Friday, January 22, 2016

The Weirdness of ERP Scripts

I'm at about week two of my exposure and response prevention treatment. (My husband sitting next to me just now informed me that it should be called dedicated exposure and response prevention just so the acronym is DERP.) I've written my first scripts and are using them to expose myself (not like that) for 2-3 hours a day, starting this morning. I dabbled in the scripts before, but now I have a dedicated time frame and it's daunting. Anyway, I just want to say how weird it is–not wrong or unhelpful, just weird.

Those of you who do not know what an ERP script is, it is basically a story you write about your worst obsessions coming true and perhaps even worse than you expected. You write it, record it and then listen to it over and over. So, here I am with this story about something I'm terrified and disgusted by, laying on my couch, listening to me tell it repeatedly. I couldn't help but realize how strange it is. It's like toeing the line between treatment and trauma. Not to mention, it's a little like being insane. Remind me never to record one of my books in e-book format and listen to it back. I'm not sure I like my voice being broadcast to my brain.

The exposure worked a bit. I was anxious to begin with because it was morning, so I was susceptible to the script. It also made me sleepy, maybe because I listen to e-books sometimes when I nap. It was a bizarre combination of boredom, sleepiness and anxiety. I have to do another exposure tonight and I'm thinking it might be time to just read the script instead of listening to it. Any ideas?