Or Boy Without Fear I guess...

The Night When Everything Changed

And then there came a day unlike any other, when Earth's Mi-- Sorry, wrong story.

Fast forward 1.5 years. I've missed almost 2 years of school, and I've had about enough of the emetophobia. One night, I decided to go to my local comic book shop. There, I happened to buy this book in preparation of the tv series.

I knew that something was off. I wasn't feeling myself, so I decided to buy the book and leave. I came home, laid down on my couch, but at about 2 'o' clock in the morning, I leaned over, and simply...

I think we all know what that means.
I think we all know what that means.

I find it so fitting that on the same day that I bought my first Daredevil comic, I became my own Man Without Fear, and I'm extremely grateful for that day. That was the day when I overcame my fear. The day when I realized that even though we have little control over our lives, that doesn't mean we have to be controlled. I learned that when faced with an obstacle such as emetophobia, that it's important not to let it negatively affect your life like I did. Even though at the time I felt like I was living a somewhat normal life with a little fear on the side, looking back I see how trapped I was, and it scares me how little I knew it at the time. I know for a fact that doing so is near impossible when you're at a point where you'd rather die than throw up, but it can be done.

How I've Changed

Since then, I've struggled of course (but who doesn't?), and I still hate to see people suffering from not only emetophobia, but any kind of mental disorder. While I'm sad that I missed out on so much in those 2 short years, there's no point in trying to change the past, but what I can do is change my future.

Daredevil now isn't only a comic book character to me, he's a role model for me. I'm also very thankful for Stan Lee and everybody involved with Daredevil for bringing the fearless man to life.

Thank you for reading my story, and I want to say to anybody who is suffering anything similar to what I went through:

Take control. It may not be easy but it's possible. It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but someday, if you try, you can conquer.

As always,


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