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  1. Awesome! Great to hear!! Thanks for sharing your success
  2. Good for you for sitting in the seat! Yes i find the everyday stuff a good place to start as its easier to be consistent with the CBT. I made a lot of progress after a bad relapse just being consistent with the CBT and whittling down my compulsions and places of avoidance little by little. I'm very happy to have made good progress there, but i still have lots to work on. What i'm struggling lately with is some of the bigger things that have become a long-term issue with me, namely using public toilets. That one remains very tricky for me because of all the variables. And also its just been so long that I've been avoiding them and i find the longer i leave things the harder it is to approach. I will get there though.
  3. Isn't that great how that kind of worked out that facing that trigger with the card delivery has made this move that you were dreading, anxiety free. I always love most the exposures that result in that sort of direct freedom/reward. Thank you again for posting more about your journey and how challenging it can be even when you've made so much progress. It is especially hard when our OCD involves a degree of embarrassment as it can make it hard to talk about with our counselors! I've been there as well. I think this is a great move coming out with it and yes seeing all that you've overcome in the past, i'm sure you can tackle this side of your ocd just as well as you've done with the rest of it.
  4. Yes i often wish that for myself as well. A magic wand or even just that the treatment was a little easier! That was nice of you to add some chocolates. I don't think it would be uncommon for a package to be opened by mistake and i doubt they would think much of it especially if its just some hangers. Do you have daily compulsions that you do on just normal days without extra triggers? I found for me the best way was just to reduce my daily compulsions a little at a time. I still would often resort to more compulsions when faced with surprise exposures (like yours with the delivery ending up on your shoes) Reducing my daily ones has helped me face the surprise ones, as i have started to see how i can handle anxiety without the compulsions. As i say though, all done in a gradual way, and not getting down on myself when the trigger is too much.
  5. Hi @BelAnna i can relate to feeling the need to resort to compulsions when the exposure feels to high. That is good that you are seeing some progress at least and not doing as many compulsions as you have in the past. Yes keep on with gradual work with the hierarchy, and the compulsions should lessen. I'm not sure what it's like to have a vomit phobia with facing contamination issues, but i would think it would be similar to those of us who have blood-borne disease fears. Our fears exaggerate the threat of even the idea of exposure to blood or a needle or something. So if i saw a needle near where i was walking i would have a similar response to yours. I am working at it slowly with a gradual hierarchy, and i have gotten better with it, but can very much relate to the fear! As always i find the fewer compulsions i do around something, the quicker the anxiety declines. But yes we must work at it gradually and not be too hard on ourselves while working away at it. Did you find out who the package was for? If it is for a family member and you can't do the compulsions you want to, i think you may be surprised by your ability to cope. The anticipation often seems worse, at least that's what I've found! Also try to think of your other thread and the threat exaggeration you had with your mum tipping the guy. Often when we give these fears a bit of time and space we can see that we were exaggerating the fear. Hopefully you'll be able to see that walking near vomit isn't a real threat.
  6. I just wanted to thank you for this thread Ashley. I find it to be so inspiring. I have long admired your hand-in-the-toilet exposure but somehow this one i find almost more inspiring. The photos really help too. I am sorry to read that you encountered a rough patch this morning, but yes all part of the journey. I know i can relate well to the frustration of a setback! Good for you for moving forward with the day and continuing your exposure at work.
  7. Yes that's terrible! I'm glad that you are aware that it's terrible and know to seek help elsewhere. Some people could be scared off seeking further treatment with an encounter like that. I have had some problematic doctors in my time and I have done the same as you are planning--just sought help elsewhere. Though sometimes I wish I had made my complaint known but at the time I was too weary and worn from the OCD. So I guess he didn't have any helpful suggestions around med adjustments? I can't remember are you on a wait list for CBT? I hope you see a new doctor soon and get some proper help!
  8. So glad you finally managed to eat! And yes great idea to shop online if you are having a hard time getting out, though i do hope you get back to enjoying your walks soon--that's one of my favourite things to do too! Try to not stay inside too much--it'll get more daunting to face the outside world the longer you avoid it. Really hope you continue to feel better and that your doctor visit goes well, Jumbo
  9. I agree. I have a lot of people in my life that laugh with me over my ocd. It lightens the mood and helps me. Humour can definitely be tricky though...wouldn't want people to feel like they were being mocked or ridiculed. Sorry to hear you are continuing to have a hard time with this. But it sounds like you are definitely making some good progress and it's to be expected that it will take some time. Anxiety is really difficult because we can know theories about how to cope with it but it really is felt so powerfully that it's hard to not do what we can to try and just stop it however we can. I know what you mean about how exhausting it is. I really feel that a lot. So we need to remind ourselves that these short term attempts to escape the anxiety, just lead to reinforcing it in the longer term. Easier said than done though i know--I'm struggling to continue with my plan around public washrooms. I go to use one and my anxiety starts to climb immediately now and i keep opting for the easier way out...(which is the flight option haha)...i know in theory that each time I'm fleeing I'm making it worse but it's hard to put into practice. This path we are on is a marathon. You are doing great in continuing to face up to what you need to. I applaud you. And it is great that you recognize that you are handling this better than a few months ago--so that's great progress! Try to do very nice things for yourself when not doing the exposures. Treat yourself especially well--take nice relaxing baths, go on nice walks, go out for a special coffee... Wishing you well malina
  10. That is really too bad. I hate it when i'm trying to make some positive steps and it puts me back. Dieting and exercise can both do that to me if I do too much. I know I rely on sugar to calm me and if I do too much vigorous exercise its stresses the body and it leaves me more susceptible to OCD. So I find myself constantly falling back to comfort foods to cope with anxiety. Have you discussed all this with your doctor? Hopefully it will just be a matter of time before the body gets used to not having weed to calm you, but maybe there's some med adjustment that could be made to help you. I really hope you get eating soon--the curry soup sounds good. I would really try to get your house stocked of easy stuff to eat though. Fruits, and canned stuff, granola bars...whatever... Could you tell your family you're just not feeling well if you don't want to tell them about the OCD? Also I wouldn't be embarrassed about asking the neighbours. A lot of people are happy to help with something simple like that. If they don't feel they can, they can just say no. Again you could just say you've not been feeling well and don't feel up to shopping...
  11. Hi Jumbo. I would find that very concerning to have not eaten in that long. I find when i don't eat, the stress from that worsens my symptoms. Is it ocd issues stopping you from eating, or are the meds making you nauseous? Can you ask anyone you know to do a shopping trip for you? Or can you manage a shopping trip? I know sometimes ocd stuff makes it hard for me to eat, but it always makes me feel better when i manage to get something into me.
  12. Sorry you are having such a hard time. I think malina's advice of having a plan of action is good, and finding people who can support you with your plan. I don't have anything to add to that but just wanted to send some support your way.
  13. That's so great that you were able to cut out the ruminating! i find that to be the toughest one to tackle. So great to hear you're feeling better about it all. I hope i can take on some of that advice for my exposures as well--you are an inspiration!
  14. Yes it's always easier to know in theory what we need to do, and in our moments of calm we can feel like we're ready to face the anxiety, but the anxiety is a truly difficult experience to just sit with.It's a really hard practice to sit with our fears that are often rooted in something very deep and existential. I feel like we are a very brave people facing these things! I get that too about trying to find the balance of working cognitively with the fear, while not using it as reassurance. It's a tough one. I think maybe the cognitive should be more use pre-exposure, just to make the decision basically to do it. But afterward maybe leaving it to just sit with the fear, especially if we find ourselves in that pattern of trying to reassure ourselves. I do find for myself as well that certain OCD possibilities are easier for me to sit with. I think it just depends on whatever our major theme is at the moment. I do find rumination one of the most challenging compulsions to stop. Totally! It's good that you have that sense of humour around it! I think it's funny that people have no idea what drama they are witnessing when i go to use a public washroom somewhere. If they could only see my brain waves of anxiety!
  15. Hey @malina Yes I can relate to that anxiety hitting afterward rather than during. I find it tough as well. I hear of these examples of tidy exposures where one is exposed, the anxiety goes up, then it goes down, but yes not always so tidy! Mine's all over the place. Sometimes goes up during, sometimes afterward, sometimes not at all. You gave me good advice in another thread about just taking it as part of the process. It's tough to do but yes i think the right way to go. I'm struggling with my current attempts at exposure still. I hope it goes well for you. Also, you sound like you have a good therapist that will back off in need be if you aren't quite ready. Keep in good communication with him about how it's going. (And of course come chat here when you want some support) Wishing you well
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