New Homework To Do

Song: “Hooked On A Feeling” by Blue Swede

Mood: 6

Nightmares: 0

No nightmares and no panic attacks last night, so I’m going to call it a decent sleep. I still woke up worrying a few times but I was able to get back to sleep after not too long.

I caught myself getting distracted a few times but was able to get through my exercises without getting too frustrated – a definite improvement over how things were going for a while there. I can feel the benefits of doing the mindfulness and worry period again – I think that’s a good sign.

I did the bathroom fan exposure again today, and put my numbers into graphs. When I look at the graphs, there’s a big improvement between when I started on it a couple of weeks ago and now. Another good thing that I’ve noticed is that the work I did with the stove seems to be sticking, too.

J came and picked me up for my appointment this afternoon with Dr P. When I got to the waiting room, there was a very interesting new arrangement of flowers on the side table, and the usual plant had been moved to the table in the middle of the room. I tried to concentrate on and observe the flowers but after a little bit I couldn’t focus on them and went back to squeezing the life out of the little green book I take to my sessions.

It was difficult to concentrate at my appointment again, but I recorded the session and will review it over the weekend. We talked a lot about what I was thinking about and what’s going through my head when I’m away from home, and discussed some of the possible directions that the therapy we’re doing can go. Dr P was pleased with how the bathroom fan exposure went and mentioned that I could try another target if I wanted to (I haven’t decided what to do yet).

We also spoke about my propensity to go to great lengths to think of everything that could possibly go wrong with something and the worst-case consequences and then wind myself into knots over it. Planning for disasters and thinking of the worst possible things that could happen is something that I’ve been quite good at in the past (particularly at work), but for whatever reason, I’m no longer able to selectively apply it. I think about it all the time and for everything. The house, the car, family, friends, driving, cooking… everything. Dr P suggested that when I’m very anxious about something and need to check it, I should take some time to write down exactly what I’m thinking and then read it back to myself. I kind of wrote down what was in my head a little while ago when I freaked out a bit about the fan but Dr P suggested that I go into as much detail as possible. I typically find that writing about things is helpful so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, aside from the number of things that I worry about in a day (or even in two minutes). I think I will pick one or two things a day so I’m not spending my whole day writing. That’s my new homework for the next three weeks (Dr P is going on holidays so I won’t see him for a bit).

J picked up a rotisserie chicken and potato salad while I was at my appointment and when we got home we made chicken sandwiches and talked about how our days went. She is very good at calming me down and making me feel like there isn’t a disaster lurking around every corner. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m a very lucky guy. The world would be a much better place if everyone had a J in their lives.

FA is coming over tomorrow and we’re going to have lunch, talk about stuff, and play some games. I’m looking forward to hanging out with her again – it’s always a good time and she has a lot of great stories.

So, no appointment with Dr P for three weeks and no appointment with Dr W for two. Looks like I have next week off. I think that’s okay.

Stay safe.

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