I started the real portion of my therapy today with my psychiatrist. It looks kind of scary. According to her, the best way for me to treat my issues is to, essentially, force me to confront them and then deny me any of the normal coping mechanisms I make use of. Now, the whole point of this therapy will be to cause me distress, which will apparently, eventually, acclimate me to having those thoughts without them causing anxiety. She described it like hearing Muzak in the background at a mall - you hear it, but you don't pay it any attention.
Since the whole point of this therapy is to make me do something that causes me a lot of fear and guilt, if I wasn't bothered by the idea of it, that would be a strong sign that this therapy technique won't do me any good at all. If that relation works in the other direction as well, my level of nervousness about this means it will probably work great. Most of this session was spent with me describing things that might happen that would upset me a lot and rating them by subjective levels of distress. So, for example, calling my parents might be a 50, while finding out that a close friend secretly hates me is, say, a 90. It's interesting that while the scale is 1-100, I have apparently given it a logarithmic scale without conciously thinking about it. Just examining where I put things on the scale, it's obvious though. 80 is nasty but really only somewhat worse than, say, 70, and then something I rated 90 would be really bad, 95 is horrific, and 100 would have to be something so traumatic I probably wouldn't live (or want to live) through it. Anyway, the idea of rating the distress levels is that I will start going through them (starting from the lowest stress ones) and going up from there. Some I will do IRL (such as calling a friend I haven't seen in a while, or any of the other anxiety-causing situations which are easy to do for real), while others will involve me imagining them happening or recording a tape of me describing something anxiety-provoking related to my obsessions, and then listening to it over and over again.
The part that makes this so hard for me is that before I started taking Prozac, I spent all of my time obsessing over the things that bothered me, living them over again and again in my mind, going over every possible angle and nuance for days on end. Since then, I have been able to just not think about things that bother me. I still get the thoughts popping into my head, but I can, with relative ease, force them out again. I would really enjoy continuing to just not think about these things, because damn it, I'm a lot happier not thinking about things that bother me than I am when I spend all day, every day thinking about them endlessly.
A few weeks ago, I helped a friend move. On a mix tape he had made for the move, he put the Weezer song Suzanne. It's an old song, but wasn't easy to get ahold before recently with the new 'deluxe' edition of the Blue Album; I think before that it was just on the Mallrats soundtrack. It's a great, great song and I just know it's going to be one of those that I listen to it again and again until I get completely sick of it.
"Suzanne, you're all that I wanted of a girl / You're all that I need in the world" [...] Now I just need to find a nice girl named Suzanne to fall in love with, and I've got the perfect song all lined up.