So, I’ve been in CBT for about a month now, trying to tackle my anxiety and newly developed OCD (more on the obsessive side). Although in therapy, I’ve been experiencing some major setbacks lately, and honestly, yesterday was the last straw for me!
What I have decided to do outside of therapy is conduct my own mini exposures. Do things even though I don’t want to do them, and try to focus on myself. During this process, I’ll be sharing my experiences with you guys.
Yesterday night, I texted my friend and asked her to hang out. She suggested that we go to a hotel lounge, and as I read her text, I felt a little spark of panic.
I agreed to go, anyway.
I hopped in the shower (stay in).
I put on my make up (something embarrassing might happen).
I buttoned up my shirt, zipped up my pants (your friend is gonna think you’re weird if you look anxious in front of her).
Looked at my reflection in my full length mirror: “So what?”
The beautiful night air brushed my face as we walked toward the hotel. I don’t know what it was, but something woke up inside of me, and I told myself that I couldn’t waste this opportunity by being focused on my anxiety, or by trying to control it.
The hotel had such nice scenery, that we took pictures at every turn! I mean, every turn. We were like little kids in a candy store. Once inside of the lounge itself, the music controlled my every move. I danced. I laughed. I- wait…I wasn’t feeling anxious! I was so focused on having a great time, and enjoying the moment that I completely forgot about my worries.
It ended up being a great night.
Once I got home. I felt so happy that I went. I felt that I could conquer the world.
“Tomorrow, I’ll do even better on my next exposure!”
Today, I decided to go print out some of the pictures that I had taken from the night before. On my way there, I felt a little shaky, but I kept on driving. Once inside, my heart began pounding in my ears, but I headed over to the printing booth anyway.
I inserted my USB. Pressed “Browse Pictures.” Error. I had to ask for help.
Once the tech walked over, my eyes began to twitch, my hands began to shake, and all I could think about were the physical manifestations of my anxiety. Why is this happening?
“Try this.” Nothing. “Try that.” It still wasn’t working. He had to call over another employee. Oh no. At this point, my thoughts were jumbled, and I was speaking in syllables. After about 15 minutes in this situation. I finally got my pictures printed! I walked out of there as fast as I could.
As I sat in my car, my eyes focused on the red light in front of me, I felt so defeated. I was so mad at myself, but as I’m writing this, I think back to last night. I savor that feeling of freedom and happiness, and know that I’m going to try again tomorrow.