I had that realization tonight I think. When I went through SOOCD, I could purposely lean into the thoughts and the anxiety. If I had an intrusive thought about who I’m attracted to, I could play along with it in my head. Whether it was during an exposure or just completely random.
With this theme, I don’t think I’ve fully sat with the thoughts to the best of my ability. Like yeah, I’ll say the thoughts out loud, I’ll do a physical exposure even, but I won’t actually sit and “accept” them. And when the thoughts hit unexpectedly, I’ll try to “accept it” then afterwards say, “nah I just can’t do that” and reject it. In reality, I have to sit and go all in, like I did with SOOCD.
Also too, what I’ve noticed is my current and precious anxieties get tied into this theme. I was going through loneliness and anxiety from that before this started. And now my mind will say “well you felt lonely so maybe you do want to kill yourself” and then I get the anxiety and harmful images that follows. But growing up I never once felt that way anytime I felt anxiety or depressed, and this theme now started from an intrusive thought.
Everything I’ve described, plus the fact of what society tells us to do when any time this comes up in our head, makes this so difficult. But I think you’re right in the sense of, I need to lean all in, 100% to ERP with this, not half-ass it.