Exposure:

Tool for Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), usually part of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to treat OCD, Agoraphobia, and other Anxiety Disorders. This will desensitize the person from their triggers, by means of systematic, escalating exposures. On my own, I do little exposures that somedays grow huge, subject to my ups/downs. Translates to failure many times- and last night was a huge loss of net worth. I visited fuckanxietyville on a very busy workday. I was fixated on hanging out afterwards. A significant exposure I thought I could handle without major incident. Wrong.

Exposure Starts. Really? Breathless upon entry? Can I run out? No. Change my mind? Not really. FUCK. Rate my anxiety at a 9. But come on, BREATHE. Minutes Elapsed. Are you fuckin’ kidding me? I can’t swallow my beer because my throat’s closing up on me. Great. The fast drinker now can’t drink, absurd. Half Hour Elapsed. Ok, focus on the stand-up act you came to see. Just block it all. But not them too! Forty Five Mins Elapsed. Oh no, I’m starting to cry. Gotta get out soon. But give it a while. Fake laughing, does anyone notice? 1 Hour Elapsed. Out NOW, worthless bitch! If you say so. Exposure Ends. Rate anxiety at a 10, which means Exposure Failed. I spent close to an hour outside, hiding in plain sight, crying quietly. Until a friend found me. And I broke irreparably, yet to recover****meltdown: Colossal failure… with a side of glad I tried topped with sick & tired of this. What the fuck?  I gathered the remains of my dignity, worth, and sanity from this filthy floor and tried to put it back together but it didn’t stick…. just my luck. Yay, awesome.

stopwatch

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