Hi guys!! I haven't posted on here in a while and haven't gotten back to a lot of your messages, but that's because I've been doing really well with my OCD and part of that for me is limiting my time spent on this app as I've identified I use it as a sneaky way of reassurance sometimes. Things are going really well for me in therapy and the progress I've made makes me so happy- I have my life back. I'm getting this under control. I've made progress in areas I never thought were related to OCD such as driving on the highway and going to restaurants by myself. I'm much more independent because I know I can trust myself to take care of me. So far I've been doing word association ERPs, scripts, and cutting out all compulsions (i.e. reassurance, rumination/questioning, research, etc.). This week, we're taking a big step forward- listening to a YouTube video about suicide (a family who lost a daughter to suicide) while also eating alone at Panera Bread. I'm anxious, and I'm going to do my best to not avoid it. If I feel I'm not ready though, we will re-evaluate and try again next week. This is a huge one for me as I've struggled with the suicide theme for a really long time to varying degrees. When I was in middle school, I remember them playing a video about bullying in school and kids who committed suicide because of it and I was a mess- which I've now realized was my OCD being triggered (something I wouldn't be diagnosed with until now, around 9 years later). I've always avoided any talk of suicide... Now is my first time confronting it head on to this extent.
Although, I also have another exposure coming up tomorrow- I'm meeting my ex (who I'm somewhat seeing again) for lunch. If any of you remember, my OCD also causes me to confess things to my mom. This has always been a BIG one for me, especially knowing that she really dislikes my ex and wouldn't agree with my choice to be friends with him and would be really mad. My therapist reminds me that I'm over 18 (I'm 20), and I can make my own decisions and not tell people details of my life. I'm scared, because on top of that, I don't know how this date will go and may have to deal with the outcome of that emotionally too. I'm trying to not let anxiety dictate my choices though, and trying to understand that I can take care of myself. I already have pre-anxiety over this but trying to use some of my tools for it. It's exciting and nerve wracking. Any support you guys can give would be so helpful.. OCD is already trying to tell me all the ways this is going to go wrong, and that I'm a bad person for doing something my mom wouldn't agree with. I completely anticipate this date triggering my OCD as it has many times in the past when I've done something like this- it will tell me the date went awful, I'm a bad person, I HAVE to tell my mom, etc. Going to try to respond differently this time.
So, depending on how it goes tomorrow, I may or may not be doing the suicide YouTube video ERP. I will keep you updated!