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iamwesker

Getting past day 3

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Hello,

Me again.

I''m struggling a little bit with the on-going amount of time doing ERP and resisting compulsions. What I mean is, I manage to keep going 2 days of exposures and not giving in to compulsions and the by day 3 again, I revert back to 0 progress and give in to the compulsions. I'm not sure if this is a case of not being strong enough or maybe I'm doing something wrong..

does anyone have anything like this or any tips to keep going.

 

 

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas. 

 

 

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My first thought is you are trying to bite off more than you can chew. See if you can lessen the exposure a bit in terms of the amount of anxiety it generates. 

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14 hours ago, iamwesker said:

I'm not sure if this is a case of not being strong enough or maybe I'm doing something wrong..

I don't think it's not a case of not being strong enough, the fact is you have done two days and that is brilliant, shows lots of strength there.  Have you done any cognitive work alongside ERP?

I guess a couple of thoughts I have are that next time, see if you can resist the compulsion to 3.5 days and then time after try and go to 4 days.  But, if you do keep relapsing that suggests somethings not quite going right. You could be doing the behavioural work but at the same time subconsciously neutralising (compulsion) which means the exposure benefit is short lived, hence the relapse on day 3.  Are you with a therapist? if so, after Christmas it may be worth talking it through with them to try and work out what's going wrong.

But, what I would say is that the fact you are managing to do the exposure exercise is amazing, that's the bravest and hardest part, hopefully some minor tweaks and adjustments (cognitive work) and hopefully three days will become three weeks then three months very soon!

Keep going :) 

Ashley.

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Lovely advice, thank you so much ..:) perhaps you are right that I could speak to a therapist and see where I'm going wrong because I'm doing it alone at the moment.

 

Have a lovely Christmas

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Have you ever done work with weights in a gym? It's not about 'no pain, no gain' but finding the right level of difficulty, building up slowly and giving yourself a chance to rest before pushing yourself harder. I once got into body conditioning in quite a nerdy way (chart with number of reps per exercise, etc.). I'm reading Mark Freeman's book 'You are not a rock' where he compares mental fitness with physical fitness and it's such a great comparison for ERP for me because with body conditioning using weights you are aiming for failure. With weights, you might start off with a 'legs day' using a weight that is an effort to lift (but not too much) and you repeat it in a controlled planned way until you reach the point of muscle failure - the point where you've worked until you've reached your limit. Well done you. You then take have a rest day (to give your leg muscles a chance to repair and get stronger) and work on arms the next day. Then when you come back to the legs next time, you see if you can increase the weight or the number of reps before you reach your limit. If your muscles hurt rather than just having a "pleasant ache" then you've pushed yourself too far. At first it's hard to see you've made any progress and then suddenly - ooh, I've got a bit of muscle definition or nice - I can lift that sack of compost without so much effort. 

Also yes, yes to not going it alone. Just like with weights, it's worth having someone who knows how this stuff works to help you set appropriate targets and support you in noticing how you're improving and when to push things a bit harder (or slow it down). Good luck!

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love the advice from everyone thank you.

 

Something a bit weird is happening really...I've started compulsion delaying, which was recommended by an online doctor.

What's strange is that I am delaying the compulsions...first by 30 mins, then an hour, then 2 hours etc... by the time 'rumination time' comes around, I feel almost like it is too painful to do the compulsions...so I don't. My compulsions are mental imaginings by the way...then I feel like a bad person that I'm not doing them.

Is this a normal part of the healing process

Thanks again

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It seems like the delaying process is working then if you put the compulsions off and then do not do them, it can only be a good thing. It feels bad as your brain is telling you that you need to figure it all out but deep down that process is what keeps the OCD monster alive. If you stop ruminating and doing compulsions the obsession lessens. That's how it works. It's easier said than done when you're troubled by an obsession but I think we can all say that ultimately ruminating only serves to make the obsession bigger and therefore the anxiety and doubt continues

Edited by MarieJo

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