Back in the day, I used to binge drink on a weekly basis and in turn would often end up vomiting every few weeks from drinking too much. This led me to eventually develop a regiment for dealing with the nausea that is associated with such excessive drinking, but for the most part I had forgotten about it when I stopped binge drinking several years ago. Then a few weeks ago I was out drinking with my partner and some friends and upon return home I became very nauseous. I immediately fell into my old pattern for dealing with this nausea and carried it out, refusing my partner’s help and leaving to fall asleep alone.
The next day, I began reflecting on how this pattern of mine was a situation where I experienced the disciplined body to deal with some illness. My pattern is actually a regiment that I fall into upon feeling nauseous and it does nothing to control whether or not I vomit, but I does grant me a sense of control by determining where I could vomit. My regimen is simple: find a toilet, stay there till I vomit or fall asleep by it, vomit/feel better or wake up and go sit in bed, wake up sporadically throughout the night to shift lower till I am horizontal, and finally wake up the next day feeling like I didn’t get any rest. This regimen is something that I have ingrained and will slip into without any thought whenever I become nauseous.
The way I have regimented my body show several ways of how I attempt to exert control over my body for the sake of predictability. The first is how I stay by the toilet until I have fallen asleep and woken back up; which is to control where I vomit, making sure that I do not throw up anywhere that is not unacceptable (in a bed, on the floor, in a sink, etc…). The second is in how I don’t let myself fall asleep laying down, creating an illusion that if I wake up and have to vomit, that I can get to an acceptable place to vomit quickly. Both of these are about controlling my body so that I can create a predictable future and not feel a loss of control in everything.
However, the ways I control my body when nauseous were not what revealed how I have a disciplined body when I begin to feel nauseous. I only realized how regimented my method of dealing with nausea was when my partner attempted to help comfort me. It was when she reached out to me, I withdrew completely into my old regiment, telling myself it was out of a fear that I would become sick somewhere that it had to be cleaned up. In truth, my partner’s presence was an unknown variable, something that took away my ability to predict and control what was going to happen. This loss of sense of control is the greatest fear to one when they have already lost their apparent control of body and for me it resulted in becoming a monadic, disciplined body in order to attempt to regain this sense of control.