I've definitely got some anticipatory anxiety brewing right now. Unfortunately, a plumber has to come to my home tomorrow morning to do some work. I believe he (or she!) will probably need to go into the unfinished part of my basement. You know, the mousy part. And then the plumber will probably touch numerous things throughout my house spreading that awful contamination. Agh!!!
I've been thinking all week how I was going to handle this horrible episode. I can ask my husband to come home from work and be here when the plumber is here. I can ask my mom to come and sit with me during the appointment. I can take some extra medication to help me through it. I can cancel the appointment and avoid the whole thing (but not really - the work must get done). I can do any combination of the previous things. Or . . . I can do nothing and just let the plumber come and do his or her business. I can sit with the terrible fear, experience it, and teach my badly behaving body and mind who is really boss. And let me tell you, it's NOT going to be the OCD. I'm choosing the last option, though it's really scary.
One thing I've learned about anxiety is that if you can get through it, your body will adjust to it, and over time (and through many exposures) your body will react less and less to it. Of course, it's the anticipatory anxiety that forever taunts me. I'm always convinced that it is going to be so much worse than it really is. Generally (especially the more you do ERP), the exposure tends to be easier than expected.
So what am I afraid of? The unknown. I don't know what will really happen tomorrow. And I'm just gonna have to live with that.