Gradual Exposure Therapy Day 14

I wake up this morning still worried about last night’s failure.

Will I pee or won’t I?

I feel apprehensive and I shouldn’t since I’ve been peeing around Mike for the past 13 days of my Gradual Exposure Therapy (GET).

But what will happen today?

Will I back track more?

I grab my coffee and tell Mike (my Pee Buddy) that I need to pee. We head into the bathroom and he stands behind me.

He’s fidgeting around, playing with the sink, the light switch (lights are going on and off), he’s grabbing the magazine out of the magazine rack… I’m just standing there looking at the timer on my iPhone. I’m watching it count and watching the numbers go higher and higher.

30 Seconds…

1 Minute…

I let out a breath and look up. “Come On” I tell myself “I CAN PEE!

And then, about 1 1/2 minutes in, I start to PEE!

YESSSSS! I’M BACK!

I pee and pee… until something happened that I didn’t expect.

Mike is putting the 5 month old magazine back in the rack and it slips and falls directly into the toilet.

Splash!!!

Gradual Exposure Therapy Day 14

Now I’m peeing on it!

What are you doing?” I say. I stop peeing and bend over to dig it out of the water.

SORRY!” he says as I throw the soggy mess into the trash.

I go back to my stance and try to pee.

Now I can’t. I’m locked up!

Damn It!

I get mad at myself for letting such a silly thing distract me.

I stand there and nothing happens.

4 Minutes go by.

I can’t go even though I know I could.

WTF!

It’s SOOOOO frustrating! I feel like I’m going to pee my pants but yet I can’t empty my bladder.

NOT COOL!

All because a magazine fell in the toilet? That was enough to derail me and stop the flow?

I’m so over myself. I thought I was back and doing good, and now as I stand here, I can feel myself getting madder and madder at myself.

I really need to pee, but it’s not happening.

It almost brings me to tears. It’s such a stupid thing to have. Paruresis, I hate it!

At 6 minutes, I give up!

I’ll try again later” I say. I leave the bathroom defeated.

Is this how my life is always going to be?

2 Hours later (and one cup of coffee) I try again.

This time it’s a SUCCESS! I pee! I finish, flush and leave happy because this is the first time in 3 attempts. It feels so good.

Finally!

The rest of the day I pee with no more issues or problems. It’s crazy how such a small thing affect whether I can pee or not.

I stand in the kitchen and ponder my condition as Mike goes into the adjacent bathroom to pee. He leaves the door open and 2 seconds later he’s peeing loudly with force. In 20 seconds, he’s done. If only I could pee like that. He’s so lucky! Life would be so much more fulfilling. Sigh!

I pee again right before bed. Mike makes a comment “It’s been quite a while since you’ve peed, unless you peed without me“.

I say nothing

He’s right! I peed earlier today when our friend Kay came over. She was here about 1 1/2 hours and I actually went to the bathroom twice without Mike.

I used her visit as an excuse to pee alone, safely and comfortably.

It did feel good to pee by myself. I miss that!

Is this cheating?

Probably so!

I see how easy it would be to slip back into my normal ways. My old ways… Where I lock the bathroom door and pee in silence. It’s such a difficult road that I’m taking. I struggle with it every day. My entire mind and body hates it. But then again, it hates peeing too! Go figure!

Will I ever get over my fears?

How long will it take?

Months?

Years?

Forever?

Does anyone have the answer?

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2 Responses to Gradual Exposure Therapy Day 14

  1. 19 year old college kid says:

    Honestly, the answer is from experience, even if you do get over it (exponentially, with asymptotes of course i.e. you can never 100 percent but 99.99 is possible) it will come back unless you maintain your confidence. Really, if you learn the breath hold it is the best option, having only a few negatives. After practicing for ~2 months, once you get down to 10 seconds to start, you can let off like I mentioned in an earlier post and then breathe normally throughout the stream (I did this for a long time) but make sure you practice once every day or you will desensitize to CO2. The only negatives are that you have to have completely emptied your bowels that day when you need to. Even a little, you must poop or you will poop your pants. Fortunately you can hold your breath in a stall and you will poop just the same, if that causes you stress. The other downsides have to do with running into people who recognize you on your way to the urinal and them flagging you down while you pee (a 1 in 1000 chance I might add, think about it in 10 seconds).

    However, all that work you have done is a good step. Coupling it with the breath hold has, in my experience, given me the confidence to 100 percent know I can do this, and often the BH has more placebo value because of the way you feel while holding you breath. Others would gawk in amazement as I would do what only a drunk would do anywhere at all.

    • Richard says:

      Great! Now I’m gonna poop my pants! ha! Haven’t heard that one yet, and I hope I don’t have those problems. But I do love getting the start time down to 10 seconds. That’s awesome!

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