I'm in a place where I'm succeeding at more and more exposures. So now I'm moving up to harder ones. For more than a year, when interacting with my aunt, I've nearly always "demanded" something that eases my fears, be it changing the time or date or location of our time together, or when things have been really bad, canceling altogether. My aunt has long been an OCD trigger for me (it's not uncommon for a person to seem "contaminated" for no logical reason- my aunt is that person for me). Now I have the added fear that I will harm HER. And then the extra fear layered on top that if I harm her, the ripple effect will mess up my whole family.
SO, that's awesome. Anyway, starting two weeks ago with the trip to the grocery store, I've been working HARD at letting my interactions with my aunt evolve naturally. It has been difficult. This weekend, it feels like all the options are terrifying- if I drive, if she drives, if we carpool, if we go separately- disaster waiting at every turn. But as yet, I haven't done anything but let my aunt decide time, place, transportation. It feels good, it feels terrible. The compulsions may go away, but the thoughts don't, and I think that's the trickiest part about sticking with ERP.
Brain-Circuit-Based Therapies for OCD
23 hours ago