Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Monday, July 21, 2014

ERP: An Absolute Necessity

The mere thought of Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is terrifying to most OCD sufferers. I first learned about ERP in 1996, but I avoided it until my life fell apart (for the second time) in 2009. Thirteen years. I wasted thirteen years of my life. I can honestly say that learning how to do ERP (under the guidance of an expert Cognitive Behavioral Therapist) was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is a skill that I will now have with me forever. Literally changed my life.

A lot of anxiety sufferers desperately wish for a way around ERP. I know I sure did! To my knowledge, there just isn't one. At least not at this point in time. So, until something else comes around, CBT/ERP is the best way to go. Considering its necessity to recovery from anxiety disorders, maybe we need to reframe how we look at ERP. My friend Janet, of "ocdtalk," published a truly excellent post on ERP that I highly recommend. It may just change how you look at ERP.

10 comments:

  1. Sunny, If your post doesn't convince people to pursue ERP I don't know what will. That simple yet powerful statement: "I wasted thirteen years of my life," sent chills through me. Thanks for being such a strong advocate for ERP!

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    1. Well, let's just say I learned that the hard way, Janet! Thank you for your strong advocacy as well.

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  2. I echo ocdtalk's commetn, Monique. Great post!

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  3. ERP has always sounded so scary to me... thank you for the link, I'll go there now :)

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    1. Hey Lauren! Oh I KNOW, it scared me to death. But it's important to understand that a good therapist will not throw you into the deep end, nor will he or she force you to do something that you don't want to do. They will, however strongly encourage you, little by little, to face what you fear, break down the cognitive distortions that hold you back, and walk you through the process. A good therapeutic relationship looks like teamwork, in my opinion.

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  4. I'm so glad you got the help you needed. My experiences with ERP have been so helpful, too. I am still learning ways that it helps.

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    1. Oh me too, Tina! Yes, it is a life-long learning process for me too. One day at a time . . .

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  5. You're brilliant...you've worked so hard and I can see how it helped you. As a COE, I have to face triggers, but I do avoid triggers when I can, so it's not quite the same thing. But your post shows me how important it is to have a plan in place when triggers can't be avoided.

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    1. Oh Jean you crack me up! Believe me, I'm not brilliant, I just know how to regurgitate info ha!

      Yes, certainly COE is different from OCD. In fact, from an OCD standpoint, we are supposed to actually seek out triggers. But you are right, whether COE or OCD, we must have a plan in place for triggers when they do come, and they WILL come.

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