More Bathroom Desensitization

We have some errands to run today, so I Fluid Load with water before we go.

The first stop: Menard’s

We walk in, the first thing I do is head for the bathroom.

When I walk in, there’s a guy at the sink washing his hands.

More Bathroom Desensitization

I take the first urinal, which is a kiddy urinal, unzip, and wait.

I haven’t been doing much Breath Holding lately, only when I feel it’s absolutely necessary. So I exhale, relax my entire body, and just wait.

It takes me about 20 seconds but I begin to pee.

Cool!

The guy was fumbling behind me with the dryers and finally got them to work. I paid him no attention.

I peed for about 2 full minutes, and actually got so bored I pulled out my phone and started to check my emails.

That’s about the time that another guy entered and went up to urinal number three.

I kept on peeing, even though it did weaken a tad. No biggie, I just thought, if it takes me longer it takes me longer, who cares?

And so I emptied my bladder, washed, and left a happy camper.

About a half an hour later I could feel the urge to urinate again.

But I didn’t want to pee here, I wanted to wait until the next stop so I could desensitize in a different store and a different bathroom.

And that is precisely what I did!

Shortly later, we went to Home Depot and I made my way straight to the men’s bathroom.

As I’m heading in, so is a Home Depot Employee. He goes in before me and washes his hands at the sink.

Another employee is at the first urinal. There are three urinals in all.

I take the last one!

I unzip, exhale, relax, and ignore everything else in the room.

30 seconds later, I’m peeing!

Yeah!!!!

I kept peeing as the one employee left, and the other one went to the sink to wash up.

It makes me so happy that I can pee under these types of circumstances.

Who would have ever known?

So that’s 2 for 2, I can’t ask for more!

Can I? :)

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I’m Watching You Pee!

Early this morning, I’m standing in the bathroom peeing, and Mike, my Pee Buddy, is standing next to me.

…As always, for my once a day desensitization.

I’m used to him, it doesn’t phase me much anymore.

Like this morning, I’m taking a piss and he’s standing next to me and we’re chatting.

And long about halfway through the chat, he says to me…

“I’m watching you pee!”

I'm Watching You Pee!

And I glance in his direction, and he was absolutely right.

He was facing me and watching me pee. Not something he would generally do, normally he would face towards me but not actually look down. He’s been testing my desensitization lately, like running by the door, jumping and scaring me, and now actually watching me.

And it’s amazing that I never falter!

I don’t break stream, I just keep on peeing.

I’m very happy about that!

How long will it be before that’s the normal everywhere???

Later that afternoon, we’re running some errands, and after being out for about 2-3 hours we end up at Cosco.

I didn’t know how long we would be out, I didn’t know how many errands we had, I didn’t Fluid Load, it was spur of the moment and we just went out the door…

Which is fine with me, but when we get to Cosco and we start walking around I realize “Hey, I could Pee!

So without further ado, I make my way towards the bathrooms.

I walk in, the john is empty, I walk up to the first urinal and I pee within 15 seconds.

It felt wonderful because it was unexpected.

I didn’t plan it!

I didn’t leave the house having to pee. It just happened… naturally!

Like it should!

That’s the way life is supposed to be.

When I’m out, and I have to pee, I pee, easy as that!

It sounds so simple and effortless.

If only it was…

If only it was. :)

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Fluid Loading Piss

We’re running a quick errand today, so I Fluid Load before I go.

I chug a bottle and a half of water, and then 45 minutes later, we’re out the door.

We get to Menard’s and not too long after we get there, I venture into the bathroom.

I walk in and instantly it hits me…

The smell!

Something died in here!

Or, should I say, something’s dying

For as I round the corner I see a guy with yellow workboots sitting in stall number one (closest to the third urinal). His one foot is hiked back at a weird angle and he’s hugging the toilet…

I think he’s having some issues.

Fluid Loading Piss

I always hate pissing around THAT. Most of the time I can’t. I just want to scream and leave

But today…

I hold my breath as I walk up to the first urinal (The short kiddy one) farthest from the smell from hell.

As I stand there, the stall guy is quiet, he’s probably waiting until I leave.

I’m standing there, I’m quiet too!

Crap!

Awkward!

I pull out my phone and check my stats… It seems to help distract me enough to pee.

And it works… I start peeing within 20 seconds… but it’s coming out slow. That’s okay, because I’m not in a race (although I do want to run and run fast). My only goal is to empty my bladder, and nothing else. So I let it do it’s thing as I continue to play online.. and continue to hold my breath, for I feel I MUST FACE THIS!!!

I pee and I pee for a good minute or so. It finally picks up steam, and before I know it, my bladder is finished and I’m moving to the sinks.

Mission accomplished!

Will this ever get any easier? Peeing while people are pooping?

Who knows?

I guess I shouldn’t complain since I CAN still pee in the bathrooms, at a urinal, with other guys in the john. So I can’t really ask for more than that.

Just be happy with the progress you make, right?

Because it only gets better from here.

Ya feel me?

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I Can’t Stop Peeing!

I Fluid Load before we run to Cosco today, and by the time we arrive, I really need to piss.

I head into the men’s bathroom and see one guy at the first urinal (in the corner). The second and third urinal are free.

I take the third urinal which is the closest to the stalls (which I believe are both empty as well).

I unzip, relax and try to concentrate on peeing.

I can hear the guy at the other urinal peeing loudly!

I hold my breath and apply a little pressure down.

And even though I need to pee badly, it’s giving me problems!!!

I pull out my iPhone and play with my text messages, sending stupid Emojis to people, like Connect 4

I Can't Stop Peeing!

As the other guy finishes peeing and starts to head towards the sinks, I finally began to pee myself.

It’s pretty slow to begin, but it’s going, and that’s all that really matters.

I relax some more and just let it happen!

I also keep texting and keep my mind off my surroundings.

Finally my stream picks up and is flowing nicely

Another guy comes in and walks up to urinal number one.

I’m still peeing!

He’s quiet and I can’t hear anything from him. It makes me wonder if he’s locked up and… if he’s a Paruretic?

I’m still peeing!

It feels like it’s been flowing for two full minutes (and I only drank one bottle of water).

Finally the other guy walks away (the urinals auto flush).

He moves over to the sinks. He must have had a really weak (quiet) stream, or he just pretended to pee.

Could be? I should know…

I’ve been there… Done that!

I keep texting… and…

I’M STILL PEEING!

It’s crazy, but it’s now been about three minutes and there is no sign of stopping! Ha!

I feel kind of silly because two guys have peed and gone, and here I am still standing there.

Outside in the hall, I can hear a mother yelling at her little boy. He’s probably around four. He keeps running into the men’s bathroom and she keeps yelling at him to “come back here“.

He comes in, laughs, screams at her, and then runs back out. What a little BRAT! It’s not so distracting as it is annoying.

But no matter, I’m still peeing…

Ain’t no stopping me!

FINALLY around 4 minutes later, my bladder eases up and empties out. Whew!

That was probably the longest pee I’ve ever had. Talk about boring!

But it felt great and it’s another great success story.

So who’s texting in the bathroom?

That would be me! :)

Smiley Face, Sunset, Thumbs Up, Pizza…

Your Move!

Sounds good to me! :)

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The Bruno Mars Concert

Me, and a group of my friends had a busy night a while back…

We were going to a Bruno Mars Concert! :)

It all started with a two hour drive from our home to a hotel near the stadium where the concert was at.

We figured since it was a 2 hour drive, we’d just stay up there for the night and drive back the next day (which worked out perfectly).

So we leave and get to the hotel early!

Then all us leave shortly after for a local pub and a beer (beer for them, root beer for me).

Then 45 minutes later we all go back to the hotel so Kay can change into something more dazzling for the show.

Our plan is to head to a fish-house (forgot the name) 3 miles from the stadium to eat, and then hit the 8 p.m. show afterwards.

So we’re all waiting in the hotel room as she gets ready, and then right before we leave everyone goes in the small john to pee. And I can tell that my pee-shy desensitization is working, because even with a room full of my friends (who don’t know about me, all except for Mike, my Pee Buddy) I had no trouble peeing in that tiny hotel bathroom just a couple feet from them. Which is awesome, because I know they could hear me.

Then, it’s off to eat…

By 5:30 we’re all seated in the fish-house chowing down on some yummy food. I had a glass of Moscato with my salad, and long about 7:00 we’re on our way to the Bruno Mars concert (which was very cool, and very fun).

The Bruno Mars Concert

The arena was packed!

It’s the largest arena I’ve ever been in and the lines to the food, drinks, and bathrooms wrapped around the building (or so it seemed).

I know as soon as I saw them (especially after my opening day fiasco), that peeing there would probably be a impossibility (I had already accepted that fact).

Mike actually stood in line for 20 minutes and told me later that it was crazy because women were even waiting in that same line as well (WTF?). He said that there were only about six urinals all together, and that the line was insanely long directly behind you (why do such a large arenas have so few bathrooms?).

I would have died…

He told me that he even had a hard time going himself. It took him a while to go because of the extreme pressure and cramped conditions. And so, when he finally was able to pee, it took him a couple minutes to even get a stream going… (and remember this is Mr.-I-pee-in-five-seconds-really-fast-and-really-loud).

Needless to say, I didn’t pee at the concert, didn’t try, and thankfully, I didn’t need to.

I had no urge to go whatsoever! :)

The concert ended with two kick ass encore songs (Locked out of Heaven, and Gorilla). And then we left the stadium… We got really lucky because we parked at the far end of the parking lot near the exit. So once the concert was over, it only took 10 minutes to get out of the parking lot versus the normal hour and a half.

Five minutes later we were back at the hotel, where I could pee in peace when needed.

So while I didn’t go to the bathroom at the concert, it didn’t affect the night and I had a wonderful time after all.

If I did need to pee, that would’ve been a whole different story… so I thank my lucky stars that didn’t happen!

The Drive Back Home

And then yesterday on the way back home, we stopped off at an outlet center to get a bite to eat and do a little shopping.

Luckily, I had three successful pee sessions there

The first was at Rain Forest Café. I had been drinking coffee and soda all morning, and by afternoon, I had to piss.

So, as soon as we enter the restaurant, I head towards the bathroom. I walk in… I see one urinal, and three stalls.

That’s an odd setup!

I go to the only urinal and look down… this is not only a kiddy urinal, but it’s so low to the floor that it looked like an ant urinal. It looked like you’d have to aim directly towards your shoes to pee. Weird!

So I hesitated, and then walked past the stalls because it look like the bathroom continued… It didn’t, it was just a little inset. :(

So I faced the stalls and decide to just use one of them instead. I go in the middle stall, unzip, and right before I pee, I hear some shuffling in the third stall.

Someone’s in there!!! Ugh!

And me, I had to take the stall next to him… With my feet pointing towards the toilet! GREAT!!!

I ignore this horrible scenario, and gently apply pressure as I hold my breath a bit.

And lo-and-behold, I start to pee in about 20 seconds.

It was very slow to start, almost stopped, and then kept on going.

I relaxed, and patiently waited until it picked up steam and I was finally able to empty my bladder.

That was tough!

Usually peeing with someone in the next stall is very, very difficult for me. Especially if it’s just him and me in an ultra quiet bathroom.

But, I pulled it off like a PRO!

After we eat, we shop the outlet stores, and about an hour later, I need to piss again. I looked for the next restroom sign, and Mike waits as I walk the long hallway and go into the Men’s Room.

I walk in, there are four urinals, I took the last one closest to the stalls and I pee pretty damn quick.

After that, we shop for another 1/2 hr, and then right before we leave, Mike says he needs to pee. So the next time we see another bathroom sign, he goes in as I contemplate my situation. Do I need to pee again or not? And then I thought of the 2 hour drive home and decide it’s best to pee here and not have to worry about it later. So he comes out, and I go in.

This bathroom is much busier than the previous bathroom. 7 or 8 guys came and went when Mike was in there… Which of course, I noted.

And now, as I head in, I see this restroom has 4 urinals and a couple of stalls.

I instantly see that the first and third urinal are taken… Not a great situation

And, not only are half the urinals full, but the stall closest to the last urinal (#4) was occupied as well. Which sucks, because that’s the urinal that I was heading towards.

Sigh!

As I walk up to it, I can see the feet under the partition shift… I frown, and then I think to myself “Oh well!“, and step up to the plate.

So now I have a guy to my left peeing in a urinal, and a guy directly to my right taking a dump… this ought to be fun!

I pull out my phone and check my emails and try to distract my mind. I can hear toilets flushing, guys are at the sink behind me, footsteps, shuffling, hand driers…

And I’m trying to concentrate and apply steady pressure down

And it worked!

I pee in about 30 seconds, and I pee, and pee, and peed until I finally emptied my bladder…

That’s incredible!

Especially since it was a long drive home, through rush-hour, construction, and delays.

And so, 2 1/2 hours later, we end up back home, and yes, that was my journey to see Bruno Mars.

It was an awesome concert, and overall I had a great time for a Paruretic at the busiest place on earth.

Gotta love concerts!

Whew! :)

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Bathroom Stalls Feel Weird!

So tonight, we’re going out to eat at a steakhouse. We’re meeting some friends there, and before I leave the house I fluid load with one and a half bottles of water.

It’s Friday, there’s a full moon out, and the place is very, very busy.

We sit down, and even though I knew I could already pee, I decide to make the urge stronger, so I start drinking MORE water.

About a half an hour later I decide I’m ready. I walk in the bathroom, there’s one guy at the sink, and another guy at the last of the three urinals. That means I’ll have to grab the first urinal, which is also one of those little kiddy urinals. :(

I unzip, hold my breath, and wait!

A guy comes out of the stall behind me. The guy at urinal number three leaves, another guy takes his spot.

The door keeps opening and closing (leaving all of us highly visible to anybody walking by), someone else goes in one of the 3 stalls.

There are now two guys at the sink. I’m having a hard time, which sucks because I really have to pee.

More commotion behind me!

Another guy goes in the first stall. I was hoping that the place would clear out so I could pee in peace, or even better, move over to the corner urinal (number three)… BUT NOPE!!!

The door opens again. Guys are everywhere.

And as I casually glance over to the sink, who do I see? An acquaintance of mine!

FUCK!!!

I don’t know if he saw me, but I’m hoping he didn’t because I don’t want to have one of those types of conversations in here… Especially while I’m trying to pee. I turn my head so he doesn’t see me… Even though he’s just feet away. He’s fixing his tie in the mirror. Another guy comes over to the dryer just a foot from me and starts drying his hands (which pretty much blocks his view now).

The guy that I know is still there, although he did take a couple of steps back. Now he’s tucking in his shirt. I could see all this in my peripheral vision.

I’m still not peeing. It’s seems so obvious that I’m not. I’m very nervous. I decide to end my session for I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed…

I zip, flush, and turn towards the sink… and the guy that I know is also turning and heading out the door at the same time. SIGH! But, even with him gone, I still feel like all eyes are on me. Like they knew that I failed!

I wash and leave feeling very ashamed and awkward!

I sit back down. We eat salads, and I make sure I drink much more wine and water.

A half an hour later, I try to pee again.

This time, I really need to go bad!

But, as I’m walking towards the bathroom, another guy enters right in front of me. I dislike that. Because the odds are now good that he’ll take the last urinal in the corner, the safe one that I want.

I frown as I head in, because I see he isn’t at urinal number three, surprise surprise, he’s at the second one. WTF???

Seriously dude, you had to be a prick and take the center urinal???

Why would any guy do this?

I have no idea! What a jerk! The other two urinals are empty, there’s no excuse!

So I pause for a second. It would feel really awkward for me to go over and grab a urinal next to him (maybe that’s why he grabbed the center one, he didn’t want to pee next to anyone).

So, I did what most guys would probably do in this situation, I went into the stall.

I go in quietly, I shut the door… but of course the door doesn’t shut or lock properly, so I have to grab the door, tug on it, and try to push the latch down so it fits. Which does nothing but makes tons and tons of horrible loud noise. Ugh!!!

The good thing is, I go up to the toilet and start to pee in 15 seconds flat! Sweet!

Bathroom Stalls Feel Weird!

I will say, it felt very weird peeing in a stall. I very rarely ever go in them any more. I clearly remember not so long ago that I couldn’t even pee using a bathroom stall, even if I was alone in the bathroom. But not tonight, I peed (finally), and peed, and it felt great.

After that, I sat back down and enjoyed dinner!

And then, right before I leave, I head back in the bathroom one last time.

I didn’t have a high urge to pee, but I knew I could, and more importantly, that I should.

I go in. The men’s room was empty!!! I walk up to urinal #3, and in no time, I’m peeing quickly.

That I was very happy with!

So all in all, I had 1 miss-fire, 1 successful stall pee, and 1 urinal pee. Not too bad, not too bad at all.

The bottom line is this: I didn’t give up! I Kept trying no matter what. Because I know eventually I WILL (and so will YOU) succeed!

I peed twice in public, and came home with an empty bladder.

I could have failed miserably, crawled back in my shell, and never made another attempt… But that would be the old me. The new me knows that persistence pays off.

And it did!

And that is a huge success in my book. :)

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Fully Desensitized ???

I’m peeing in the small bathroom next to the kitchen yesterday afternoon.

I’m pissing in the toilet and of course, I have the door wide open.

Why?

Because I’m desensitizing!

…And the fact that it’s just two guys who live in this big ole house…

So I’m peeing and all of a sudden Mike (My Pee Buddy) pops his head in, looks directly at me, and asks me a question.

I look back, answer him, and he continues on his way as I continue to pee.

Today the same thing happened!

I’m taking a piss in the bathroom and Mike comes by, and this time I didn’t even hear him approaching.

And what does he do?

He jumps in the doorway trying to scare me (used to be a huge fear of mine).

Fully Desensitized From Paruresis

The funny thing is, it didn’t work.

I didn’t skip a beat. I kept on peeing like normal.

He laughs, I look at him, smirk, and he keeps on walking.

Later on, after about six cups of coffee…

I’m in the bathroom once more taking a piss!

Mike walked by and actually came in with an hand full of stuff for the cabinet. He goes behind me (which, for a tiny bathroom is just inches away), opens the drawer, puts stuff in and walks back out of the bathroom. The entire time he’s talking to me and asking me questions. I answer him like it’s no big deal.

And I’m very proud of one thing…

I Peed non-stop!

I didn’t slow, I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t stop my stream. I just continued like I didn’t have Paruresis at all.

And I stood there after he left and I thought to myself, I actually feel fully desensitized around him!

I mean, I’m talking to him, and looking at him as he’s coming and going and even trying to scare me… And it didn’t stop me from peeing, or even phase me.

And guess what, I don’t think anything would with him.

It made me realize that this is what desensitization does

It takes away the fear!

I mean, I’ve literally been peeing around Mike now for almost a full year (ever since I began Recovery last October). And so this is what repetition does to you.

Which means, it can happen in the field as well!

If you do it enough, and you do it often, and you keep repeating it, and never stop, you will desensitize yourself!

Eventually it will happen.

It’s bound to!

You will, and you can, desensitize yourself to peeing in a public bathroom just as easy.

It’s just continued practice.

And that’s actually a very cool thing to know.

A year ago I would’ve never dreamed that I would be able to pee anywhere near him, let alone with him walking by the door talking to me, coming in, and even trying to scare me.

But yet a year later, look at me. It’s pretty amazing.

Of course I don’t have this track record out in public yet, but I’m at least 75% of the way there.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to 100%, but I do feel that as long as I keep trying and I never give up, that one day, someday, I will get there.

Eventually!

Just you wait and see!

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Peeing at Krogers

We go out to eat for lunch yesterday at my favorite restaurant.

I didn’t Fluid Load before hand, just went like normal. I had a root beer and a salad and that was it. Lunch was quick and we were still headed to the grocery store.

Now, I didn’t have to pee at the restaurant, but over the next 15 minute drive to Krogers, I could actually feel the urge to pee begin.

I tell Mike that I needed to pee. He says to me “Do you want me to stop home first?“, considering the fact that Krogers is basically across the street from where we live.

I say “No, I’ll pee at Krogers”.

And so, as soon as we get there, I head towards the bathroom.

I go in.

I’m the only one there!

I step up to the one and only low urinal, unzip, and wait.

This bathroom is very small and very, very quiet.

Peeing at Krogers

I hold my breath and decide to pull my phone out to check my emails… that usually does the trick.

And sure enough…

I start to pee in 15 seconds!

And I Peed and I Peed, until finally I was finished.

And just as I was ending my stream, the door opens and a guy comes in.

He sees that there is only one urinal and one stall… he hesitates and moves around for a second behind me. I can hear his awkward shuffling as he was gauging if I was finished or not.

I was!

I shake, flush and move away. He quickly took my spot as I washed and left.

It all worked out perfect for me and I returned home with an empty bladder

AND, I didn’t have to Fluid Load or leave the house needing to piss either.

That’s a first!

And that I love!

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I Am Still Ashamed

Dave (a fellow Recovering Paruretic), and I have emailed each other about our Shy Bladder journeys. If you remember from previous posts, Dave is an IPA support group leader in Wisconsin

But, more accurately he says:

“I am currently the group leader for Wisconsin, and as such I set up monthly group meetings for the purpose of sharing and graduated exposure practice, I provide individual assistance as a pee-buddy, and I maintain a monthly online update so that guys who cannot attend meetings can still participate in a group experience. My sign-in name for the IPA Talk Forum is david53, and you are welcome to read through my posts if you are interested in my journey in recovery.”

Dave IPA Talk Forums

In more email communication with Dave, something else came up that really made me stop and think.

Dave said to me:

“One of the best things about recovery is that I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed about having Paruresis. I have come to fully accept that Paruresis is not a definition of who I am, it is simply a condition that I have, so sharing things about it with others is not of concern at all.”

For which I responded…

“I still have only told my best friend (and the whole wide web), who’s my Pee Buddy about my condition, none of my other friends or family know. So I guess I am still ashamed about it.”

And Dave replied:

“You will know when the time is right for you open up to friends about your condition – that is a personal decision which I completely respect, so please do not think that I was implying anything when I discussed my own recovery.

I have tremendous respect for your willingness to share your experiences on the World Wide Web because posting about your deepest fears, even though you may not know the readers, is a personal risk that most guys with Paruresis would never consider taking. You said that you have personally only shared with Mike and none of your other friends, but I would suggest that friendships come in many different forms.”

I thought about that, and I realized that yes, it’s so true!

I am still ashamed and embarrassed about my Shy Bladder. For only one person in my entire life, Mike, my Pee Buddy and best friend. knows about me and my secret phobia.

One Person!

Sure, I have this Shy Bladder Blog which I’ve opened myself up to the entire web, but it’s not the same. I’m still anonymous on here (Although I am an IPA Forum Member… a.k.a. PeeShyRichard). People only learn my first name. So my true identity is still hidden just like my Paruresis.

So I ask myself, am I really recovering?

Am I ever going to be fully cured? Can I be when I can’t even fully accept it myself? Come to terms with who I really am? I am Pee Shy. That doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, or even a weird person. It just means I’m a little bit more sensitive than other people. So why is it so hard to open up? Let my friends and family see who I really am? This is part of the curse! Part of this shyness that has haunted me my whole life.

Would it help my condition if I told them?

Let everyone know that I’m scared to pee around other guys? Or would that just make matters worse?

It really is a good question. I’ll probably never know the answer. Because I like who I am right now. I like where I am in my recovery process. I feel like I’ve come a long way.

This entire year I’ve been able to pee in urinals, in bathrooms, next to other guys, and that’s something that I was never able to do ever before!!! And it still blows my mind to even think about. I was so terrified of peeing in a urinal. I couldn’t even step up to one. And now look at me…

I’m doing it!

So ultimately, whether my friends know or not, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the outcome. The end result.

Some of my friends probably wouldn’t care. In fact maybe none of them would. But I’ll bet you it would come up in conversations a lot. And that could get embarrassing. It would draw more attention to me and my bathroom visits (“Oh look, there he goes…”), make me even more self conscious. Sure, they would try to help me, but I fear they just wouldn’t understand. Not many people can comprehend the fact that you can’t naturally pee when you need to. People will say “just ignore it”, “don’t think about it”, “drink more water”, “jump up and down”, “use the stalls”, “multiply”… And the worst…

“Do you want me to come with you???”

Uh, NO!

People naturally want to help. But what they don’t realize is that there really isn’t much they can do. Everything that needs to be done, is inside of myself.

Because 99% of Paruresis is mental, not physical!

It’s changing my thoughts, which then changes my actions.

So am I still ashamed?

Sure! And I probably will be until the day I die. But I’ll tell you one thing, I’m not going to let it stop me, nor slow me down. I’ll keep practicing, keep desensitizing, and never give up.

Because I’m determined… I want to win!

Maybe one day I will share my secret. But until then, I’m going to Fluid Load and force myself to enter the men’s bathroom.

No one else needs to know, just me, and you, and 1000 guys in the bathroom who have no clue.

Sounds like a plan, Stan!

Don’t you think?

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Do you Really Need a Pee Buddy?

Following my last post about how a Pee Buddy can make you stronger and can help you overcome Paruresis, let’s turn the tables…

Do you really need a Pee Buddy?

Is it really necessary?

Can you do it alone?

Let’s find out…

A recent reader of mine, and a fellow Paruretic (Chris), left some comments in my post here (and I’m bringing this up because great comments like this are too important to be buried in a comments section).

Do you Really Need a Pee Buddy?

Chris is basically taking all the steps needed to recover by himself… Without the use of a Pee Buddy. He’s Fluid Loading and forcing himself to go into the men’s public bathroom, and urinating just like I have all year.

Chris Writes:

“…I live alone thankfully. I have no friends outside of work because the inability to use a restroom which I know I will have to use. I’m actually in my car sitting in a Target parking lot (as I write this now). I just came from a practice pee session. I’m doing exactly what you are doing, I’m going to the mall, Target, Walmart, Dicks, Bed Bath and Beyond. I go anywhere I can to use a public restroom and pee where there are other people potentially present. I liquid load before I go out, and bring a water bottle to refill, and just go to every bath room physically possible and try to pee! I’ve been kind of successful, and kind of not…”

I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Chris!

It takes a lot of guts to do this by yourself. I admire that drive and determination. And as much as I recommend finding a Pee Buddy, for some it’s not even a possibility.

Chris writes:

“…A Pee Buddy is out of the question for me because I have no best friend. It’s really taken hold of my life like a bad drug. But I’m just glad that I’m facing my fear and I’m glad that I can read your success and want to beat this phobia!! I want my life back!!!…”

This was my Response:

“Hi, thank you Chris. Thank you for Fluid Loading and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and into the public bathrooms that you fear. That really is the only way to win this phobia. Try, keep trying, practicing, and desensitize. It gets easier as the months go by, but every now and then you will have bad moments. It’s bound to happen. Just don’t weigh too heavy on them and stay focused.

I’ve had Paruresis for over 47 years, and I’m just now getting a handle on things. Good luck with your progress. Practice Breath Hold if you can, for you can do this! And it does help. I used my Pee Buddy in the beginning to get used to peeing around other people, but I didn’t have any break-throughs until I started Fluid Loading at the first of this year! That’s when it all began to happen (like magic) and it forced me to pee in public at urinals, which I had never done in my life. So keep your head up and thanks for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it! :) If you ever have more to add, or just want to share something, do so, I’m sure it will help other people out as well. Cheers! -Richard”

And then, even more great feedback came in from Dave, who is actually an IPA support group leader in Wisconsin.

Dave writes:

“Chris, It may not feel like it yet, but you have already started to get your life back starting the process of recovery. It is a process, which means that there will be ups and downs, times when it is easy and other times when it is incredibly difficult, but you are not alone in this, and it is fantastic that you have reached out to Richard.

I have been in recovery for about four years, and just as you are doing, since I didn’t have a pee buddy, I found public restrooms that I could use and I practiced regularly. I used fluid-loading and I also tried to time visits to restrooms with times when I had a high urgency rate. My pee-buddies were a lot of anonymous guys who never knew I was practicing with them. You mentioned that you have been kind of successful, great – focus on that. Recovery involves baby steps, each success is something to build on and each misfire is something to learn from. At your early point in recovery you are achieving significant success just walking into a public restroom and facing your worst fears, regardless of whether you are able to pee or not. Richard mentioned breath-holding as a back-up plan, and it is good to have one because it will give you the confidence to try more challenging situations. I started by getting trained on how to use a self-catheter (it sounds worse than it actually is), and later I learned how to do breath-holding, which takes awhile to master but can be really helpful.

Recovery can be frustrating, and at times you may want to give up. I can tell you from personal experience that it is worth the effort, and that it is possible to get your life back. I always wanted to know what it felt like to just walk into a restroom and pee like a regular guy – now I know, and it feels great! Hang in there buddy, you aren’t alone!

Dave”

Wow! Let me tell you, his response blew me away. One sentence stands out, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

This sentence here is worth rereading:

My Pee-Buddies were a lot of anonymous guys who never knew I was practicing with them!

What an incredible eye-opener!

Well said Dave, I applaud you. It certainly makes you think. Just a little shift like this in the way that one perceives things can have dramatic outcomes and results.

I really do love it!

It goes to show you how your mind is adaptive and you can train it to change your thoughts, your behaviors, and your entire future

It proves that if you change the way that you look at things, alter your negative attitude, and focus on the positive outcomes, you too can overcome anything. Instead of saying “I can’t pee in public“, say “I will successfully pee in public, next to other guys, at a urinal, and I’ll leave the bathroom happy and empty!” It’s all in what you tell yourself. It’s the positive reinforcement that you feed your mind.

And it works to… For Chris replied:

“I never looked at it that way. Yeah, everyone is my Pee Buddy and they don’t know it. I remember when I started this recovery process I told myself that I cannot pee in public bathrooms. Saying that meant I couldn’t use a public bathroom no matter what! So I started to retrain my thoughts. And telling myself ‘you can pee in a public bathroom’ after a few successes. It’s just the situation that I encounter in the bathroom is what makes it hard. So after retraining my thoughts it’s been easier to face the fear! I’m out at the mall and just had a very good success. I was entering the mall. Went to the bathroom. A guy entered right before me. I walk up to a urinal and held my breath a little and peed with someone 3 urinals down from me. Those successful moments make you start to hold your head up high and have confidences that it is possible!! And look at other guys and say yourself I can pee like he does!”

I responded:

“Awesome Chris! I’m happy to hear that. You are so right, most of the challenge and difficulty is right in our own brains (which triggered another post soon to come). Changing the things we do (forcing yourself to face your fears), and changing our perspective and attitudes (I CAN do this!) can change the entire experience from bad to good. Congrats! Keep up the positive outlook and just keep practicing! :) -Richard”

And I really did think about this a lot. I thought about my own situation, and Mike, my Pee Buddy. I wondered “could I have did this without him?

The answer is YES!

You see, Mike has helped me greatly at home getting me used to peeing around him. But, when I’m out in public, I don’t pee around Mike.

Generally, I go in the bathroom by myself. So my Pee Buddy doesn’t do much for me outside of the home. He’s there for support and talking to, but I’m still Fluid Loading and forcing myself to walk into the bathrooms alone. Just like Chris is doing by himself.

So do I really need a Pee Buddy?

NO!

I don’t think it would change my successes or misfires any. But it does give me an ear to rely on. And that’s a nice thing to have.

So, all in all, I would say yes, you can overcome Paruresis by yourself. You can certainly drink tons of water and make yourself pee in public. So don’t let a Pee Buddy deter you from the recovery process.

It may be a little bit harder alone, but nothing about Paruresis is easy.

And you can definitely reach out to people. Sign up with the IPA Forums, there’s tons of people you could chat with for help. And of course, you can always reach out and chat with me. I’m going through recovery myself, so I know exactly what it feels like. Email me, leave comments, reply, get in touch. I’m here for you. I can be your Pee Buddy! I will support you, and you can support me, and together we will overcome this phobia one day at a time.

And just 2 days ago, Chris left another inspiring comment.

Chris Wrote:

“Yeah I wish I could have a Pee Buddy maybe one day, it’s just so hard to get one because everyone is so busy and probably wouldn’t have time to be around when I pee. But I still like that we secretly use strangers as our Pee Buddies!!

I Just had to give a really good update… Something I have never ever done in my entire life!!! I fluid loaded. Went to the mall. Had a pretty decent size urge. Was walking behind some guy who entered the restroom before me. I then entered the bathroom. There are three urinals, there was another guy using one. So I said you know what, I want to give myself a challenge… I stood between both men. Took a deep breath. Held it a little. I heard the other guy start his stream. Probably 2 seconds after he did, I did.

I couldn’t believe it. In all of my 27 years on this earth I never peed between two grown men at urinals. They had dividers which was an advantage but… I don’t believe it!! It’s like a cloud is lifting from my restrained life I’ve lived. I’m starting to learn that consistency is the key. Everyday after work, fluid load, and hit the restrooms. Keep pushing towards our goals and we will make it!”

THAT’S AWESOME NEWS!

Words cannot express how happy I am for Chris! It’s a powerful emotion that touches the heart of this blogging Paruretic!

WELL DONE BUDDY!!!

So once again, thanks much to Chris and Dave, for opening up and sharing your thoughts and experiences. I really appreciate it.

Peace! :)

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