Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Keeping Up With Exposures Is Not My Strong Suit

I should start by saying that while I am sitting here writing this, it is 6:11 p.m. and I have still not done an exposure for today. For those of you who don't know what the hell I'm talking about, I mean I haven't done a bit of therapy where you make yourself anxious on purpose. I know I'm supposed to do this, but if I skip it in the morning, I just don't have the heart by the evening. I'd like to think I'm just too busy, so I have a legitimate excuse, but I'm starting to suspect that I am avoiding it.

Thus far, exposure and response prevention homework has done either one of two things to me, unless I am already anxious (then it works a charm). I either get terribly bored listening to a script over and over, which I know is what is supposed to happen. However, I just get bored by the script. The content or trigger still makes me anxious. I think I'm doing something wrong. The other thing it does is make me mildly upset and really annoyed. It's time consuming and going over the content of my fears is stressful. Still, it doesn't provoke anxiety the way an intrusive thought would.

There are several possible explanations for my current setback in ERP. I may be unwittingly sabotaging it so it doesn't work and I don't have to suffer panic attacks. I may only be triggered by intrusive thoughts when I am already a bit anxious. I may only be triggered by intrusive thoughts when they pop up, rather than when I'm purposefully thinking about them. It could also be that I simply am doing it wrong. I'm supposed to do this at least once a day for an hour and half. That's a lot of time to mess it up. I'm going to speak to my therapist about it on Thursday. Until them, I'm off to listen to a script or watch videos or something. Go therapy homework!