June 29, 2011

Here we go Again - More OCD ERP experiences.

I started a new ERP assignment today.  I have to watch the documentary “Women in Love” by a lesbian filmmaker.  It basically documents her journey in finding love.  Once watching 10-15 minutes worth of the film, I have to write a script exaggerating my thoughts about how I’m in the process of coming out, and how I’m going to tell my family etc.  THIS IS HARD. 

Watching the film isn’t giving me as much anxiety as it would have in the past I’m sure.  After the last few exposure homework assignments, some “lesbian-themed” stuff has become fairly benign to me.  But there are two things that are bugging me:
1.       After becoming habituated to my last assignment I was feeling GREAT!  The thoughts were virtually gone, and the OCD bully was cowering in the corner.  I was really enjoying that feeling, but I knew that since I was in ERP that it was going to be short lived.  What I find happening when starting a new ERP exercise is that the thoughts start again in FULL FORCE.  They don’t just occur when I’m doing the homework, they endure throughout the day.  AND I WANT THEM TO GO AWAY.  After my last experience I think I’ve learned though, that they might not go away and I need to just welcome them and let them stay as long as they want.  

2.       I am now exposing myself to some pretty sexually explicit stuff.  Lots of nudity, some lesbian porn, and even some female threesomes.  This brings out a whole other realm of rituals and obsessing. 

Wish me luck.  I think I’ve learned a thing or two since my last few exposures.  Hopefully I can apply my new-found “OCD wisdom” to this experience. 


  1. Good luck! This is an excellent challenge.

  2. POC, I was assigned to watch lesbian porn as one of my assignments also, it's an interesting experience, to say the least! What my therapist tells me is while going through these exposures, if your mind takes you to the place where it thinks you're a "raging" lesbian, then that's OK.

    It's true, we have to invite these thoughts and let them stay as long as they want. Each day gets better and better. Once we are strong enough to deal with the anxiety that creeps in, (sometimes daily, sometimes all day), I think that is when we have succeeded. Sometimes it takes a while, sometimes not. I have some exposures that have taken mere days to overcome. I think this one is longer because it is something I have been obsessing about since I was, um, 12.

    Good luck! Let us know how you make out with this!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing details of your ERP Therapy. Though ERP Therapy saved my son's life, I only have a basic understanding of it. It is a real learning experience to hear specifics of some of the exposures you are going through. Good luck!

  4. Thanks everyone! So far - so good. It's not easy by any means, but I am coping so much better than my last exposure.
    Lolly - I have had this obsession for so long too. So long that it's affected so many areas of my life. I think expecting it to go away quickly is setting myself up for failure. When I was working with my last OCD therapist - when I really decided to commit to ERP - I was almost compulsively doing exposure because I just wanted the OCD to GO AWAY. Now for the most part I've accepted that it is a lifelong challenge that must be managed.

  5. Ok, so I'm catching up on reading old posts, and I have to say - this is awesome! I am very inspired by the progress you've made and the work you put into doing your ERP homework! Perhaps it will inspire to be a bit more compliant with my own homework assignments :).