Saturday, April 7, 2012

A More Systematic Approach

This week I realized I need to sit down and write out a new list of exposures to work through. Right now I'm more in the mode of waiting for things to come to me, and that doesn't usually move me forward very fast.

Yesterday I hopped on the train for some good old public transit exposures! As I noted in my last post, I haven't been taking the bus since I lost my bus pass. But the train is free through the central part of town, and it goes right past my work place.

It was a good exposure. Lots and lots of people and no open seats so I had to hold on to the railing. And I felt REALLY contaminated when I hopped off. About an 8 out of 10, I'd say.

I had to walk back a few blocks to work. Even in that short bit of time, I could tell the anxiety was going down, and I convinced myself to see how long I could stand not washing my hands. After about 15 minutes, my anxiety was down to about a 4. I never did wash my hands (well, eventually I did, but not for OCD reasons); I even ate my afternoon apple without washing.

I love the good ERP experiences. I just wish the NEXT one seemed easier each time. Maybe that'll come someday.


  1. You are so brave, contamination issues are really hard for me and I can't even begin to do ERP there yet.

  2. Good for you! It's still amazing to me how we can feel our anxiety rising and going down when we are mindful of it. It has really helped me.

    One of my exposures has been to delay washing my hands after I return to work from lunch. I have issues with perceived "greasiness" on my hands, even when my hands don't directly touch the food. At first, I feel like I need to rush to the bathroom and wash, but eventually, I realize I've forgotten all about it!

    Writing down exposures would probably help me too.

  3. That is so awesome! Congratulations on a job well done.

  4. Awesome, Ann! I don't have contamination issues but reading about eating your apple without washing your hands gave me the willies, so AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME for you to do it!

  5. Congrats!! Good for you! Keep up the good work!