On-Demand Vomiting: The Prequel to Choking the Gag Reflex

by The Discovering Alcoholic on July 14, 2010

It was one of the top ten signs that I was becoming an alcoholic during the days of my still social binge drinking that I mastered the art of on-demand vomiting. Developed as a preventive measure to avoid getting sick in front of others (you know you have a problem when you hide it from other drunks), it became another one of the tricks of my trade to better handle a spirited game of presidents and assholes or an all night bender.

The key to this technique was situational awareness, having the experience to recognize the signs of an impending upchuck despite the mind numbing alcoholic fog. Three steps: Take a quick step out to the back yard or alley (bathroom too loud and problem of messy evidence), secure loose clothes and guard against spatter, then let loose without inhibition. The last part is crucial, no gagging like a cat carfing up a hairball- just assure coast is clear, check trajectory, let it fly and return to drinking.

Maybe at that point I hadn’t yet crossed that line in the sand of alcoholic submission, but it wasn’t long before I had learned how to choke the gag reflex. After all, what’s a little alcohol poisoning compared to the heresy of spitting up cheap alcohol?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul July 15, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Monk Gordon is a bit of a character all right. I liked your article on the temple. Thailand is a place where many western addicts go to die; that’s what I more or less did a decade ago. Luckily it is also a place where we can escape addiction and live a great sober life


2 Paul July 14, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I got sober in Thamkrabok temple in Thailand. Some people refer to it as the toughest treatment facility in the world because of their famous vomiting ceremony. Every evening at six o’clock we all had to gather in the temple square and kneel down in front of a gutter. We were given a huge bucket of water and one of the monks would hand out a special herbal medication that makes you projectile vomit like nothing else on the planet. While this is happening a crowd gathers round you sining songs of encouragement; you would have to see it to believe it. It worked though.

When I first started drinking my friends would kid me because I vomited every time. Near the end of my drinking the comfort (really not the word I want here) of my day would be determined by my ability to not vomit the booze back up. In a way it seemed only proper that the vomiting ceremony would signal the end as well.


3 The Discovering Alcoholic July 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I have visited Thramkrabok and spoke with the Black monk- very interesting place!



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