Trigger warning: OCD triggers below
I never figured that I would be doing a small amount of exposure therapy on myself at home, starting little by little, to try and claw a way through the gnawing terror of intrusive thoughts that accompany OCD.
I allowed myself to become habituated to the compulsions and the thoughts that swirl around my head like a cloud of smoke– unescapable even in dreams. My thoughts often simply become nightmares when I go to sleep. And I became used to that, accepting the stress and low-grade terror as a lifestyle.
So, I am trying to take this fall and winter as a time to really work hard on my OCD strategy. I expect setbacks–and I have already had them. I expect OCD relapses. But I also know that I don’t need to live forever with the foggy cloud of worry that settles on me this easily. Sometimes even accidentally. Sometimes even unprovoked.
I am hitting at OCD from a lot of different directions right now. I intend to make it difficult for OCD to hang around anymore. Some of the easiest and best ways I am trying so far are simple exposure-therapy that I can do at home.
I got an incredible coloring book.
The book is especially themed to provide coloring pages for OCD trigger exposure. Every experience coloring in it is uncomfortable, but I know that’s the point. I am slowly (quite slowly, but it’s happening) being a little bit desensitized to these “trigger words.” (And this author got so many trigger words correct!) I have pages and pages to color.
The author of this particular book also gives the suggestion to write a “worst case scenario” story for what would happen if your trigger happened to you. I haven’t started that activity yet, but I think that’s another good one. (Add it to the arsenal.)
I will ease into it. 😉
For right now, the coloring is making me plenty uncomfortable. 😉
Happy coloring, sweet people!