Paruresis Recovery Day 165

Tonight we decide to venture down to the local bar. And of course, I decide to Fluid Load.

I guzzled two bottles of water, on top of the coffee I just drank, and within 1/2 hour, I’m ready to pee.

So we leave the house and get to the bar 2 minutes later.

First things first…

I head straight into the john…

Now, if you remember from This Post Here, this bathroom is very small.

I was nervous about that bathroom because I knew it was so small (no breathing room). But still I Fluid Load to force myself past my fears and to force myself into that bathroom to urinate.

So in I go!

The bathroom is empty (yeah)! I move up to the one and only urinal and slightly hold my breath while pushing gently down.

Paruresis Recovery Day 165

I start to pee in about 20 seconds!

I stood there for a lonnnnng time peeing. But even though the bar was busy, not a single soul came in.

I Peed in Peace!

So then we eat, I drank another bottle of Root Beer, and 1 1/2 hrs later, I need to pee one last time.

I knew I could have waited the 2 minutes to get home to pee, but what fun would that be?

I head back into the john…

It’s empty again!

I stand at the urinal and this time I start to pee within 10 seconds.

I am nervous about having someone enter, since I’m pretty much facing the door and then they too, would also be facing me when they came in. But it didn’t happen! I was there alone the entire time, AGAIN!

What are the odds?

I peed, emptied my bladder, and left with a smile on my face.

This is how is should be!

I’ve now peed 4 times successfully in that little bar bathroom. I’m sure with repeated exposure, it will just get easier and easier.

But, who’s to say what would have happened if the door would have banged open and 2 guys would have came in…

Especially with only 1 urinal and 1 stall… Awfully tight quarters! One of them would have had to stand there behind me, looking over my shoulder, waiting for me to finish…

I guess I’ll cross that bridge when it happens.

For now, it’s 2 more successes!

I peed in public with no problems tonight.

I really could get used to this. :)

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75 Percent Success!

I say I have a 75% Success Rate because of tonight. I peed in public 4 times, or tried to. 3 were perfect, 1 not so much!

Me and my friends are all going out to my favorite restaurant. You know, the one that I’ve yet to pee in. I’ve tried the past 2 visits to pee there, and have always ended in failure and frustration.

Tonight, I decided to Fluid Load an hour before we leave. I drank 1 1/2 bottles of water AND downed a can of pop.

That should do the trick!

I have a slight urge to urinate before we head out the door (me and my Pee Buddy Mike), which is good.

We picked up a couple of our other friends and twenty minutes later we pull into the parking lot.

Needless to say, by the time we get there at 7, I do need to pee!

As everyone is hanging up their coats and getting situated in the booth, I excuse myself and take the awfully long hike back to the restrooms. It really is about the longest restaurant in the world (or so it seems). And the restrooms are at the exact opposite side (like 1/4 mile away lol).

So I walk through the bar, through the tables and restaurant and hustle of people…

75 Percent Successful Paruresis Recovery Rate!

And I run into another friend of ours eating there. She sees me and we chat for a minute or two, and then I hustle back towards the john, which is still past the kitchen, through more tables and then down the hall… Whew!

Finally I see the bathrooms on the right.

I push on the men’s door and walk in.

One guy is at the sink. Another guy is at urinal #1 (there are 3 urinals in all). So I move up to the last urinal in the corner, unzip and wait.

I start to pee in like 30 seconds.

I’m soooo HAPPY!

I’ve NEVER peed in the urinals here (I have in the stalls a handful of times over the past few years). So peeing tonight is a huge break through.

I peed until I was empty, and then I wash and leave.

I’m on top of the world!

1/2 hour later (and a root beer and some more water), I can tell that I need to pee again. Not wanting to stifle the urge, or put it off for too long (I didn’t want to turn off my “urgency” settings in my brain), I mumble something about “I need to pee again” and motion to Mike to move.

He squishes out of the booth and I slide out. I glance over towards my other friends as I scoot. Kay throws her hands up and says “Is there something wrong?” (…because I just got done peeing!)

I smile, laugh, shrug, and say “no“.

She just looked concerned. I certainly didn’t want to tell her that I guzzled 40 ounces of liquids before I headed out the door lol.

So I make my way back to the bathroom, and as I get close to the door, it opens and some guy comes out. We do a little dance as he looks at me. I go around him and reach for the door… Another guy pushes his way out. ??? The bathroom is this busy?

I excuse myself around him and enter the john.

I see another guy is at the sink, and TWO guys are at the urinals. The #1 and the #3 spot!

The Horrors hit me!

I hesitate briefly. 2 of the guys look right at me as I come in. And the guy at the third urinal is STILL looking at me. WTF?

I try to ignore their eyes and make my way to the center urinal.

The guy at the third urinal, which is a young guy, is still staring… Really? Take a fucking picture, I’m thinking!

I finally glance at him and finally he looks away!

Sheesh! How rude!

The door opens again, some guy comes in and goes to the sink.

I feel so much pressure, especially since that kid just stared at me for the longest time. Of all the nerve!

The guy at urinal #1 finishes peeing and flushes. The guy next to me at 3 is just standing there quiet. I can’t hear a thing. I’m beginning to wonder if he’s pee shy???

I’m nervous and having problems relaxing. I don’t like the center urinal and I feel like I’ve been here way too long doing nothing.

Some other guy comes up to urinal #1.

He starts to pee pretty quickly.

The guy at #3 finally walks away… He doesn’t even flush. He goes over to the sink.

Urinal #1 finishes up and goes to the sink as well. Some words pass between the two guys, but I’m not really paying attention. I’m holding my breath and I do get a little pee out. Just a squirt!

I was hoping that these guys would leave so I could move over to the third urinal and try again (my bladder was full). But as more guys come and go, the guy who was at urinal #3 is still fixing himself in the mirror.

What the hell? Go away!

I get a little more urine out. This is NOT good!


Finally I give up. It’s not going to happen! I flush and walk over to the sink. I wash and ignore the kid who’s still fixing his shirt.

I decide I’ll try again in a little while.

How aggravating!

Especially since I just had success here!

So I go back to the table and sit. My friend keeps probing me about why I’m peeing so much. My other friend says he was on some kind of medication that made him pee a lot.

I tell them it’s my diet water pills. “They make me wizz!”

This satisfies them.

Fluid Loading and Desensitization are tough when you’re out with friends who don’t know that you’re pee shy.

So another hour goes by. I really need to pee now. It’s becoming uncomfortable.

I laugh it off and say “I need to go AGAIN!

I can hear more laughter and discussion as I leave. I’m sure they’re asking Mike tons of questions about my peeing habits

I get to the john (after talking with my other friend for the 3rd time… I wonder what she’s thinking?)

I push on the men’s door.

There’s one guy at the sink and all 3 urinals are EMPTY!


I make my way over to the last urinal and am peeing withing 10 seconds.


I peed and stood there peeing and peeing and peeing. I never thought it would end.

Some guy came in as I was peeing. He moves up to urinal #1. He peed and finished and I was still peeing. LMAO!

He was at the sink when I finally finished and flushed.

Finally! Back on track!

I go out, and enjoy myself and the rest of the evening.

And after about another hour, right before we leave, I decide to pee one last time.

I was dreading it a little since I’ve already peed 3 times, and it’s been pretty obvious. But I also didn’t want to go home with an urge to urinate. So…

I excuse myself once more. My friend Kay says “Cheese and Rice!” LMAO!

(nice cuss words)

I go back to the outer limits, walk into the bathroom and see one guy at urinal #1. I go to #3. And withing 20 seconds, I’m peeing again.

And I peed, and peed…

I just relaxed and let it happen naturally. I stood there a little longer just to make sure it was all out. I was totally empty!

I did not want to bring my urine home! :)

So that’s my night…

4 Bathrooms, 3 Success Stories, 1 Misfire.

Not too bad…

That’s a 75% Success Rate!

I can live with that.

It really is true what they say about Bathrooms and Peeing and Paruresis…

If you wait it out long enough, and keep on trying, you will PEE!

You WILL have Success!

Many times we often give up after the first failure, but that’s NOT what you want to do. You have to keep pushing it. Face it! Try again! Don’t give up!

It could take you 3, 4, 5 or more times of trying before it finally pays off. But it will!

And that’s all that really matters.


I’m happy about tonight. It was my first time peeing in a urinal there, and I did it 3 times.

Gotta love that! :)

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Peeing at the Pub

It’s 4 p.m. Wednesday. Mike tells me that Kay (a friend of ours) called and wants to meet us at the local pub (which is pretty much directly across the street from where I live).

She’ll be there around 6:30.

No problem!

So around 5:30, I start to Fluid Load.

I’ve been in that Irish Pub plenty of times, and even though I’ve lived here for 12 years, I have never ever even once stepped foot into that bathroom.

Surprise Surprise!

In fact, I’ve been terrified of it. It’s always full of people I know. They’re extremely busy. And the place, being a Bar with Televisions and Live Music, is VERY Masculine!

It’s Young, Loud, and Drunk!

Many times the place is thumping so loud that you have to holler “What’d ya say?

Yep, like that!

So even though I was highly nervous about what I’d find, I wanted to finally squash my fears and venture into the men’s room once and for all.

By 6:30, I had drank 2 bottles of water and a full can of pop.

I was ready to go!

We get there, get seated (20 minutes later), and right off the bat I start drinking more.

I could have tried going to the bathroom immediately, but my urge was not very high yet. It was there, but it wasn’t screaming “get to the toilet“.

So I keep drinking Root Beer and water. Kay and Jeff show up. We order appetizers. We’re all chatting…

Jeff, if you recall, is a big macho macho man. He’s a sport’s fanatic and he sure does intimidate me. I was hoping he wouldn’t go to the bathroom at the same time as me, that would have been a sure failure.

What’s funny is that when we go there, I made Mike (my Pee Buddy) sit on the inside of the booth.. That way I could just dart to the john and not have to interrupt anyone or draw attention to the fact that I was peeing…

Mike says “What if I need to go?

I laugh “Then I’ll let you out!

It’s easier for him to say “I have to pee“, he doesn’t care who knows.

So after about 1/2 hour, I decide it’s time. I had been thinking about peeing and I just had to do it…

Get my ass moving!!!

So I get up and head back to the men’s room and push on the door…

I step in. I’m the only one in there (which doesn’t even seem possible).

I notice that the small bathroom has only 2 urinals and 1 stall.

I step up to the second urinal (the first is right next to the door), and as I’m getting situated, I hold my breath.

Peeing at the Pub

I fear that I’ll need all the help I can get.

40 seconds later, I start to pee!

I keep holding my breath and inhaling slowly, holding it, then letting it out just to keep constant pressure on my stream.

I expect the door, just feet away, to open at any second.

I try not to think about it and just do my business.

I can hear people at the service station (right around the corner), and I can hear a lady’s voice and a man is laughing as he goes down the hall…

I really thought he was coming in, but nope, he didn’t! I was able to pee totally. Finish. Empty my bladder and not a single solitary soul came in.

That I did NOT expect!

So I wash and head back to the table. I’m feeling very chipper and happy.

What a relief!

1/2 hour later as we’re finishing up, I decide to pee one last time.

I head back to the bathroom again (also wondering if the table is now talking about me peeing so much).

I enter the john.

It’s empty AGAIN!

What are the odds? Especially since it was standing room only…

Well, I step up to urinal #2 and within 20 seconds I start to pee again. :)

And the entire time I peed, I was alone and felt pretty relaxed. I peed twice at the bar that I have always been scared of.

2 things I’ve really realized is this:

  • Most bathrooms only have 1 or 2 urinals
  • Most of the time, as long as you’re fast, you can get in and out and be the only person in there!

The big exceptions are of course, Arenas, Stadiums, Theaters and Airports. The nightmares for all Paruretics!

No matter though, I did pee… TWICE!

And I am very happy and ready for that next drink.

Bring it on! :)

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Peeing with the Elephants

Tonight, we decide to eat at the Elephant Bar, which is a cool restaurant located at the mall.

I had already drank a cup of coffee, and so I top it off with a bottle of water.

I tell Mike “I’ll probably be ready to leave in like 20 minutes!

No problem!

I then also drank a can of pop (soda, whatever you call it), and I picked up another bottle of water (16oz) to sip until we leave. I wanted NO CHANCE OF FAILURE!

20 minutes go by…

Then 30.

I’m still waiting for all these liquids to bring on an urge to pee

I certainly don’t want to leave the house without one, because I don’t want my brain to squash those “Must Pee” thoughts and lock my bladder down.

45 minutes go by. Then an hour!

Finally I can feel an urge begin. That took a while…

You’d think I’d be busting at the seams, but some days I could go a long time without peeing, and others, I’m peeing every 20 minutes. Go figure!

70 minutes after I started fluid loading, we head out the door.

We get to the restaurant and mall 15 minutes later.

Peeing with the Elephants

We go in, get seated, and I glance back towards the bathrooms “I’m going pee” I say. I also tell Mike to order me a Root Beer.

I head to the back and walk up that curvy little ramp they have. The men’s room is on the left.

I push the door open!

The bathroom is empty.

And of course, there’s only 1 urinal.


I step up that lonely urinal, unzip and wait…

And while I’m relaxing, I hold my breath. Not really a full blown out Breath Hold, I’m just taking in deep breaths, holding it for 15-20 seconds, then exhaling slowly. Just relaxing and slowing my heart beat, body and mind…

And then I begin to pee!

I peed for a couple of minutes, and I was actually surprised that no one entered during that time.

I thought for sure it would happen. BUT NOPE!

Then after we finish eating an hour later, I decide to pee one more time.

I walk up to the ramp to the restrooms and go in.

It’s empty again!

I go up to the urinal (much more confident than before) and within 20 seconds I’m peeing pretty fast.


I peed, washed and left!

It’s weird how many public places have only 1 urinal. It’s kind of crazy to think about. I always imagined 3, 4, 5 urinals, but most are just 1, maybe 2. Only large venues have more.

See how much I know?

So the night was a success. I peed twice at the Elephant Bar and could have stayed out all night. Normally I’d be racing back home with a huge desire to pee… But now, I’m good. I’m empty and refreshed. I even asked Mike if he wanted to walk through the mall… Things I would have NEVER done before recovery.

Right now, my freedom feels great.

I’m loving it!

It really is like a whole new world! :)

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Urinal Humor

I saw a funny bathroom post on iFunny yesterday…

It’s an image of the different types of guys you see at the urinals.

Of course, it caught my eye!

Take a look…

Urinal Humor!

Now those are clever, brought a chuckle, and oh so true… But there’s clearly one type of urinal guy that’s left out:

The Paruretic!

You know who they are. They are frozen at the urinals for a long time while other guys come and go.

They stand there unable to urinate. They need to pee badly, but they can’t! They are locked up and their bladder refuses to let the urine flow.

The Pee Shy Guys!

Guys with Shy Bladder are at the urinals all the time, but the funny thing is, you just don’t know it.

You never see them! They blend in and disappear!

You could be standing directly next to a guy who can’t pee, and they all look and act the same. They flush, wash and leave…

Who would know?

Paruretics hide themselves pretty well. They live off Shame, Embarrassment, and Secrecy!

They wait until the bathroom is empty before they make their attempt to pee.

If some guy comes in, they quickly flush and bolt. Even if it means leaving with a full bladder.

They do this because they (we) don’t want you to know that we have a Bashful Bladder. We don’t want to seem less masculine, less than other guys.

And so, we leave with our tail between our legs and head for home, where we can pee in a “safe” toilet.

This is the life we live!

We are terrified of Public Bathrooms, Urinals, Crowds, Noises, and the biggie: Not being able to Pee!

That’s really the bottom line.

We think we’ll fail, and that’s exactly what happens.


So Paruretics are out there, you just don’t know it. They are just like every other guy coming and going in the john…

Except for one simple difference:

Normal Guys Pee – Paruretic’s Don’t!

Maybe one day, through Gradual Exposure Therapy, Pee Buddies, Desensitization and Fluid Loading, you TOO could be one of those guys standing at the urinal. The one with their feet spread wide apart (the over spreader)… Or the guy that farts (the multitasker), starts talking (the noisy), or pees while playing Angry Birds (the busy)… Who knows?

You could get there!

I’m closer than I ever have been in my life. I can taste victory! I practice everyday, all day, every week… It’s a new life, a change of course. I’m heading in the right direction!

But even as a Paruretic I still can’t tell who’s Pee Shy in the john or not.

And if I can’t notice… Do you think that regular guys will?

I think not! :)

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Peeing at Sam’s Club

I Fluid Load before we head out to Sam’s Club today.

I’ve only been in the bathroom there once before (Nov. 26th, 2013, Gradual Exposure Day 31), and at that time I didn’t pee. I just stood there for 4 minutes to desensitize.

Peeing at Sam's Club!

Today: Different Story!

We get to Sam’s Club, and by then (after a 20 minute drive) I needed to pee! (I had only drank 32 oz. of water!)

I head straight back to the bathrooms…

The funny thing is, I don’t even remember this bathroom. I’ve only been in here once in my life and I was way too scared 5 months ago to even think of anything else. I couldn’t even believe I stepped foot in there…

So I walk in…

I go around the corner and see 3 urinals.

I step up to the first one!

I stand there for a minute relaxing, just not worrying about anything, and as I relax, some guy walks in and goes up to urinal #3.

I relax more and decide to hold my breath, for I know I can pee

The guy at the last urinal pees fast and then I realize that he’s a Sam’s Club Employee because his walkie-talkie went off, and it was really loud and startling in that bathroom.

It makes me glance in his direction for a second. Then I look back down, exhale, and finally begin to pee.

I peed for a little and could tell that I was nervous and having a hard time because it froze up.

The worker finishes and moves to the sink behind me.

I stand there for a second not peeing…

And then I decide to hold my breath again. For I know that I can pee much, much more than I did.

The employee leaves and another guy comes in and goes to urinal #3.

I finally start to pee again!

And this time, it keeps on going.

The gross thing I find out is that these urinals must have something wrong with the pipes or drains. They must be backed up or plugged or dirty (there was no urinal cake) because they smelled really bad like a over-flowing porta-potty. Not pleasant at all! It really made me want to leave…

I tried not to smell (another good reason to hold my breath) and I continued to pee all the way until my bladder was empty.

I was stoked about that!

Normally, after the first lock up, I would bolt high-tail and leave the bathroom, but this time I stuck it out. I made myself pee no matter how long it took. And it worked perfectly!

I’m a Happy Camper!

My anxiety level wasn’t increased that much, but it was a new bathroom to pee in. And in reality, it only took about 4 minutes. That’s not bad at all!

So it was an Awesome Success!

(First time peeing at Sam’s Club!)

Then, after shopping for a bit, I went back into the bathroom once more.

I walked up to the urinal, held my breath, and began to pee within 20 seconds.

Some guy walked up to urinal #3 and he started peeing as well.

I didn’t skip a beat this time, I just kept peeing until I was finished.

YES! 2 Great Successes!

Not to mention, I did get some great deals at Sams! :)

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The Bar Bathroom

So me and my roommate Mike (who’s also my Pee Buddy) decide to eat wings at the local bar up the street.

We had been there a couple of weeks ago, and I had planned on going to the bathroom to desensitize, but the bar was packed and the hallways was busy and I chickened out. I didn’t go. (Read: Paruresis = 1, Recovery = 0)

Tonight, I did NOT want to repeat that failure and avoidance.

So an hour before we leave, I chugged two 16 oz. bottles of water.

I wanted to Guarantee Success!

And then about 5 minutes before we left, I also downed an entire can of pop (pop seems to flow right through me).

We get to the bar 2 minutes later (it’s literally one block away) and what’s the first thing I notice?

The parking lot is packed!

Jam packed!

There’s not even a place to park.

We literally had to wait until someone left just so we could grab a spot.

WOW, what am I in for?

I started feeling really scared. The longer we waited, the more my heart sank. It probably only took 2 minutes, but as any Paruretic knows, 2 minutes seems like forever! Especially since I had to pee…

I pictured wall to wall people, a crammed entrance, and certainly a very busy bathroom.

We head in. Surprise surprise, there’s only 2 people waiting for a table. The entrance and hallway were empty.

So as soon as we go in, I don’t hesitate, I head down the hall to the men’s bathroom.

I have no idea what to expect. I asked Mike what it was like in there, and he honestly couldn’t remember.

Big help he is…

I push on the door and see the urinal immediately. It’s right next to the door (inch away) with only a slight divider. The bathroom is small! Very small. One guy is standing at the sink washing up, and he glances at me in the mirror. I avoid his gaze. I turn towards the urinal

The Bar Bathroom


And I see that directly next to that is one small stall (cramped quarters). Talk about tiny. I had no idea the bathroom would be this claustrophobic. I do believe it’s the smallest bathroom I’ve ever been in. Barely able to hold 3 people…

And as I walk in, I see that the urinal is still flushing. He must have just wizzed. It would have been awkward if I would have walked in on that. Him wizzing and I’d have to either wait behind him, or use the stall (and I didn’t want to do that).

So I step up to the urinal (What am I doing? – Can I really do this?) and unzip. I had a high urgency to pee, but this is crazy!!!

Not what I Expected!

The sink guy is just 2 feet away from me and the door is on my right. So anyone coming into the john will literally be facing me and seeing me pee. That was a little nerve wracking to say the least!

I hold my breath, try to relax, and try to apply slight pressure downwards to pee.

The sink guy stands there for a moment longer and then leaves. But I swear as he left he glanced over at me on the way out

How Uncomfortable!

10 seconds later, I was peeing!

And I peed for a good couple of minutes, and thankfully, not one other guy came in.


Who knows what would have happened then? I probably would have locked up, but never mind, I didn’t… So put it out of your mind! Why think about failing when you’re having success stupid? And I did. I was able to pee, finish, wash and leave.



I go out, we get seated, eat (awesome fried spicy cheese balls) and drink plenty more.

And by the time we finished, an hour later, I could tell that I needed to pee again.

Now, I had 2 choices:

  • Pee again here
  • Pee at home (in 2 minutes)

So what do I choose?

I went for broke and peed there!

I went back into the scary bathroom on the way out and stepped up to that single urinal.

I’m nervous about some guy bolting in needing to urinate…

But I hold my breath once more!

15 seconds later, I hear a noise in the stall.

A flush!

Some guy was in there finishing up. He comes out and washes his hands. I had no idea someone else was in there. I’m still holding my breath. He washes, and as he’s washing I start to pee!

He dries his hands and he walks out the door. And yes, it must be because the door opens into the wall and you have to walk around it, but when you do you automatically turn towards the urinal and the pee’er as you pass… Because he turned my way on the way out, just like the previous guy. Sheesh!

I kept on peeing until I was finished!

What a crazy restroom. And to think that if someone would have entered in the beginning, they would have just stood there awkwardly because the urinal and stall were full…

That would have been a real challenge.

I’m happy that I made it through this tough scenario (Macho Sports Bar). I peed twice in a new bathroom, a small bathroom, one that I’ve never been in before.

I’m very proud of myself!

Bathrooms like this are difficult. But, I’m tackling them one by one.

Now, if I can just keep doing what I’m doing, then I’ll be a happy camper for sure.

Bar = 0, Richard = 2


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Avoidant Paruresis

Avoidant Paruresis is the true medical name for what I have:

Shy Bladder!

Most people don’t call it Avoidant Paruresis (AP), they just simplify it and call it “Paruresis”.

Avoidant Paruresis is exactly what we do:


We avoid everything! We avoid drinking liquids so we won’t have to pee in public, nor even get the urge to. We dehydrate ourselves and go all day without a single drink.

We avoid telling anyone we are Pee Shy. We live our whole lives in secrecy and shame, and our friends and family have no idea we even have such a dire condition. We hide the fact that we’re different. That we’re avoiding Public Bathrooms like the plague.

I Don’t Have To Pee!

We get good at sitting in our seats and not going to the restroom even though we are dying inside and ready to explode. We tell ourselves such things like: “I don’t really have to go“, “I can hold it”, “Even if I tried, I wouldn’t be able to go anyway, so why bother?”, “I’ll just pee when I get home, in another hour or so…”

We Avoid the Bathroom!

Avoidant Paruresis

If we DO walk in (on rare occasion), if the bathroom is busy, we usually just turn around (red-faced), and leave the john promptly.

We avoid any eye contact, they’ll know that you’re going to the bathroom. That’s disgusting and embarrassing!

The Horrors!

If we head towards the bathroom and someone else goes in right before us, we’ll usually veer off course and wait until they leave before we sheepishly venture in.

We don’t Pee or CAN’T Pee!

We avoid Concerts, Amusement Parks, Sporting Events, Theaters, Plays (really any event that’s crowded and takes all night)…

We definitely Avoid Traveling. Road Trips, Boating, Flying… Planes and Airports are a big no-no!

We Avoid a lot of things. We get good at avoiding. We’ve been avoiding our whole lives.

“We’re going to the bathroom, wanna come?”

We avoid going to the bathroom with groups of people (like a Tour Bus pit stop, or the Rest Stop on a Highway) or even with our friends and family… we can’t let them see we’re bashful and have to sneak into a stall. We wait until everyone else has gone before we “suddenly” have to go ourselves. And then, if they are waiting outside, or if there are time constraints, it usually ends in failure.

I heard footsteps outside” “The door creaked” “Someone’s in the next stall…”

We avoid being away from home for long periods of time. Hiking, Camping, Art Shows…

We avoid even looking at the restroom door, let alone stepping foot in one.

And we absolutely avoid the TROUGH!

That just sends shivers down our spines.

Our avoidance hurts us physically and mentally. It breaks us down to tears. It destroys us. Our Social life and our relationships SUFFER!

Paruresis puts a strain on everything it touches. And the most crazy thing in the world to wrap our heads around is this:


That doesn’t even seem possible, but it’s true.

We avoid getting better. We know that! We fight it tooth and nail. Because to recover means we’ll have to endure even more difficulty, more discomfort, more terror, more anxiety… the things that we’re doing everything we can to avoid to begin with.

Like everything in our lives, we simply avoid it.


I put off my Paruresis Recovery for a full 1 1/2 years because I was too frightened to begin. To take that first step meant I’d have to open myself up to my worst fears. I’d have to face my demons head on. To put myself into situations and scenarios that only nightmares are made of.

I would have to stand at urinals next to other guys and PEE!

That Terrified Me!

That’s the one thing in my life that I avoided the most. And to recover, I’d have to step up to the plate and pee like a man. Even thinking about that would provoke panic and make my heart race and my head swim.

So I avoided Recovery for a long, long time. I told myself I couldn’t do it. There’s no way. It’s NOT possible for me to do those ghastly things…

I couldn’t never Fluid Load and leave the house with a full screaming bladder… NO WAY!

I didn’t believe a Pee Buddy would work for me either. I didn’t even want to ASK someone to be my Pee Buddy. It’s so degrading…

How would I ever be able to open up enough and tell someone my real feelings and to TRUST that they’ll understand, and actually want to help me?

It didn’t seem Fathomable!

No one would want to help me. “You want me to stand there and watch you Pee?” UGH!!! Just the thought…


To this day, now 5 months deep into Recovery, I still feel some anxiety rising (not anywhere like it used to be). So I’m very happy that I took that first step. It really was the hardest decision in my life.

But, because I’ve been avoiding bathrooms for so long, I still see AP all around me. I see that I still want to avoid things that discomfort me. I suppose I always will…

But at least now I recognize that is Paruresis talking… I know it wants me to “avoid“. I know it wants to get in my brain and shroud me with doubt…

I know it!

Like when I’m at a busy restaurant, it makes me want to avoid the bathroom still. It makes me want to sit in my seat because “I don’t have a big urge to pee“. It still wants to hold me down. Discourage me.

It is Paruresis Bull-Shit!

The goal of Paruresis is to try to talk me out of going into the discomfort zone. “JUST AVOID IT!

Which means…

That is EXACTLY what I don’t NEED to do! Avoid it!

I need to face it if I want to fully recover. Face it head on and say to myself “Shut up, I CAN do this!” and make myself get up and move towards the bathroom. Not sit there worrying about it all night. MOVE!

Get my ass into the bathroom and PEE!

Quit Avoiding it and saying “I didn’t Fluid Load“, “We’re only out for an Hour!”, “There’s only 1 Urinal, it’s too tough…” I just need to make myself… MOVE!

Avoidance keeps me glued to my chair. It freezes me up. It locks my bladder down.

And the longer you sit, the worse it gets!

I’m learning to accept it. To see that it’s happening. To deal with it. “Don’t listen to it!

Sometimes it’s still impossible to ignore!

Just yesterday Kay was talking to me about opening day at the Baseball Game. We have tickets already and are all planning to go (me and a bunch of my friends). I’m looking forward to it, but I am nervous because it probably means we’ll be out all day, the stadium and then maybe out to eat afterwards… and the place will be PACKED. After all, it’s probably the busiest day of the season.

So I know I’m a little scared. It weighs heavily on me, but I think I’ll be fine. I have faith in myself…

The bathrooms may be ultra busy. There will probably be a line…

But I’m going to Fluid Load and make myself pee. That’s the plan!

And that’s when Kay says “It’s also the last Hockey Game as well. They’re playing right after the Ball Game (different Stadium not too far away) and I think we’re planning on going to that as well…”


My Heart Sank!

2 GAMES in 1 Day?

Back to Back?

That’s a long day” I say to her.

“Just 2 hours more” she replies.

I was standing there soaking it all in and looked over at Mike (my Pee Buddy)… He fully understood what I meant and what I was thinking. The decision is all mine. I smirk a little. Talk about Pressure!

2 MORE hours eh?

Just 2?

We’d probably leave home at Noon and not get back until 11. That’s just a couple hours for sure!

So while I plan on going to the Ball Game, I’m leery about going to the Hockey Game…

2 MORE hours!

I didn’t give her a “Yes” or a “No”!


My Avoidant Paruresis is already laying huge doubt “Avoid the second game” it says “One game is bad enough, 2 is IMPOSSIBLE! That’s TOO long to be away from home… Too far from safety!

It’s toying with me!

“How will you Pee?”

What happens if you CAN’T Pee?

It could spell Disaster!

See, it’s sill feeding me garbage and making my blood pressure go up.

Avoidant Paruresis wants to throw doubt on everything I do, every day. It passes out Anxiety like Candy!

It knows it has a grip on me!

Although it is slowly loosening and allowing me some breathing room. I know it’s there. Ready to rear it’s ugly head.

But then again, I am Peeing in Public and having pretty good Success

Talk is cheap…

But 2 Games?

Will I go to the second game? Will it be too much for me?

I don’t know.

For now, I’ll think about it…

And probably AVOID answering it! :)

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Target Practice

I Fluid Load today with one can of pop, and 2 bottles of water, and then 1/2 hour later, I’m off to Target.

This Target is a different Target than I normally go to. I’m unfamiliar with the bathroom there and don’t know what to expect.

I find out soon enough!

By the time I get there, I need to pee!

I walk in, turn right and head down the narrow hallway.

On the way I pass 2 girls. They look at me and I kind of half smile politely back.


I pass the Ladies Room, and see the Men’s, the last door on the left.

I Enter!

I’m the only one in here. This Target has 2 urinals, one tall, one small…

Target Urinal Practice

I step up to the short one (because I hate them), and try to relax. I’m a little nervous in here because it’s so damn quiet.

I can almost hear my heart beating. I exhale slowly and hold my breath

Finally around 30 seconds, I start to pee.

It begins shakily at first, but then picks up steam and a strong flow comes out.

I relax more and breath normally!

I peed for a while, it seemed like it would never end.

I could hear voices in the hall and thought for sure a guy would walk in, but no one did.

I peed in solitude, washed and left.

Target Practice Done!

I ran another short errand, and then made my final pit stop at Krogers.

I only needed a couple of things, but decided I would pee once more while I was there.

The last time I peed here, it was crazy because someone was at the 1 and only urinal there. I had to take the stall…

But today, as I go in, I’m the only one in here.

This Urinal is mine! :)

I step up, unzip, hold my breath and wait.

I’m nervous because it’s such a small quiet bathroom. 1 urinal, 1 stall, that’s it.

It wouldn’t take much to have 2 guys walk in and suddenly the place is full and one of them would be waiting, staring directly at me… There really is no where else to look. HA!

I put it out of my mind and just think about peeing.

I began to pee after 20 seconds!

Sweet! I’m peeing at Krogers!

I peed and I peed, and boy did I feel good.

And then, right as I was finishing up, the door opens and some young guy walks in (Bright Neon Yellow Tennis Shoes). He comes in, didn’t hesitate, and just went into the stall and latched the door (the sound of the latch was fumbling, loud and distracting!)

He began to pee in seconds. It was very loud and very fast in the toilet!

I flush and leave!

I was happy. 2 NEW bathroom experiences. 2 More success stories!

I feel really good with where I am and where I’m going with my Paruresis Recovery.

It’s not perfect…

I know I have plenty of ups and downs, but right now, this feels right.

It feels good!

It feels like I’m making progress little by little.

One day, I may not have to worry about who’s in the bathroom, or if I’m going to pee

One day it will seem second nature.

And that day, sounds great to me! :)

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A Night out on the Town

So tonight, I’m heading to the local Art Museum for a function with 5 of my friends.

We’re there for about 1 1/2 hours, but at one point in the night, I excuse myself and head for the bathroom.

I don’t have a massive urge to pee (but I did have an urge) since I didn’t Fluid Load, but I felt like I could try. If anything maybe I could pee a little?

I wanted to make this attempt no matter what, because I’ve been in that bathroom before, but I’ve never stepped up to those urinals (I don’t even know what they look like or how many there are).

Will Tonight be a Change for the Better?

I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it, I didn’t want to spook myself. So I just got up and headed in that direction. Easy as that.

I walk down the hall and turn into the restroom.

I’m the only one in there!

I walk up to the urinals (such crazy looking bowl urinals) and I see that there are 4 of them against the far wall. I grab the first one positioned in the corner, unzip and wait.

I can tell I’m pretty nervous. It’s quiet in there, so I know that if I’m going to pee, I’ll probably have to force it.

So I do Breath Hold!

About 30 seconds into it, I begin to pee.

And I was able to slowly inhale and exhale gradually so I could maintain my stream without breaking it.

I peed until my bladder was fully empty.

I felt Awesome about that!

Elated as a matter of fact. Especially since I didn’t really have to go.

After the Museum, we all head out to eat.

We end up at one of my favorite restaurants (great burgers and fries), and I drink a couple bottles of Root Beer.

I didn’t have any urge to pee, since I had already gone, but I thought it would be wise to at least go into the bathroom here just to desensitize.

So without dwelling further on it, I just excused myself and headed to the Men’s Room.

I walk in, I’m the only one in there!

This is good because there is only 1 urinal in here!

A Night Out On The Town


I feel my heart race as I step up to that urinal. The urinal itself is set deep into the wall. So as soon as you walk in, you have to make a hard right and walk into it… And, upon entering the bathroom, you don’t know if someone’s at that urinal until you turn the corner and walk in. It can get a little nerve wracking!

“Oh, Sorry, Excuse Me!

I hold my breath, but I can tell I’m panicky…

After about 45 seconds Breath Hold works and I begin to pee a little. Not much, but at least I did pee some.

I kept thinking that any minute the door would bang open and some guy would round the corner on me…

It would certainly startle me, embarrass me, and probably most likely lock me up.

But no one came in and I did get some urine out.

This bathroom has always been a little intimidating. Very quiet, a little dark and 1 haunting urinal!

So I finally Flushed, Washed and Left!


At least I did some desensitization, that’s the important thing. I didn’t sit there at the table like a lump!

So I find that if I have an urge to urinate, especially after Fluid Loading, Breath Hold works pretty well.

But without an urge, then Breath Hold is very difficult and brings on panic attacks.

So the Moral of the Story is:

Pee when you have the urge!

Or force that urge by drinking more liquids when you’re out, or Fluid Load before you leave the house.

Because trying to pee when you don’t have to, is sheer agony!

So I peed successfully at the Museum, but not so much at the restaurant.

Success or Failure?

A little of each!

And I fear, my whole life will always be a little of both.


Just like everything else in this world…

It’s all one big roller-coaster ride!

Wouldn’t you agree?

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